What is a visa?
A visa is a sticker of a particular design inserted in a travel document. But it does not grant by itself the right to enter the Republic of Latvia.
On 21 December 2007, Latvia joined the Schengen Area and became a lawful member state of the Schengen Agreement. It means that Schengen visa issued in Latvia allows traveling also to other member states of the Schengen Agreement.
Who is required to have a visa?
A visa is necessary for citizens of other countries, except for citizens of these countries which are mentioned in list of countries.
Every person is issued an individual visa.
Where one can obtain a visa?
· Prior to entering Latvia, it is required to obtain a visa at the Latvian mission of the respective foreign country which is competent to review the visa application. A Schengen visa for entry into Latvia may be issued also by missions of other member states of the Schengen Agreement which Latvia has entered into special representative agreements with.
· A visa can be demanded at the state border control points of the Republic of Latvia only in certain exceptional cases.
· Foreigners may extend the duration of stay only in certain exceptional cases. Documents can be submitted to the Riga 1st division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (address: Čiekurkalna 1st line, building 3) or to any regional division of this institution outside Riga.
· An airport transit visa is issued only by diplomatic or consular missions of the Republic of Latvia in foreign countries.
Is it possible to pursue an economic activity as an employed person, if a foreigner has obtained a visa or does not need a visa to enter the Republic of Latvia?
Foreigners entering the Republic of Latvia with or without a visa are not allowed to pursue economic activities as employed persons, except for cases stipulated in laws and regulations or when an employment visa and work permit has been obtained.
Is it possible to extend the duration of stay in Latvia?
The duration of stay may be extended only if a foreigner submits to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs documents confirming that the receipt of a new visa:
– complies with the international laws;
– comply with the interests of Latvia;
– is based on force majeure or
– is based on humanitarian considerations.