1. What types of visas does Latvia issue?
2. Which are the Member States of the Schengen Agreement?
The Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
3. What is the maximum duration of stay in the Schengen area for a foreign national holding a Schengen visa?
The maximum duration of stay in the Schengen area for a person holding a Schengen visa is 90 days in any 180-day period.
4. How to check whether a travel document is valid for obtaining a visa to Latvia?
On the list of travel documents recognised in the Republic of Latvia in the section titled „Info - Travel documents issued by third countries and territorial entities (Part I)”, on the right hand side of the page, foreign nationals can check whether their travel documents are valid for obtaining an entry visa to Latvia.
5. Can a residency permit issued in Latvia be used to stay in other Schengen states?
Foreign nationals holding a residency permit issued by Latvia may also stay in other Schengen states, but no longer than for 90 days in any 180-day period.
6. Can a third country national holding a Latvian residency permit travel to other Schengen states for the purpose of employment?
A residency permit issued in Latvia does not authorise a foreign national to travel for purposes of employment to other Member States of the Schengen Agreement.
7. Can a foreign national holding a residency permit valid for another Schengen state enter Latvia?
A foreign national with a residency permit valid for a Schengen state may enter and stay in another Schengen state for a period not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period. Each Schengen state determines for itself which of the documentation it has issued authorises a person to travel to another Schengen state, and information regarding such documentation is included in Annex 22 to the Schengen Borders Code "List of residence permits issued by the Member States". If a person is uncertain whether the documents in their possession confers such rights, they are recommended to consult the immigration authorities of their country of domicile.
8. May a foreign national holding a long-stay visa (type D) issued by another Schengen state enter Latvia?
A foreign national holding a valid long-stay visa (type D visa) issued by a Schengen state, may enter and stay in the territory of other Schengen states for a maximum duration of 90 days in any 180-day period.
9. May a third-country national holding a Schengen visa with limited territorial validity enter all Schengen states?
A person holding a visa with limited territorial validity may cross the Schengen states in transit and remain only in those countries indicated on the visa sticker.
10. What does the ‘period of grace’ of 15 days on a visa sticker means?
The period of validity of a visa for one or two entries also includes an additional ‘period of grace’. This means that, when issuing such a visa, 15 days are added to the period of validity indicated by the foreign national in their visa application. Thereby a foreign national may enter or leave the territory of the Schengen states within the entire period of validity indicated on the visa, but they may stay for as long as indicated in the “duration of stay” section on the visa sticker.
(For instance, a foreign national has indicated in their visa application that they would like to enter the Schengen area on 01/01 and to leave on 10/01, with the total duration of stay of 10 days. The visa issued will have the period of validity from 01/01 to 25/01 (from 01/01 to 10/01+15 days). This means that the foreign national can enter and leave the country within the given period, i.e., from 01/01 to 25/01, while the number of days of the visit remains unchanged, i.e. 10 days.
11. How to ascertain that the duration of stay indicated in the visa has not been exceeded?
Schengen Short-Stay Visa Calculator makes it possible to ascertain that the number of days indicated in the short-stay visa has not been exceeded.
12. How to find out how many days more can one stay in the Schengen states with a visa?
Schengen Short-Stay Visa Calculator makes it possible to keep track of travel days remaining on a Schengen short-stay visa. Choose the “Planning” button and enter the last date of departure in the “Date of entry/Control” box.
13. Do I have to provide biometric data every time I apply for an Schengen visa?
Biometric data are, in principle, to be collected every 59 months, starting from the date of the first collection.
14. Can I submit complaint regarding the conduct of staff at the diplomatic or consular mission of Latvia and at the external service provider or the application process?
The applicant can submit such complaint at the diplomatic or consular mission of Latvia where the visa application was submitted or at the Consular Department (address: Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Elizabetes iela 57, Rīga, LV-1050, Republic of Latvia).
A complaint can be submitted by post, in person or by an e-mail (if such an e-mail is signed by a secure electronic signature in accordance with the requirements of the Article 26 of the Electronic Documents Law of the Republic of Latvia http://likumi.lv/doc.php?id=68521).
15. Can a Schengen visa be extended whilst in Latvia?
The Schengen visa can be extended if there are force majeure or humanitarian reasons preventing a foreign national from leaving the territory of the Member States before the expiry of the period of validity of, or the duration of stay permitted by the visa. In Latvia a visa can be extended at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior.
16. To which countries can Latvian passport holders travel to without a visa?
Please, check the list of countries and territories to which Latvian passport holders may enter without visa.
17. What consular assistance can a Latvian passport holder receive in emergency situation abroad?
Please, check our advice for consular assistance in emergency situations.
18. Who will cover the costs of medical care provided abroad (in a third country) if a health insurance policy for the trip has not been obtained?
If the traveller has not obtained a travel insurance policy, all costs related to medical care or repatriation in the case of serious illness or death must be covered by the person or his/her family.
19. What to do if a relative goes missing abroad?
If there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has gone missing abroad, the family must contact the State Police of Latvia.
20. What documents are required when travelling with a pet?
Make sure that your pet’s passport bears all the entries on vaccinations required by the national legislation of your country of destination. Detailed information is available from the Food and Veterinary Service.
21. Can a child have dual citizenship?
The children of Latvian citizens may hold dual citizenship with any country. Namely, if at the moment of the child's birth one of the parents is a citizen of Latvia, the child is to be considered a citizen of Latvia regardless of them holding the citizenship of another country.
The citizen of Latvia who, before reaching the age of majority, simultaneously holds citizenship of a country that dual citizenship is not permitted with, under the Latvian law, will have to make a choice between citizenship of Latvia and citizenship of the ‘unpermitted’ country by the age of 25. This obligation does not apply to Latvian citizens whose citizenship of Latvia has been registered due to their being descendants of exiles or who hold dual citizenship with a country that dual citizenship is permitted with.
22. Where to apply to receive a document issued abroad?
To receive a document issued abroad you should apply to the diplomatic/consular mission of the respective country in Latvia. Some countries, e.g., the USA and the United Kingdom offer a possibility for requesting a document electronically.
23. How to receive a reference statement from Russia on service in the Soviet Army?
To request a reference statement on service of the USSR army, you should apply to the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation in Podolsk, address: 142100, Московская обл., Подольск, ул. Кирова, д. 74., tel. 8 (4967) 69-90-0, website http://dyn.archive.mil.ru/archival_service/central/requests.htm.
24. What to take into account if documents issued by institutions set up by illegally established entities or as the result of unlawful change in the status of territories have to be used in Latvia? What to take into account if a document reflects the said unlawful change?
Latvia does not recognize unlawful changes in the territorial borders of states, state formations established in that way, and changes in the status of territories. To ensure a coordinated action of Latvia’s public authorities in the cases when they, in the performance of their functions, have to deal with such documents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has drawn up a report “Concerning recognition and legal status of documents issued by internationally unrecognized public authorities or reflecting control implemented by them”. The full text of the report is accessible here.
25. What food products can I import when entering into Latvia from third countries?
Detailed information is available here.