In accordance with Article 10 of the Vienna Convention (1961), missions are requested to notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter-MFA) as soon as possible, of the appointment, the dates of arrival and final departure of Staff members of diplomatic missions and career staff members of consular posts, as well as members of their families and private servants. Persons holding Latvian citizenship are not accepted as accredited staff members of diplomatic missions or consular posts.

In addition to individual notifications mentioned above, a list of all currently employed diplomatic staff has to be submitted to the State Protocol of the MFA (hereinafter- the State Protocol) every six months or following a major staffing changes in order to maintain the official information published in the homepage of the MFA.

The State Protocol issues identity cards (hereinafter – ID cards) to members of diplomatic missions, consular posts, international organisations, EU agencies and representations thereof, staff, as well as to private servants that are not Latvian citizens, honorary consuls-general and honorary consuls for the term of office or residence in Latvia.

Missions should take note of the fact that the MFA does not accept the assignment of Latvian citizens or permanent residents as diplomatic agents in Latvia. Similarly, the MFA does not issue ID cards to locally hired staff of missions who have permanent residence in Latvia.

ID card is a proof of accreditation by the State Protocol, the right to reside in Latvia and immunities and privileges pertaining to the person. ID holders are advised to carry their ID cards with them at all times for identification purposes. ID card is not a travel document however together with a valid travel document it entitles the person to enter the territory of the Schengen States.

The MFA does not issue ID cards to:

  • family members of service staff and private servants of the mission;
  • family members of the staff of the mission, consular posts, international organisations, EU agencies and representations thereof who are Latvian nationals or permanently resident in Latvia;
  • family members of honorary consuls-general and honorary consuls.

Persons subject to accreditation are issued ID cards of six categories (A, B, C, D, E, F), depending on their status and eligibility to privileges and immunities:

  • category A (red) – to heads of mission and members of the mission who enjoy privileges and immunities under international law;
  • category B (yellow) – to members of administrative and technical staff of mission who enjoy restricted privileges and immunities under international law;
  • category C (white) – to heads and members of the representations of international organisations who enjoy privileges and immunities according to relevant international treaties;
  • category D (blue) to career consular officers who enjoy privileges and immunities under international law;
  • category E (grey) – to honorary consuls of foreign states;
  • category F (green) to members of the service staff of a mission and to private servants.

For accreditation of a new staff member, the following documents shall be submitted to the State Protocol within 5 working days of arrival in Latvia or prior to the arrival when possible:

  • an original of application form which is available on the English version of the MFAs website under State Protocol - Standard forms. Filled in electronically or by hand using block letters;
  • a scanned copy of the passport (pages of personal data and position of person where applicable);
  • 1 (one) passport quality photo, not older than six months. The photo should be firmly attached or inserted in the electronic application on the indicated location;
  • a verbal note conveying an express request to issue an ID card. Other relevant information may be included;
  • a copy of the ID card issued by the residence state for non-resident staff of diplomatic missions only.

In addition to the documents mentioned above, those staff members intent on being accredited to the Republic of Latvia and residing outside the Schengen area, prior to applying for the ID card, shall have to obtain a national visa of category D at a Latvian diplomatic or consular representation, except as provided by bilateral agreements on the waiving of visa requirements for entry and staying in the Republic of Latvia.

The ID cards of departing staff members as well as their family members are to be returned to the State Protocol within 5 working days of their final departure from Latvia or termination of their functions. The State Protocol may delay the issuance of an ID card to a newcomer until the predecessor and his family members have returned their identity cards.

An ID card is issued for a period of three years, unless the validity of the persons passport is shorter. Where a person is expected to leave in a period less than three years, the ID card may be issued for the period of time specified.

Based on the Schengen Borders Code, accredited members of diplomatic missions and of consular representations and their families may, as a rule, enter the territory of the EU Member States on presentation of the ID card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and of a valid travel document. Please, note, that the ID card alone is not considered a valid travel document within the Schengen Area.

If your ID card is stolen, please immediately inform the nearest Police Station. If a copy of the Police report along with an explanatory verbal note is received, a replacement ID with validity identical to the stolen one will be issued upon receipt of the documents specified in section 2.1.4. 

The procedure for extension of accreditation and subsequent issuance of ID cards verifying this fact, is identical to that of registration of new staff members (see section No. 2.1.4.). The expired ID card may be attached to the verbal note conveying accreditation request or returned to the State Protocol separately after expiration. Application for extension of accreditation has to be submitted one month prior to the expiry of the existing term.

Family members of the accredited staff members, if they are not citizens or permanent residents of the Republic of Latvia, are issued ID cards of the same category as the accredited person. They enjoy the same diplomatic or consular immunities and privileges in the territory of the Republic of Latvia as the accredited person.

The following persons are eligible for accreditation as family members of a staff member accredited or eligible for accreditation by the MFA:

  • spouse of the person concerned. This applies both to officially registered and non-registered marriages, the only criterion is the recognition of the marriage by the government of the sending state concerned. This recognition may be demonstrated by a copy of the marriage certificate or any other confirmation provided by the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs on recognition of the person as a spouse by the government of the sending state;
  • unmarried children under the age of 18 who reside exclusively in the principal household or join the household during visits to Latvia;
  • unmarried children under the age of 24 attending an institution of graduate studies in Latvia on a full-time basis and residing exclusively in the principal household.

For registration, each family member shall fill out the application form (see section No. 2.1.4.) individually and a copy of his/her passport shall be included, together with a single photo. For infants, the application form may be filled-in and signed by a parent or a legal guardian in his/her stead.

The Diplomatic List provides a general overview of all diplomatic missions and consular posts, international organisations, EU agencies and representations thereof, located in Latvia. The List provides addresses, contact information of chanceries, actual accredited staff and other information useful while in Latvia. The Diplomatic List represents the information in possession of the State Protocol, and is widely used by officials, diplomatic agents and Latvian public, just as well as other diplomatic missions and foreign services. It is updated regularly and is based on the information provided by the aforementioned entities.

The Diplomatic List contains telephone, fax and e-mail details for use by members of the public and should be viewed as non-exhaustive.

While those offices accredited by the State Protocol are required to provide the information needed for the List every six months, for security purposes, the State Protocol may require the diplomatic missions and consular posts to provide contact information to be used in case of emergency to contact the head of that office 24/7. This information would not be made public and would be used solely by the MFA.

The Diplomatic List is updated twice a year according to the incoming information. The State Protocol kindly requests missions to check the accuracy of the entries relevant to them.