Applying for a Short Stay (Schengen) Visa

20.08.2020. 10:40

Due to COVID19 pandemics, non-essential travel Schengen visa applications from the applicants from the Republic of India, Republic of Maldives and Republic of the Union of Myanmar currently are not accepted.

The COVID19 pandemic caused an unprecedented health emergency across the European Union. To protect public health and limit the spreading of the virus, most EU Member States and Schengen Associated States introduced measures restricting free movement across the EU. At the same time, travel restrictions were also applied to all non-essential travel from third countries to the EU+ area (the “EU+ area” includes all Schengen Member States (including Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania) and the Schengen Associated States. It also includes Ireland and the United Kingdom if they decide to align).

Council Recommendations on gradual lifting of restrictions were adopted on 30th of June 2020. On 1st of July non-essential travel restrictions were lifted to Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and China. Regarding China the easing is subject to confirmation of reciprocity.

Restrictions are lifted on the basis of the common principles and objective criteria set out in the Recommendation. These principles include proportionality and non-discrimination. The criteria also include an assessment of the epidemiological situation in the third country, the containment measures in place, including physical distancing as well as economic and social considerations. Likewise, reciprocity towards the EU will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

This list will be reviewed every two weeks following the same assessment.

You can verify whether and what restrictions remain in place intra-Schengen prior to your departure by consulting the EU’s website ‘Re-open EU’.

Information on restrictions in Latvia can be monitored at COVID19 in Latvia webpage.

The restrictions on non-essential travel apply to third countries, i.e. the traveller’s place of residence and not the nationality.

If you already have a valid Schengen visa and you reside in the country where travel restrictions for non-essential travels have not been lifted, currently you cannot travel to Schengen territory. Holding a uniform visa (meaning that it is valid for the entire Schengen area) never grants a right of entry as visa holders’ compliance with entry conditions are checked at the external borders. Likewise, all travellers are to respect any additional travel restrictions that might be in place within the EU+ states.

 As per Cabinet of the Republic of Latvia regulations No. 360 adopted on 9th of June 2020, currently following categories of travellers are allowed to enter to Latvia:

  • the nationals of the Republic of Latvia and their family members whose permanent place of residence is abroad, and also foreigners who, by crossing the territory of the Republic of Latvia in transit, are returning to the country of their permanent place of residence;
  • the nationals of the European Union, European Economic Area, and Switzerland and their family members, and also persons who are permanently residing in these countries in order to return to their country of residence, including in the Republic of Latvia, by crossing the territory of the Republic of Latvia in transit;
  • the employees of the transport and carriage of passengers service providers, the crews of freight or technical voyages who arrive in the Republic of Latvia or exit it upon fulfilling work duties;
  • the carriage of passengers referred to in Sub-paragraphs 35.1, 35.1.1, 35.2, 35.3, and 35.4 of the Regulation;
  • seafarers who must reach their work place aboard a ship or must return from it;
  • foreigners the need for bringing in of whom for the fulfilment of the commitments of merchants in Latvia has been certified by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia on the basis of the criteria referred to in Paragraph 59 of the Regulation;
  • foreign diplomats and their family members who are crossing the territory of the Republic of Latvia in transit for the performance of the official functions, and also holders of the diplomatic passport of the Republic of Latvia, the civil servants and employees of the diplomatic and consular service and their family members who return from their service country or who need to get to their service country;
  • the nationals of Latvia who are the members of official delegations or who need to get to their work place within the framework of an intergovernmental project;
  • full-time and exchange programme students if a higher education institution or college has issued a written certification on the matriculation of the student and organisation of studies on site;
  • athletes and sports employees, and also representatives of international sports organisations whose arrival in the territory of the Republic of Latvia is connected with participation as an accredited person in an international sporting event organised by a sports federation recognised in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Sports Law or a member thereof if the aforementioned person can present a document that they have undergone laboratory testing for the diagnostics of COVID-19 not earlier than three days before arrival in the territory of the Republic of Latvia and that COVID-19 infection was not found therein.

