Citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Zone (EEZ) may cross the border of the Republic of Latvia without a visa, producing valid travel documents - passports or identity cards and a valid health and life insurance policy, can stay in Latvia for up to 90 days during a six-month period. To prolong this term they have to register with the Department of Citizenship and Migration and receive a residence permit.

Spouses of citizens of EU and EEZ states (except Latvia), first degree relatives in ascending and descending line who are not citizens of EU or EEZ countries or the countries with which Latvia has effective visa-free regime arrangements can apply for a visa for entry in the Republic of Latvia on the border, by producing a relevant document certifying the fact of marriage or relationship provided these persons enter Latvia together with a spouse or first degree relative (EU or EEZ citizen) respectively.

Schengen Agreement

On 21 December 2007, Latvia together with other new member states of the European Union – Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Malta – acceded to the Schengen Agreement. Thereby the Latvia's border with Lithuania and Estonia has become an internal border of the Schengen area and the border control on this border has been removed. Now it is possible to cross this border at any point.  Latvia's border with neighbouring countries that have not joined the Schengen Agreement – Russia and Belarus – has become the external border of the Schengen Area continues to be available for crossing only at border control points and during specified working hours.

On 21 December 2007, with Latvia's accession to the Schengen Area Latvian diplomatic and consular representations abroad have started to issue uniform or Schengen visas that are valid in the territory of all Schengen countries. The main advantage of uniform or Schengen visa is that a foreigner who wishes to visit several Schengen countries does not have to apply for separate visa in every Schengen country's representation.

The maximum time that a person holding a Schengen visa may stay in the Schengen Area is three months in a half-year period, beginning on the first day of entry after crossing the external border of the Schengen area. If a foreigner will need to stay in Latvia more than three months in a half-year period he/she, depending on circumstances, will have to receive a national long-term visa or a residence permit. This visa is valid only for staying in Latvia. It will be also valid for crossing the territory of other Schengen countries in transit in order to reach Latvia. Nevertheless, it does not mean that a foreigner can apply for a Schengen visa at the representation of any Schengen country. Visa should be applied for at the representation of the country whose territory is the only or main destination of the visit.

The accession to the Schengen Agreement has given to Latvia an opportunity to ensure that foreigners can receive Schengen visas for travelling to Latvia in the places where Latvia does not have its own diplomatic and consular representations. Presently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has concluded agreements with Germany, Hungary and France on representation in visa issuance in 21 countries.

Citizens of the following countries do not need a visa:

Countries whose citizens may entry Latvia without a visa: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, The Holy See, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Persons with a residence permit in one of these countries who are not citizens of one of it, need a visa.

Persons, who use as a travel document a United Nations passport, a European Commission passport, a EU member state, Armenian, Ukrainian or Turkish diplomatic or service passport may enter Latvia without entry visa.

Airport transit visa entitles aeroplane passengers to cross the transit zone of an international airport in the territory of the Republic of Latvia and is necessary for citizens of and persons holding travel documents issued by the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka. The visa is legalized in the airport.

Visa legalization process

A decision on the issue of a visa is taken by an Embassy or Consulate of the Republic of Latvia within 7 days of receipt of the necessary documents (as specified by the Cabinet of Ministers). If additional information is required, a decision on the issue of a visa is taken within 30 days.

Documents required for issue visa to enter Latvia :

• Passport or other travel document (containing at least two blank pages and with a term of validity of the passport that exceeds that of the visa by at least three months);

• Visa application form filled out and signed by the applicant;

• 1 colour photo (35mm x 45mm);

• Travel medical insurance policy valid in all Schengen countries and covering the entire period of the visit in the Schengen area (the minimum amount of the insurance is 30 000 EUR );

• Payment or confirmation of the payment of visa application fee;

• Supporting documents justifying the purpose and conditions of the visit.

Fee for short-term visa (C category) is EUR 60. The given fees are charged in foreign currencies in diplomatic and consular missions of the Republic of Latvia according to the rates approved by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more detailed and up-to date information please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia web-site ( ) and Office of citizenship and migration affairs web-site ( ).

Participant who needs a visa to enter Latvia should contact the local organizing committee (contact person Gunars Bajars, e-mail: well in advance. Please indicate the title of your presentation at the symposium and the time you are planning to stay in Latvia.