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Text consolidated by Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre) with amending laws of:

16 March 1995 [shall come into force from 23 March 1995];
6 February 1997 [shall come into force from 6 March 1997];
22 June 1998 [shall come into force from 10 November 1998];
9 May 2013 [shall come into force from 1 October 2013].

If a whole or part of a section has been amended, the date of the amending law appears in square brackets at the end of the section. If a whole section, paragraph or clause has been deleted, the date of the deletion appears in square brackets beside the deleted section, paragraph or clause.

The Saeima1 has adopted and
the President has proclaimed the following law:

Citizenship Law

Chapter One
General Provisions

Terms Used in this Law

Stateless person - a person who is not considered a citizen by any state in accordance with the laws thereof, except a person who is a subject of the Law On the Status of those Former U.S.S.R. Citizens who do not have the Citizenship of Latvia or that of any Other State.

Dual citizenship - the belonging of a person to citizenship (nationality) of several states.

Descendants - descending kin in a direct line.

Permanent place of residence - a place which has been declared by a person as his or her place of residence in Latvia where he or she actually resides and he or she can prove it by submitting a statement of the State, local government or merchant, or other evidence that confirms the fact that the person is living in Latvia.

[9 May 2013]

Section 1. Purpose of this Law

The purpose of this Law is, on the basis of the Law On Nationality of 23 August 1919, the Continuity Doctrine of the State of Latvia and the interests of the State of Latvia:

1) to determine the persons to be deemed citizens of Latvia and to guarantee the existence and continuity of Latvian citizenship;

2) to guarantee the right to register as citizens of Latvia for the constituent nation (Latvians) and autochthon population (Livs);

3) to provide an opportunity for exiles of Latvia and their descendants to register as citizens of Latvia;

4) to promote the development of a united society of Latvia on the basis of the common values of the people of Latvia;

5) to recognise dual citizenship in compliance with the political objectives and interests of the State of Latvia and to retain the aggregate of the citizens of Latvia under increased mobility conditions.

[9 May 2013]

Section 1.1 Latvian Citizenship

(1) Latvian citizenship is an enduring legal connection of a person with the State of Latvia.

(2) The content of Latvian citizenship is formed by the entirety of interrelated rights and obligations between a citizen and the State.

[9 May 2013]

Section 2. Belonging to Latvian Citizenship

(1) A Latvian citizen is:

1) a person who was a Latvian citizen on 17 June 1940, as well as a descendant of such person, if such person or his or her descendant, by 1 October 2013, has registered as a Latvian citizen in accordance with the procedures set out in law or who had the right to register as a Latvian citizen in compliance with Section 2, Clause 1 of this Law in the version that was in force until 1 October 2013;

2) a person whose both parents at the time of his or her birth are Latvian citizens or one of them is a Latvian citizen, provided that the conditions of Section 9, Paragraph two or five of this Law are complied with;

3) a Latvian or Liv who has certified all of the following conditions in Latvia:

a) that in 1881 or later his or her ancestor had been permanently living in the territory of Latvia as it existed until 17 June 1940,

b) his or her fluency in the Latvian language in accordance with Section 20 of this Law or he or she has been released from the test for fluency in the Latvian language in accordance with Section 21 of this Law;

c) his or her belonging to the constituent nation (Latvians) or autochthon population (Livs), by submitting a documentary confirmation on the fact that he or she or at least one of his or her parents or grandparents belongs to the constituent nation or autochthon population, or an explanation why such certification cannot be submitted and why he or she has submitted other certifications instead of the referred to confirmation. Such confirmation may be replaced by a certification regarding belonging to a community of Latvians at his or her place of residence outside Latvia;

4) a woman whose permanent place of residence is in Latvia and who, in accordance with Section 7 of the Law On Nationality of the Republic of Latvia of 23 August 1919 had lost her Latvian nationality, and her descendant, if either of them has registered in accordance with the procedures set out in law, complying with the conditions of Section 9, Paragraph two of this Law;

5) a child who has been found in the territory of Latvia and whose parents are unknown, or other child left without parental care who is under extra-familial care in Latvia, except a child for whose parents the custody rights have been suspended;

6) an orphan who is under extra-familial care in Latvia.

(2) The volition to register a child as a Latvian citizen in accordance with Paragraph one of this Section shall be expressed by:

1) the lawful representative of the child, if the child has not reached the age of 15 years;

2) the child himself or herself between 15 to 18 years of age.

(3) Also a child of the person referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 2 or 3 of this Section may acquire Latvian citizenship concurrently with such person until the child has reached 15 years of age.

(4) The Cabinet shall determine the responsible authority and the procedures by which applications shall be examined and a person shall be registered as a Latvian citizen in accordance with the conditions of this Section. A submission of the person referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 3 of this Section shall be examined within one year.

