Entering & staying in Latvia

On 13th  July 2009 the Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council was adopted establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) – a binding legal document for all Member States of the Schengen Agreement, which stipulates common procedures and terms for issuing a Schengen visa. Member States of the Schengen Agreement, including Latvia, started applying the Visa Code on 5th April 2010.  

With application of the Visa Code, it has become the chief enactment regulating the short-term procedure of issuing visas, thus, introducing the harmonised visa procedures for all Member States of the Schengen Agreement.It has to be specially emphasised that the Visa Code simplifies the system of visa categories, cancelling the B category, or transit visas, facilitates issuing of the multi-entry visas, as well as simplifies and harmonises the range of documents to be submitted for receiving the Schengen visa, so that it would be easier for foreigners to visit the Schengen territory, including Latvia.

Latvian diplomatic and consular representative offices issue Schengen visas, which are valid in the entire territory of the Schengen states, since 21st   December 2007.

The main advantage of the Schengen visa is that foreigners, who wish to visit several Member States of the Schengen Agreement, do not have to apply for visas to representative offices of each Schengen state.

The fact that the Schengen visa is issued to a foreigner does not in itself mean the automatic right to enter the country. In some cases, a foreigner, when crossing the border, might be required to present his justification documents for obtaining the visa.

Comprehensive information on entering Latvia and visas:

Residence Permits

What is the Residence Permit?

The Residence Permit is a document which allows a foreigner to stay in the Republic of Latvia for a certain period (temporary residence permits) or permanently (permanent residence permits).

When is the Residence Permit required?

The Residence Permit is required, when you wish to stay in the Republic of Latvia for more than 90 days within half a year, starting from the first day of entry.

What documents must be submitted to receive the Residence Permit?

  1. If you are a citizen of one of the countries mentioned in the list, you need to submit the following documents to receive the residence permit.
  2. Citizens of other countries must submit the following documents.

Comprehensive information on residence permits http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/pakalpojumi/uzturesanas.html

Temporary Residence Permits for Investors

Amendments to the Immigration Law (Article 23, Clause 28-30 (link to Clause 23)) stipulate that the residence permits for five years are granted to the foreigners, who invest into the equity capital of a company registered in Latvia minimum LVL 25 000 or purchase real estate for the minimum amount of LVL 100 000 in Riga or Riga District, or the minimum amount of LVL 50 000 elsewhere in Latvia.  The aforesaid investors are authorised to obtain the residence permits for five years.

Comprehensive information:


This material has been prepared in cooperation with the City Development Department of the Riga City Council and www.investinriga.com



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