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All babies born to Latvia's non-citizens to be registered as citizens

Christian Fernsby |
As of next year, all babies born to Latvia's non-citizens will be registered as Latvian citizens under a bill that passed the final reading in the parliament of the Baltic country on Thursday, local media informed.

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According to the new legislation, non-citizens' children to be born on Jan. 1, 2020 and afterwards will automatically become Latvian citizens unless their parents decide to register them as citizens of some other country.

Under the existing law, non-citizen parents have to expressly announce their wish to register their offspring as Latvian citizens, otherwise they too are registered as non-citizens.

Latvia's 100-seat parliament passed the bill by 60 votes to grant citizenship automatically to children of non-citizen parents, despite strongest objections from the right-wing National Alliance.

Latvia's previous president Raimonds Vejonis repeatedly tabled legislative initiatives to ensure that non-citizens' children are no longer registered as non-citizens, but his proposals were always rejected by lawmakers. When the makeup of the parliament changed after the last general elections, the proposal was submitted again, and this time, it won the needed support.

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