Applying for a Schengen Visa in Latvia
Visiting Latvia on a Schengen Visa
Latvia is another one of the beautiful Baltic states, which joined the European Union in 2004 and is now part of the Schengen Area. To travel there for a short trip lasting fewer than 90 days, you will need a Latvia Schengen Visa.
There are different types of visas you can apply for depending on the purpose of your trip, whether it is to visit as a tourist, study or work.
Who needs a Schengen Visa to enter Latvia?
If you’re traveling to Latvia, you will need a Schengen Visa if you are a citizen of a non-Schengen country without a visa-free travel agreement with the area, or if you have been refused visa-free travel. For longer stays to work or study you will need a national visa.
How do I apply for a Schengen Visa to Latvia?
In addition to this, you will need two recently taken passport-style photos, a passport or other travel documents that are less than 10 years old and valid for at least three months after your departure date from the Schengen Area. You will also need travel and medical insurance covering you up to costs of €30,000, a cover letter stating your itinerary and the purpose of your visit, as well as a flight itinerary and proof of accommodation during your stay, proof of your civil status, like a marriage certificate, and proof you have means of subsistence during your stay. According to Latvian immigration law, foreign nationals who want to enter Latvia need to prove they have at least €14 per day for the duration of their stay when they apply. You can do this by showing bank statements, hotel bookings and that your income or investments are enough to support you during your stay.
Those planning to work or study will need additional documents.
Can I use my Schengen Visa to enter another country?
The Schengen Visa is valid for all the countries in the Schengen Area for trips of up to 90 days. This applies to your entire trip - so 90 days in total rather than 90 days in each country.
Visa-free travel to Latvia
If you are from a country that has a visa-free arrangement with the Schengen Area - countries that include the U.K., U.S., and Canada - you don’t need to apply for a visa to Latvia.
From the end of 2023, you will need to apply for approval via the ETIAS system. This costs a small fee (€7) and collects biometric data and performs basic background checks on those wishing to travel to the Schengen Area.
Latvian Visa requirements for a work, business or student visa
If applying for a work visa to Latvia, you will need to provide the embassy/consulate with documents that prove you meet the Latvia Schengen Visa requirements based on your employment status. If employed, you need an employment contract, a current bank statement, a no objection letter from your employer giving you leave to travel, and an income tax return. If self-employed, you will need a copy of your business license, company bank statements, and income tax returns. You will also need an invitation letter regardless of whether you are applying for a longer work visa or a short-stay Schengen Visa - stating where and why you plan to visit Latvia on business. You will also need to fill in two employment permit application forms and provide a medical certificate attesting to your health.
Student visas require proof of enrolment at a Latvian institution, a no objection letter from your place of study in your homeland, and an invitation letter.
Where do I apply for a Latvia Visa?
You will need to apply to the Latvian embassy or consulate in your country of residence or a visa application center acting on their behalf. In many countries, the company VFS Global acts on behalf of Latvia, so you can apply at one of their centers.
How long does it take to get a Latvian Visa?
The processing time for a Latvia Schengen Visa may take up to 15 days in a normal situation - but could take up to 60 days to be issued in extreme circumstances. You can apply for your visa up to six months before you travel.
Why choose AXA Schengen Insurance?
Those traveling to the Schengen Area, including Latvia, need travel cover, and AXA’s Low Cost Travel Insurance only costs €22 ($24) per week of your trip and will meet your visa requirements, while the AXA Schengen Europe Travel Insurance offers extended coverage up to costs of €100,000. Those seeking a multiple-entry visa can purchase the Multi Trip insurance from €328 per year, which again covers you for expenses up to €100,000.
Other Schengen countries you might be interested in
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Frequently asked questions about getting an Latvian Schengen Visa
Is it easy to get a Latvia Visa?
Latvia is the fifth easiest Schengen country to get a short-stay visa for -with 97.9% of the applications approved - and only 2.1% rejected - you have quite a good chance of getting a visa from this country.
What is a D type visa for Latvia?
A foreigner who needs to stay in Latvia for more than 90 days in a half-year period needs to apply for a long-stay visa (or a residence permit) - this can be for work/ study/ investment or family reunion purposes.
How can I get Latvian citizenship?
Citizenship can be obtained after five years of legal residence in Latvia. To qualify for citizenship - the applicant must have physically resided in Latvia for at least four out of those last five years.