Process of requesting Latvian citizenship as of October 1, 2013
There are three categories to which the dual citizenship applies:
- Exiles (those who were forced to leave Latvia between June 17, 1940 and May 4, 1990 due to foreign occupation) and their descendants who were born until October 1, 2014
Latvian citizenship can be requested by those who were citizens of Latvia on June 17, 1940 and who fled occupation and left Latvia between June 17, 1940 and May 4, 1990, and for this reason did not return to Latvia, as well as their descendants, who have been born until October 1, 2014. Dual citizenship is allowed with any other country!
- At the time of birth at least one of the parents was a citizen of Latvia
In this case dual citizenship is allowed for those who are citizens of the member states of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), NATO or if you are a citizen of Australia, Brazil or New Zealand (children are eligible for dual citizenship with any country, but at age 25 will have to make a choice).
- Ethnic Latvian or Liv
If requesting citizenship based on your ethnic origin you will be required to pass a language exam in Latvia. You are allowed to maintain dual citizenship with any other country!
List of documents to be submitted:
- Application with a request to grant Latvian citizenship. Filled out in Latvian in accordance with the Latvian Language Law (Valsts valodas likums);
- Copy of passport;
- Birth certificate (for those born in the U.S. the birth certificate must be certified with an Apostille authentication from the state in which the document was issued);
- Marriage certificate or divorce decree (U.S. issued documents must have an Apostille authentication);
- Birth certificates of children (for those born in the U.S. the birth certificate must have an Apostille);
- Documents that support your eligibility for citizenship (see below);
- Consular fee 50 USD (Money Orders only, made out to the Embassy of Latvia).
Documents that prove your eligibility for citizenship as an exile or as a descendent of an exile:
- Exile's passport from Latvia’s first period of independence or other document that affirms citizenship of Latvia on June 17, 1940 (original or notarized copy);
- Written statement that the person fled Latvia to escape occupation. Filled out in Latvian in accordance with the Latvian Language Law;
- Descendants of exiles must provide documents confirming their relationship to the exile.
Documents that prove eligibility to acquire citizenship based on the fact that at the time of the birth one of the parents was a citizen of Latvia:
- Copy of parents' Latvian passport;
- Document proving that citizenship of the country which does not allow dual citizenship has been renounced (children under the age of 18 do not have to renounce the citizenship of another country).
Documents that confirm the eligibility of acquiring citizenship based on ethnic origin:
- Document that confirms ancestor’s place of residence in the territory of Latvia between 1881 and June 17, 1940;
- Documents proving the relationship to the ancestor;
- Documents confirming the ethnic background (passports, birth/marriage certificates, etc.)
- Confirmation of the Latvian Language Exam being passed.
Documents can be submitted in person at the Embassy of Latvia in Washington, D.C. or they can be mailed to the Embassy.
Submitted documents must be originals or authenticated copies. Document originals issued by the U.S. must have an Apostille authentication. If you submit copies of documents, they must first be notarized then affixed with Apostille by the Office of the Secretary of State.
Embassy will make copies of the originals and return the originals. The fee for the return of documents via the U.S. Postal Service certified mail is 20 USD; for return by Federal Express: 30 USD (money orders only, made out to the „Embassy of Latvia.”). Documents should be sent to: Embassy of Latvia, 2306 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008.
Citizenship application and supporting documents will be forwarded to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in Latvia - authority responsible for citizenship matters. Documents will be processed in: 1 month for the children of the citizens of Latvia; 4 months for the exiles, 1 year for the ethnic Latvians and Livs.