War-fleeing Ukrainians eligible for an allowance to become self-employed

(22.09.2022.)

On Thursday, 22 September, the Saeima adopted in the second and final reading urgent amendments to the Law on Assistance to Ukrainian Civilians that, among other provisions, stipulate an opportunity for Ukrainians fleeing the war to receive an allowance for becoming self-employed.

The allowance for becoming self-employed will be paid in the amount of one minimum salary to Ukrainian civilians who have registered as self-employed persons in the Taxpayer Register of the State Revenue Service of Latvia. In order to ensure equal access, allowance applications may also be made by those Ukrainian civilians who have registered as self-employed persons before the entry into force of this amendment, but not before 24 February 2022. According to the explanatory note of the Draft Law, the allowance will not be paid to those Ukrainians fleeing the war who had previously received an employment commencement allowance.

In order to ensure timely provision of support to Ukrainian civilians whose children were born in Latvia, the childcare allowance will from now on be granted from the day of the birth without requesting the child’s residence permit documents if they are still being prepared and have not yet been received. According to the explanatory note of the Draft Law, the childcare allowance was previously paid by the State Social Insurance Agency of Latvia during the period of validity of the long-term visa or residence permit, namely, the allowance was granted for the period during which both the parent and the child had valid visas or residence permits.

The Law also stipulates that a person who earns income from renting out their real estate to a Ukrainian civilian and is not registered at the State Revenue Service as an economic operator, shall be exempted from personal income tax for this income. This exemption is applied as long as the lease agreement signed with the Ukrainian civilian is in force, but not after 31 December 2022.

The amendments also stipulate that the Latvian Registry of Seamen may issue a seaman’s certificate to Ukrainian seamen by way of exception, without applying the permanent residence permit requirement. It is planned that this provision shall be applied to Ukrainian seamen who have received a temporary protection status in Latvia and are employed on vessels flying the Latvian flag or have used the work placement services of economic operators registered in Latvia for the assembly of ship crew.

Amendments to the Law on Assistance to Ukrainian Civilians will enter into force on the day following their promulgation.

Saeima Press Service

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