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Latvian Citizenship and Non-Citizen Status

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Chapter Summary

This chapter illustrates the importance of historical experience which can explain the difficulties the EU is experiencing in building common approaches to citizenship and immigration issues. Latvian nationality policy is based on the State continuity principle. Therefore, it can be concluded that non-citizen status has become more or less permanent. The courts consistently reinforce the status of non-citizens, indicating that non-citizens are not stateless persons because they have a special connection with Latvia. Therefore, national courts treat non-citizen status on the basis of similar principles to citizenship status. Naturalization tests were given an important role to play in this regard. Several considerations should be taken into account when addressing integration policy in Latvia. First, naturalisation exams, bear no direct relevance for establishing whether a person has integrated. Second, a distinction should be drawn between different groups in society and the rights they are granted.

Keywords:Citizenship Law; Latvian citizenship; nationality; naturalization; non-citizen status



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