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Move to Latvia advice

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Fitzyafcb
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Latvia

Move to Latvia advice

Post by Fitzyafcb » Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:04 am

Hi all,

I’m after some advice please.

I live in England with my Latvian wife and two children. Married for 9 years. My daughter is a citizen of Latvia and my son has dual citizenship British/Latvian.

We are really considering permanently emigrating to Latvia for many reasons, but mostly as we have more family there nowadays. My wife seems to think it’s as simple as hop on a plane, job done, but I’m fairly certain it’s not quite as simple as that 🤔.

Is there anyone out there who could help us with some real factual advice, to help us make this a reality please? Would I need a visa or can we just move over? Do we need minimum requirements financially? Can we buy a home whilst in the UK? Ummm anything I haven’t thought about I guess.

Thanks in advance

secret.simon
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by secret.simon » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:06 am

What are your nationalities?

Your Latvian wife may want to consider naturalising in the UK, to protect her right to return to the UK in future.
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

travellove
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Malta

Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by travellove » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:49 am

It may be simple for her since is her country, same for the kids but for you not so simple specially if UK will exit, then all the rules change. Better take a trip to latvian embassy and ask for advice.

Nimitta
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by Nimitta » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:34 am

Well, I did it as a family member (my ex is Latvian) and it was fairly straightforward. Since I was not a EU citizen back then I applied for resident permit as a family member of Latvian citizen (so, National immigration laws applied). You can do it via the EU route (that is if you are British). Of course, you have to do it before no-deal Brexit, otherwise all bets are off and you will have only one option - National immigration law. Having said that I should add that both ways are quite simple.

National law: Your wife has to show means to support the family by opening a bank account and transferring some money. I remember it was something like 1000 quid. You gonna need a place to live, and as far as I remember you will have to prove that you are not a threat to public health. The laws could have changed but back then it was tuberculosis and something else. Since you have children, they won't suspect a marriage of convenience. Your wife will have to check this website https://www.pmlp.gov.lv/lv/sakums/pakal ... -atlaujas/
because I did almost 20 years ago.

If you move before Brexit, EU legislation apply. You need to be self-sufficient, self-employed or a student. Generally speaking it is always easier to immigrate into the EU country as a EU citizen rather than a family member of a citizen of that country. National law is always harder on its own citizens.

You will have to learn Latvian either way if you want to apply for a permanent residence card. You wouldn't have if UK staid in EU but it does not seem to be possible anymore. As a EU citizen you would have applied for a permanent residence card in Latvia without passing a Latvian language exam. But as soon as the UK is out of the EU, the National immigration law will kick in. So, you will have to learn Latvian
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Nimitta
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by Nimitta » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:39 pm

I apologize for typos in my previous post. A few things to add.

You certainly don't need a visa if you move before a no-deal (should it happen at all). After no-deal you (most probably) won't need one either. I'd suggest you hurry up.

>>>>Do we need minimum requirements financially?

Your wife and children as Latvian citizens certainly don't. You as a UK citizen will have to prove that you can live in the country without relying on the state. You have to be a student, self-employed, employed or self-sufficient. If you are a student or self-sufficient you need a medical insurance, I don't think EHIC will do. Finding employment without Latvian won't be easy (can you teach English)? You can be self-sufficient. Look at this link: https://www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/service ... tence.html and download a doc file Necessary Subsistence. Cost of living in Latvia much lower than in the UK, so it will probably make you laugh (that and the medical insurance). Car insurance will make you cry (happy tears).

The problem is you will have to do everything pretty quickly because if you are self-employed it will take time until you open a bank account, register as self-employed, get some money into your account and apply for a resident card. Self-sufficient should be easier but still you need some time. Apart from that you have kids, so you need to find a place to live and think about the school etc.

I wouldn't buy a property remotely, ever. You have to consider area, schools etc. I think you have to look around and decide if you even like the area. I am not an expert on legislation when it comes to buying a property in Latvia, so I can't tell you if it is even safe to buy a property without doing proper research. I would rent first if I were you to be honest.

Anything you haven't thought of... Do you like cold winters? :D Brits complain about the weather a lot, Latvians normally don't. Imagine moving from London to Tenerife. That's how I felt after moving from Latvia to the UK. Climate in Latvia to that of the UK is the same as UK to Tenerife. It is not for everyone. I lived there for 7 years, and when it comes to the weather I absolutely hated it.
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Nimitta
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by Nimitta » Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:54 pm

Weblink removed by moderator.

The rest depends on how much you are willing to spend and what are you looking for. Latvia is a tiny country, a bit over 2 million population, and 800 000 of that 2 million live in Riga, the capital. Internet connection will be very good everywhere. If you are not after a big city I would suggest a nice small town. It will have all amenities, low crime rate. If you like nature you will be happy in Latvia, most of the country is forest, a lot of protected bogs (quite beautiful despite they are well... bogs), there is an annual Medieval festival in Cesis (highly recommended). I think it's in August. BTW, it's a nice little town to live if you like little towns. Food is great. Latvians like living in remote villages, have their own land, grow their own food, drink beer and eat cheese etc. Probably that's why so few of them immigrate, they like it there.

If you have any questions, let me know
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CR001
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by CR001 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:48 pm

@nimitta, the user hasn't said they are British. They merely stated they live in England. The user could be on an eea residence card or PR.
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Nimitta
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by Nimitta » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:09 pm

Noted. Hmm... interesting. Then as long as UK is in EU his wife can use Surinder Singh route. Or they can use National immigration law. However if OP is not British and not EU citizen, he is going to need a visa. As far as I remember, it wasn't difficult.
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Fitzyafcb
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Latvia

Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by Fitzyafcb » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:22 pm

Thank you to everyone for your advice.

