I find myself in a complex situation and could use some guidance from those who might have faced similar circumstances or have knowledge in this area.

To give you a brief overview, I had a Latvian residency, which was recently cancelled, mandating my departure from the EU by the 19th of January. However, while traveling in Italy, my ID card was stolen, and I have filed a police report regarding this incident.

I visited the SEF AIMA office in Portugal to understand my options for leaving the EU, since I am in Portugal at the moment. They mentioned that I could return to my home country, but without a valid visa, there's a risk of facing a ban.

Given that I previously held a Latvian residency card, I inquired with Latvian immigration authorities, and they suggested I might need a specific document to depart.

Here are my questions:

  1. How can I avoid facing severe bans due to my situation?
  2. What steps should I take to ensure a smooth return to my home country under these circumstances?
  3. Is obtaining a departure document from Latvian authorities the best course of action, and if so, how should I proceed with this?

I am also considering seeking legal advice to navigate this situation more effectively.

Any insights or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.

Back story:

I previously held a valid Blue Card, but encountered an issue due to a misunderstanding. Believing that I needed to inform the authorities of a change in my circumstances, I transitioned from being on a Blue Card to pursuing a startup in AI and technology. I reached out to the OCMA office to request an update on my status. Unfortunately, this led to the cancellation of my residency, as they overlooked my intent to start a tech business with government approval. Following this, I was advised to explore other options. Currently, I am in the process of engaging with the Departure Office, where I anticipate being issued a Voluntary Return, hopefully by Monday.

Updates: I asked the Office Of Migrations and Citizenship Latvia about my status; they are willing to give me an exit permit so that I can leave. Appointment on 19th.

  • 14
    You were supposed to leave the EU by 19th January, but somehow you've been travelling in Italy, and here you are, a month later and now in Portugal. Why didn't you leave when instructed? Why are you now in Portugal? Is there's something you're not telling us. Feb 15 at 21:58
  • 5
    I’m a bit confused. Did you go to Italy before or after 19 Jan? In a comment on your question here you say you were in Portugal on 3 Feb, did you go there from Italy or from Latvia? Why didn’t you comply with the ‘leave by 19 Jan’ deadline?
    – Traveller
    Feb 16 at 0:39
  • 5
    Passport stolen last year. When and how have you reported that/tried to get a replacement? How does one get their residency canceled in the first place? Still in the EU a month after being ordered to leave. Frankly, you don't appear too eager to comply with regulations…?! Sounds like there's more going on here.
    – deceze
    Feb 16 at 13:33
  • 4
    "all is there" -really? In your other question you requested your residency be cancelled, now it's cancelled due to a misunderstanding. You don't need a permit to leave Latvia, unless you're a resident, are leaving for more than 12 months, and intend to return, in which case the permit allows you to keep your residency status, which in your case is already cancelled. Your ID card is current or cancelled or stolen. Which? Have you replaced your stolen passport? I don't believe we have the full story yet. Feb 17 at 5:12
  • 2
    I don't see any scolding going on, just confusion about the OPs status since (s)he seemed to be in the EU/Schengen zone nearly a month after he was ordered to leave, and was traveling instead of leaving. That let to a lot of legitimate (IMHO) confusion about the OPs current physical, residency and passport status. When someone seems to be admitting to being in country nearly a month after being ordered to leave, it does raise legitimate questions.
    – FreeMan
    Feb 23 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Thank you for your feedback, even though it's disheartening to hear criticisms while I'm making efforts to abide by the law. I recently visited the voluntary return decisions unit at OCMA in Riga, Latvia, where I submitted an explanatory letter along with copies of my travel documents. The officer I interacted with was understanding and mentioned that I could settle the matter with a fine, indicating that if I had overstayed by even one more day, I would have been fined. She provided me with a document, not exactly an exit permit, but one that acknowledges my voluntary decision to return, sparing me from potential immigration penalties like being banned for several months.

From my research, I understand that when residencies are terminated, the details are typically sent to the Schengen Information System (SIS), allowing immigration authorities to view the individual's status and remove it once the person departs.

This experience has taught me an important lesson: never update your status with government authorities without first seeking advice from a lawyer or a government official. My attempt to simply update my situation was misinterpreted as a request to cancel my residency, when I was actually seeking assistance.

It's clear that bureaucratic processes vary by country and often involve language and procedures that aren't straightforward or compassionate.

Update : Got out of EU with no hassle with a penalty of 25 EURO and no ban and nothing but would like to request my SIS Data and apply for a visa to see if they reject on the ground of overstay

  • 1
    "never update your status with government authorities without first seeking advice from a lawyer or a government official. My attempt to simply update my situation was misinterpreted as a request to cancel my residency, when I was actually seeking assistance." Unfortunately (and in many countries) government officiers sometimes are quite entitled and they think you have to know your own rights. Most people support this point of view, until they get caught in some bureacreatic nightmare. Disclaimer: dealing with HR of private companies is even a worse nightmare.
    – EarlGrey
    Feb 19 at 21:23

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