[9 May 2013]

Section 3. Citizenship of a Child if One Parent is a Latvian Citizen

[9 May 2013]

Section 3.1 Recognition as a Latvian Citizen of a Child of Stateless Persons or Non-citizens Born in Latvia after 21 August 1991

(1) A child who is born in Latvia after 21 August 1991 shall be recognised as a Latvian citizen concurrently with the registration of the child's birth fact on the basis of the volition expressed by one of the parents, provided that the following conditions exist at the same time:

1) both parents of the child are stateless persons or non-citizens;

2) the permanent place of residence of such parent is in Latvia, but, in case the parent has arrived in Latvia after 1 July 1992, he or she has a permanent residence permit.

(2) A child who has not been recognised as a Latvian citizen in accordance with Paragraph one of this Section shall be recognised as a Latvian citizen until reaching 15 years of age on the basis of an application by one of the parents, provided that the following conditions exist at the same time:

1) prior to that, the child has been a stateless person or non-citizen for the entire time;

2) the permanent place of residence of the child is in Latvia;

3) both parents of the child are stateless persons or non-citizens;

4) for not less than last five years the permanent place of residence of the parent with whom the child is living has been in Latvia (for a person who has arrived in Latvia after 1 July 1992 the time period of five years shall be counted from the day of receipt of a permanent residence permit).

(3) A child who has not been recognised as a Latvian citizen in accordance with Paragraph one or two of this Section shall be recognised as a Latvian citizen after reaching 15 years of age on the basis of his or her application, provided that the following conditions exist at the same time:

1) both parents of the child are stateless persons or non-citizens;

2) for not less than last five years his or her permanent place of residence has been in Latvia until the submission of the application;

3) the restrictions referred to in Section 11, Paragraph one, Clause 1 of this Law do not apply to him or her;

4) he or she has not been sentenced for committing a serious crime or an especially serious crime in Latvia or in another country where the committed crime is classified as a serious crime or an especially serious crime also in Latvia. This condition shall not apply to a person who has been sentenced for committing a criminal offence in a foreign country, if it has been recognised in accordance with the procedures specified by the Cabinet that in respect of such person a judgment of conviction has been rendered without complying with the principle of fair trial or of proportionality of the punishment;

5) he or she certifies the fluency in the Latvian language in accordance with Section 20 of this Law or submits any of the documents referred to in Section 21 of this Law.

(4) A child shall be recognised as a Latvian citizen in accordance with Paragraph one, two or three of this Section also in case if:

1) the mother of the child is a non-citizen or stateless person and there are no data regarding the father of the child in the birth record of the child;

2) one of the parents of the child is a non-citizen or stateless person, legal status of the other parent in Latvia at the time of birth of the child was a citizen of the former USSR, but at the time when the application for recognition of the child as a Latvian citizen is being examined the legal status of such parent in Latvia is unknown;

3) one of the parents of the child is a non-citizen or stateless person, but the other parent is deceased.

(5) A child may use the rights provided for in Paragraph three of this Section to submit an application for recognition of Latvian citizenship until reaching 18 years of age.

(6) The Cabinet shall determine the responsible authority and the procedures for the recognition of a child as a Latvian citizen in accordance with the provisions of this Section, as well as the procedures by which it is recognised that a judgment of conviction has been rendered without complying with the principle of fair trial or of proportionality of the punishment.

[9 May 2013]

Section 4. Equality of Latvian Citizens

Latvian citizens have equal rights and obligations irrespective of the manner in which citizenship has been acquired.

Section 5. The Right to Retain Latvian Citizenship after Marriage

(1) The marriage of a Latvian citizen to a citizen of another country or a stateless person, as well as the dissolution of such a marriage, does not cause a change in citizenship of Latvian citizens.

(2) The citizenship of a spouse does not change upon acquisition or loss of Latvian citizenship by the other spouse.

Section 6. Retention of Latvian Citizenship by Persons Residing Outside the Territory of Latvia

Residence by Latvian citizens outside the territory of Latvia does not cause the loss of Latvian citizenship, except in cases provided for by this Law.

[22 June 1998]

Section 7. Protection of Latvian Citizens Abroad

Latvian citizens abroad are under the protection of the State of Latvia.

Section 8. Inadmissibility of Expelling a Latvian Citizen from the State

[9 May 2013]

(1) [9 May 2013]

(2) A Latvian citizen may not be expelled from Latvia.

[9 May 2013]

Section 8.1 Citizenship of Latvian Exiles and of Their Descendants

(1) If a person who was a Latvian citizen on 17 June 1940, or a descendant of such person submits a certification on the fact that, from 17 June 1940 until 4 May 1990, he or she has left Latvia escaping from the U.S.S.R. or German occupation regime or has been deported, and due to the referred to reasons he or she has not returned to Latvia for permanent residence until 4 May 1990, such person and his or her descendant shall retain the right to register as a Latvian citizen.

