How to Apply for a Latvia Schengen Visa from the UK

How to Apply for a Latvia Schengen Visa from the UK

Surrounded by Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Lithuania and the Baltic Sea is the nation of Latvia. The country is a blend of urban sights, like the capital of Riga, and scenic landmarks. From waterfalls to national parks, Latvia offers great views and plenty of outdoor activities. Beaches, forests and medieval villages compete for your attention, and the only answer is to see all the best places to visit in Latvia.

Latvia is still very much one of the less explored areas of Eastern Europe although it is starting to get noticed as a tourist destination thanks to its wealth of attractions and activities. Traditionally Latvia was a pagan country that embraced Christendom later than many of its neighbours and there is still a strong folk tradition here that can be seen in the architecture, rituals, and celebrations of the locals.

Latvia Entry Restrictions in Response to Coronavirus

In early 2020, Latvia joined the rest of its Schengen country neighbours in closing its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has since partially reopened its borders, with conditions.

Vaccinated travellers from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Israel, New Zealand and Canada who can prove that they have been vaccinated with a vaccine registered by the European Medicines Agency or an equivalent regulator or recognized by the World Health Organization and can enter the country without additional restrictions.

Travellers who are unvaccinated or have not recovered from the virus must show proof of a negative PCR test taken not more than 72 hours earlier or a negative rapid antigen test taken not more than 48 hours before boarding their means of transportation into Latvia or crossing the Latvian border.

Travellers who are not vaccinated or have not had recovered from COVID-19 must isolate returning from high-risk countries or if entering from a high-risk country with a very high incidence or prevalence of a new COVID-19 strain.

All travellers must fill in an electronic confirmation form on Latvia’s Covidpass.lv website within 48 hours before crossing the Latvian border, must present documents to prove their purpose of entry to the Border Guard or the Police, and must take a COVID-19 test the nearest point of testing.

This information may change at any time so you should check on the latest news regarding restrictions, quarantine or whether a test will be required either from reliable news sources, the Latvian government website, or the UK government website one to two weeks before your trip to be aware of the latest requirements for travelling to Latvia.

EU Digital COVID Certificate

The EU Digital COVID Certificate was available starting 1 July 2021, provides proof that a person has either:

  • been vaccinated against COVID-19
  • received a negative test result, PCR or rapid antigen,
  • or has recovered from COVID-19

The EU Digital COVID Certificate grants travellers the same rights as vaccinated, tested or recovered citizens of the EU Member State they are visiting and allows travel into the EU.

EU citizens and residents can have their Digital COVID Certificates issued and verified across the EU. You can find out about how Latvia is handling their EUDCC on their website.

Who needs a visa to travel to Latvia from the UK?

Travelling to Latvia for EU/EEA Citizens

Latvia is a Schengen country, which allows for free movement between the 26 EU and EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland). A uniform Schengen visa issued by one of the Schengen states is valid for travel within the whole Schengen area.

Travelling to Latvia Post-Brexit for UK Citizens

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
  • if you are travelling to Latvia and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days
  • for long-stay visits, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Latvian government’s entry requirements.
  • if you stay in Latvia with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

At Latvian border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

There are separate requirements for those who are residents of Latvia. If you are resident in Latvia, you should carry proof of residence as well as your valid passport when you travel. You should also check your passport’s validity when you travel and renew it if you don’t have enough time on it. Your passport must be:

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Latvia or any other Schengen country
  • less than 10 years old

Find out more on these requirements, in the UK government’s Living in Latvia guide.

Travelling to Latvia Post Brexit for Other Third Country Citizens

Citizens of the following countries residing in the UK and planning to visit Latvia are required to get a Latvian Schengen visa in order to be able to enter Latvia.

