Latvian Saeima passed amendments to the Immigration regulation in the last reading, confirming the coalition's compromise on the scheme of provisional residence permits, reports informational agency LETA.
The regulation supplies that a third-country citizen may apply for Latvia's provisional residence allow, legitimate for a time span of up to five years, if he or she makes a fee of EUR 50,000 (LVL 35,140) into the state budget and if the person has acquired genuine land parcel worth over EUR 150,000 (LVL 105,000) in Latvia. The guidelines on residence allows will request to no more than 700 such deals every year, as well as to 100 purchases of properties worth more than EUR 0.5 million (LVL 351,000). If there are more than a century purchases of genuine land parcel worth more than EUR 0.5 million, the number of property purchases worth more than EUR 150,000 to which the regulations on residence allows request will be reduced accordingly.
In 2015 and 2016, the quota will be reduced to 525 and 350 permits, respectively, and the additional 100 allows will be handed out annually for investments of over EUR 0.5 million.
The government, following the justice, central and economy ministries' suggestions, could farther reduce the quota. In 2017, the quota will be either the same as in 2016 or no provisional house allows will be handed out at all to third-country citizens who purchase real estate in Latvia.
The money that foreigners pay in the state allowance per each such genuine estate purchase will be utilised to help young families purchase their first dwelling or luxury suite and to apply the re-emigration scheme of Latvia.
From 2015, provisional house allows will furthermore be available to persons who purchase interest-free government securities with the nominal value of EUR 250,000 (LVL 175,000) and pay EUR 25,000 (LVL 17,500) in the state budget.
Saeima also approved Agriculture Ministry Parliamentary receptionist Edvards Smiltens' (Unity) proposal that third-country people who buy farming farmland and timber plantations in Latvia will not be able to request for provisional residence allows. Likewise, residence allows will not be handed out for buys of undeveloped land.
The amendments will come into force on January 1 2014.
Some newspapers described that leader Andris Berzins could come back the amendments to the assembly for a repeated reconsider. Berzins has said that he considers the quotas on house allows a short-sighted answer that is not in Latvia's interest.