(2) If a descendant of the person referred to in Paragraph one of this Section who was born until 1 October 2014 submits a corroboration on the fact that at least one of his or her ancestors has been the person referred to in Paragraph one of this Section, he or she shall retain the right to register as a Latvian citizen. A corroboration in respect of a child up to 15 years of age shall be expressed by his or her lawful representative.

(3) Dual citizenship may occur for the person referred to in Paragraph one or two of this Section, when registering as a Latvian citizen.

(4) The Cabinet shall determine the responsible authority and the procedures by which a corroboration of the person referred to in Paragraph one or two of this Section shall be accepted and examined and by which such person shall be registered as a Latvian citizen. An application shall be examined within four months.

[9 May 2013]

Section 9. Dual Citizenship

(1) Latvian citizenship shall be retained for a Latvian citizen who has:

1) acquired citizenship of another Member State of the European Union or Member State of the European Free Trade Association;

2) acquired citizenship of another Member State of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation;

3) acquired citizenship of the Commonwealth of Australia, Federative Republic of Brazil or New Zealand;

4) acquired citizenship of such country with which the Republic of Latvia has entered into an agreement regarding recognition of dual citizenship;

5) acquired citizenship of a country not referred to in Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this Paragraph, but has received an authorisation of the Cabinet to retain Latvian citizenship in compliance with important State interests. The Cabinet shall take a decision not later than within a year, and it shall not be subject to appeal;

6) acquired citizenship of another country through entering into marriage (acquired ex lege) or as a result of adoption.

(2) A person who acquires Latvian citizenship after 1 October 2013 in compliance with Section 2, Paragraph one, Clause 2 or 4 of this Law, dual citizenship may occur only if such person has citizenship of another Member State of the European Union, Member State of the European Free Trade Association, Member State of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, New Zealand or citizenship of such country with which the Republic of Latvia has entered into an agreement regarding recognition of dual citizenship, or citizenship of a country previously not referred to, if an authorisation of the Cabinet has been received.

(3) Dual citizenship may occur for Latvians and Livs who acquire Latvian citizenship after 1 October 2013 in compliance with Section 2, Paragraph one, Clause 3 of this Law.

(4) Dual citizenship may not occur for a person who is admitted to Latvian citizenship through naturalisation procedures, except the cases provided for in Section 12, Paragraph two of this Law.

(5) Dual citizenship may occur for a child who acquires Latvian citizenship after 1 October 2013 in compliance with Section 2, Paragraph one, Clause 2, 5 or 6 of this Law if the provisions of Section 23, Paragraph three of this Law are complied with.

(6) If a Latvian citizen may, in accordance with the laws of a foreign country, be simultaneously considered also a citizen of the relevant foreign country, he or she shall be considered solely as a Latvian citizen in legal relations with the Republic of Latvia.

[9 May 2013]

Chapter Two
Regulations and Procedures for Naturalisation

Section 10. The Right to Acquire Latvian Citizenship through Naturalisation Procedures

A person may, upon his or her request, be admitted to Latvian citizenship through naturalisation procedures.

Section 11. Restrictions on Naturalisation

(1) Provided that at least one of the following conditions exists, the following person shall not be admitted to Latvian citizenship:

1) he or she by his or her behaviour or activities causes threats to the security of the State of Latvia and the society, the democratic constitutional order of the State, the independence and territorial immunity of the State, including but not limited to:

a) has acted against the independence of the Republic of Latvia, the democratic parliamentary structure of the State or the existing State power in Latvia,

b) after 4 May 1990, have propagated fascist, chauvinist, national-socialist, communist or other totalitarian ideas or incited ethnic or racial hatred or discord,

c) is related to terrorism or acts in an anti-state or criminal organisation,

d) is related to legalisation of the proceeds from crime;

2) is serving in the armed forces or military organisation of other country without an authorisation of the Cabinet;

3) after 17 June 1940, has chosen the Republic of Latvia as his or her place of residence directly after demobilisation from the armed forces of the U.S.S.R. (Russia) or the internal military forces of the U.S.S.R. (Russia), and, until the day of conscription into service or enlistment, had not permanently resided in Latvia;

4) has been the staff employee of the state security service, intelligence service or counter-intelligence service of the U.S.S.R. or Latvian S.S.R., except a person who has only been the employee of the Planning and Finance or Administrative-Maintenance Division of the State Security Committee of the U.S.S.R. or the Latvian S.S.R.;

5) he or she has been convicted in Latvia or any other country for committing such criminal offence that is qualified as criminal offence also in Latvia during examination of an application for naturalisation. This condition shall not apply to a person who has been convicted for committing a criminal offence in a foreign country, if it has been recognised in accordance with the procedures specified by the Cabinet that in respect of such person a judgment of conviction has been rendered without complying with the principle of fair trial or of proportionality of the punishment;

6) after 13 January 1991, has worked against the Republic of Latvia in the C.P.S.U. [Communist Party of the Soviet Union] (L.C.P. [Latvian Communist Party]), the Working People's International Front of the Latvian S.S.R., the United Council of Labour Collectives, the Organisation of War and Labour Veterans, the All-Latvia Salvation of Society Committee or the regional committees thereof, or the Union of Communists of Latvia;

7) has not fulfilled tax obligations or obligations of other payments towards the State of Latvia.

