Latvia Visa and Passport Application
Latvia Passport Visa | Officially known as the Republic of Latvia, this small nation remained tucked behind the Iron Curtain until the early nineties. Today it is one of the most visited countries in the Baltics and lures visitors with its dramatic landscapes, rich heritage and vibrant capital, Riga.
About Latvia Country
Declared European Capital of Culture in 2014, the city has one of the most impressive collections of art nouveau buildings in the world, not to mention a stunning UNESCO World Heritage downtown. The latter is home to medieval churches, grand Renaissance properties and a spectacular market, which is held inside defunct zeppelin hangers from WWI. The old town is dominated by Riga Cathedral, the largest medieval church in the Baltics and one of many attractions in Riga vying for visitors’ attention.
The path beyond Riga is, for now, not quite so well-trodden. However, riches await those pressing further into the country; there’s the rural paradise of Rundāle Palace, the recently renovated Turaida Stone Castle and the charming Latvian Ethnographic Open-Air Museum. The beautifully preserved historic towns of Kuldīga and Cēsis also warrant excursions.
Latvia is rich in natural attractions, too, like the Gulf of Riga and the windswept coastline along the Baltic Sea, which is home to seemingly infinite sandy shores. Jūrmala, a resort town just 40 minutes from Riga, boasts 26km (16 miles) of golden beaches lined with spas, thermal mud pools and seafood restaurants.
Inland, national parks and nature reserves abound, but Gauja National Park is the most famous. This picturesque river valley is a place of unremitting beauty: rushing rivers, ancient sandstone cliffs and, in spring, masses of white cherry blossoms. Gauja National Park is not only great for hiking, cycling and watersports, but also offers one of the best birdwatching sites in Latvia, after Pape and Cape Kolka.
While low cost air travel has opened Latvia to the masses, most visitors still struggle to venture beyond the capital. However, those who do find treasure in this country will, as the tourist board likes to say, discover it is “best enjoyed slowly.”
Pleas Note: Our visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing, We strongly recommend that you verify critical information unique to your trip with the relevant embassy before travel. See also: List of countries with Visa Application form
Latvia Visa and Passport Requirements Passport required Return ticket required Visa Required British Yes No No Australian Yes No No Canadian Yes No No USA Yes No No Other EU 1 No No Passports
A passport valid for three months beyond the length of stay and issued within the past 10 years is required by all nationals listed in the chart above except (1) EU nationals holding a passport or national ID card which is valid for the duration of stay.
If travelling from one border-free Schengen country to another however, EU nationals are not required to show a passport or national ID card. It is still recommended that you travel with your passport or ID card to prove your identity if necessary though. Note that Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the UK are not part of the Schengen area, so a passport or ID card is required if travelling to/from these countries.
EU nationals are not required to possess a return ticket or show sufficient funds.
Visas to Latvia are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above. Australian, Canadian and US nationals may stay for up to 90 days within any six-month period. EU nationals may stay for an unlimited period, but must register with the local authorities after three months.
Nationals not referred to in the chart are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements for Latvia.
Types and Cost
Schengen visa: €60/£48. Reductions are available for some nationals and for children.
Schengen visa: 90 days within a six-month period.
Nationals of a few countries require a transit visa even if staying in the international transit area of the airport; check with the embassy for details.
In person at the consulate (or consular section at embassy). UK residents requiring a visa should submit applications to VFS Global’s Latvia Visa Application Centre in London, Manchester or Edinburgh (www.vfsglobal.com/Latvia/UK). VFS charges an additional service fee of £24. All visa applicants aged 12 and over must submit biometric data at their visa appointment.
Latvia is a member of the Schengen area.
Allow up to 10 working days for visa processing; certain cases may take up to 30 days.
Schengen visa applicants need to show proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay.
Extension of stay
For stays over 90 days, EU nationals must register with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (tel: +371 6758 8675; www.pmlp.gov.lv). Non-EU citizens must obtain a residence permit.
Holders of Schengen visas can only extend their visas in exceptional circumstances such as force majeure or for humanitarian reasons.
Entry with pets
If bringing a pet into Latvia, you must have an internationally recognised veterinary certificate in Latvian, English or Russian and an up-to-date vaccination record.
Embassies and tourist offices Embassy of Latvia in the USA
Telephone: +1 202 328 2840.
Address: NW, 2306 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, 20008,
Opening times:Mon: 1300-1600, Tues/Thurs: 1000-1300, closed Wed/Fri/Sat-Sun.
Embassy of Latvia in the UK
Telephone: +44 20 7312 0041
Address: Marylebone, 45 Nottingham Place, London, W1U 5LY,
Opening times:Opening hours: Mon-Fri 1000-1600
Latvia Health Care and Vaccinations Title Special precautions Diphtheria Yes Hepatitis A Yes Malaria No Rabies Sometimes Tetanus Yes Typhoid No Health Care
For European visitors who are taken ill or have an accident, free or reduced-cost treatment is available – in most cases on production of a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC gives access to state-provided medical treatment only. Note that the EHIC replaces the Form E111, which is no longer valid.
Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes recommended.
Latvia Public Holidays New Year’s Day
Declaration of Independence Day
Ligo (Midsummer’s Eve)
Jani (St John’s Day)
New Year’s Eve
Money and duty free for Latvia Currency and Money Currency information
In January 2014 Latvia adopted the Euro. 1 Euro (EUR; symbol €) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
American Express, Diners Club, JCB, MasterCard and Visa are accepted by most hotels, restaurants and shops.
ATMs are available in towns and cities.
Most retailers in Latvia won’t accept traveller’s cheques and banks may charge to cash them.
Mon-Fri 0900-1700. Some banks are open Sat 0900-1300.
There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency.
Bureaux de change are found all over main towns, including inside shops, hotels, post offices and train stations. These tend to close at 1900. The most convenient currency to exchange is the US Dollar.
Latvia duty free Overview
Latvia is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs – all at tax-free equivalent prices.
If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22% volume, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Latvia by travellers over 18 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco (if arriving by air).
• 40 cigarettes or 20 cigarillos or 10 cigars or 50g of tobacco (if arriving by road, rail or water).
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume.
• Other goods up to the value of €400 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €285 for children under 15).
Meat and dairy products from outside the EU, narcotics, counterfeit goods, and unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
The import of plants and plant products from outside the EU is restricted and in some cases prohibited.
You must obtain a permit from the State Inspection for Heritage Protection to export art and antiques which are more than 50 years old.
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