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Hello fellow travelers and legal experts,

I recently found myself in a unique situation and am seeking your collective wisdom. On December 23rd 2023, I voluntarily requested the cancellation of my temporary Latvian residency permit due to high taxation on my employment income. Despite the cancellation, my residency card still shows a validity period until May 2024.

Currently, I am exploring the possibility of relocating within Europe and am particularly interested in Portugal. Given that my Latvian residency card is technically still valid, I am curious about the feasibility of using it to apply for residency in Portugal from the embassy here in Europe.

My main concern revolves around the data sharing policies between EU member states regarding residency permits and cancellations. I’ve heard rumors that there might not be a comprehensive data sharing agreement in place, but I’m unsure how this affects my situation.

Here are my questions:

  • Can I still use my “valid” by date Latvian residency card to apply for a residency permit in another EU country like Portugal, even though I’ve requested its cancellation?
  • Would the Portuguese embassy have access to information about the cancellation of my Latvian permit, or is there indeed a lack of data sharing that might work in my favor?
  • Are there any potential legal implications or risks I should be aware of when applying for a new residency permit under these circumstances?

I appreciate any insights or experiences you might share, especially if you’ve navigated a similar situation or have expertise in EU residency laws.

Thank you in advance for your advice and guidance!

Updates

  1. I have concluded to apply for expression of interest in Portugal
  2. Though it will take like 1 and half years to conclude the entire process.
  3. Have applied as self employed expression of interest.

Are there any other methods to expedite expression of interest process?

Post updates

Thanks everyone who helped , I think I have a clear picture , I can totally apply as long as I am legally here and the line is bit blurry , I was worried about few parts but seems like tradeoffs are good.

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  • The (often postponed) Entry/Exit System (EES) will include a Residence Permit database, so that checks can be made if the residence permit card, when presented, is still valid or not. Nobody can say for sure if this database is already in place or not. Jan 31 at 19:36
  • I see the news of Entry Exit System still not implemented
    – Saransh Sharma
    Jan 31 at 19:41
  • Probably a lot more suitable for expats.SE.
    – jcaron
    Jan 31 at 20:14
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    Your Latvian residency is cancelled at your request. Your Latvian residency card is therefore no longer valid, notwithstanding it's expiry date. If your chosen country gets wind of this they could reasonably conclude that you're trying to pull the wool over their eyes (as indeed you are) and deny your application, and possibly apply a long ban for deception. There is a reason why the advice here is always "Don't lie to immigration" Feb 1 at 0:47
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    @SaranshSharma That's not how tax brackets work and 25% isn't very high. Portugal does have some special rules that may be advantageous in your situation and is generally speaking not a bad place to be but beyond that what you describe just sound like a decent salary and a regular tax rate, nothing that would justify upending your life and moving to the other end of Europe to save on taxes.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 4 at 1:21

1 Answer 1

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Before anything else, note that this is mainly up to the specific country you are considering moving to. Unlike the Schengen acquis that controls short stays, I cannot think of much relevant EU residency law that would apply to this scenario.

Can I still use my “valid” by date Latvian residency card to apply for a residency permit in another EU country like Portugal, even though I’ve requested its cancellation?

The way you use the word “valid” in the question is confusing and inconsistent. If your permit has been cancelled, it is not valid. The plastic card may still appear valid but instead of focusing on enforcement, data exchange, and what it says on the card, you should consider what your actual status in the country is. Are you a visitor? A resident? What kind of proof of your status do you hold?

Would the Portuguese embassy have access to information about the cancellation of my Latvian permit, or is there indeed a lack of data sharing that might work in my favor?

It's highly unlikely they would have data of this kind at this time, even the EES isn't designed for that and I am not sure it could legally be used to check the validity of your residence permit in this scenario.

Are there any potential legal implications or risks I should be aware of when applying for a new residency permit under these circumstances?

First, you are applying without being a resident (or are you?) so many consulates would decline to process your application. This isn't too bad generally as it's not the same as a refusal, they would just invite you to apply from a place where you do have the right to reside. And it might even be perfectly acceptable.

Second, actively misrepresenting your situation is typically a bad idea. In many countries, it would be a criminal offense (which they may not bother prosecuting if you are out of the country) and can also result in a ban for several years. It's not only the card, you will also have to fill in forms asking you where you reside, etc. It may go undetected but it is almost certainly illegal.

Third, you need to consider your status and whether you are allowed to stay put while your application is running. It's true that European countries often have specific rules on which consulate you should apply to but beyond the rules, the simple fact is that applications for a long-stay visa or residence permit often take longer than three months (rough threshold for what count as a visit in the EU). Is your plan to stay in Latvia after cancelling your residence permit until your get a visa from another country?

On the other hand, if there is some other basis for your stay in Latvia then that might have consequences for visa applications. It's difficult to think through your options without any information on your actual status.

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  • Thanks , I was asked to leave Latvia on 18th Jan 2024 instead I went to Portugal and applied for the expression of interest which you can do while you are in Portugal, and now I am wondering according to your response if I might have applied as an illegal person since my application was filed on 31st of December 2023 not sure if thats right Feb 3 at 20:01
  • @SaranshSharma Do you require a visa to stay in the Schengen area? Is the date you were asked to leave Latvia also the date your permit was cancelled? I assumed your main concern was being able to lodge an application, if Portugal is fine with you applying in-country, you're probably fine but that's not always possible. Many countries will require you to apply for the relevant visa or permit from a consular post abroad and that's where you require a local residence permit. The safest way to proceed is to do that first and cancel any existing permit after securing a new residence.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 4 at 1:24
  • Yeah Portugal is fine by me since I was asked to leave Latvia by 18th and I have applied this type of permit on 31st so it should be fine. Yes I need a visa to enter Europe though generally coming from India. Feb 4 at 21:32
  • If Portuguese rules allow that, that's great but just to be clear, applying before the date you were supposed to leave Latvia is not necessarily enough. Some countries would have required you to apply from Latvia and, therefore, to secure some sort of status to wait for the result of the application.
    – Relaxed
    Feb 4 at 21:51
  • So , this kind of Permit is known as Expression of interest , which means if you are legally in Europe then you could simply travel to Portugal and apply in person. Feb 4 at 21:55

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