How to apply for a visa to Latvia (Schengen-visa)

15.03.2017. 06:30

If you wish to apply for a visa to Latvia you are required to follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Fill out/print/sign up the Online visa application form

Fill out the Online visa application form. Upon completion of the online application form, print the form and sign it. You will receive the application form number and the security code after filling in the online form.

!!!Note: if the submitted application form is incomplete or contains false information, your visa application may be denied.

Step 2 – Collect all required documentation (see below)

Carefully check that you have collected all required documentation (Basic documents + Supporting Documents + Additional Documents). All the documents submitted in Chinese (or any language other than English or Latvian) are required to be translated in English or Latvian.

!!!Note: the consular officer may request additional documents upon submission depending on each individual case.

Step 3 – Arrange an interview

1. call +86 10 853 230 09 (English/Chinese) and tell us your full name, purpose of your visit, application form number, phone number and most convenient date and time for your visit.

OR

2. write an e-mail (English/Latvian), indicating your full name, purpose of your visit, application form number, phone number and most convenient date and time for your visit. !!!Note: make sure you have received the conformation email before going to the Embassy for the interview.

The reception hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 9:30-11:30.

Step 4 – Submit the application/provide biometric data/pay visa fee

On the interview day, submit your documents to the consular officer and pay visa fee. C Visa fee – 450 CNY. The visa consular fee is non-refundable. The Embassy is not responsible for costs that can be incurred if a visa is refused.

As from 12 October 2015 all applicants will be required to provide their biometric data (10 fingerprints and a digital photograph) when applying for a Schengen visa. It is a simple procedure that only takes a few minutes.

When applying for the first time, all applicants will have to appear in person at a consulate or an external service provider. Biometric data, along with the data provided in the Schengen visa application form, will be recorded in the Visa Information System (VIS)database and stored for five years. Frequent travellers will only have to complete the procedure once within this period, as the fingerprints will be copied from the previous application file in the VIS.

The VIS will contain all Schengen visa applications and the decisions taken by any Schengen State's consulate. This will facilitate visa application procedures and checks at external border of the European Union, as well as enhance security. The recourse to biometric technology will protect visa applicants better against identity theft and prevent false identifications, which in certain cases lead to a refusal of a visa or entry to a person who is entitled to enter. This will also allow to establish more easily the lawful use of previous visas and applicants' travel history (e.g. when applying for a multiple-entry visa).

Exemptions from the fingerprinting requirement are provided for a limited number of applicants, including children under the age of twelve and persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible. Heads of State and members of the national government with members of their official delegation and spouses will also be exempted, if travelling for official purposes.

Step 5 – Visa is issued

The visa procedure usually takes 5-10 working days. We will contact you in case something is missing in your application or if further information is required. 

When you pick up your visa, please bring your ID card. If you are picking up other visa than yours, together with your ID please submit the letter of authorisation.

Required documents for C Visa

I. BASIC DOCUMENTS

1. Passport

Passport or other travel document with a period of validity extending at least three months past that of the visa, containing at least two blank pages for affixing visas, and issued within the previous ten years. Copies of the identification pages and the pages that contain information about previously issued visas.

2. Visa application form with photo

One visa application form completed online, printed and signed with one recently taken colour passport photo (35mm x 45mm) on white background.

3. Invitation letter

Documents confirming that the visa applicant has an invitation to visit Latvia which has been approved by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs at the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Latvia no later than six months prior to the application date.

4. Travel medical insurance policy

Travel medical insurance valid for the whole Schengen area and covering the entire period of the foreigner's intended visit in the Schengen, including "the period of grace" of 15 days; the minimum coverage of 30,000 EUR, and covering the costs of urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment in case of an illness, as well as repatriation in the event of death. Medical insurance policy can be obtained in applicant’s country of residence, or in any other country, or taken out by the inviting person. It is important that the insurance meets all the above requirements.

5. Air ticket booking record (round trip)

6. Proof of accommodation

An invitation from the host if staying with one, or hotel reservation, or a document from the establishment providing accommodation, or any other appropriate document indicating the accommodation envisaged.

7. Family book (Hukoubu)

The original should be provided and an additional copy must be submitted.

8. ID card (Shenfenzheng)

The original should be provided and an additional copy must be submitted.

9. Visa fee – 450 CNY

II. SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

A. Business visit:

1. Business license of the company, documents proving the business activities of the company

2. Introduction letter of the company

Containing stating address, telephone/fax-numbers, position and salary of the visa applicant, subject of the intended business activity, including signature and seal of the company

3. Other documents which show the existence of trade relations or relations for work purposes

B. Tourism/private visit:

1. Documents relating to the itinerary

Confirmation of the booking of an organised trip or any other appropriate document indicating the envisaged travel plans

2. Proof of financial means

Original bank statement and document of bank transactions for the last 6 months;

3. Letter from the employment

Stating the applicant’s name, position, guarantee of leave for the duration of the trip as well as salary. The certificate has to include address, telephone and fax numbers and the seal of the company or school.

III. ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS

  • For spouse or other family members:

Marriage certificate or notarized and legalized document of a relationship (original provided and copies submitted);

  • In case of minors travelling:

Written consent of both parents (either personally given in the writing at the Embassy or certified by a notary public and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). In case of divorced parents: divorce certificate and proof of custody.

You can see the Harmonized document list for Chinese applicants HERE.

Appeal against refusal, annulment or revocation of visa

Foreign national whose short stay visa or long term visa has been refused, annulled or revoked by a diplomatic or consular mission of Latvia abroad, in accordance with Section 17 of the Immigration Law, have the right to contest this decision by applying to the Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The contesting procedure is as follows:  

  • within 30 days following the decision on the refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa, the foreign national files a written complaint in Latvian, Russian or English:
    1. with the diplomatic or consular mission of Latvia which has refused, annulled or revoked the visa. The mission charges EUR 45 for sending the complaint to the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the Cabinet Regulation No.1032 “Regulations Regarding the Price List of Payable Consular Services Provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    2. with the Consular Department address: Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Elizabetes iela 57 Rīga, LV-1050 The Republic of Latvia
  • within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, the Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes a decision on whether the refusal, annulment or revocation of the visa has been justified. The foreign national is issued with the decision in Latvian, supplemented by clarifying information in English or Russian.

A decision concerning the refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa can be contested only by the foreign national him- or herself. Inviting persons and/or third persons, whom the decision concerns indirectly, have no such right.

The contesting of a decision on the refusal, annulment or revocation of a visa does not suspend the operation of the decision. The decision by the Director of the Consular Department can be appealed against at the District Administrative Court.

The ruling of the court on the visa case is final and irreversible.