Latvia opens doors to Belarusian businesses, develops fast-track visa application process
A fast-track visa application process has been developed by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) to support the relocation of Belarusian businesses and their employees in light of the repressions faced in their home country. This comes after the discussions with Belarus investors expressing concerns of sustainable business continuity under existing course of Belarus.
LIAA has developed a quick response team to process visa applications from Belarus faster and a liaison with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA). The visas and residence permits available to the Belarusian people through the LIAA fast-track program include the “startup visa” for founders of innovative and scalable businesses and their families, the EU “Blue Card” for highly qualified workers and their families, and the Temporary Residence Permit for those who do not fit the requirements of the first two permits.
Not only does this team provide the documentation required to determine the innovativeness of the business (if applying for the startup visa), but also provides guidance throughout the application process. A direct line of communication with the OCMA has been established for faster processing of all visa and residence permit formats.
“Latvia’s continued investment in talent and innovation, coupled with its strategic location and multi-cultural workforce, has been key to it becoming the central business hub in Northern Europe. With visa fast-tracking, Latvia extends a welcoming hand to Belarusian businesses and talents seeking a safe and modern environment in which to thrive and innovate.” – Kaspars Rožkalns, Director of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia
LIAA is tasked with supporting the growth of the local economy and promoting mutually beneficial investment. LIAA believes that Belarusian businesses have significant potential in both contributing to this goal as well as bolstering their own growth. By relocating to Latvia, the businesses would be able to capitalize on a free market, as well as from the strategic positioning that provides easy access to business travel. Riga is home to the most connected airport in the Baltic region with over 100 direct flight destinations.
With 16,000 vacancies in the IT sector in Latvia, the country provides vast opportunities for highly skilled professionals to establish a comfortable lifestyle in a free environment. The highly developed ICT infrastructure, including widespread high-speed optical fiber internet, over 2,200 free wifi spots, and one of the most stable mobile internet networks, provides fertile ground for researching, testing, validating, and developing IT products and solutions.
Riga is also home to a community of over 75,000 Belarusians, as well as several major Belarusian-owned businesses. With community centers, schools, and cultural groups, the Belarusian culture can be explored and maintained in a tight-knit community.
Individuals and businesses interested in participating in the fast-track visa program are invited to contact the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia at firstname.lastname@example.org.