If you fall under one of the categories that are allowed to enter to Latvia and you need to travel, please contact the Embassy by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Information on Epidemiological Safety Measures for the Containment of the Spread of COVID-19 Infection and self-isolation requirements upon arrival to Latvia are available on the Official COVID19 pandemics in Latvia informative webpage https://covid19.gov.lv/index.php/en and at hotline 8345.

ALL travelers currently arriving to Latvia from India are required to undergo 14 DAYS SELF-ISOLATION!

WHAT IS A SCHENGEN SHORT STAY VISA?

It is an authorisation issued by one of the Member States of the Schengen Area with a view to transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Member States of duration of no more than 90 days (short stay) in any 180 day period.

The processing of visa applications is based on the VISA CODE Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009, last amended by Regulation (EU) 2019/1155 of 20 June 2019. Information given below is also based on this Regulation.

WHICH COUNTRIES ISSUE SCHENGEN VISA?

There are currently 26 European countries in the Schengen Area, 22 of which are Member States of the European Union (below with *). These 26 countries share a common legal framework and there are no checks on the borders between them.

The countries issuing Schengen visas are: Austria*, Belgium*, the Czech Republic*, Denmark*, Estonia*, Finland*, France*, Germany*, Greece*, Hungary*, Iceland, Italy*, Latvia*, Liechtenstein, Lithuania*, Luxembourg*, Malta*, the Netherlands*, Norway, Poland*, Portugal*, Slovakia*, Slovenia*, Spain*, Sweden* and Switzerland.

More information on the Schengen Area can be obtained visiting the following website: www.ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/schengen/index_en.htm

WHAT TYPES OF SCHENGEN VISA EXIST?

1. SHORT STAY VISAS:

UNIFORM VISA: the holder of a uniform visa is allowed to travel to the States mentioned above for a period not exceeding 90 days during any 180-day period. In order to calculate the period of allowed stay the applicant can consult the short stay calculator available on the website of the Directorate-General for Home Affairs of the European Commission.

VISA WITH LIMITED TERRITORIAL VALIDITY: the holder of a visa with limited    territorial validity is allowed to travel to the State(s) indicated on the visa sticker but not to any of the other Schengen States.

2. AIRPORT TRANSIT VISA:

The holder of an airport transit visa is allowed to transit through the international transit areas of the issuing State and possible other States, if indicated on the visa sticker. Airport transit visa is required by the nationals of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

Please note that some Member States can require Airport Transit Visas for Indian nationals, a list can be found here.

WHO CAN APPLY FOR A SCHENGEN VISA AT THE EMBASSY OF LATVIA IN INDIA?

Citizens and residents (who have their residence permit or Long Stay visa issued by the official authorities) of following countries are eligible to apply for a short stay Schengen visa at the Embassy of Latvia in India:

  • Republic of India;
  • Republic of Maldives;
  • Republic of the Union of Myanmar;

Nationals of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal should apply for a Schengen visa to Latvia at the Embassy of Switzerland in Nepal- https://www.eda.admin.ch/kathmandu.

Nationals of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka should apply for a Schengen visa to Latvia at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sri Lanka - https://colombo.diplo.de/.

Nationals of the People's Republic of Bangladesh should apply for a Schengen visa to Latvia at the Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh - https://www.swedenabroad.se/en/embassies/bangladesh-dhaka/.

 

When applying for a visa at a Diplomatic and Consular Mission issuing Schengen visas on behalf of Latvia, the applicant should be aware of the following:

  • a translation into English or in the official language used by the relevant Mission shall be attached to the documents,
  • an invitation approved by the Office of Migration of Citizenship Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior of Latvia should be submitted in a paper-form.

An inviting party will be provided with an invitation in paper-form if the Diplomatic and Consular Mission of the other Schengen Member State issuing visas on behalf of Latvia is indicated as the location for applying for a visa. After the receipt of the invitation it must be forwarded to the visa applicant.

Nepali, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi nationals applying for a Schengen visa based on employment agreement in Latvia, should apply at the Embassy of Latvia in India.

