The Republic of Latvia is located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Its capital is Riga. Latvia has about 2.2 million inhabitants. It borders Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and Estonia. The official language is Latvian, but as educational standards are high English and Russian are understood widely. Latvia is member of the EU, NATO and Schengen Area among others. The offical currency is the Lats which is bound to the Euro (+/1% floating). Latvia is expected to enter the Eurozone in 2014. The economy is diversified with an effort to promote IT driven service industries. You can find more information here.
- Latvian immigration law allows to become resident in the Schengen area with minimal bureaucratic requirements. With a Latvian residence permit allows you to visa-free travel to all Schengen states.
- In case "eternal" temporary residence is wished no particular time needs to be spend actually residing in Latvia. For permanent residence or cititzenship phyiscal presence is necessary.
- 51 tax treaties
- Income tax: 25% (on worldwide income)
- Capital Gains tax between 10% (dividends, interest payments, pension incomes etc.) and 15% (gains derived from the sale of capital assets)
- Inheritance tax: None
- Net worth/ wealth tax: None
- Corporate income tax rate including gapital gains is 15%. There are tax incentives for corporatinos located in special economic zones and free ports up to 80% (conditions and restrictions apply)
Cost of Living
Cost of living is moderate. Purchase prices for 1BR appartments in Riga start well below 100.000€ (see requirements below though). You can find more information here.
There are currently several ways to get a Latvian residence permit:
- Work contract with a Latvian company or
- Purchase of a house or appartment in Riga or Jurmala for a minumum of 100.000LVL / 143.000€. Cost can be reduced by 50% for purchase outside the capital area. Or
- Deposit at least 300.000EUR or 400.000USD for 5 years with a Latvian bank. Amount can only be withdrawn after maturity. Or
- Investment of 35.000LVL/ 50.000€ and incorporation of a company. Only recommended if company can bring at least 20.000LVL of taxes a yearn for five years.
- Dual citizenship is not possible