As from 1 February 2018, the Embassy of Latvia in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, begins issuing visas. The Embassy will accept visa applications from permanent residents of the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf States – Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar.
The reception of visa applications will take place in cooperation with an outsourced company, VFS Global. Thus visa applicants will be able to lodge their applications at the time of their convenience via several visa centres in the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), Bahrain (Manama), Oman (Muscat), Saudi Arabia (Riyadh), Kuwait (Kuwait City), and Qatar (Doha). The documents will be forwarded for consideration to the Embassy of Latvia in the United Arab Emirates. The visa centres also offer other application-related services that make visa procedures easier, for instance, consultations on the documents required for a visa, filling in a visa questionnaire in an electronic form and drawing up a travel health insurance.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been outsourcing the services of VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd (VFS Global) since 2015. VFS Global is already receiving visa applications on behalf of the Latvian embassies from visa seekers in the United Kingdom, India, China, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, and South Korea.