(2) The restriction referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 3 of this Section shall not apply to a person who:

1) until the day of submitting an application for naturalisation has been married to a Latvian citizen for not less than 10 years;

2) was a Lithuanian citizen on 15 June 1940 or an Estonian citizen on 17 June 1940.

(3) The Cabinet shall determine the authorities which shall assess the compliance of a person with the criteria specified in Paragraph one of this Section, as well as the procedures by which it shall be recognised that a judgment of conviction has been rendered without complying with the principle of fair trial or of proportionality of the punishment.

[9 May 2013]

Section 12. Provisions for Naturalisation

(1) Only the following person may be admitted to Latvian citizenship through naturalisation procedures:

1) whose permanent place of residence, as on the day of submitting an application for naturalisation, has been in Latvia for not less than the last five years of which an interruption of one year in total is permitted but which cannot be during the last year before the day of submitting the application for naturalisation (for a citizen of another country or stateless person the five-year period shall be counted from the day of receipt of the permanent residence permit or permanent residence certificate);

2) who is fluent in the Latvian language;

3) who knows the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia;

4) who knows the text of the National Anthem and the basics of the history and culture of Latvia;

5) who has a legal source of income;

6) who has submitted a notification regarding the renunciation of his or her former citizenship and has received an expatriation authorisation from the country of his or her former citizenship, if such authorisation is provided for by the laws of that country, or has received a document certifying the loss of citizenship, but a non-citizen or stateless person - a corroboration that he or she does not have citizenship of another country. Such requirements shall not apply to a person to whom a refugee status has been granted in Latvia;

7) who has given a pledge of loyalty to the Republic of Latvia;

8) who is not subject to the naturalisation restrictions specified in Section 11 of this Law.

(2) If a citizen of a Member State of the European Union, a Member State of the European Free Trade Association, a Member State of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, New Zealand or a citizen of the country with which the Republic of Latvia has entered into agreement regarding recognition of dual citizenship is admitted to Latvian citizenship, he or she is entitled to retain citizenship of the relevant country.

(3) The provisions of Section 11, Paragraph one, Clause 2 of this Law shall not apply to the person referred to in Paragraph two of this Section, if he or she is serving in the armed forces or military organisation of a Member State of the European Union, a Member State of the European Free Trade Association, a Member State of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, New Zealand or in the armed forces or military organisation of a country with which the Republic of Latvia has entered into agreement regarding recognition of dual citizenship.

(4) A person shall submit a notification regarding the renunciation of his or her former citizenship and an expatriation authorisation or a document certifying the loss of citizenship after he or she has been officially notified that there are no other obstacles for his or her admission to Latvian citizenship, and, after he or she has given a pledge of loyalty to the Republic of Latvia, the Cabinet shall decide on his or her admission to Latvian citizenship.

(5) Upon submitting an application for naturalisation, a person shall pay the State fee. The Cabinet shall determine the amount of the State fee, the payment procedures and exemptions.

[9 May 2013]

Section 13. Admission to Citizenship for Special Meritorious Service for the Benefit of Latvia

(1) A person who does not have the right to naturalise in accordance with the general procedures provided for in this Law and to whom restrictions on naturalisation referred to in Section 11 of this Law do not apply, but who has rendered special meritorious service for the benefit of Latvia, may be admitted to Latvian citizenship by a decision of the Saeima which shall be published in the official newspaper Latvijas Vēstnesis [the official Gazette of the Government of the Republic of Latvia]. The provisions of Section 12, except Section 12, Paragraph one, Clause 7, of this Law shall not apply to a person in regard to his or her admission to citizenship on the basis of special meritorious service for the benefit of Latvia, and dual citizenship may occur for him or her.

(2) A person who wishes to be admitted to Latvian citizenship on the basis of special meritorious service for the benefit of Latvia shall submit to the Saeima an application for admission to citizenship. An autobiography of the person concerned and such notification shall be attached to the application, which states that there are no facts which might indicate that any of the restrictions referred to in Section 11 of this Law are applicable to such person.

