The Citizenship Law determines that in order to acquire Latvian citizenship through naturalisation, applicants for citizenship must pass a Latvian language proficiency test and prove knowledge of the basic provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the text of the National Anthem, and the basics of Latvian history and culture (hereinafter - knowledge).
Tests determined by the Citizenship Law are governed by the Cabinet Regulation No. 973 "Regulations Regarding Testing the Fluency in the Latvian Language and Knowledge of the Basic Principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the Text of the National Anthem, the Basics of the History and Culture of Latvia", adopted on 24 September 2013.
Purpose of the test is to make sure on the proficiency of the Latvian language of the applicant for the citizenship and the ability to knowingly use the language. The applicant must know the Latvian language at such a level that he / she can successfully integrate into society, communicate in everyday life and public situations.
Where testing is performed?
Testing of the Latvian language and knowledge determined in the Citizenship Law shall take place at:
- Riga 4th Division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, in Riga, at Daugavpils iela 31,
- Liepaja Division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, in Liepaja, at Vecā ostmala 24,
- Daugavpils Division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, in Daugavpils, at 18.novembra iela 105,
- off-site testing of the Latvian language and knowledge takes place in Ventspils.
The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs regularly organizes informative days, where interested persons may find out the current information about acquisition of information as well as try out test samples. It is possible to find out the closest informative days here.
What should be taken into account before tests?
When preparing for testing of knowledge determined in the Citizenship Law, applicants may use the study aid - J.Taurēns “Latvijas vēstures pamatjautājumi un valsts konstitucionālie principi” (Basic Issues of the Latvian History and the National Constitutional Principles) (price 5.14 euro).
The study and methodological means may be acquired at any customer service division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
- It should be established whether relief arrangements of testing do not apply to the person, in relation to education, age, disability;
- The testing should be performed within a time period of two months after submission of documents necessary for naturalisation;
- A person who takes the test, upon arrival for the test, shall present a personal identification document and a referral to the test.
Persons, who have acquired the higher education in Latvian language in the education institutions of the Latvian study language*
Relief from the Latvian language proficiency test
Relief from the Latvian language proficiency test
Persons, who have acquired the principal education in Latvia, acquiring more than a half of the principal education programme in it
Relief from both tests
Persons, who have attained the age of 65 years
Relief from the Latvian language proficiency test in writing.
disabled persons of groups I, II, III
There are different reliefs from testing, depending on the disability. See information here
* Validity period of the diploma and certificate on the day of submission of the submission for naturalisation - five years!
The following relief arrangements are determined for persons with special needs:
- disabled persons of the group I, disabled persons of the group II with progressive mental illness, disabled persons of the groups II or III with deafness or mutual deafness are exempt from both examinations;
- disabled persons of group II and group III, who do not have a right (left) hand or a right (left) hand, visually impaired of group II and group III are exempted from the Latvian language proficiency test;
- speech disabled persons of groups II and III are exempted from the Latvian language proficiency test;
- hearing impaired of groups II and III are exempted from the Latvian language listening and speaking test;
- On the basis of the application and the opinion of the Commission for the Assessment of Health Condition and Working Ability (CAHCWA), disabled persons of groups II and III may receive relief arrangements with the opinion of a person authorized by the Head of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
Latvian language proficiency test:
Latvian language proficiency test has two parts - written and oral part, where 4 skills are tested:
- Listening - in this part of the test the ability of the person to comprehend speech of the person as a listener. The person listens texts, which are close to daily conversations, for example, a short dialogue of two persons, information via radio (monologue), such as weather forecast, changes in the list of trains etc.
- Reading - a person reads household texts of different nature and simple official notifications, for example, different notices, informal letters/ messages, announcements etc., understanding the idea covered by the text and finding the necessary information.
- Writing - a person fills in a form, writes a short letter on the household topic, confirming the ability to provide information about him or her and contact in writing in everyday situations.
- Speech - a person replies to 10 questions of the interview about himself or herself, talks about everyday life situation, tells about the provided image and shows his or her opinion on that.
Samples of the Latvian language proficiency test tasks:
Speech testing - a sample for the persons after the age of 65 tears and for disabled persons
- If a person fails the Latvian language proficiency test at the first time, it can be taken again not earlier than after three months;
- Only the failed part of the test should be repeated, and not the whole language proficiency test;
- The knowledge test can be taken only after the Latvian language proficiency test has been passed.
Testing of the knowledge of the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the text of the National Anthem, the basics of the history and culture of Latvia:
A person may pass this test orally or in writing. During the oral test the applicant shall answer one question about the Constitution and the second on the history and culture of Latvia. During the written test a person shall fill-in a test with 18 questions (10 questions about the history and culture of Latvia, 8 - about the Constitution). During both types of tests a person shall write or speak the text of the National Anthem.
The test of knowledge of the basic provisions of the Satversme of the Republic of Latvia, the national anthem, the basics of Latvian history and culture can be taken online.
- Each part of the test (anthem / history and culture / Constitution) is assessed separately. The test is passed, when all parts are passed.
- If a person fails the knowledge test at the first time, it can be taken again not earlier than after one month.
- Only the failed part of the test should be repeated, and not the whole test of knowledge.
If a person does not agree with the decision of the test commission, he or she shall have the right to appeal it within a time period of 30 days by writing a reasoned submission to the Head of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
- Language proficiency and knowledge tests determined in the Citizenship Law may be passed not more than three times within the framework of one review proceeding of the submission for acquisition of the Latvian citizenship. If any of the tests is not passed also with the third time, examination of the naturalisation submission shall be terminated. (If the examination of the naturalisation submission is terminated, the person has the right to submit a new naturalisation submission without any provisions of the time period for submission and to repeatedly commence the naturalisation proceeding).
- If the applicant fails to appear for the test and within a time period of two months fails to submit documents on the failure to appear for a test due to a justifying reason, the examination of the naturalisation submission shall be terminated. If the applicant submits a substantiating document within the set period of time, another date and time for testing shall be scheduled for him or her.
More detailed information about tests at the customer service division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs or informative days.