The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) is reaching out to 985 Russian citizens who are required to leave Latvia due to non-compliance with requirements of the Immigration Law, as PMLP Chief Maira Roze told LTV programme Rīta panorāma on Tuesday, the 16th of January.
At the beginning of January, PMLP reported that 1 167 Russian citizens are at risk of being deported from Latvia for failure to comply with requirements of the Immigration Law and submit documents to be issued with a residence permit. Roze admits this number remains topical. However, repeated notification letters have been sent to a smaller number of people – 985. This is because PMLP has no information about these people.
The 985 Russian citizens in question now have two weeks to respond to these notification letters. As noted by LTV, so far there hasn’t been a single deportation order fulfilled.
According to Roze, there are several scenarios: recipients of the letters sign up for a residence permit in Latvia, they can inform authorities they need time to leave, or they can report to authorities that they have already left the country.
If PMLP receives no response to these letters, the State Border Guard will be called in to check if the persons in question have actually left the country.
After repeated notification letters were sent, PMLP did notice immediate response in some cases: recipients either signed up for a residence permit or informed Latvian authorities of their plans to leave the country, or they have already left the country.
One other group of Russian citizens who will need to be checked by PMLP are those who took the Latvian language exams but failed. These people are required by law to undergo a repeated language exam in two years’ time, but in this case they will need to request a two-year residence permit. However, of the approximately 5 000 of them 2 500 have not done anything and have not submitted any documents, which means hey will have to leave the country. PMLP will remind these Russian citizens about their duties and will provide time until the 1st of April to submit the necessary documents.
Roze mentioned that of the approximately 25 000 Russian citizens that fall under requirements of the Immigration Law 86% have submitted documents to receive residence permits.
Amendments approved by the Saeima to the Immigration Law after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian war state that the permanent residence permits issued to Russian citizens living in Latvia are revoked as of September 2023. In order to continue living in Latvia, they have to apply for an EU residence permit. To do that, they have to submit proof of their minimal knowledge of Latvian language and other documents to PMLP.
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