[16 March 1995; 22 June 1998; 9 May 2013]

Section 14. General Procedures for Naturalisation

[9 May 2013]

Section 15. Naturalisation of Children

If one of the parents acquires or has acquired Latvian citizenship through naturalisation, upon a request of the person to be naturalised the children of such person who are up to 15 years of age and whose permanent place of residence is in Latvia shall also acquire Latvian citizenship. The conditions of Section 12, Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 8 and Section 12, Paragraphs three, four and five of this Law shall not apply to children who have not reached 15 years of age.

[6 February 1997; 22 June 1998; 9 May 2013]

Section 16. Necessity of Receiving the Consent of a Minor to Change His or Her Citizenship

[9 May 2013]

Section 17. Procedures for the Acceptance, Examination, Contestation and Appeal of an Application for Naturalisation

(1) Persons from 15 years of age are entitled to submit an application for naturalisation. The Cabinet shall determine the responsible authority and the procedures by which applications for naturalisation shall be accepted and examined. An application shall be examined within one year from the day when all documents specified in the Cabinet regulations have been submitted.

(2) If the submitter of an application for naturalisation in the case specified in the Criminal Procedure Law has the right to defence or the verification procedure with regard to establishing the fact of co-operation with K.G.B. has been instituted regarding him or her, examination of the application for naturalisation shall be suspended until a judgment of a court enters into effect or the case is dismissed.

(3) If a person has been refused naturalisation by a decision of the official authorised by the head of the authority referred to in Paragraph one of this Section, refusal of naturalisation may be contested, by lodging the relevant submission to the head of the referred to authority. A person has the right to appeal against the decision of the head of the authority in accordance with the procedures specified in the Administrative Procedure Law.

(4) If a person has been refused naturalisation by a decision of the authority referred to in Paragraph one of this Section due to the conditions referred to in Section 11, Paragraph one, Clause 1 of this Law and such decision has been taken on the basis of the information obtained as a result of intelligence or counter-intelligence, it may be appealed against to the Prosecutor General whose decision shall not be subject to appeal.

(5) A decision on admission to citizenship shall be taken by the Cabinet. The Cabinet may take a decision on refusal to admit such person to citizenship who by his or her behaviour or actions causes threats to security of the State of Latvia and the public order, the democratic constitutional order of the State, the independence and territorial immunity of the State. The Cabinet decision shall not be subject to appeal.

(6) A person who has been refused naturalisation may submit a repeated application for naturalisation not earlier than within one year after expiry of the time period for contestation (appeal) of such decision and it has not been contested (appealed) or such judgment of the court has entered into effect by which the application of the addressee has been rejected, or the Cabinet has taken a decision on refusal to admit to citizenship.

[9 May 2013]

Section 18. Pledge of Loyalty to the Republic of Latvia upon Acquiring Latvian Citizenship

(1) A person who is admitted to Latvian citizenship shall give and sign the following pledge of loyalty to the Republic of Latvia in a solemn ceremony:

"I, (given name, surname), born on (date of birth), becoming a Latvian citizen, pledge that I will be loyal to the Republic of Latvia.

I undertake to be devoted to Latvia and fulfil the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Latvia in good faith.

I undertake to defend the independence of the State of Latvia, to strengthen the Latvian language as the only official language, to live and work in good faith, in order to increase the prosperity of the State of Latvia and of the people.

I certify that my action will never be directed against Latvia as independent and democratic country."

(2) A person shall give such pledge, if it has been ascertained that there are no obstacles for his or her admission to Latvian citizenship.

(3) The Cabinet shall determine the procedures for a solemn ceremony.

[9 May 2013]

Chapter Three
Testing the Fluency in the Latvian Language and Knowledge of the Basic Principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the Text of the National Anthem, the Basics of the History and Culture of Latvia

[9 May 2013]

Section 19. Procedures for Testing the Fluency in the Latvian Language and Knowledge of the Basic Principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the Text of the National Anthem, the Basics of the History and Culture of Latvia

Procedures for testing fluency in the Latvian language and knowledge of the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the text of the National Anthem, the basics of the history and culture of Latvia shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[9 May 2013]

Section 20. Level of Fluency in the Latvian Language

A person is fluent in the Latvian language if he or she:

1) completely understands information of a social and official nature;

2) can freely tell about, converse and answer questions regarding topics of a social nature;

3) can fluently read and understand any instructions, directions and other text of a social nature;

4) can write an essay on a topic of a social nature given by the commission.

[22 June 1998]

Section 21. Exemptions from Testing the Fluency in the Latvian Language and Knowledge of the Basic Principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the Text of the National Anthem, the Basics of the History and Culture of Latvia and Relief from such Testing

(1) The following persons shall be released from testing the fluency in the Latvian language and knowledge of the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the text of the National Anthem, the basics of the history and culture of Latvia:

1) a person with Group I disability, a person with Group II disability that was determined due to a developing mental disease, a person with Group II or Group III disability that was determined due to deaf-mutism or bilateral deafness, as well as a child for whom disability has been determined;

2) a person who has acquired basic education in the Latvian language by acquiring more than half of the basic education programme in it.

