1. Can persons enter Latvia with vehicles registered in the Russian Federation?

According to information from the National Customs Board of the State Revenue Service, as of 12 September 2023, vehicles registered in the Russian Federation are prohibited from entering the European Union (EU) through the Latvian-Russian and Latvian-Belarusian border crossing points. Should you have any questions, please contact the National Customs Board of the State Revenue Service at tel. +371 67120000, e-mail vid@vid.gov.lv.

  1. Which borders do the restrictions on the Russian citizens’ entry apply to – entry into Latvia from Russia? Entry into Latvia from a Schengen Area member state (except Estonia, Lithuania and Poland)? Entry into Latvia from a third country (Turkey, Georgia, Israel, and others)?

Entry restrictions apply to the citizens of Russia who are entering Latvia from third countries and crossing the external border of the Schengen area, for instance, the Latvia–Russia or Latvia–Belarus border. Border controls are usually carried out only at the external borders; no border checks are undertaken within the Schengen area. 

  1. Can a person enter Latvia with a long-stay visa (D) issued not by Latvia but by another European Union Member State?

As of 20 September 2023, entry into Latvia will be allowed to persons holding a long-stay visa from a Schengen Area member state (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland).

  1. Are the citizens of Russia with a valid short-stay visa allowed to enter Latvia from Poland through Lithuania?

Border controls are usually carried out only at the external borders of the Schengen area; no border checks are undertaken within the Schengen area. 

  1. Do these regulations apply to land borders only? Is it possible to enter by air (e.g., Moscow – Istanbul – Riga flight) or by ferry?

The entry restrictions apply to the citizens of Russia planning to enter Latvia by crossing the external border of the Schengen area regardless of whether the person enters in a motor vehicle or by air transport, or any other way. The citizens of Russia are allowed to enter from third countries (e.g., Georgia, Azerbaijan, Israel, etc.) only if they belong to a category listed in the Cabinet Order No 599. The citizens of Russia are not restricted in leaving Latvia.

  1. Can Latvia annul a visa at the border?

Border guard officers of any member state of the Schengen Agreement, including Latvia, can annul a visa accordance with procedures laid down in law. Visas can also be annulled or revoked by officials at the Latvian diplomatic missions and consular posts, and the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

  1. Can a citizen of Russia with a short-stay visa cross the territory of Latvia in transit on their way to another European Union Member State?

If persons who are planning to enter Latvia by crossing the external border of the Schengen area as from 19 September 2022 do not belong to any of the categories listed in the Cabinet Order No 599, they will be denied entry.

  1. Is it possible to enter with a short-stay visa if a person has real estate in Latvia registered in the Land Register but does not hold a temporary residence permit?

As from 19 September 2022, a citizen of Russia have no right to enter with a short-stay visa issued on the grounds of possessing real estate in Latvia.

  1. Is it possible to enter Latvia with a short-stay visa if a person has close family members (children, parents) in Latvia who are Russian citizens holding a temporary residence permit (TRP) or a permanent residence permit (PRP)?

As from 19 September 2022, family members of the nationals of Latvia, a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation have the right to enter Latvia. Family members of the citizens of Russia holding a temporary residence permit (TRP) or a permanent residence permit (PRP) are not allowed to enter.

  1. Is it possible to enter with a short-stay visa if a person has a business in Latvia?

A citizen of Russia holding a Schengen visa and planning to do business in Latvia are not allowed to enter the country by crossing the Schengen external border.

  1. What proof must be submitted and where by a person subject to political persecution?

A citizen of Russia who is a politically persecuted person must apply for a visa at a diplomatic or consular mission of Latvia in a foreign country. Threat to their life and safety will have to be proved by documents. Each case will be assessed individually. The said persons can also submit an application for asylum at the border crossing point or the transit zone at an airport (i.e., upon entering Latvia) or to a State Border Guard post (while in Latvia).

  1. Is it possible to enter with the aim of receiving treatment at a medical institution in a European Union Member State, incl. Latvia?

The person will need to prove that their entry is related to humanitarian grounds. The person will have to present documentary proof of their serious illness and the need to receive treatment at a healthcare institution in a European Union Member State, incl. Latvia (for instance, a confirmation issued by the medical institution that the person intends to receive treatment there and that the specific type of treatment is possible only in that particular institution, etc.) Each case will be considered individually. Confirmations issued by hotels and SPA facilities will not be examined and assessed.

  1. What are “humanitarian grounds”?

Humanitarian grounds mean entry related to a serious illness or funeral of a close relative, a threat to a person’s safety and life.

  1. Entry being permitted to family members – spouses, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and dependent persons – of Latvian nationals, what kind of documents will be required at the border to prove kinship? What are the purposes permitting entry: a visit, a birthday celebration, weddings, funerals?

Entry is permitted regardless of the purpose of travel. The person must possess a Schengen visa and must present a document proving kinship – a birth certificate, a marriage certificate, etc.

  1. If a person has been staying in Latvia until 19 September 2022 under a valid visa and then has to leave for Russia to visit relatives, may he or she return to Latvia?

Having left for Russia, the person have the right to re-enter Latvia as from 19 September 2022 only if belonging to any of the categories listed in the Cabinet Order No 599.

  1. Are the Russian citizens with a valid residence permit be allowed to enter Latvia before expiry of the validity period for their residence permit? 

Yes, because the Cabinet Order No 599 stipulates that the holders of residence permits of the Republic of Latvia, a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation have the right to enter Latvia.

  1. Are the citizens of Russia holding a valid short-stay visa issued by Latvia be allowed to enter Latvia before the expiry of the visa?

The citizens of Russia holding a valid short-stay visa issued by Latvia are allowed to enter Latvia only if they belong to any of the categories listed in the Cabinet Order No 599.

  1. Do the travel restrictions also apply to the citizens of Belarus?

The travel restrictions are not applied to the citizens of Belarus.