Latvia Starts Expelling Russians Who Have Failed to Meet Residency Rules

Latvia Starts Expelling Russians Who Have Failed to Meet Residency Rules

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The Latvian authorities have started sending out letters to Russians who have failed to meet the residency requirements, asking them to leave the country.

Russians residing in Latvia were required to arrange their status in the country, with the authorities giving them a deadline to submit the required documents. However, a large number of them did not meet the rules, pushing Latvia to take measures, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

According to the Public Broadcasting of Latvia, LSM, the chief of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, Maira Roze, said that following the letter of notification, the authority then sends information to the State Border Guard.

The information will be issued by the State Border Guard to check the last declared place of residence of Russians who have been required to leave the country and to see whether they are still staying in the same place.

If a Russian citizen who has failed to meet the requirements and apply for a residence permit is found at their last declared place of residence, they will receive an order to leave and thus will be required to no longer stay in Latvia.

As LSM notes, a similar procedure will also be followed in April against citizens of Russia who have tried to take the Latvian language test but failed it.

This category of Russians will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit valid for a period of two years and take the language test late.

Despite the country giving them the deadline, data show that around 2,500 Russians have not submitted the required documents. However, it has been stressed that there is still some time left for them to complete this procedure and continue legally residing in Latvia.

Commenting on the matter, the Chairman of the Citizenship, Migration and Social Cohesion Committee of the Saeima Gunฤrs Kลซtris said that there will be forcible expulsion of Russians.

The same noted that the number is unknown yet and stressed that it is not going to happen overnight, suggesting that it will take time for the authorities to expel all those who have failed to meet the requirements.

There is currently a lot of uncertainty about the number of Russians in Latvia as the latter does not have border controls with its neighbouring countries. The absence of border controls allows Russians to cross the border undetected

Taking this into account, The Minister of Interior of Latvia, Rihards Kozlovskis, said previously that the country does not rule out the possibility of introducing internal border checks to keep the movement of Russians in control.

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