On Tuesday, July 21, the Saeima adopted in the final reading urgent amendments to the Law on the Management of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection. The amendments allow to revoke already issued or requested temporary residence permits and visas in case of foreigners violating the rules of isolation, self-isolation, institutional or home quarantine, as well as assembly restrictions.
The new rules can be enforced if the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs discovers such violations or receives information about violations from the Health Inspectorate, the State Police or Municipal Police. According to the explanatory note to the draft Law, the decision on revoking of a residence permit or visa is to be made on the basis of proportionality after evaluating the circumstances of each case, especially where the permit or visa has already been issued.
Furthermore, the amendments extend the term of validity of the decisions regarding issuing of residence permits until 31 December 2020. It is also stipulated in the amendments that upon deciding on the issuing, registering or revoking permanent residence permits, absence from Latvia from the beginning of the state of emergency, i.e., 12 March, 2020 until 31 December 2020 will be regarded as permissible and justified.
The amendments are substantiated by the fact that, according to the current Immigration Law, foreigners’ permanent residence permits may be revoked or denied upon exceeding the permitted period of absence from Latvia. As a result, foreigners are motivated to return to Latvia from high-risk countries to comply with the residence permit rules.
The amendments will enter into force on the next day after their promulgation.
Saeima Press Service