VALIDITY OF PASSPORTS

The applicant shall present a valid travel document (passport) the validity of which extends at least three months after the intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States (or, in the case of several visits, after the last intended date of departure from the territory of the Member States). It shall contain at least two blank pages and shall have been issued within the previous 10 years.

HOW MANY TIMES CAN I USE MY SCHENGEN VISA?

On the visa sticker the “number of entries” is indicated: “1”, “2” or "MULT". The holder of a multiple entry visa ("MULT") may enter the Schengen area unlimited number of times during the validity of the visa while respecting the rules on duration of stay.

WHICH MEMBER STATE IS COMPETENT FOR EXAMINING AND DECIDING ON MY VISA APPLICATION?

The Member State competent for examining and deciding on an application for a uniform visa shall be:

  1. the Member State whose territory constitutes the sole destination of the visit(s).
  2. if the visit includes more than one destination, or if there are several separate visits within 2 months, the Member State whose territory constitutes the main destination of the visit(s) in terms of the length or purpose of stay.
  3. if no main destination can be determined, the Member State whose external border the applicant intends to cross first in order to enter the territory of the Member States.

HOW LONG BEFORE THE START OF THE INTENDED VISIT SHOULD I APPLY?

It is advisable to lodge the application as early as possible and at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit. Please note that applications can be lodged no more than six months before the start of the intended visit (nine months for seafarers).

Holders of a multiple-entry visa may lodge the application before the expiry of the visa valid for a period of at least six months.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE THE EMBASSY TO DECIDE ON MY APPLICATION?

Applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of the lodging of an application.

This period may be extended up to a maximum of 45 calendar days in individual cases, notably when further scrutiny of the application is needed.

For the following nationals the visa processing time takes a minimum of 10 working days: Please see list.

VISA FEE

Applicants shall pay a visa fee of EUR 80.

Children from the age of six years and below the age of 12 years shall pay a visa fee of EUR 40.

Nationals from countries with a visa facilitation agreement (as per February 2020: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, and holders of non-biometric passports from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine), shall pay a visa fee of EUR 35.

APPLICANTS FOR WHOM THE VISA FEE IS WAIVED

  1. Children under six years;
  2. School pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training;
  3. Researchers as defined in Article 3(2) of Council Directive (EU) 2016/801[1] from third countries travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research or participating in a seminar or conference;
  4. Representatives of non-profit organizations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations.

 

BIOMETRICS COLLECTION

All Schengen visa applicants in India have to appear in person in order to provide biometric data (fingerprints and digital photography).

The photograph can be digitally taken at the time of the application or scanned from a recent one, if conform to ICAO standards[1].

For subsequent applications (within 5 years), the fingerprints can be copied from the previous application file in the Visa Information System.

In case of reasonable doubt regarding the identity of the applicant, the consulate will collect again fingerprints within the 5 year-period specified above. Furthermore, the applicant may request that they be collected if, at the time when the application is lodged, it cannot be immediately confirmed that the fingerprints were collected within this 5 years period.

Visa applicants' biometric data can be collected by Schengen States' consulates and external service providers but not commercial intermediaries (e.g. travel agencies).

WHO IS WAIVED FROM THE REQUIREMENT TO GIVE FINGERPRINTS?

The following applicants shall be exempt from the requirement to give fingerprints:

[Please note that applicants falling under category (b) must still appear personally at a consulate or external service provider]

  1. children under the age of 12;
  2. persons for whom fingerprinting is physically impossible. If the fingerprinting of fewer than 10 fingers is possible, the maximum number of fingerprints shall be taken. However, should the impossibility be temporary, the applicant shall be required to give the fingerprints at the following application. The competent authorities shall be entitled to ask for further clarification of the grounds for the temporary impossibility;
  3. heads of State or government and members of a national government (Ministers and Ministers of State only) with accompanying spouses, and the members of their official delegation when they are invited by Member States’ governments or by international organisations for an official purpose.

This list is mandatory and exhaustive. Holders of diplomatic passports are not exempted as such from the fingerprinting requirement. They may be exempted if they are members of the official delegation of heads of State/ members of a national government invited for an official purpose.

