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Complete guide to obtaining a Latvia visa, the required documents, the application steps, and FAQs

Latvia is a Baltic country known for its beautiful architectural sites and peaceful lifestyle. Its capital city, Riga, offers the biggest central market in Europe and is a favorite tourist destination. 

Latvia offers an affordable and beautiful adventure, and if you would like to visit Latvia, you should check if you need a visa first. This article will help you understand the process of applying for a visa to visit Latvia and learn about the different types of latvian visas.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Latvia?

You do not need a visa for Latvia if:

  • You are a citizen of an EU/EEA or Schengen country.
  • You are a citizen of a country that has a visa-free agreement with Schengen. Countries with a visa-free agreement are Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand, the US, etc.

If you are a citizen of countries that do not have a visa-free agreement with Latvia, such as China, Egypt, India, Morocco, Thailand, Turkey, etc., you must apply for a visa to visit Latvia. 

Types of Latvia Visas

Depending on the reason why you want to visit Latvia, there are different types of visas that you can apply for. The types of Latvia visas are: 

  • Latvia Tourist (Schengen) Visa. If you would like to visit Latvia for fun, business, or medical treatment, you can apply for a Latvia tourist visa. This visa is valid for 90 days. A Latvian tourist visa is also known as a Schengen visa since it allows you to visit other Schengen countries as well. 
  • Latvia Airport Transit Visa. An airport transit visa lets you stay in transit at a Latvian airport in order to switch flights to travel to a third destination. A Latvian transit visa is not required by everyone provided you do not leave the airport transit area.
  • Latvia Work Visa. As a non-EU/EEA citizen, you need to apply for a Latvian work visa, work permit, and residence permit to work in Latvia. A Latvian employer needs to request a work permit for you at the Ministry of Interior. Depending on the duration of your work, there are different types of work permits available.You can start working in Latvia the moment your employer provides you with a work permit.
  • Latvia Student Visa. You will need a student visa if you want to study in Latvia. A Latvian student visa is a long-stay initially issued for 90 days. If your study course is longer, you have to apply for a Latvian residence permit as well, which is issued for the entire duration of your studies.
  • Latvia Family Visa. If you want your family or spouse to join you in Latvia, you must apply for a Latvian family visa on their behalf. The application must be submitted at the nearest Latvian Immigration Office. The family visa is valid for three months, and an extension is not possible. A residence permit is required to allow your family member to stay for longer. You will be asked to prove your relationship to the family member you would like to invite.
  • Latvia Golden Visa. If you want to make an investment in Latvia, you can apply for the residence and citizenship by investment program, also known as the Latvian Golden visa program.

Required Documents for Latvia Visa

Some of the main documents that are required when applying for a Latvia visa are: 

Note: The Latvian diplomatic represenatation may require you to submit additional documents.

You can see the full list of documents required for Latvia visa here.

Latvia Visa Application Process

To start your Latvia visa application process, you need to:

  1. Fill in the Latvian application form online. You can complete the application form on Latvia’s Electronic Visa Application website. After you complete the form online, you have to print it and attach it to the rest of the required documents.
  2. Set up an appointment with the nearest Latvian diplomatic mission. Once you complete the online application form, you must set an appointment with the Latvian diplomatic mission to submit it along with all the required documents. Sometimes, you may have to apply through a visa application center in your country. See Latvian diplomatic missions abroad here.
  3. Collect the required documents. When applying for a Latvian visa, you need a set of documents.
  4. Submit the application in person at the Latvian diplomatic mission. Once you have your documents, submit the application on the date of your appointment. Please be aware that you may also be asked to enter an interview.
  5. Wait for a decision. After finishing all of the steps above, wait for a decision on your visa application. You will hear a decision within two weeks.

See a more detailed step by step guide to applying for a Latvia visa here.

Latvia Visa Fees

The fees for a Latvian visa are as follows:

Application Type Fee
Latvian Short-Stay Visa €80
Latvian Long-Stay Visa €60
For children aged 6-12 €35
For children under the age of six Free of charge
Latvian Transit Visa €80

You have to pay the fee at the corresponding Latvian diplomatic mission where you submit the visa application. The method of payment depends on the mission; in most cases, you can pay in cash or by bank transfer.

Latvia Visa Application Processing Time

The Latvian visa can take from 14 days to 15 days to process. In some cases, the processing time can take up to 60 days (e.g. if you submit infussicient documents, there is a long waiting line, etc).. You are advised to apply for your Latvia Schengen visa as early as possible but not earlier than three months before your visit.

How Long Is a Latvia Visa Valid?

A Latvian Schengen visa is valid for 90 days within a 180 day period. A Latvian long-stay (national) visa is valid for up to a year. If you receive a long-say visa, you may apply for a Latvian residence permit and extend your stay in Latvia indefinitely, provided you meet the criteria (e.g. you have a job, have been admitted to university, etc).

How Can I Stay in Latvia for Longer Than Three Months?

If you want to stay in Latvia for longer than 90 days, you can apply for a type D long-stay visa, also known as a national visa. The Latvia national visa can be issued for 3 to 12 months. 

You can work, study, and reunite with your family with a long-stay visa; however, you will also be asked to apply for a temporary residence permit if you plan to stay longer than one year. You can obtain the residence permit at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) or a Latvian embassy, whereas you can apply for a national visa only at the Latvian embassy.

Note: Work, student, and family reunification visas are considered long-stay visas. 

Then, you will be required to apply for a residence permit. A temporary residence permit is issued for one year for the first application, and four years for the second. A Latvian permanent residence permit is issued for ten years, and can be renewed indefinitely.

Entering Latvia After Receiving a Visa

As of February 2022, all foreigners who wish to visit Latvia must fill out a digital form on the Latvian Covidpass website. The application should not be submitted earlier than 48 hours before entering Latvia. Before entering, you must also submit proof of any of the following:

  • Valid Vaccination Card or Certificate.
  • A negative test.
  • Proof of COVID-19 recovery. The covid recovery certificate should not be older than 180 days.

What Can I Do If My Application Is Rejected?

If your application for a short stay or long-stay visa is rejected by the Latvian embassy or consulate, you are allowed to appeal. You must appeal before the director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You need to submit your appeal within 30 days of getting the news of your visa rejection. In order to appeal, you must write an appeal letter in Latvian, Russian, or English. 

The appeal letter can be submitted by post, in person, or digitally if the signature is approved by Article 26 of Electronic Documents Law. You can submit the letter of appeal at:

  • The Latvian embassy or consulate that has rejected your application.
  • The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The appeal letter should be legalized with the Apostille Stamp before submission.

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