The small Baltic state of Latvia is sandwiched between Estonia and Lithuania. Its capital Riga is renowned for its historic and unique architecture; outside the capital, the country is forested and serene, with beaches and other natural attractions.
You may need a visa to travel to Latvia, depending on where you are from (nationality), the length of your trip (duration of stay), and your reason for travel (type of visa needed).
There are numerous types of visas for Latvia, which are valid for travel for specific purposes and times. Different Latvia visas have different Latvia visa requirements and validity periods.
In general, Latvia visas can be divided into two main categories: short stay visas and long stay visas (a long stay visa for Latvia is required for those looking to spend more than 90 days in the country).
Another main distinction relates to allowed entries: a single entry will allow you just one entry into the country; a multiple entry visa for Latvia will let you enter and exit as many times as needed.
The below long stay visas to Latvia allow you to stay in the country for up to one year. They are available for the following purposes:
The following documents are typically required for all visas to Latvia.
Official, government-issued document, not older than 10 years, with the correct validity length (a minimum three months past the intended day of exit from Latvia)
Your Latvia visa fee will depend on the type of visa you are applying for, and possibly other factors, such as your age. Adult Schengen visa fees to Latvia are traditionally €80; the most long-term Latvia national visas cost a maximum of $70.
Two recently taken photos of the applicant. Photos should be passport style (and have passport dimensions). You will likely upload these photos electronically; alternatively, you will be asked to submit physical copies
You will almost certainly have to submit additional documents on your Latvia visa application. Requested documents are typically those which help visa authorities confirm your identity, determine the truthfulness of your stated purpose of travel, and assess your financial state. The type of Latvia visa you apply for will determine your supplemental documents, which may include the following:
Identity documents, such as your birth certificate
Documents showing your finances, such as your bank balance
Information about where you will stay in Latvia
Proof of university education, etc.
Please note that all documents will likely need to be written in Latvian, Russian or English (or accompanied by official translations into one of these).
Applicants for Latvia visas should follow these general steps, which may vary slightly depending on numerous factors, including visa type and application destination.
Choose your visa duration
Determine how long you intend to be in Latvia—i.e. what type of Latvia visa you need: long, short, or airport. This will determine how you proceed with the subsequent application steps.
Select your Latvia visa purpose
Choose your reason for travel (tourism, family, etc.)
Select your entry category
Your selection of the single-entry visa for Latvia or the multiple entry visa for Latvia will determine whether or not you may travel in and out of the country/Schengen area throughout your visa period. Consider that holders of the single-entry visa for Latvia cannot return to the country after exiting.
Determine where to apply
Find your physical application destination (place where you will submit your visa application). This is typically the Latvia Embassy/Consulate or associated visa-application center where you live. For more information, see “where to apply.”
Access your main application form
Most applicants should apply for their Latvia visa online, through the official visa portal system (which is accessible in English, Latvian, and Russian). Once you have completed the online form, you should print out a copy and bring it to your subsequent visa appointment.
If you are unable to access the online form, you will likely apply directly through your local Latvia mission. Regardless of how you apply (online or in person) you will typically need to officially submit your application through your local Latvia embassy/consulate/visa application center in order to fulfill various in-person requirements.
Gather the rest of your documents
Gather your required documents as well as the supplemental ones required for your specific Latvia visa type.
Almost all Latvia visa applicants, even those who apply online, must attend a visa appointment at their application destination (local Latvia embassy/consulate/visa application center). Scheduling a Latvia visa interview can take days, weeks, or even months—if you apply through the Latvia visa portal, you should be able to schedule your interview online. Alternatively, you may need to reach out to the embassy/consulate/visa application center directly (via email/phone) to make an appointment.
This is where you will submit your biometric information, be interviewed, pay your Latvian visa fee, and meet other requirements pertaining to your visa type. This is typically the final stage of the Latvia visa application process; you will either be granted a visa upon the conclusion of your appointment, receive a rejection, or leave to await a decision.
Please note that certain visas may require subsequent steps (for example, if you are applying for a long term Latvia Business visa you may need to apply for Latvia Work permit - other long term visas may require you to apply for a residence permit for Latvia. For more information about whether your visa application will subsequently require you to seek a Latvia Work Permit or a residence permit for Latvia, make sure to research the specific visa requirements for your specific visa type.
Latvia visa application processing occurs at Latvia embassies and consulates (and their associated visa application centers) around the world. You should be able to apply for your visa online. However, even online applicants must fulfill the in-person Latvia visa requirements, which can only be fulfilled at physical Latvia embassies/consulates and visa application centers. If you are outside of Latvia and are applying for a Latvia visa, you will apply through the Latvia embassy/consulate or visa application center where you live. If there is no Latvian mission in your country, you will likely apply for your Latvian visa through the embassy/consulate of another country, which is representing Latvian interests abroad.
Applicants for short-stay visas to Latvia are advised to submit their application a minimum of fourteen days before their intended trip. And while applying well in advance is recommended, applying too early (i.e. over six months before departure) is discouraged.
The Latvia visa application processing time varies. Factors which determine how long it will take to get your visa include the following:
Depending on all of these factors, you could expect to receive a visa in days, weeks, or even months after you apply.
Depending on where you are from, you may need a visa to enter the country, regardless of how long you intend to stay. Some nationalities do not need a visa to travel to Latvia. Regardless of your nationality, however, you will need a visa if you intend to stay in the country longer than 90 days and you are not an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
Get a travel document for Latvia (visa) by submitting an application to your local Latvia embassy/consulate/visa application center, meeting the visa requirements, and paying your visa fee.
The amount of money you need depends on the Schengen country you are visiting. You will likely need to show several months proof of salary/bank statements in order to meet the Schengen proof of funds requirement.
Choose from among the various types of Latvia visa you need to apply for by considering your reason for travel and how long you want to stay in the country. These factors will determine the type of visa you need. In addition to visa type, you should also determine how many entries you need—i.e. whether you need a multiple entry visa for Latvia or a single entry visa for Latvia.
Rejected Schengen visa applicants can appeal the decision, reapply, or apply for another travel document for Latvia (different Latvia visa).