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Countries that aim to attract investment into their economies offer different advantages and conveniences, especially to foreign investors. Latvia has also choses this path after the 2008 crisis. Latvia has decided to issue a Latvia golden visa to foreign investors for investments of €250.000 and above. Within the scope of this program, which was implemented for the first time in 2010, thousands of people have been granted golden visas until today. How to get a Latvia golden visa with minimum capital? What are the main advantages of this visa type? All the details are in our article.
Main Advantages of Latvia Golden Visa
The golden visa issued by the Latvian government has many advantages. These advantages can be evaluated either in business or in different fields. The highlights of these advantages and explanations related to these are as follows:
An investment of only €250.000 is sufficient for a Latvia golden visa. When you meet necessary conditions, you can get the golden visa right with this investment. When you manage your investment correctly, you can make serious profit here. Thus, you can consider yourself as someone who has not made any payment for the golden visa.
With a golden visa, you get the right to reside in Latvia, as well as the right to travel inside the Schengen area without a visa. Having the right to freely travel within EU countries without restrictions gives you significant advantages in different areas.
After your permanent residence permit, which you will receive after the investment you will make, you can also apply for residence permits for your family members. Thus, they can also benefit from the same rights you will obtain.
Once you have the right to reside in Latvia, you do not have to actually be in Latvia. You may reside in a different country, but you can effectively benefit from the advantages that you gained in Latvia.
Your application will be resulted in 2-3 months on average. Processing time is pretty fast, which prevents you from waiting unnecessarily for your plans. Considering that the processing time is 6-12 months in other countries that grant similar rights, it becomes clearer how fast Latvia is.
Latvia golden visa is issued for 5 years. At the end of this period, if you meet the conditions, you can apply for a visa again.
At the end of your second 5-year residence right with a Latvia golden visa, you have covered an important way for the right to apply for citizenship. By virtue of this right, you can become a Latvian citizen. Moreover, you do not need to renounce your original citizenship to become a Latvian citizen. Because Latvia is a country that allows dual citizenship.
When you become a Latvian citizen, you can travel to the EU region and many countries around the world without a visa. The number of countries you can travel to without a visa is 184.
It has a developing economy and gives significant incentives to foreign investors. One of the most important topics here is low tax rates. You may have to pay different tax rates depending on the job you will do, but the tax rates applied are quite suitable.
The investment you will make in Latvia is in Euro. The Euro (€) is one of the most reliable currencies in the world. The probability of losing value is very low. This situation ensures that your investment is safe.
Latvia is an EU member country and it is in a location that can be counted as close to many markets. It is only a 45-90 minutes flight distance to important centers in Europe.
Latvia is one of the countries which have a high quality of life. Its economic development continues steadily and this is reflected in the welfare level of the people in the country.
Latvian Passport Ranking
Latvia is a country located in the Baltic region. Latvia, which looks like a small country at first sight, has one of the strongest passports in the world. Latvian passport ranks 12th according to the Authoritative Passport Ranking Index data. With a Latvian passport, you can travel to 184 countries in the world without a visa. The number of destinations that require a visa is only 45.
Countries that do not require a visa to a Latvian passport are EU countries (Germany, France, Austria, Italy, etc.), the United Kingdom, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. Some countries that require a visa are India, China and Australia.
Considering all these, it can be said that a Latvian passport is quite reputable in the world. Those who have this passport experience a significant convenience in traveling between countries.
4 Ways to Get a Latvia Golden Visa
There are 4 different alternatives you can use to get a Latvia golden visa. Among these alternatives, you can choose the one that is suitable for you and get this special visa. The ways you can prefer to get a golden visa and the explanations about them are as follows:
If your primary goal is a golden visa, one of the lowest-cost methods you can choose is to start a business. You can get a golden visa right with a business investment of €50.000. With this figure, you can establish your own company or become a shareholder in an existing company. However, your total cost will be higher than the value stated here.
Although the capital required for a company is low, you are required to pay €10.000 to the government and also it is required to maintain your investment for 5 years. In addition, the company you will establish or become a shareholder of must pay at least €40.000 tax annually.
Total cost of starting a business will be €250.000. (It is valid for an investment made to a company that has turnover of less than 10 million Euro and has fewer than 50 employees.)
If you want to be entitled to a Latvia golden visa by purchasing real estate, value of the house you will buy must be at least €250.000. For such a house, you have to pay 5% of the value to the relevant department of the state. Thus, the total cost rises to €262.500.
In developed areas of the country, you can buy a house that meets this condition. In other cities, you can buy two properties with €250.000.
You can get a golden visa by depositing €280.000 to buy bonds in a Latvian bank. Remember that the money you deposit must remain in the account for at least 5 years. With the money in your account, you can earn interest income with the interest rate that will be applied differently from government bonds.
You can be entitled to a golden visa with a state bond worth €250.000. The bonds are interest-free and you won’t have any surprises at the end of 5 years. When you want to withdraw your money, you will receive the amount you deposited. However, when you choose this method, you have to pay €38,000 to the state budget.
Which Investment Type Is More Preferred?
