Latvia to Expel Approximately 3,600 Russian Citizens
Approximately 3,600 citizens of the Russian Federation are expected to receive notifications next week regarding the necessity to leave Latvia within three months. This was stated by Maiga Roze, a representative of the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office, as reported by Delfi.
According to her, this number of people did not take advantage of the opportunity to take the Latvian language exam or submit the necessary application. They will be given 90 days to leave the country.
"In these 90 days, many will start doing something and rushing around – we are already receiving a lot of calls saying that their mothers promised to take care of it, but it turned out they did nothing, and the person didn't even go to take the exam," added Roze.
Out of 25,000 Russian citizens affected by the new law, 14,000 have submitted documents to obtain permanent resident status in Latvia.
"There is another category who believed that the Constitutional Court would help them. They were told to sit quietly, everything will work out. They lost, of course, and they lose their residence permit. These people will be able to try to get a permit without any concessions – like any other Russian citizen, not a long-term resident of Latvia," she noted.
Furthermore, 1,000 individuals have applied for residence permits because they were not informed about the Saeima's decision to extend the possibility of taking the exam. Another 6,700 individuals have submitted repeat applications for the exam.
Previously, the Latvian Saeima, in its final reading, passed amendments to the immigration law, extending the period for taking the state language exam for Russian citizens by two years.
Earlier this month, it was reported that most Russian citizens in Latvia who attempted the language exam for permanent residence permits failed it on their first try.
It is also reported that 80 individuals who successfully passed the exam did not receive permits due to security concerns.
It is worth noting that as of September 12, vehicles registered in Russia will not be able to enter the European Union through the border crossings between Latvia and Russia and Latvia and Belarus. This ban does not apply to Russian-registered transport companies that transport goods by road transit through the EU between the Kaliningrad region and Russia.
Starting from September 17, Poland has also banned the entry of Russian cars into its territory. Similar measures have been introduced by Finland, Estonia, and Lithuania.