toThe Latvian government has decided to end the golden visa scheme which offers fast track permanent residency in exchange for investments. This was announced by the Latvian prime minister Krišjānis Kariņš during a meeting with journalists on Mar 29.

The Ministry of Interior is currently working on legislative amendments to end the golden visa program aftermath of the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A ban applies for Russian and Belarus nationals applying for residence permit in Latvia.

The Investors residence scheme in Latvia was introduced by amending the Immigration Law in 2010. This step was taken as a reaction to the financial crisis that hit Latvia in 2008. The main idea behind this scheme was to attract foreign investors in order to facilitate Latvia’s economic recovery and growth by activating the real estate market and creating new jobs.

Latvia offers residency in exchange for 250,000 euro property investment, bank deposit or invested in government securities. It is also possible to acquire temporary residency by investing 50,000 euros in Latvian businesses making it one of the cheapest golden visa schemes in Europe.

Latvia has issued a total of 9,400 permanent residence permits for golden visa investment during the span of 8 years from 2010 to 2018, according to the data released by PMLV migration office. The most popular route was real estate investment which accounted for 90% of the golden visa investment.