The unique architecture, untouched nature and high level of culture of Latvia have attracted domestic tourists since the days of the USSR. Interest has not faded even today, but now, in order to get acquainted with historical buildings and national parks, taste the “Riga Balsam”, visit relatives or get a job, citizens of the Russian Federation need to obtain a Schengen visa. This can be done at the Embassy and Consulates of Latvia, Visa Application Centers and Pony Express offices in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. According to COUNTRYAAH, Latvia is a country that starts with letter L.
The list of documents for obtaining a visa to Latvia corresponds to the “general Schengen”. The procedure itself is simple, but requires some attention, time and money.
Tourist visa to Latvia: general information
|Do they give multivisa?||Give at least six months|
|Term of receipt||From 3 working days, in fact 5-10 days|
|Validity limit||At least 3 months from the end date of the trip|
- The cost of a regular visa: 35€
- Express Visa: 70€
- Visa fees: 20–30€
Types of visas to Latvia
Depending on the duration and purpose of the visit to Latvia, citizens of the Russian Federation require a visa of a certain category:
- A – transit. It is issued for a period of 2 days and allows, when flying with a transfer in Riga between countries that are not part of the Schengen zone, to exit the airport transit zone into the city.
- C – tourist – for a period of several days to 5 years with the ability to cross the borders of any state of the Schengen zone. It can be single, double or multiple. In this case, the total time spent in the territory of Latvia or Schengen within six months should not exceed 90 days.
A category C visa (instead of the canceled B) is also needed for those who are going to cross the territory of Latvia in transit by car.
- D – national, required for a permanent stay in Latvia for a period of more than 90 days. Provides the opportunity to visit other Schengen countries. The basis for obtaining it can be a contract to work in Latvian companies or other organizations in the country, study and teach at universities, professional sports, real estate and investments in Latvia, commercial activities, family reunification.
Before applying for a category D visa, it is necessary to obtain a decision on granting a temporary residence permit from the Embassy of Latvia.
Applying for a visa yourself
Documents for obtaining a visa are accepted at the Embassy and Consulates of Latvia on the territory of the Russian Federation, as well as at the Visa Application Centers and offices of Pony Express (off. site) – the official service provider of the Embassy of Latvia, represented in 83 Russian cities.
To submit documents to the Embassy, you need to sign up by phone. The waiting period is usually 1-2 weeks. Visa Application Centers and Pony Express offices can be contacted on weekdays without an appointment. An application for a Latvian visa can be submitted 90 days before the start of the trip.
Consider documents 5-10 working days. At the Embassy and Consulates of Latvia, as well as the Visa Application Center in Moscow, it is possible to urgently issue a visa within 3 days.
Documents for a visa to Latvia
Required documents for obtaining a tourist visa category C:
Completed online at the office. website of the embassy in Latin letters, printed and signed;
- international passport
With two blank pages, valid for more than 3 months after leaving the Schengen area;
- Internal passport
Original Russian passport and photocopies of all completed pages;
One photo for a category C visa and two for a category D visa (see photo requirements below);
- Medical insurance
A health insurance policy with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000 per traveler (for a category D visa – EUR 42,600), which can be issued online. When applying for a multivisa, the policy is provided for the period of the first visit to Schengen;
On payment of the consular fee;
- Financial guarantees
Documents confirming the availability of financial resources for the period of stay in Latvia;
- Copy of tickets
Copies of air or railway tickets confirming the itinerary.
- Replica Armor
Confirmation of booking and payment for hotels for the requested travel time;
- For a private visit
When traveling to relatives and friends – an invitation certified by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Latvia with a guarantee of payment of expenses and provision of housing, as well as a copy of the document on the legality of their residence in the country;
- For a business trip
Invitation from a legal entity with a guarantee of payment of expenses and provision of housing, indicating the timing and purpose of the trip;
- For study visa
To obtain a long-term study visa category D, students and schoolchildren must present a written invitation from the educational institution.
