Report on linguistic integration of adult migrants (quotes), 2019

Executive summary

[..] Citizenship requirements vary from no requirements to B2. [..]

Chapter 1 Analysis of the survey data

1.1. LANGUAGE AND KNOWLEDGE OF SOCIETY REQUIREMENTS

[..]

1.1.4. Citizenship

The most common context in which Council of Europe member states set formal language and/or KoS [knowledge of society] requirements is the citizenship policy. Thirty-three of the 41 member states/regions responding to the 2018 survey (78%) have language and/or KoS requirements for citizenship. Member states with language and/or KoS requirements for citizenship are: [..] Latvia [..]

1.1.4.1. Language requirements for citizenship

[..]

Table 8 – Language requirements for citizenship

CountryListeningReadingSpeakingWriting
LatviaUnspecified Unspecified UnspecifiedUnspecified

(..)

Of the countries that set CEFR-based language requirements, the levels of proficiency most often set for citizenship are A2 and B1, with 21% (7 out of 33) and 24% (8 out of 33) respectively. Four out of 33 (12%) set a B2-requirement. However, there is a substantial group (10 out of 33 or 30%), that does not specify their level requirements. These unspecified requirements could range from A1 (or below) to B2 (or above).

1.1.4.2. KoS requirements for citizenship

Table 9 offers an overview of the KoS requirements for citizenship.

Table 9 – KoS requirements for citizenship

CountryCourseTest
LatviaYes

[..]

1.2. TESTS

[..]

1.2.2. KoS tests

In at least 16 of the 35 (46%) responding member states/regions, there is a KoS test. Table 12 displays the characteristics of a typical KoS test.

Table 12 – KoS test characteristics

CountryContentFormat
Constitution and law Education Employment Rights and duties Services History and geography Customs and traditions OralPaperComputer Official language Candidate L1 Lingua franca
Latvia11111

[..]

1.3. LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

[..]

1.3.1. Language courses

In most contexts surveyed, language courses are provided for migrants. The only member states where this was not stated to be the case are Bulgaria and Hungary. The tables below are based on the responding member states/regions that do provide language courses (n = 34).

In 32 of these member states/regions, the national or local government provides or finances language courses for migrants. The exceptions are Albania and the Slovak Republic [..]

Chapter 3 Development from 2007 to 2018

[..]

3.3. CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS

3.3.1. Citizenship requirements, raw data (all participating member states)

Table 23 and Figure 24 display the member states/regions with language requirements for citizenship in each of the four surveys.

Table 23 – Citizenship requirements since 2007

Country2007200920132018
LatviaNoB1Unspecified

[..]


Document data. October 2019. The opinions expressed in the report are the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the Council of Europe. Link: https://rm.coe.int/prems-112819-gbr-2518-liam-report-2019-couv-texte-16×24-provisoire-web/16809838b3

Publisher’s note: Although the report is mostly oriented to the issue of migrants, in Latvia’s context, citizenship requirements also apply to numerous “non-citizens” born in Latvia, often in second or third generation. The level of language requirements for naturalization is not clearly established in the legal provisions – this (not some legislative change) is the reason for vague and differing answers given by Latvia on the relevant question in different years (see chapter 3.3.1 above). In media estimates, the level required corresponds to CEFR level B1-B2 https://rus.delfi.lv/news/daily/story/ot-nulya-do-b2-kakoj-uroven-gosyazyka-i-znanij-trebuyut-ot-immigrantov-raznye-strany-evropy.d?id=51571105

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