(2) Such person shall be released from testing the fluency in the Latvian language who not earlier than five years before submitting an application for acquiring Latvian citizenship has confirmed fluency in the Latvian language:

1) until 31 August 2011 in the centralised examination in the Latvian language (in the accredited educational programme for Grade 9) or in the centralised examination in the Latvian language and literature (in the accredited educational programme for Grade 12) and has passed it in compliance with A, B, C or D level;

2) after 31 August 2011 in the centralised examination in the Latvian language (in the accredited educational programme for Grade 9) by acquiring therein a total assessment expressed in per cent that is not less than 50 per cent, or in the centralised examination in the Latvian language (in the accredited educational programme for Grade 12) by acquiring therein a total assessment expressed in per cent that is not less than 20 per cent;

3) with a document that confirms the acquisition of the higher education study programme in the Latvian study language.

(3) The provisions of Section 20, Clause 4 of this Law shall not apply to the person referred to in Section 2, Paragraph one, Clause 3 of this Law and to a person who has reached 65 years of age.

(4) The procedures, by which fluency in the Latvian language and knowledge of the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the text of the National Anthem, the basics of the history and culture of Latvia are to be confirmed by the person referred to in Paragraph three of this Section and a person with disability, as well as exemptions from testing the fluency in the Latvian language and knowledge of the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the text of the National Anthem, the basics of the history and culture of Latvia for a person referred to in Paragraph three of this Section and for a person with disability, shall be determined by the Cabinet.

[9 May 2013]

Chapter Four
Loss and Restoration of Latvian Citizenship

Section 22. Loss of Latvian Citizenship

The reason for loss of Latvian citizenship may be:

1) renunciation of citizenship;

2) revocation of citizenship.

Section 23. Renunciation of Latvian Citizenship

(1) A citizen of Latvia who is also a citizen of another country or for whom citizenship of another country is being guaranteed, has the right to renounce Latvian citizenship.

(2) A citizen of Latvia who has obtained citizenship of another country has an obligation to submit an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship within 30 days after acquisition of citizenship of another country. This obligation shall not apply to a citizen of Latvia for whom Latvian citizenship is retained in accordance with Section 9, Paragraph one of this Law.

(3) A citizen of Latvia, for whom dual citizenship has occurred before reaching the age of majority and who wishes to retain citizenship of another country shall, after reaching the age of majority and before reaching 25 years of age, submit an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship. This obligation shall not apply to a Latvian citizen for whom dual citizenship may occur in accordance with Section 8.1 of this Law or Latvian citizenship is retained in accordance with Section 9, Paragraph one of this Law.

(4) An application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship may be refused, if a citizen of Latvia has not fulfilled tax or other payment obligations towards the State of Latvia.

(5) When submitting an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship, a person shall pay the State fee. The Cabinet shall determine the responsible authority and the procedures by which applications for renunciation shall be examined, the amount of the State fee, the payment procedures, exemptions, as well as the content of the obligations referred to in Paragraph four of this Section.

(6) A person who has submitted an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship in accordance with Paragraphs one, two and three of this Section and has lost Latvian citizenship, may be admitted for Latvian citizenship only in accordance with the naturalisation procedures.

[22 June 1998; 9 May 2013]

Section 24. Revocation of Latvian Citizenship

(1) Latvian citizenship may be revoked for a person, if he or she:

1) has acquired citizenship of another country without submitting an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship referred to in Section 23, Paragraphs two and three of this Law and has not lost Latvian citizenship, if in case of revocation of Latvian citizenship the person does not become a stateless person;

2) is serving voluntarily in the armed forces or military organisation of another country, except where the person is serving in the armed forces or military organisation of a Member State of the European Union, a Member State of the European Free Trade Association, a Member State of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, New Zealand or in the armed forces or military organisation of a country with which the Republic of Latvia has entered into an agreement regarding recognition of dual citizenship, without permission from the Cabinet and in the case of revocation of Latvian citizenship the person does not become a stateless person;

3) has intentionally provided false information or concealed the facts that apply to the conditions for the acquisition or restoration of Latvian citizenship, when certifying belonging to Latvian citizenship or during naturalisation;

4) has committed an action promoting violent overthrow of the government of the Republic of Latvia, has incited publicly to overthrow violently the public authority stipulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia or to change violently the political system, has incited publicly to perform or has performed organisational activities promoting abrogation of the independence of the Republic of Latvia as a state, it has been detected by a judgment of the court and in the case of revocation of Latvian citizenship the person does not become a stateless person.