I have a British passport currently as it has always been a lot easier to obtain in England but Half my family are Irish so I have options with or without Brexit. My father and brother have Irish passports. I guess I didn’t fancy a trip to London. Hate the place.

I have a nice home and I’m in a well paid job but redundancy could well be likely. This is contributory to why we are considering all options, especially this permanent move.

As for Latvia. I love the country. My wife’s family are from Cesvaine Madona so I have visited a few times and this is where we would want to live. I know work opportunities are minimal and the salaries are very low. Cost of living is much lower and property is cheap. I’m starting to think a move is much tougher than I had hoped though.

I have been considering renting my home out in Bournemouth. Would having this income be considered as self sufficient or would I have to sell my property (not what I would want to do) Is there a minimum amount to be considered self sufficient?

Of course I would have to adapt to the winters but the call to be near family and escape the pressures of ‘developed’ UK is just too strong. The appeal of chopping wood, fishing, and chickens in the back garden really spurs me on. The thought of my son being in a class of 12 and learning to drive at the school instead of being ripped off in the uk. Not to mention beer for 90p and real food. Too many things appeal.

Learning Latvian will be a challenge but it doesn’t scare me. Can it be any harder that Engineering Mathematics? 🤔😂Slowly but surely.

Moving countries is a massive step but how do you know if or when it’s right to step over that line?! How do others do it without being in a position to burn money for fun?

Anyway thanks for hearing me out 😬

Nimitta
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by Nimitta » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:32 am

Since you are Irish as well as British, Brexit won't change anything for you.

Cesvaine? Lovely place, I still have photographs of the ruins and Teici Natural Reserve. About work opportunities, did you consider teaching English?

>>>>I’m starting to think a move is much tougher than I had hoped though.

Not really. I have done my fair share of moving and have to say that living all your life in the same country is a bit overrated. :-) Having said so I have to admit that it should be a bit more difficult if you have small children. I think they will love it there. Apart from cold weather it's a lovely country. The immigration officers have always been really nice and helpful. I am not sure how it is done now but back then you go to the immigration office in person which surprisingly makes things much, much easier than sending out 1 kg of papers to HO and receiving a copy-pasted reply by post. You can ask questions and they will help you out, they are very helpful and nice people. I had moved to Latvia twice (I lived in the US in between) and had nothing but good experience dealing with the immigration authorities in Latvia. You do know that you don't really have to get a residence permit if you want to stay in Latvia or any other EU country for that matter (not sure if this rule is followed in Spain though). You can but don't have to. It will be easier though if you do for the purpose of buying a property and getting a loan (I guess) or a job...

>>>I have been considering renting my home out in Bournemouth. Would having this income be considered as self sufficient or would I have to sell my property (not what I would want to do) Is there a minimum amount to be considered self sufficient?

House at seaside? You will be laughing. A house or a flat, it can't be less than 500 a month. It's enough. I asked a question on the plmp.gov forum (yes, they have a forum where immigration officers will answer your questions. It's in Latvian though) and I will let you know when they answer it.

>>>Of course I would have to adapt to the winters but the call to be near family and escape the pressures of ‘developed’ UK is just too strong.

I can relate to that.

>>>The appeal of chopping wood, fishing, and chickens in the back garden really spurs me on.

You can cut your own Cristmas tree you know. :-) Forest covers over 40% of the territory. The nature is stunning, you gonna love it.

>>>>The thought of my son being in a class of 12 and learning to drive at the school instead of being ripped off in the uk. Not to mention beer for 90p and real food. Too many things appeal.

Proper rip off, indeed. I had Golf Mark III and paid 30 quid a year for car insurance. Yes, I am not kidding. And yes, driving could be a bit tricky in winter, but you will manage. And fog (though looks beautiful when fog forms sort of layers that float above the ground, still significantly diminishes visibility) - you will get it often.

If you buy property, buy a house (getting a good chunk of land by a river is not a problem). You can't really own a river in Latvia, but you can own a bank. Houses are often heated by solid fuel (wood in particular) not because Latvians can't master heating with gas. They like it this way. Cheap and smells really good.

>>>Learning Latvian will be a challenge but it doesn’t scare me. Can it be any harder that Engineering Mathematics? 🤔😂Slowly but surely.

It's different. :D Language is a time-dependent skill, the more time you spend with it the better you get. Since you mentioned math, may I give you a piece of advice? Don't follow your natural instinct of approaching this task analytically (I mean studying grammar). You will end up with experiencing a typical case of paralysis through analysis when you know all the rules but can't speak (I learned it hard way studying English). Start from listening and speaking and leave grammar, writing and reading for later stages.

>>>>Moving countries is a massive step but how do you know if or when it’s right to step over that line?! How do others do it without being in a position to burn money for fun?

I changed country of living six times (I don't mean traveling, I mean moving to another country). :D It's really simple (not easy sometimes but simple): get prepared, do your math and try to embrace the inner adventurer. And have a bit of faith in yourself.
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Nimitta
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Re: Move to Latvia advice

Post by Nimitta » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:23 pm

Update. Here is the answer I got from the Immigration Department:

EU citizens do not have to satisfy any conditions in terms of financial resources except that the funds available are above 200 EUR per month.

So, 2400 per year.

Can you live on 200 EUR per month in Latvia? Yes, you can. Will it be comfortable? No, it won't :-) But it's not quite the same as uncomfortable living in London on 200 GBP. :D
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