The same goes for citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and other countries. Those who don’t need a visa can stay in Latvia for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days.
Depending on your purpose of traveling to Latvia, different types travel permissions are available if you need one.
Types of Visa
Tourists usually travel to Schengen Area with a Schengen visa. This enables them to travel across the Schengen Area without having to apply for different visas. Schengen Visa allows travelers to stay in Latvia for up to 90 days within a 3-month period.
In Latvia, you can apply for three different types of visas:
- A – airport transit;
- C – short term;
- D – long stay.
A type and C types are also called Schengen visas. This means that they are issued by a Schengen Member State like Latvia.
This type of visa is called the airport transit or A type Schengen visa. It allows you to transit through the international airports within the Member States, including the Latvian airport.
This transit visa allows foreign nationals to cross the airport transit zone as many times as necessary.
A visa type only permits the traveler to stay in the airport’s international transit area. It doesn’t allow to leave this area. The maximum term of validity is six months.
This is a unified C visa type that is valid in all Schengen States. This type of Schengen visa allows you both. You can transit through or stay in the Member States for no more than 3 months in any 6-month period.
This means that if you want to travel to Latvia for a short term stay, this is the visa type you will need to apply to.
Additionally, this type of visa can be issued with limited territorial validity. This means that you would be able to stay only in those states that it allows you to.
If a longer stay is necessary, you may apply for a long stay visa. With D type (long-stay) visa you will be able to enter Latvia as many times as you wish for a specified period of time.
Long-stay visa is issued if:
- A foreigner needs to stay in Latvia for more than 3 months and this occasion complies with international legislation, interests of Latvia, or is justified by force majeure or humanitarian considerations;
- OCMA (The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs) has decided to grant a residence permit to a foreign national.
The maximum term that long-stay visa can be issued for is one year.
Applying for a visa requires for you to have certain documents as well as for you to perform several steps. Before looking at step by step procedure for applying, lets see which documents you will need to get ready.
- Visa application form;
- Two identical photos (passport type);
- Travel medical insurance policy (valid for Schengen Area);
- Round trip reservation documents;
- Proof of accommodation;
- Proof of financial sufficiency;
- Proof of paid fee.
There may be other specific documents that will be necessary depending the type of visa you apply for.
Visa application procedure
Let’s look at the basic steps that you need to fulfill in order to get a Latvian Schengen visa.
Decide on which Schengen visa type you need.
Contact Latvian Embassy, Consulate or Consulate-General to receive additional information on specific documents that you will need and where you need to file in your application.
Schedule an online appointment to submit your application. Fill out the online form for a Latvian visa application.
Application should not be submitted earlier than three months before your visit. The recommended time before application is around three weeks before the planned visit.
Pay a fee for issuing to get a proof of a paid visa fee.
Gather all the documents that you need and show up to your interview. Answer all the questions honestly when you are interviewed.
Wait for their decision to grant you a Latvian Schengen Visa. Usually this shouldn’t take longer than 15 days.
Now that you know the necessary steps to apply for a Latvian visa, go ahead and make the first move.
Just in case you lose your travel document and visa, you will have to apply for a new one.