SUBMISSION OF THE VISA APPLICATION

From 2016 Embassy of Latvia in India has appointed VFS Global India as its outsourced partner for acceptance and processing of its short stay visa applications. Appointments for Schengen visa applicants can be scheduled at The Joint Visa Application Centres for the Latvia in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Goa, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Chennai, Puducherry, Kochi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Pune and Trivandrum.

EMERGENCIES

In an emergency, such as the death or serious illness of a relative, please contact the Embassy for further information on visa application submission.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I WANT TO FILE A COMPLAINT

You have the right to submit a complaint regarding:

  • the conduct of staff at the consulate or from the external service provider;
  • the application processing.

You can submit complaint at the Embassy getting an appointment for submission by sending a request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at the VFS visa application centres.

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I HAVE TO TAKE WITH ME WHEN I TRAVEL ON A SCHENGEN VISA?

Mere possession of a Schengen visa does not confer an automatic right to enter the Schengen Area.

At the external border, visa holders may be requested to produce documents justifying the purpose and conditions of their intended stay; that they have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the period of the intended stay and for the return to their country of origin or transit to a third state into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully. For full information see – Information Sheet to Visa holders

When you travel to Latvia Schengen visa should be in your valid passport. Old passport with a valid Schengen visa can be used for travel if a new passport has been issued because there were not sufficiently many free pages for visas and notes on border-crossing in the previous passport.

FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU/EEA NATIONALS AND SWISS NATIONALS

If you are a family member of an EU/Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway or Swiss national, you shall benefit from a simplified and accelerated visa procedure, including exemption from the visa fee, as long as you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are a family member (this includes a spouse, registered partner, child who is under 21 or a depending family member) of an EU/Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway or Swiss national (or of his/her spouse/registered partner); AND
  2. That EU/Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway or Swiss national is residing in another Member State than that of which he/she is a national or travelling there to take up residence; AND
  3. You are accompanying the EU/Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway or Swiss national or planning to join him/her for residence.

The visa should be applied for at the Embassy/Consulate of the country of future residence of the EU/Iceland/Liechtenstein/Norway or Swiss national, not at the Embassy of his/her country of origin.

If you think you qualify for visa facilitation you will need to show proof that you meet these criteria when you submit your visa application.

For other queries please refer to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

ALL VISA APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

BASIC DOCUMENTS

1. Passport 

Passport with a period of validity extending at least three month after the intended date of departure from Latvia or other Member State, containing at least two blank pages, 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 completed online, printed and signed by the applicant.

3. Two colour photos: a photo (size 35mm x 45 mm) must be taken in last 6 month and it should be on white background.

4. Travel medical insurance policy 

Travel medical insurance valid for the whole Schengen area and covering the entire period of the first intended visit in the Schengen area. The minimum coverage of 30,000 EUR including 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. Visa state fee 

80 EURO

40 EUR for children from the age of 6 years and under the age of 12 years.

If application is lodged at the Embassy - payable with international credit or debit card. 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

1.      Invitation 
Invitation approved by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, see link http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/ 
Invitation should be dated not later than 6 month prior to the application date.
 

2.      Round trip tickets 
Flight itinerary must be booked and valid by the airway company. Embassy does not take responsibility of the purchased flight tickets in case of a visa refusal.

3.      Proof of accommodation 
Valid hotel booking, rental of holiday home or campus residence reservation and proof of sufficient means to pay for the accommodation. 
Hotel booking is not required if the accommodation is included in the Invitation. 

In case of staying with a family member or a friend, proof of sponsorship and/or private accommodation from the host.

If travelling to several Member States, proof of accommodation in each of them.

4. Proof of sufficient financial means

Documents indicating that the applicant possesses sufficient means of subsistence:

Original private bank account statement showing the movements during the last three months, duly stamped and signed by the bank; 
Indian income tax return acknowledgment for the last two assessment years.
 