- Participants of sports and cultural events
A written invitation from the organizers or invitation cards, as well as confirmation of the availability of housing;
- To travel by car
Driver’s license; vehicle registration certificate; if necessary, a notarized power of attorney to drive a car; “Green Card” – a civil liability insurance policy valid in the territory of the Schengen countries. It is also necessary to attach an itinerary listing dates, destinations and hotels with their addresses. Since visa applications may be considered by different visa commissioners, passengers enclose all of the above documents with their package, including a copy of the rights of the person who will be driving.
When crossing the border in a car registered in Russia, you must have a diagnostic card confirming that you have passed the technical inspection. In case of its absence, the border guards have the right to refuse the right to cross the border in this vehicle.
Applying for a visa for children
Children under 14 years of age who do not have a foreign passport are issued a visa, provided that their data and photo are in the passport of one of the parents. At the same time, a separate questionnaire is filled out for them. A child over 14 years of age is required to have their own passport. The form for minors is signed by parents or guardians.
A child under 18 entering Latvia without parents, accompanied by a third person, must have a foreign passport and a notarized permission of both parents to leave, indicating the passport data of the person responsible for the child. In the case of a trip with one of the parents, a notarized permission to leave from the second is required.
The visa requires a color photograph of 4.5 x 3.5 cm without a corner, taken no more than six months ago, on a white or light gray background.
It is forbidden to be photographed in outerwear, a headdress, sunglasses and with a naked torso.
In accordance with Latvian requirements, the distance between the pupils should be 6±3 mm, from the chin to the midline of the eyes – 15±2 mm, from the head to the top of the photograph – 6±2 mm.
The length of the head from chin to crown is approximately 30 mm (70-80% of the area). The photo is taken from the front, the gaze is directed to the camera, there is no smile.
Confirmation of financial solvency
The availability of funds for a trip to Latvia can be confirmed by a certificate from the place of work indicating the position, date of employment, salary and the period of leave provided. Students, pensioners and others with no regular income can submit a bank statement showing the movement of funds for the last 3 months.
Extracts and certificates are valid for 1 month from the date of issue.
If the applicant’s stay in Latvia is paid for by the sponsor, then the certificate or extract must be submitted on his behalf. Plus a letter of guarantee from the sponsor in any form and a photocopy of the passport (pages with personal data and registration information).
Individual entrepreneurs provide an IP registration certificate, TIN, a 3-NDFL tax return or an extract from a current account for the last 3 months.
According to the requirements at website of the Embassy of Latvia, to stay in the country you must have funds in the amount of:
- at least 14 EUR for each day of the trip, if the time of stay in Latvia does not exceed 30 days;
- not less than 430 EUR when staying in the country for more than 30 days;
- to obtain a work visa category D – 926 EUR.
Consular fee – 35 €
For citizens of Russia, the state fee for a category C and A visa is 35 EUR, for urgent applications – 70 EUR. For category D visas (national) – 60 EUR. Children under 6 years old, schoolchildren, students and representatives of non-profit organizations under 25 years old who take part in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural and educational events are exempted from payment. Payment of the consular fee at the Embassy and Consulates of Latvia is made in euros only through bank cards. The prices on the page are for November 2021.
When submitting documents through visa centers, their services are paid additionally. In Moscow, this amount is 20 EUR, in St. Petersburg – 25 EUR, through Pony Express offices in the regions – 30 EUR. Payment of the consular fee, service and other services is made in rubles at the exchange rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation on the day of payment.
Obtaining a visa to Latvia is impossible without providing biometric data – fingerprints and digital photography. Free biometrics during the submission of documents is done at the Embassy / Consulates of Latvia, visa centers and regional offices of Pony Express. Biometric data is stored in the Visa Information System (VIS), which is the same for the entire Schengen area, and is valid for 5 years. During this period, there is no need to undergo the procedure again.
Minors under 12 years of age and people with hand injuries, in which fingerprinting is not possible, are exempted from taking fingerprints.
Valid term of a visa
The term for which a category C visa is issued depends to a large extent on the applicant’s travel history to Latvia and the Schengen countries, as well as the political and economic situation prevailing at the time of submission of documents. For those who receive a Schengen visa for the first time, its validity period will most likely coincide with the travel dates. On the second trip, it is quite possible to count on a 6-month or annual multiple entry visa. Holders of several Schengen visas have a chance to get a two-year visa. Category C visas valid for 3-5 years are practically not issued by Latvia.