(2) The revocation of Latvian citizenship shall not affect the citizenship of the spouse, children or other family members of such person.

(3) In the case referred to in Paragraph one, Clause 3 of this Section a decision on revocation of Latvian citizenship shall be taken if it has been not more than 10 years since the acquisition or restoration thereof.

(4) The time period of 10 years referred to in Paragraph three of this Section shall not apply to cases where:

1) a person has been convicted for any of the international crimes referred to in Article 5 of Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;

2) a person has citizenship of a country not referred to in Section 9, Paragraph one, Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 of this Law.

(5) The Cabinet shall determine the responsible authority and the procedures by which it shall revoke Latvian citizenship for a person. A person for whom Latvian citizenship has been revoked by a decision of the official authorised by the head of the responsible authority, may contest it by lodging a relevant submission to the head of the reponsible authority. A person has the right to appeal against the decision of the head of the authority in accordance with the procedures specified by the Adminstrative Procedure Law.

[16 March 1995; 22 June 1998; 9 May 2013]

Section 25. Restoration of Latvian Citizenship

(1) Latvian citizenship of a person who has lost Latvian citizenship as a result of the choice made by his or her parents or adopters without his or her written consent, shall, upon his or her request, be restored until reaching 25 years of age in conformity with the conditions of Paragraph four, Clauses 1 and 3 of this Section.

(2) A person whose Latvian citizenship has been revoked in accordance with Section 24, Paragraph one of this Law, may be admitted to Latvian citizenship only in accordance with the naturalisation procedures, if not less than five years have passed since the end of the time period for contesting (appeal) of the relevant decision and it has not been contested (appealed against) or a judgment of the court has entered into effect by which the application of the person has been rejected.

(3) A person who has acquired citizenship of the country referred to in Section 9, Paragraph one, Clause 1, 2, 3 or 4 of this Law and has lost Latvian citizenship by submitting an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship or who has acquired citizenship of the country referred to in Section 9, Paragraph one, Clause 1, 2, 3 or 4 of this Law without submitting an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship and whose Latvian citizenship has been revoked by a judgment of the court, has the right to submit an application to the responsible authority for restoration of Latvian citizenship.

(4) Latvian citizenship shall not be restored for a person:

1) who has acquired citizenship of a country not referred to in Section 9, Paragraph one, Clause 1, 2, 3 or 4 of this Law;

2) who has intentionally provided false information, when certifying belonging to Latvian citizenship or during naturalisation, thereby he or she has acquired Latvian citizenship unjustifiably and whose Latvian citizenship has been revoked by a judgement of the court;

3) to whom the restrictions specified in Section 11 of this Law apply, except the restrictions specified in Section 11, Paragraph one, Clause 2, if he or she is serving in the armed forces or military organisation of a Member State of the European Union, a Member State of the European Free Trade Association, a Member State of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, New Zealand or in the armed forces or military organisation of a country with which the Republic of Latvia has entered into an agreement regarding recognition of dual citizenship.

(5) If restoration of Latvian citizenship has been denied to a person by a decision of the authority specified in Paragraph six of this Section, it may be contested by lodging the relevant submission to the head of the referred to authority. A person has the right to appeal against the decision of the head of the authority in accordance with the procedures specified by the Administrative Procedure Law.

(6) If restoration of Latvian citizenship is refused for a person by a decision of the authority specified in Paragraph six of this Section in accordance with the conditions referred to in Section 11, Paragraph one, Clause 1 of this Law and the decision has been taken on the basis of the information obtained as a result of intelligence or counter-intelligence, it may be appealed against to the Prosecutor General whose decision shall not be subject to appeal.

(7) When submitting an application for restoration of Latvian citizenship, a person shall pay the State fee. The Cabinet shall determine the responsible authority, the procedures by which Latvian citizenship shall be restored for a person and the amount, the payment procedures and exemptions of the State fee to be paid for the restoration of Latvian citizenship.

[9 May 2013]

Section 26. Documentation Procedures Regarding Loss and Restoration of Latvian Citizenship

[9 May 2013]

Chapter Five
Final Provisions

Section 27. Personal Identification Documents Certifying Latvian Citizenship

[9 May 2013]

Section 28. Application of International Agreements

[9 May 2013]

Section 29. Monitoring Compliance with the Citizenship Law

Parliamentary monitoring of compliance with the Citizenship Law shall be carried out by a special committee of the Saeima.

Transitional provisions

1. [9 May 2013]

2. [9 May 2013]

3. Persons who had, by the moment this Law came into force, been registered or had applied to be registered as citizens of Latvia in accordance with paragraph 3.2. of the 15 October 1991 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On the Renewal of the Rights of Citizens of the Republic of Latvia and the Fundamental Provisions for Naturalisation (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1991, No. 43) and the 28 October 1992 Resolution On the Conditions for the Recognition of the Rights of Citizens of the Republic of Latvia Regarding Persons who were Resident within the Borders of Latvia before 1 August 1914, and their Descendants (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1992, No. 46/47/48), are declared citizens of Latvia, and their registration may not be annulled, except in the cases provided for by this Law.

