On Thursday, 5 December, the Saeima in the final reading supported amendments to the Immigration Law that introduce changes in conditions regarding issuance of temporary residence permits for foreigners who invest money in Latvian companies.
The amendments supplement the conditions regarding the application for a five-year residence permit by a foreigner who has invested in the equity capital of an existing or newly established company. As an additional condition for an investment above EUR 150,000, it is stipulated that the company must have more than 50 employees and its annual turnover or balance has to exceed EUR 10 million.
It will still be possible to invest in a smaller company with up to 50 employees, an annual turnover or balance not exceeding EUR 10 million and not less than EUR 40,000 paid in taxes into the state budget during the business year. The minimal investment in these companies will be EUR 35,000 on the condition that by investing in the equity capital of the same company, the temporary residence permits may be issued to no more than three foreigners.
The authors of the amendments pointed out that by using loopholes in the previous regulation, numerous foreigners invested the minimal sum of money, LVL 25,000, each in the same company. Although by paying LVL 20,000 in taxes, they were abiding by the Law, these taxes came only from one company. This is why numerous conditions have been changed in order to reach the intended objective of the Law and to prevent investors from circumventing the Law.
The previous wording of the Law stipulated that a person may request a five-year residence permit provided he/she has invested in the equity capital of an existing or newly established company and that this investment constitutes at least LVL 100,000. It was also possible to invest a smaller sum, namely, LVL 25,000, in a company that has fewer than 50 employees, whose turnover does not exceed LVL 7 million in a year and that pays LVL 20,000 in taxes into the state budget.
Saeima Press Service