Info centres for migrants, NGO, Governmental organizations
Are you from a country outside European Union* and you need support and consultations? Specialists from the Information Centre of Immigrants are always there to help you!
Information Centre has Provided Support to Citizens of 75 Countries
For more than a year, Information Centre has been operating in Riga and four regions of Latvia – Liepaja, Jelgava, Daugavpils, and Cesis –, which provides information and support to people of different nationalities, who have arrived in Latvia from countries outside the European Union, and specialists working with immigrants. Activities of the Information Centre are ensured and developed by the Society “Shelter “Safe House””.
During the fifteen months of the Centre’s operations, it has organised various diverse informative and educational activities.
Since the last May, the Centre has provided support to 1878 people – 1133 in Riga, 325 in Liepaja, 155 in Jelgava, 139 in Daugavpils, 126 in Cesis. In total, 2818 consultations have been provided regarding various legal and social issues. Most frequently, customers have chosen to receive consultations in person – 56%, whereas via phone and electronically – 44% times. The opportunity of repeated consultations was often used.
Client advisers inform that foreign citizens were mostly interested in residence permits, employment and business opportunities in Latvia, while families often consulted about educational opportunities for their children.
In total, free consultations were provided to people from 75 countries, most often citizens of Russia, Syria, Ukraine, China, India, Belarus, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan. Psychological consultations are also available at the Centre – so far customers have used it 81 times. Communication with the Centre’s customers is ensured by 31 translators / language specialists with the following language skills: Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Arabic, French, Tajik, Kurdish, Punjabi, Chinese, Turkish, Uzbek, Hindi, Spanish, Tamil, Bengali, Vietnamese, and Armenian.
Interpreter services are provided not only for customer communication with the Centre’s consultants, but also for professionals working with foreigners. Till now, interpreter services have been actively used by various state administration institutions, social services, crisis centres, education and healthcare institutions of several local governments, banks and employers. The service has been provided 1400 times to 776 clients.
Professional support for working with third-country nationals has been provided to 333 specialists of various areas (social workers, managers of companies and NGOs, librarians, employees of orphan’s courts and education institutions). In order to strengthen the civil society and develop favourable and open environment for societies and foundations in working with immigrants, NGOs Dialogue platform is being developed, currently involving 19 non-governmental organizations, which are active in the area of integration.
Special Informative Days have also been organized in Liepaja, Riga and Daugavpils, where foreigners were provided with an opportunity to learn about the informative and practical resources available to them. Volunteers who have been involved in the Centre’s activities have made significant contributions to organizing the Centre’s activities. They have implemented 39 informative and integration events in different regions of Latvia, including cultural nights of different nations, which have become popular in many places in Latvia.
LNT informative stories and newspaper articles were prepared to raise public awareness on the topic of migration; educational seminars and webinars as well as two international conferences on migration issues were organised.
The Centre’s representatives kindly invite foreigners and specialists working with this target group living in Latvia to use free consultations provided by lawyers and consultants and receive answers to questions about various social and legal issues in person, electronically or by phone. Those who want to live, study, work or start their own business in Latvia, might find it useful to visit website www.integration.lv. It provides answers to various practical questions and up-to-date information on Latvian language courses and integration courses, as well as on events organized by various organizations from all over Latvia.
Professional and experienced lawyers will consult you to free consultations on working days from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by phone, e-mail and in person (a visit should be arranged in advance)
Contacts of Riga Office of the Information Centre:
Info line: +371 25565098, + 371 28612120
E-mail: email@example.com, Skype: PatverumsDM
Address: Lāčplēša Street 75 – 9/10, Riga
Regional contact points:
- “Latgale” in Daugavpils: +371 25723222, firstname.lastname@example.org
- “Zemgale” in Jelgava: +371 25719588, email@example.com
- “Vidzeme” in Cesis: +371 25719266, firstname.lastname@example.org
- “Kurzeme” in Liepaja: +371 25719118, email@example.com
The Centre was established on 18 May 2016, and it operates as a one-stop agency. It is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and co-financed by the European Union. Grant agreement No. PMIF/12/2016/1/1.
Information prepared by Rasa Salina (Rasa Saliņa), Communications and Social Media Expert, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
USEFUL LINKS AND ADRESES
http://www.immigration-residency.eu/immigration-to/latvia/ Immigration to Latvia
http://www.immigration-residency.eu/residence-permit-latvia/ Residence permit in Latvia
Currently there are two main kinds of residence permit issued by the Republic of Latvia: Permanent and Temporary.
At the moment, if you are not personally connected to Latvia or anyone already there in a way which would entitle you to a residence permit (i.e. EU Citizenship, Family reunification, Family immigration, Latvian Ancestry etc.), then there still exists in Latvia two major ways to receive a residence permit:
- Residence permit based on the purchase/aquisition of real estate.
- If you are willing and able to purchase suitable property or real estate in latvia then you might have the option of a 5 year residence permit based on real estate purchase.
- Residence permit based on investment.
- If you have funds to invest in a new or existing business in Latvia then a residence permit based on business investment might be an option for you.
