Information on how to arrange a Schengen visa to Latvia. Basically, the text information. Because the objects (people) are there - consular visa centers, and firms
Who needs a visa?
Since Latvia acceded to the Schengen Agreement (on December 21, 2007) Latvian diplomatic and consular representations abroad issue uniform or Schengen visas valid in the territory of all Schengen countries. The advantage of Schengen visa is that a foreigner who wishes to visit several Schengen countries does not have to apply for separate visa in every Schengen country's representation.
Though there are no internal borders within the Schengen Area it is necessary to take your passport with you when you travel from one Schengen country to another.
The citizens of the European Union, residents of Schengen Agreement Area, citizens of the USA, Canada and some other countries do not require a visa to enter the Republic of Latvia.
Travelers who are not citizens of the EU and whose countries of residence do not have visa-free access to the Schengen nations are required to have a valid passport with a valid Schengen visa or a valid EU residency permit. Residents of the USA holding a Green Card require a visa as well.
Besides, nationals of a number of countries require also a special airport transit visa allowing to stay in an international transit zone of the airport of Riga. An airport transit visa is necessary for citizens of and persons holding travel documents issued by the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka.
A foreign national may stay in Latvia for up to 90 days during a six-month period. For longer stays it is necessary to register with the Department of Citizenship and Migration and receive a national long-term visa or a residence permit. Residence permit is valid only for staying in Latvia and for crossing the territory of other Schengen countries in transit in order to reach Latvia. Though it is possible to apply for a visa at the representation of any Schengen country, please, take note that it is highly recommended to apply for a visa at the representation of the country whose territory will be the only or main destination of your visit, otherwise you may encounter difficulties at crossing the frontier or at consulate.
Please, note Latvian visa does not entitle you to enter Russia or any of CIS countries!
The Latvian Embassy or a Consulate of the Republic of Latvia takes a decision of the issue of a visa within 7 days of the receipt of necessary documents (as specified by the Cabinet of Ministers). If additional information is required, the process may take up to 30 days.
Documents required for applying for Schengen visa for travel to Latvia:
- A valid passport or other travel document (containing at least two blank pages and with a term of validity exceeding the expiry date of the visa requested by a minimum of three months);
- A completed and signed visa application form;
- 1 passport-size recent colour photo (35x45mm);
- Travel medical insurance policy valid in all Schengen countries and covering the entire period of the visit in the Schengen area (the minimum amount of the insurance is 30 000 EUR);
- Payment or confirmation of the payment of visa application fee. Short-term visa costs 60 EUR.
Supporting documents justifying the purpose and conditions of the visit (the necessity to submit any of the below is defined by the consular officers):
- purpose of entry or visitation (such as an invitation number approved by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs);
- means of transport for arriving and leaving Latvia (such as round-trip tickets or a reservation for tickets);
- means of subsistence to stay in Latvia and other Schengen countries, and means to return to state of residence (such as records of bank account transactions in the past months or tax returns);
- place of residence in Latvia (such as a hotel reservation or an invitation approved by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, if staying with the inviting party);
- proof that you will return to your state of residence (such as a letter from the employer or an educational institution).
More detailed information is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia web-site and at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs web-site.