In issuing of short-stay visas (intended stays not exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period), the states of the Schengen Area, including Latvia, observe unified procedures and rules set out in the Visa Code.
Visa applications shall be lodged no earlier than 6 months before the start of the intended visit (except seafarers in the performance of their duties – they can submit an application no earlier than 9 months before a trip) and no later than 15 calendar days before an intended trip.
When issuing a multiple entry visa, the application for a new visa may be submitted in advance of the expiration of a previously issued visa, but not earlier than six months prior to the expiration of that visa.
A decision on a visa application is made within 15 calendar days of the date of the lodging of an application. In individual cases, the processing time may be extended and take up to a maximum of 45 calendar days.
Pursuant to Article 22 of the Visa Code, an in-depth examination is carried out of applications submitted by the nationals of the following states.
Diplomatic/consular mission of Latvia receive applications for the issuing of long-stay visas (stays exceeding 90 days in any 180-day period) no earlier than 3 months before the start of the intended visit.
A decision on a long-stay visa application is made within 15 calendar days of the date of submitting all the documents. If further information or scrutiny is required, the processing time may be extended and take up to 60 days at the most.
Prior consultation is performed with respect to the nationals of specific third countries according to the Cabinet Regulation of June 21, 2010, No. 554, “Regulations Regarding the States for the Citizens of which in Issuing a Visa or Residence Permit an Additional Examination shall be Performed”.
Diplomatic/consular missions of Latvia use the Visa Information System for processing visa application data and taking decisions on applications.
A visa does not automatically guarantee entry into a respective country. At the external border of the Schengen Member States, persons may be requested to present additional proof that they fulfil the entry conditions, as provided for in Article 6 of the Schengen Borders Code, e.g., a return ticket, a hotel reservation, information about the host, a travel insurance policy, sufficient financial means, etc.