Saeima committee moves citizenship law amendments to 2nd reading

Amendments to Latvia’s citizenship law that include allowing dual citizenship for a broad range of individuals should take effect Jan. 1, the Saeima’s Legal Affairs Committee has suggested.

The committee on Aug. 28 signed off on the amendments as the legislation heads for a second reading in the full parliament, according to the Saeima Press Service. Only after a third reading and the president’s signature would the amendments become law.

The committee accepted the amendments to the law as developed so far by its Citizenship Law Amendments Subcommittee (Pilsonības likuma grozījumu apakškomisija), which has been tasked with debating necessary changes to the law and, specifically, amendments outlined in legislation (Nr. 52/Lp11) first proposed last year toward the end of the 10th Saeima’s mandate.

Most of the amendments are aimed at the tens of thousands of recent emigrants from Latvia as well as residents of Latvia who are not yet citizens. But specific sections would affect pre-World War II exiles and their families.

Among revisions to the amendments approved by the Legal Affairs Committee is clarification that descendants of exiles down to the fourth generation could apply for Latvian citizenship. The original language of the legislation did not set a generational limit. The language was recommended by the National Alliance (Nacionālā apvienība “Visu Latvijai! – Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK”).

However, the committee rejected a National Alliance proposal to add Latvians who hold Australian or Brazilian citizenship to the list of those who could qualify for dual citizenship. Instead, the committee approved language that would allow dual citizenship for those who have citizenship in a member state of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, or the NATO defense alliance; who are citizens of a country with which Latvia has a treaty recognizing dual citizenship; who receive approval from the Cabinet of Ministers; or who became a citizen of another country through marriage or adoption.

Members of the committee agreed that the revised law, as well as regulations that would need to be developed by the Cabinet of Ministers, should take effect Jan. 1, according to the press service.

The Saeima comes back into session on Sept. 4. The Legal Affairs Committee has offered a Sept. 20 deadline for revisions to the amendments before the legislation is taken up for its third and final reading.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

7 thoughts on “Saeima committee moves citizenship law amendments to 2nd reading

  1. “However, the committee rejected a National Alliance proposal to add Latvians who hold Australian or Brazilian citizenship to the list of those who could qualify for dual citizenship” Why? Why the exclusion?

  2. Disappointing to see that Australian citizens have been left off the dual citizenship list. Some 30,000 Latvians came to Australia as displaced persons after WW2 and they have many descendants who hold the heritage dear. I for one have visited Latvia three times and plan to come back again this Christmas to sepnd time with my extended (and only real family). I would like to consider that one day I would like to move to and live in and work in Latvia as I have skills that would be considered in demand. Perhaps re think the Aussies.

  3. Reading this together with its preceding news article from August the 2nd, it is not clear to me whether children of exiles who fled Latvia during WWII and later settled in Australia will be able to apply for dual citizenship, or whether the mention of Latvians holding Australian citizenship was for Latvians who emigrated to Australia under other circumstances. I have long regretted not applying to reclaim Latvian citizenship before July of 1995. I was not well connected to any of my family heritage at that time, and was not aware of the general restrictions against dual Latvian citizenship. I now better understand the concerns that led to this position, but it will always be a regret of mine that I did not seek this information out at the time.

  4. Tas ir viss, semantiku. Atstājot Austrālija off sarakstā, nenozīmē, ka dubultpilsonība nav atļauta. Austrālija pieļauj dubulto un pat vairāku pilsonība. Daudzi dzimtā dzimušais austrālieši arī turēt citu pilsonību. Daudzi dzimuši citā valstī, kas naturalizējušies Austrālijas pilsoņiem arī saglabā pilsonību dzimtajā valstī. Nav juridiski šķēršļi dubultā Latvijas Austrālijas pilsonību, jo abas valstis pieļauj šo kursu. Tas ir galvenais. Saraksts nav nozīmes. Ja Jums ir Austrālijas pilsonību, jums vienkārši ir, lai pieteikumu par Latvijas pilsonības. Paskaties vispirms Austrālijas valdības mājas lapā atrodama:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *