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A sign with the inscription "Carry your passport when crossing the border" in Latvian and Russian stands at the Latvian border in Valka on Jan. 28, 2024. (Alexander Welscher/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Eight hundred Russian citizens are at risk of being deported from Latvia, according to Madara Puke, representative of Latvia's Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCME).

These individuals have not applied for either permanent or temporary residence, Puke said on Latvian television, according to Suspilne.

"We have passed the information about these people to the State Border Guard Service for further verification," she said.

"In the coming weeks, it will be clear whether these people are still in Latvia."

Puke said that Russian nationals who remain in the country without documentation will be sent notices to leave the country within 30 days.

Latvia passed a legal requirement in 2023 stating that Russian citizens needed to pass a Latvian language proficiency test to attain or keep permanent residence permits.

Russian citizens who do not pass the exam are eligible to receive a temporary residence permit, after which they will be re-tested in two years. If they fail the second exam, they face potential deportation.

Together with Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia, Latvia imposed visa restrictions on Russian nationals in September 2022.

The Latvian Foreign Ministry recently extended the ban, saying that Russian citizens are prohibited from entering the country until March 2025, unless they have an EU or Latvian residence permit or there is an "exceptional case," such as a serious illness or funeral.

Around 24% of Latvia’s population are ethnic Russians.

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