In 2010, Latvia introduced a residence permit scheme for non-EU investors, following a narrow majority voting in favor of the program in parliament.
The program grew in popularity, with thousands of investor residencies granted annually. In 2013, the ruling coalition announced plans to set an annual quota of 700 permits. In 2014, the minimum investment in real estate was raised to €250,000 and a 5% duty was added. Since then, the number of applicants has dropped considerably.
As of late 2014, Latvia had issued more than 13,500 residence visas to investors, of which more than 5,500 were to primary applicants.
The program has proved popular with Russians and former citizens of the Soviet Union, who together make up more than 90% of applicants. Chinese applicants make up much of the remainder. Real estate is the most popular investment choice, accounting for more than 80% of applicants.