In addition:

If the applicant is employed

  • payslips for the last three months;
  • employment contract;
  • employer's statement on approval for holidays;

If the applicant is a company owner or self-employed

  • certificate of registration of the Company including its goods and services tax (GST) registration number, if from India.

If the applicant is sponsored

  • proof of sponsorship and/or information on the Invitation;

If the applicant is retired

  • pension statements for the last three months and/or;
  • proof of regular income generated by ownership of property or business.

5. If the applicant is a minor

  • If the minor travels with one parent only, written consent certified by public notary of the other parent or guardian, except in cases of a parent having the care or custody alone in which case a court order or other proof of sole custody or guardianship must be provided;
  • If the minor travels without parents, written consent certified by public notary of both parents or guardians having the care and custody of the applicant;
  • Copies of the passport of the parents. If not applicable, birth certificate of the applicant and copies of the ID cards of the parents.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS

Documents to be submitted depending on the travel purpose

Business

  • Invitation from the inviting  company or organisation;
  • Cover letter from the applicant's employer ;

Both letters must as a minimum confirm:

1.      The applicant's identity

2.      The purpose of the journey (meetings, conferences, training or business related events);

3.      The period and place of intended stay.

 

Journeys undertaken for the purpose of study, research, or other types of internship

  • Certificate of admission or registration at an educational establishment  for the purpose of attending academic or vocational courses, or cover letter from the inviting  company;
  • Student cards or certificates of the current enrolled establishment.

Journeys undertaken for the purpose of tourism

  • Certificate of the travel agency confirming the booking of an organised trip or any other appropriate document indicating the envisaged travel plans;

Journeys undertaken for the purpose or family / friends visit

  • Invitation from the family member/friend, including their address and contact details, and intended period of stay.
  • Proof of citizenship or legal residence of visited family/friends.

Journeys undertaken for cultural, sports or religious events and for film crews – invitation, entry tickets, enrolments or programmes

For Film crews:

1.      letter of the film company specifying name, synopsis of the film and shooting locations;

2.      complete list of names of travelling crew members along with their functions;

3.      letter from the agency in Latvia confirming arrangements for film permits;

4.      Certificate of registration with the Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association or Film Chamber of Commerce.

Journeys of members of official delegations

Copy of the official invitation;

Note Verbale issued by the sending authority(ies) concerned confirming:

1.      The identity of the applicant;

2.      The purpose of the journey (meetings, consultations, negotiations or events held by intergovernmental organisations);

3.      The period and place(s) of intended stay;

Journeys undertaken for the purpose of medical treatment

  • Certificate from a medical doctor or a medical institution confirming the need of specific medical treatment to be received Latvia;
  • Official document of the receiving medical institution confirming that specific medical treatment can be performed and patient be accepted accordingly;
  • Proof of pre-payment of the treatment;

Seafarers

  • Employment contract / appointment letter (bearing duration of employment);
  • Seafarer's book
  • Invitation from the shipping company/ maritime agency of the Member State where the sailor will join the boat. The invitation needs to be signed and with the seal of the Company/ agency and include the following data:
  1. Name and family name of the seafarer;
  2. Place and date of birth, passport number, seafarer's book number;
  3. Date of issue, period of validity of passport and the seafarer’s book;
  4. Position of the seafarer at the boat (if there are many seafarers their information can be included in a list signed and sealed, as an annex of the invitation letter);
  5. Name and flag of the boat;
  6. Port and date of boarding and disembarking;
  7. Itinerary that the seafarer will follow to arrive in the Member State of destination/ transit (including date and entry point (airport) into the Schengen area).
  8. name and address of the Indian agency it is collaborating with and will be responsible for submitting the visa applications.
  • The shipping company/maritime agency based in the Member State is also required to indicate that it will bear all responsibility for the seafarer upon his/her arrival in the Member State (including in the event of repatriation) and ensure that he/ she boards the ship.
  • Flight reservation (if applicable)

Airport transit

  • Visa or other entry permit for the third country of destination.
  • Documents in relation to the onward journey to the final destination after the intended airport transit.

Please provide the copies of the documents which you require back when submitting your visa application.

Please find more information on Visa related matters on the webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs