Russian citizens living in Latvia, who have not passed the language exam and have not applied for participation, will start receiving notices from next week about the need to leave Latvia within three months. According to Maira Roze, a representative of the Latvian Citizenship and Migration Department, quoted by DELFI, the total number of such persons is estimated at about 3,600. They have been given a period of 90 days to leave the country.
Roze also noted that some people were counting on the Constitutional Court’s decision and were convinced that they did not need to hurry. “They were told: sit tight, everything will be settled. They lost, of course, they lose their residence permit. These people will be able to try to get a permit without relaxation – like any other Russian citizen, not a longtime resident of Latvia”, Roze added.
The early September deadline was a deadline for Russian citizens living in Latvia to prove their knowledge of the Latvian language. This week, the Latvian Saeima decided to extend the deadline and provide a two-year transition period for those who attempted to pass the language exam.
Of the 25,000 Russian citizens subject to the new rules, 14,000 have already applied for permanent resident status in Latvia. Another 1,000 have applied for temporary residence permits because they were unaware of the extended exam deadline. 6,700 people have applied for a repeat exam.
Earlier, the Latvian Saeima approved amendments to the Immigration Law, giving Russian citizens who failed to pass the language exam a two-year extension. Such persons will be able to obtain a temporary residence permit for two years and will continue to be entitled to social guarantees during this period. Russian citizens who have reached the age of 75 are exempted from taking the exam.