Law on Support for Civilians of Ukraine

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On 5 March 2022, the Law on Support for Civilians of Ukraine entered into force in Latvia. The Law aims to provide support to Ukrainian citizens and their family members who leave Ukraine or who are unable to return to Ukraine due to and during the armed conflict with the Russian Federation, as well as providing general support to Ukrainian society. The law sets out various options for providing and receiving support, such as accommodation, food, basic necessities, health services and educational services for children.

Right of residence
Arrival and registration procedure
The Law establishes residence rights for all Ukrainian civilians in the Republic of Latvia. The Law provides that a valid travel document can be used to obtain a long-term visa with the right to work without restrictions for up to one year. If the applicant does not have a valid travel document, it is still eligible for a residence permit in the form of a third-country national identity card for one year.

Before employment, Ukrainian civilians must obtain a long-term visa with the right to employment (a D visa). The standard procedure for obtaining a D visa is set out under the Immigration Law, while the Law on Support for Civilians of Ukraine provides for exceptions and exemptions for Ukrainian civilians.

D visa with the right to employment
The Law provides that Ukrainian civilians with a valid travel document are able to obtain a long-term visa with the right to work without restrictions for up to one year.

To obtain a D visa for Ukrainian civilians, there are no requirements for letter of invitation, submission of a valid health insurance policy and submission of proof of financial resources required to stay in the Republic of Latvia. In addition, Ukrainian civilians are exempted from paying the stamp duty for a D visa.

Taking into account the exceptions and exemptions provided for in the Law, the following documents are required to apply for a D visa: online visa application form, available:
1. online visa application form, available:;
2. passport copy;
3. photo 35x45.

Ukrainian civilians who are unable to submit all the necessary documents will also be able to obtain a long-term visa, with a deadline of one year for submission of missing documents.
After obtaining a D visa, a Ukrainian civilian may be employed in Latvia almost immediately.

Under the law, an employer has the right to employ a Ukrainian civilian without knowledge of the state language, provided that performance of work duties is not thereby hindered.

Special conditions shall also apply to medical institutions, pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers who may employ medical practitioners, pharmacists and pharmacist assistants, provided that they can provide the communication necessary for the professional activity of the medical practitioner, including providing information in a comprehensible manner and contacting medical practitioners, medical support persons and staff in the medical institution, for example through the use of an interpreter.

There is also a waiver of state language knowledge requirements for a Ukrainian civilian registered in the register of taxi drivers maintained by the Road Transport Directorate as a person entitled to drive a vehicle in commercial passenger transport.

Ukrainian civilians have the right to work as teachers and provide childcare services, regardless of the legal requirements for such activities, if such activities are carried out with Ukrainian

In order to employ Ukrainian civilians, employers do not have an obligation to register an employer's vacancy with the State Employment Agency. The requirement specified in the law regarding the employment of foreigners and the amount of necessary financial resources for the employer to ensure a salary not less than the average gross salary in the Republic of Latvia in the previous year is not applicable to Ukrainian civilians.

Upon commencing employment, a Ukrainian civilian is entitled to a lump-sum employment allowance in the amount of one minimum monthly salary. The allowance is not subject to personal income tax, and it is paid out after an application is submitted to the State Employment Agency within one month from the commencement of employment.

Upon employing a Ukrainian civilian, an employer is entitled to a subsidy of one minimum monthly wage from the State Employment Agency.

Health care services and other support measures
The Latvian state is prepared to cover health care services and other support measures provided to Ukrainian civilians from 24 February 2022. A Ukrainian civilian has the right to receive state-paid health care services in the same amount as persons insured in Latvia within the framework of compulsory state health insurance.

The State also provides Ukrainian civilians with a basic account, namely, a payment account with basic functions, even if the Ukrainian civilians do not have a residence permit and their expulsion from Latvia is not possible under the laws and regulations of the Republic of Latvia.
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