As well as magnificent beaches, forests, rivers, national reserves, and nature. All conditions for doing business have been created for foreign entrepreneurs in Latvia also. Latvia annually enters the ratings of the best countries for doing business. Many ports in the Baltic Sea, convenient railway system and road junctions, developed air traffic allowing maintaining contacts with western and eastern countries.
In Latvia, bureaucratic delays are minimized, and usually the long and complicated LLC registration procedure takes only a few days. Low taxes. Corporate income tax in Latvia is 15%, income tax – 20%, dividend tax – 0%, value added tax – 21%, VAT on trade transactions with companies from other countries – 0%. For small businesses with a turnover of up to 100 thousand euros per year, a special tax rate of 9% is established.
On May 1, 2004, Latvia joined the European Union. Now, to get to this country, you need to obtain a Schengen visa.
Categories of visas to Latvia
A – airport transit visa
Category “A” visa or airport transit visa – intended for transit through the airport transit zone of one or more Schengen member states. An airport transit visa can be a single, double or multiple entry visa, which allows a foreigner to cross the transit zone of an airport in Latvia, respectively, one, two or an unlimited number of times. The maximum validity period for a multiple entry airport transit visa is six months.
An airport transit visa is required for citizens of the following countries:
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo,
- Sri lanka
An airport transit visa is not required:
- If you have a valid uniform visa issued by a member country of the Schengen agreement, a national long-term visa, or a residence permit;
- Citizens of third countries referred to in Annex V of the Visa Code, who have valid residence permits issued by the United States of America, Andorra, Japan, Canada or San Marino, guaranteeing return without reservation;
- Third country nationals holding a valid visa to enter a Schengen country or a country of the European Economic Union, the United States of America, Japan, and Canada, or when returning from these countries after the expiration of the visa;
- Family members of a citizen of the European Union who enjoy the right to freedom of movement;
- Holders of diplomatic passports;
- Aircrew members who are citizens of the countries – participants of the Chicago Convention on International Carriage by Air.
С – short stay visa
This is an individual single, double or multiple entry visa, which gives a foreigner the right to transit or enter within the time specified in the visa and is planned to be located in the territory of Latvia and the countries of the Schengen agreement.
The maximum period of stay on a “C” visa in Latvia and other countries participating in the Schengen Agreement cannot exceed 90 days within six months, counting from the first day of entry.
D – long-term visa
This is the national Latvian visa. A long-term visa is a single, double or multiple entry visa that enables a foreigner to enter the Republic of Latvia. The maximum validity period for a long-term visa is one year.
Long-term visa is issued by:
- If a foreigner needs to stay in the Republic of Latvia for more than 90 days within half a year, counting from the first day of entry, if it is:
- Complies with international legal standards;
- Corresponds to the interests of the Latvian state;
- Is associated with insurmountable circumstances;
- Associated with humane considerations.
If the purpose of the entry of a foreign citizen is to obtain a residence permit in the Republic of Latvia by the decision of the Office to issue a residence permit. In this case, a single long-term visa is issued with a validity period of up to 30 days.
To obtain a visa to Latvia, you will need
- A passport that is valid for at least 3 months from the end of the trip;
- A photocopy of the first page of the passport with the applicant’s personal data;
- Completed an online application form on the website of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Latvia. After filling out the form, you should print it out (5 pages, including the page with the bar code) and sign it.
- 2 identical color photos 35×45 mm on a white background;
- In case of a tourist trip or transit-hotel booking confirmation (original, Fax, printout from the websites of international booking systems, travel Agency voucher). The confirmation must include hotel details, first and last names of tourists, length of stay, booking number, preferably confirmation of payment or prepayment of the hotel;
- If you are planning a private visit-an invitation from a citizen of Latvia, which must be certified by the citizenship and immigration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Latvia or by a notary office at the place of residence of the inviting person.
- For persons who are ethnic Latvians or whose parents are citizens of Latvia, an invitation to obtain a visa is not required – it is enough to confirm their nationality or citizenship of one of the parents and documents confirming kinship (originals or notarized copies);
- Original and copy of the insurance policy valid in all Schengen countries.
The following requirements apply to the policy:
- Validity period of the policy (for single-entry or double-entry visa) this is the length of stay plus 15 days. For a multiple-entry visa, the policy must cover the duration of the first trip.
- The amount of coverage is 30,000 euros, no deductible is allowed.
- The policy must be issued by an insurance company of one of the EU/Schengen countries or an insurance company accredited by the Consulate.
- The policy must cover the costs of emergency treatment, transportation of the patient to the country of permanent residence, repatriation of the remains to the homeland in the event of the insured’s death.
- A copy of the completed pages of the internal passport. When submitting documents directly at the Consulate, the original is required;
- Air tickets or train or bus tickets (or ticket booking confirmation);
- Visa to the destination country, if required (in case of transit);
- Original certificate of employment indicating the position and salary. The certificate must be made on the company’s letterhead with its details, and certified with the seal and signature of the Manager;
- Proof of sufficient funds for the trip at the rate of 45 euros per person per day. These documents include Bank statements from savings or current accounts (the statement must reflect the movement of funds in the account over the past three months) or traveler’s checks.
- If a third party (relative, friend, spouse, business partner) is responsible for all expenses of the applicant’s travel and stay in Latvia and other Schengen countries, then the application must be accompanied by a Bank statement or traveler’s checks purchased in the name of the sponsor. You also need a free-form sponsor letter and a copy of the first page of your passport with the sponsor’s personal data.
- If the costs are paid by the host party in Latvia, this must be indicated when certifying the invitation to the citizenship and immigration Department of the Ministry of internal Affairs of Latvia. You will also need to provide the Department with documents confirming that the inviting party has the necessary financial resources.
- If the host party acts as a guarantor for close relatives, the inviter’s signature on the application is sufficient, in which he / she undertakes to bear all the necessary expenses, and the invited foreign citizen will not be a burden to the social assistance system during his / her stay in the Republic of Latvia.
- The consular fee for all types of short-term (single-entry, double-entry and multiple-entry) category “C” visas is 35 euros, in case of urgent registration-70 euros.
- The fee for a single-entry national visa of category “D” is 65 euros, and a multiple – entry visa is 90 euros.
- The fee is paid in cash in euros or by Bank card directly at the Consulate when submitting documents. If the visa is refused, the fee will not be refunded.
- The following are exempt from paying the fee: – children under 6 years of age;
- students and accompanying teachers traveling for educational purposes;
- researchers traveling to conduct EU research.
Terms of registration of visas
A tourist visa is issued within 5 working days when applying directly to the Consulate. Urgently – within 3 days, if there are supporting documents. In this case, the consular fee is charged twice.