The fact that which method is better for you to obtain a Latvia golden visa entirely depends on your general situation. Depending on your financial strength and how you manage your money, you can choose one of the methods of which details are shared above.
Yes, you can make the best decision on which method is more suitable for you. However, general preferences of investors can give you an idea at this point. The preferences of those who want to obtain the right of residence through investment are as follows:
- Buying real estate (55%)
- Establishing a company (43%)
- Buying state bonds or depositing money in a bank account (2%)
When the rates here are examined, it is seen that more than half of the investors obtained golden visa right by buying real estate. This ratio is the most important sign that the real estate market in Latvia is full of opportunities. Many experts predict that property prices in Latvia will rise in the near future. Those who buy houses can make profit after 5 years by selling their houses for higher prices.
Another important option is to establish a company. Establishing a company is the cheapest method to be preferred for a golden visa. Therefore, it has been the second most preferred method.
5 Simple Steps to Apply for a Latvia Golden Visa
Applying for a golden visa is an uncomplicated process. This process takes 2-3 months on average and you can travel in the Schengen area without a visa after the application is completed. Apart from you, your family members and dependents can also benefit from this right. Before the application, you need to find out whether you meet the necessary conditions. These conditions are:
- Having sufficient financial strength for investment
- Having clean criminal record
- Bank account information showing that you have enough financial power to continue your life in Latvia
- Health insurance that is valid for at least one year for those who apply for residency
- Having no tax debt
- Health report (showing that you do not have a contagious disease and that you are not addicted to drugs)
If you meet these conditions, you can follow the necessary steps to apply.
STEP 1: Decide on Your Investment Type
There are different types of investments that can be preferred to obtain a golden visa. First, decide on the one that you will use. If you are going to prefer buying real estate method, you will need to do real estate research. If you are going to establish a company or invest in a business, you need to complete necessary procedures.
STEP 2: Latvia Residency Application
After making necessary investment for your application, you need to fill out an application form. With this application form, you must send the documents requested from you and your family members in a complete way to the Latvia Immigration Department. After the application, this process is completed in 2-3 months on average.
STEP 3: Renew Your Residency Every Year
Once your residency application is accepted, you must renew your residency every year after the first 2 years. You have to do the renewal by yourself in Latvia. If you did not prefer to reside in Latvia, it will be enough to go once a year for renewal.
You do not need to reinvest when you renew your residency permit. But you need to protect your existing investment. If your investment is real estate, you should not sell it for 5 years. The situation is the same for other methods, such as establishing a company and buying state bonds.
STEP 4: Get Permanent Residence Permit
Latvia golden visa provides you 5 year of residence permit. This right is not permanent. To obtain a permanent residence permit, you need to spend more than half of the year in Latvia for at least 4 years of this 5-year period. In such a case, you will be liable to pay 23% income tax.
STEP 5: BINGO | Get Latvia Citizenship
Once you legally reside in Latvia for 10 years or more, you will acquire the right of citizenship. In order to obtain this right, you must be a taxpayer in Latvia for the entire 10-year period.
Other requirements for citizenship are to know Latvian at a certain level, to know about the history of the country and to be able to sing the Latvian national anthem. After meeting these conditions, you will be entitled to Latvian citizenship, in other words, EU citizenship.
Frequently Asked Questions about Latvia Golden Visa
Frequently asked questions and detailed answers about Latvia golden visa are below:
There are four different options to get a golden visa through investment. These are buying real estate, establishing a company or becoming a partner in an existing company, buying interest-free state bonds and investing in an interest-earning bank deposit. Any of these four options can be preferred. A residence permit can be obtained if necessary conditions are met.
Yes. Latvia does not seek such conditions and offer convenience to foreign investors. Even if you are not a resident in Latvia, you can invest in Latvia.
The minimum investment required to get a residence permit is 250.000 Euros. In addition, extra state payments may be required depending on the preferred methods. The cheapest way to reside is to invest €50.000 in a company that meets required conditions. However, this company has to pay at least €40.000 tax every year.
Living in Latvia is cheaper than in other EU countries. You can open all the doors of the EU to yourself with a residence permit you will receive in this small Baltic country.
Your application for a Latvia golden visa will take between 60 to 90 days.
Latvia golden visa provides important advantages such as 5-year residence and visa-free travel to EU countries. The process to get a golden visa may seem simple from the outside. However, procedures in Latvia have their own unique functioning. This may complicate transactions for you. A simple mistake that can be made in this process can cause you to lose time and money. Therefore, at this point, getting professional support is the most logical option.
We provide you professional consultancy service for Latvia golden visa. With our lawyers and other experts, we take all necessary actions to ensure that the process proceeds smoothly. Thus, both the process is completed in a shorter time and you are entitled to a resident permit in Latvia without any problem. Contact us for more information about the subject.
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Igors Krumins continues his activities as a commercial and international lawyer within the body of “Jurmala Invest”. He has more than 10 years of experience, especially in the investment sector, and has provided consultancy services to numerous companies with his legal expertise. He successfully completed his undergraduate studies at Baltic International Academy and graduate studies at Latvijas Universitate. Apart from his native Latvian language, he can also speak Russian and English fluently.