4. With the coming into force of this Law, the following laws and regulations are repealed: the 15 October 1991 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On the Renewal of the Rights of Citizens of the Republic of Latvia and the Fundamental Provisions for Naturalisation (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1991, No. 43); the 27 November 1991 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On the Application to Citizens of the Republic of Latvia Residing in Foreign State of the 15 October 1991 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On the Renewal of the Rights of Citizens of the Republic of Latvia and Fundamental Provisions for Naturalisation (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1991, No. 49/50); the 28 October 1992 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On the Conditions for the Recognition of the Rights of Citizens of the Republic of Latvia Regarding Persons who were Resident within the borders of Latvia before 1 August 1914, and their Descendants (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1992, No. 46/47/48); the 28 October 1992 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On Supplements and Amendments to the 15 October 1991 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On the Renewal of Rights of Citizens of the Republic of Latvia and Fundamental Provisions for Naturalisation (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1992, No. 46/47/48); the 2 February 1993 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council Resolution On Temporary By-laws concerning the Procedures by which Republic of Latvia Citizens who Renounce Republic of Latvia Citizenship Lose Republic of Latvia Citizenship (Latvijas Republikas Augstākās Padomes un Valdības Ziņotājs, 1993, No. 7); and the law Amendments to the 2 February 1993 Republic of Latvia Supreme Council approved Temporary By-laws concerning the Procedures by which Republic of Latvia Citizens who Renounce Republic of Latvia Citizenship Lose Republic of Latvia Citizenship (Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 1993, No. 34).

5. Applications that in accordance with Section 3.1 of this Law have been received at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs by 1 October 2013 shall be examined in accordance with the Law that was in force on the day of submitting the application.

[9 May 2013]

6. An adjudication regarding revocation or non-revocation of Latvian citizenship in the cases regarding revocation of Latvian citizenship that have been proceeded to the court until 1 October 2013 shall be taken by the court in accordance with the Civil Procedure Law.

[9 May 2013]

7. The time period of 10 years referred to in Section 24, Paragraph three of this Law shall start on 1 October 2013 for the persons who have acquired Latvian citizenship until 1 October 2013.

[9 May 2013]

8. The Cabinet shall issue the regulations provided for in this Law until 1 October 2013.

[9 May 2013]

9. Applications for naturalisation that have been submitted until 1 October 2013 shall be examined in accordance with the Law that was in force on the day of submitting the application.

[9 May 2013]

10. A person who had the right to register as a citizen of Latvia in accordance with Section 2, Clause 1.3 of this Law in the wording that was in force from 10 November 1998 until 1 October 2013 but who has not registered as a citizen of Latvia, shall retain the right to register as a citizen of Latvia until 1 October 2015.

[9 May 2013]

11. A person who in accordance with Section 2, Clause 1.3 of this Law in the wording that was in force from 10 November 1998 until 1 October 2013 had started acquisition of basic education or general secondary education in the Latvian language, shall retain the right to register as a citizen of Latvia for two years after acquisition of complete basic education, general secondary education or vocational secondary education programme in the Latvian language.

[9 May 2013]

12. A person who in accordance with Section 21, Paragraph one of this Law in the wording that was in force from 10 November 1998 until 1 October 2013 has acquired the higher education at an educational institution with the Latvian language of tuition, shall, until 1 October 2015, retain the right to relief from testing the fluency in the Latvian language.

[9 May 2013]

13. The persons referred to in Section 23, Paragraph three of this Law who have reached 25 years of age until 1 October 2013 shall submit an application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship within three years starting from the referred to date.

[9 May 2013]

14. An application for renunciation of Latvian citizenship of the person referred to in Section 23, Paragraph two of this Law shall be submitted within a year starting from 1 October 2013.

[9 May 2013]

This Law has been adopted by the Saeima on 22 July 1994

President G. Ulmanis

Riga, 11 August 1994

 


1 The Parliament of the Republic of Latvia

Translation © 2013 Valsts valodas centrs (State Language Centre)

 
Tiesību akta pase
Statuss:
Spēkā esošs
spēkā esošs
Izdevējs: Saeima Veids: likums Pieņemts: 22.07.1994.Stājas spēkā: 25.08.1994.Tēma:  Pilsonība, migrācija; Valsts valoda, valsts simboli; Konstitucionālās tiesībasPublicēts: Latvijas Vēstnesis, 93, 11.08.1994.; Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru Kabineta Ziņotājs, 17, 08.09.1994.
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