- If you have funds to invest, but prefer more security than can be offered by a business investment, then a residence permit based on financial investment in a Latvian Bank might be the option for you.
Each of these routes comes with it’s own pros and cons. We can help you choose the best option for you.
According to statistics from the State Land Service, since the regulations regarding the granting of residence permits based on the acquisition of real estate came into force, almost 500 million Lats have been invested in Latvia. According to reports from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, only 3.4% of applications based on real estate were denied, and all of these were due to the provision of false information during the application process or for other exclusions which are listed in the official regulations which meant that the investor did not originally qualify to apply.
For many, the biggest advantage of the residence permit in Latvia, is that you are entitled to enter other Schengen countries without any visas or other formal registration, which makes it trouble free for you to oversee your business in Europe as well as to travel without ever needing to think about preparing documents and visiting an embassy.
However, there are other advantages as well:
- The opportunity to invite relatives for visa purposes, up to and including second degree relatives.
- A simplified procedure for receiving visas for a number of countries outside the Schengen zone. (USA, Canada, New Zealand e.t.c.)
- Automatic provision of a residence permit for your spouse and underage children.
- The right to receive discounted or free education within the European Union.
- New commercial opportunities within the European Union.
- The holder of a Latvian residence permit is also entitled to social privileges, such as medical treatment, maternity benefit, unemployment benefit, etc.
- The holder of a Latvian residence permit is entitled to almost all of the rights normally granted to citizens of Latvia, except the right to vote and to participate in elections and to hold positions in governmental institutions and other state authorities.
- The opportunity to receive a driver’s license in Latvia.
WHERE CAN YOU TURN FOR HELP?
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) Regional Representation for Northern Europe
Ynglingagatan 14, 6th ., SE-113 47, Stockholm, Sweden
Tel.: +46 8 457 48 80
Fax: + 46 8 457 48 97
UNHCR is an international organization mandated by the United Nations to lead and Coordinate international action for the worldwide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems. UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. UNHCR strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and safe refuge in another State, and to return home voluntarily. Every asylum-seeker, a refugee or person received alternative status has the right to apply to the UNHCR.
Legal Aid Administration Juridiskas palidzibas adminstracija
Pils laukums 4, Riga, LV-1050
Tel.: +371 80001801, +371 67514208
Fax: +371 67514209
www.jpa.gov.lv Provides state legal aid to persons not able to accord legal aid at their own expense.
Office of the Ombudsman
Baznicas iela 25, Riga, LV-1010
Tel.: + 371 67686768
Fax: +371 67244074
Reviews individual complaints, submissions, provides consultations on human rights issues and monitors forced deportation proceedings. Latvian Centre for Human Rights.
Latvijas Cilvektiesibu centrs
Alberta iela 13, Riga, LV-1010
Tel.: +371 67039290
Fax: +371 67039291
www.humanrights.org.lv The independent non-governmental organization which provides legal assistance for asylum-seekers and irregular immigrants in Latvia on the basis of UNHCR project.
The Society “Shelter “Safe House”
NVO “Patverums „Droša maja”
Lacpleša iela 75-9/10, Riga, LV-1011
Tel.: +371 67898343 (only in Latvian)
+371 25565098 (in English)
The society Shelter “Safe House” provides support services to victims of human tra‑cking, legal immigrants, asylum-seekers, refugees and persons granted alternative protection in Latvia.
Latvian Red Cross Latvijas Sarkanais Krusts
Šarlotes iela 1 d, Riga, LV-1001
Tel.: +371 67336651
Fax: +371 67336652
www.redcross.lv Provides, amongst other things, counselling, information,support, clothing and shelter to people in need.
Resource Centre For Women “Marta”
Biedriba Resursu centrs sievietem “Marta”
Matisa iela 49 – 3
Tel.: +371 67378539
Fax: +371 67378538
www.marta.lv Provides women free of charge legal aid, psychological and social workers’ support in Latvian, Russian and
http://cilvektiesibas.org.lv/en/asylum-seekers/ THE LATVIAN CENTRE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IS AN INDEPENDENT NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION ESTABLISHED IN 1993 WORKING WITH ISSUES CONCERNING INTEGRATION, DISCRIMINATION, HATE CRIMES, ASYLUM, MIGRATION AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ISSUES, AS WELL AS HUMAN RIGHTS IN CLOSED INSTITUTIONS.
Governmental organization: http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/
- HEAD OF THE OCMA
- DEPUTY HEAD
- DEPUTY HEAD
- PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT
- FINANCE AND ACCOUNTANCY DIVISION
- CONTRACT MANAGEMENT DIVISION
- LEGAL DIVISION
- CONTROL AND SUPERVISION DIVISION
- DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT DIVISION
- NATURALIZATION BOARD
- MIGRATION DIVISION
- PERSONS STATUS CONTROL DIVISION
- RESIDENCE PERMIN DIVISION
- ASYLUM AFFAIRS DIVISION
- ASYLUM SEEKERS ACCOMMODATION DIVISION
- DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION DEPARTMENT
- PERSONAL DATA PROCESSING DEPARTMENT
- PERSONS IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENTS DEPARTMENT