According to Mixnews, on September 6, 2012, the Latvian Seimas adopted in the second reading the law on citizenship, which remained unchanged for 15 years. It also sets out the rules for obtaining dual citizenship.
The Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs cites data according to which, until recently, only 30,000 people had dual citizenship. These are mainly Latvian citizens living in the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. But the legislation in force in the country in most cases prohibited obtaining dual citizenship.
The new law will come into effect on January 1, 2013. According to it, those deported from Latvia or those who emigrated from 1940 to 1990 can now have dual citizenship.
Individuals who have citizenship of the EU or NATO member states, as well as those who live in countries that have entered into an agreement on dual citizenship with Latvia, can become citizens of Latvia at will. If the country does not belong to those listed above, then for permission to obtain dual citizenship, a Latvian must apply directly to the government of Latvia.
The adopted law also concerns “non-citizens” living in the territory of Latvia. In accordance with the amendments, children of “non-citizens” born after the recognition of Latvia's independence from the USSR (August 21, 1991) and permanently residing in the country will be recognized as citizens of Latvia.
In addition, the law provides for the granting of Latvian citizenship to all children born in the country. At the same time, it does not matter at all what civil status their parents have. The only reservation is that “non-citizen” parents are obliged to teach the child the Latvian language and instill a love for the country where they live.
According to the current legislation, children of “non-citizens” have the opportunity to obtain Latvian citizenship, if their parents apply to the appropriate authorities. Those who have reached the age of 15 must submit their applications on their own, obligatorily enclosing a certificate of proficiency in the Latvian language.