Entry into Latvia by citizens of the Union and their family members

19.11.2015. 09:32

Entry into Latvia by citizens of the Union and their family members

Entry into and residence in Latvia of citizens of the Union (hereinafter – Union citizens), and their family members, is regulated by the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 675 of  30.08.2011 "Procedures for the Entry and Residence in the Republic of Latvia of Citizens of the Union and their Family Members" transposing in Latvia Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.

Within the meaning of this Regulation, a family member of a Union citizen shall be:

  • the spouse of the Union citizen;
  • a relative of the Union citizen in the direct descending line, or his or her spouse, who has not reached the age of 21 or is a dependant of the Union citizen or his or her spouse;
  • a relative of the Union citizen in the direct ascending line, or his or her spouse, who is a dependant of the Union citizen or his or her spouse.

Within the meaning of this Regulation, an extended family member of a Union citizen shall be:

  • a person who is a relative of the Union citizen or his or her spouse and who is a dependant or member of the household of such Union citizen in his or her previous country of residence or who, on serious health grounds, requires personal care, and the Union citizen certifies that he or she will provide such care to the person;
  • a partner with whom the Union citizen has a relationship lasting for at least two years or a partner with whom the Union citizen has a registered partnership. Within the meaning of this Regulation, the term “partner” shall be used to safeguard the rights provided for in this Regulation and shall not cover the recognition of any such partnership, which has been the basis for granting the right of entry or residence.

A visa is required by a Union citizen’s family member who is not a Union citizen and to whom, according to Council Regulation No 539/2001/EC of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement, the visa-free entering conditions do not apply, in order to enter and reside in Latvia for a period of up to three months.

A family member of a Union citizen is entitled to obtain an entry visa.

Upon accepting a visa application of a family member of a Union citizen, a diplomatic or consular mission of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter – mission), the Office or the State Border Guard shall:

  • not charge a State fee for processing the visa application;
  • request a valid travel document and documents certifying the relationship between the family member of the Union citizen and the Union citizen. No other supporting documents shall be required for the entry;
  • provide the possibility not to use an outsourcing company, but to submit the visa application to the mission (where the visa application is submitted abroad).

If a Union citizen’s family member who is not a Union citizen must be in possession of visa according to Council Regulation No. 539/2001/EC conditions, he/she may enter the Republic of Latvia without visa provided that he/she has been issued a valid Union citizen's family member’s residence card by a Member State.

A Union citizen does not require a visa in order to enter and reside in Latvia for a period of up to three months. In order to enter Latvia, he/she requires a valid travel document – passport or identification card (an ID card).

If a Union citizen wishes to reside in Latvia for more than 90 days counting from the first day of entry, he/she must register with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and receive a registration certificate.

 

It is not necessary to register with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs if the Union citizen has a valid travel document and:

  • resides in the Republic of Latvia up to six months per year counting from the first day of entry if the aim of residence is the establishment of employment relationship in the Republic of Latvia. If after the end of the six months’ period the Union citizen has not established the employment relationship, he/she and his/her family members may continue residing in the Republic of Latvia without registering with the Office provided that there is proof that the Union citizen is continuing his/her search for work and it is justified to believe that he/she will establish employment relationship;
  • is employed in Republic of Latvia but lives in another European Union Member State to which he/she is returning once per week;
  • is a student of an educational institution registered in the Educational Institutions Register of the Republic of Latvia, and his expected length of residence in the Republic of Latvia does not exceed one year.

If a family member of the Union citizen together with the Union citizen wishes to reside in Latvia for more than 90 days, counting from the first day of entry, he/she must register with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and receive a registration certificate or a residence permit .

The provisions of the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 675 are applicable to a family member of Latvia’s citizen if:

  • Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council applies to the given Latvia’s citizen, i.e. the given Latvia’s citizen is starting to use or has used his/her rights to move freely within the territory of the Union, and he/she is travelling to a Member State which is not the state of his/her citizenship, or is already residing here (irrespective of the objective and length of residence), or he/she is returning to the state of his/her citizenship while is permanently residing in another Member
  • State (irrespective of the objective and length of residence), or if he/she is returning from the state of his/her citizenship after having resided in another Member State (irrespective of the objective and length of residence);
  • a family member accompanies a Latvian citizen (travels with him/her) to the destination Member State or joins the Latvian citizen in the destination Member State (travels at a later time).

If a family member is travelling by him-/herself and is not accompanying a Union citizen or is not joining him/her in the destination Member State, the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations No. 675 are not applicable and visa shall be granted according to the general provisions.