A-CD-FG-IJ-LM-OP-RS-UV-Z
Afghanistan Algeria Angola
Armenia Azerbaijan Bahrain
Bangladesh Belarus Belize
Benin Bhutan Bolivia
Botswana Burkina Faso Burma/Myanmar
Burundi Cambodia Cameroon
Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad
China Comoros Congo
Cote D’iviore Cuba
Dem. Rep. Of Congo Djibouti Dominican Republic
Ecuador Egypt Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea Ethiopia Fiji
Gabon Gambia Ghana
Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana
Haiti India Indonesia
Iran Iraq
Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan
Kenya Kosova Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon
Lesotho Liberia Libya
Madagascar Malawi Maldives
Mali Mauritania Mongolia
Morocco Mozambique Namibia
Nepal Niger Nigeria
North Korea Northern Mariana’s Oman
Pakistan Papua New Guinea Philippines
Qatar Russia Rwanda
Sao Tome And Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal
Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa
Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname
Swaziland Syria Tajikistan
Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste
Togo Tonga Tunisia
Turkey Turkmenistan Uganda
Uzbekistan
Vietnam Yemen Zambia
Zimbabwe

The main requirement is that you must have a UK residence permit valid for at least another three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Latvia or the Schengen Area.

Before starting a visa application, or getting a flight to Latvia, make sure to check whether you need a visa to Latvia or not.

If you have a 3-month UK visa you can extend it for three more months in order to be eligible to apply for a Latvia Schengen visa from within the UK. You must apply for an extension before your visa expires and while you’re still in the UK.

Note: You can stay in the UK until the decision about the extension is taken, but only if you have applied within the visa period.

You should apply for a Latvia visa at the appropriate Latvia Embassy/Consulate or Latvia visa application centre in the UK if:

  • Latvia is the only Schengen country you plan on visiting
  • Latvia is your main destination (the country you will be staying the longest in)
  • Latvia is the first Schengen country you are visiting (when spending an equal amount of days in Latvia and another Schengen country)

In case you plan on staying in Latvia for more than 90 days you must apply for a residency permit, not a Latvia Schengen visa.

Please, note that if you are not a resident in the United Kingdom you should apply at the Latvia Embassy/Consulate/VAC in your home country of residence.

Steps to Applying for a Latvia Schengen Visa from the UK

Step 1: Know your visa type and validity

There are 2 types of visa that you can apply for and the one you need will depend on the duration of your trip and your reason for travelling to Latvia:

  1. Short-stay (Schengen) Visa – valid for up to 90 days (in a 180-day period) for the purposes of tourism, business, visiting family/friends, conference, EEA/EU national family member
  2. Residence and work permits (Long stays) – you should apply for this kind of visa if you want to live in Latvia for more than 90 days for employment, family reunification, study, research etc.

You will then be issued either a single entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry visa for up to 5 years based on the information you provide in your visa application.

It is important to choose the correct Schengen visa type to apply for depending on your trip so that you have the best chance of having your application approved. Find out more about the different types of Schengen visas in our blog post: Schengen Visa Types – All You Should Know When Applying for a Schengen Visa.

Step 2: Identify where to make application and book an appointment

To apply for a Latvia visa, you must book an appointment with the Latvia Embassy in London.

You can do this through the following:

  • Book it yourself through VFS Global
  • Use a service like IaM who will also make sure that your application will have the best chance of being approved

Step 3: Complete your application form

The Schengen visa application form contains questions about you including:

  • Name and surname
  • Date and place of birth
  • Nationality
  • Sex and marital status
  • National Identity number
  • Passport number
  • Home address and email
  • Purpose of trip
  • Question regarding previous trips to Schengen, if any
  • Intended date of arrival in Schengen area you are visiting, and the intended period of stay
  • Cost of traveling and remaining in Schengen area you are visiting, who will cover them, etc.

Make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the rest of the documents. Complete the form, print it twice, and sign both copies at the end.

Find out more about how to complete a Schengen visa application form in this blog post.

Step 4: Prepare your documents

The following list of documents are required in order to obtain a visa to Latvia in the UK:

  • Your passport with at least two blank pages, make sure that:
    • Your passport has been issued (not extended) within the previous 10 years,
    • Your passport has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
    • Your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
  • A valid UK residence permit or another form of Identity Card. The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
  • Latvia visa application form. The form should be fully, honestly, and correctly completed, printed, and signed at the end.
  • A Cover Letter. This personal cover letter should explain the reason why you wish to visit Latvia, how long you intend to remain there, and what you will be doing there, amongst others.
  • Proof of travel arrangements. Round trip flight/travel reservations from the UK to Latvia and back to the UK, or other proof of intended transport and complete itinerary of your visit to Latvia (if the several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers the several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries).
  • Travel health insurance which covers at least 30,000 Euros and is valid for all Schengen countries
  • Your residence address in the UK from a utility bill, bank statement, or another form
  • Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable)
  • Proof of accommodation in Latvia:
    • Evidence of a hotel booking in Latvia or rental agreement, or
    • Invitation from your Latvia host (family member, friend) along with a copy of their passport or ID (Proof of sponsorship if dependent)
  • Proof of financial subsistence:
    • You need to show to the Latvia embassy in the UK that you have enough money to maintain yourself during your stay in Latvia (according to the information provided by the European Commission, a foreign national who wants to enter the territory of Latvia, while applying for a Latvia visa needs to attest owning 48€/day for the period of stay in Latvia). This could be a:
      • Original recent Bank Statement (covering the last 3 calendar months. The last transaction must be no more than 1 month old)
      • Traveller’s Cheques
        Note: Cash is not considered proof of financial subsistence.
  • Any previous passports or visas that you have had
  • Certificate of criminal record of the home country– showing that candidate has no open crime case involvement
  • Proof of paid Latvia visa fee

Note: Photocopies of the original documents should also be submitted and documents should not be more than one month old.

The documents listed above are documents required in all cases, regardless of the purpose of your visit to Latvia.

Additional documents required fo visa application depending on employment status

For employees:

  • Employment contract
  • Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Leave permission from the employer
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary

For the self-employed:

  • A copy of your business license
  • Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Income Tax Return (ITR)

For foreign students in the UK:

  • Proof of enrollment
  • No-objection certificate from school or university

For retirees:

  • Pension statement of the latest 6 months

If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:

  • A recent (less than 3 months old) Confirmation of Employment letter from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date,
  • Spouse’s valid passport
  • An officially translated marriage certificate. The translation must be in English or Latvia and must be certified as a true copy by the Embassy of the country where the marriage took place or by the Legalization Bureau of the Foreign Office in UK

Requirements for children under the age of 18:

Parents or an adult guardian are required to accompany their underage children at the application centre at the Embassy of Latvia in London. Also, minors who are granted a Latvia visa are not allowed to travel to Latvia by themselves. They should be accompanied by an adult during their stay in Latvia.

Apart from the general documentation required, accompanying should be other additional documents depending on the purpose of your Latvia Visa application.

Additional documents required for the most frequent purposes of Latvia Schengen visa application

Latvia Tourist/Visitor Visa:

  • Invitation letter from your family or friends in Latvia with the address and phone number – if applicable
  • Bank statement of the last 6 months
  • Passport copies

Latvia Visa for Business Purposes:

  • Invitation letter from the Latvian company you will be visiting and their detailed address accompanied with the dates of your visit
  • A certificate from your employer stating/allowing your business travel
  • If there were previous trade relations between the two companies, proof of such events must be provided
  • Business bank statement of the latest 6 months
  • Memorandum and Article of Association in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies) Trade License (first issued and present renewal), Proprietorship/Partnership documents
  • Regarding the applicant’s expenses during stay in the Schengen zone, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.

Latvia Visa for Medical Purposes:

  • A local medical report
  • A medical attestation from the hospital or doctor in Latvia, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation
  • Payment receipt of medical fees

Latvia Visa for Cultural, Sports, Film Crew or Religious Purposes:

  • Invitation letter from the above-mentioned authorities with details upon the nature of events or activities – purpose of visit, expense coverage
  • Names of the applicants (crew members)
  • Duration of stay
  • Travel itinerary

Latvia Visa for Members of Official Delegations:

  • The official invitation copy
  • Identity of applicant
  • Purpose of journey (negotiations, meetings, event by intergovernmental organizations, consultations)
  • Duration of stay
  • Place of accommodation

Latvia Visa for Study, Training, Research, or other types of Internship Purposes:

  • An enrollment certificate allowing attendance of courses
  • Certificate of completion or courses attended
  • Financial sustenance

Latvia Airport Transit Visa:

  • Visa or other type of entry permit in the transit country
  • Copy of your valid visa for your final destination

Required documents for visa application for underage children

  • Birth certificate
  • Latvia Schengen Visa application form should be signed by both parents.
  • Family court order, in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
  • Certified copies of ID / passport of both parents
  • A notarized parental authorization to travel to Latvia, signed by both parents / guardians, if the minor will be travelling alone with another person.

All documents provided should be legalized.

Step 5: Attend your appointment

The visa interview is a meeting between you and the consular officer/interviewer. During this interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions about you and your intended trip. You will also be submitting the required documents throughout the meeting, to the interviewer.

Find out more about how to ace your Schengen visa interview in our article: Schengen Visa Interview Questions and Answers and How to Prepare for it

Latvia Schengen Visa Fees for UK Residents

Since Latvia is a Schengen country, the visa fees are the same as any other Schengen visa.

The fee must be paid upon submitting the Latvia visa application. After you complete this payment, you will receive a receipt, which shows that payment has been made, which must be offered amongst other documents of the application. You will have to pay a Latvia Schengen visa fee in order for your application to be processed.

Find out about the Schengen visa fee in our blog post: Schengen Visa Fees – How Much Does a Schengen Visa Cost?

Step 6: Receive your visa

Latvia Schengen Visa Application Processing Time in UK

You can apply for a Latvia Schengen Visa 6 months before your planned trip. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, the processing time may take at least 15 days from the day of application. In some cases when required documents are missing from the application, this process may take longer.

Therefore, to avoid unwanted complications, the Latvia Consulate General in London advises that you provide all required documents and submit your application at least 20 workdays (4 weeks) before the day you leave for Latvia.

Latvia Schengen Visa Application Decision

  • Approved – Once your visa is approved, it will be stamped in your passport. Make sure to carefully check the visa sticker to make sure everything is correct and exactly how you need it.
  • Rejected – if your visa has been rejected, it would have been for a specific reason and you have the right to appeal.

Common Latvia Schengen visa rejection reasons

  • Marriage certificate missing – if you are applying for a visa for family reasons, you may have to prove family ties. This is why you must provide a marriage certificate
  • You applied for the wrong visa – it is your responsibility to apply for the correct visa depending on how long you are going to Latvia for and your reason for travelling there
  • It is not clear that you plan to return to the UK – it must be clear that you intend to return to the UK before the visa expires. If the visa staff have doubts about this, your visa will be rejected
  • The purpose of your trip cannot be established – the reason why you are planning to go to Latvia must be made clear. You can do this by providing specific documents like a full itinerary, work contract or invitation letter, etc.

What if my Latvia Schengen Visa is rejected?

If you receive a negative answer in your Latvia Schengen visa application, this does not mean you cannot ever travel to Latvia. You have two options.

  • File an appeal for Latvia Schengen visa rejection if you believe that the decision to deny you a visa is unjust. You should have a strong basis for your complaint. You can appeal this decision by writing an appeal letter for a Latvia Schengen visa rejection.
  • Reapply by correcting the mistakes you did in your previous application. Or improve your situation to comply with the eligibility criteria for a Latvia Schengen Visa.

Latvia Schengen Visa Extension

A person visiting Latvia on a Schengen visa is allowed by law to extend their visa if they have legitimate reasons. This could be either personal, professional, medical, emergency, or any other. The decisions to approve a Schengen visa extension request are handled case by case.

The duration you are allowed to stay in the country is stated in your Schengen visa sticker. It is important not to overstay during your trip to Latvia or the rest of the Schengen Zone or risk facing penalties like a fine, deportation, being banned from travelling back to the Schengen Zone, and having difficulties in your future Schengen applications. There are also cases when people do not get any penalties for overstaying, for example, a child or a person that cannot travel without a caretaker because of an illness or disability or an unforeseen event that prevents you from leaving the country, like COVID-19.

Find out more about overstaying in the Schengen visa in our blog post.

Schengen Visa Extension Application Process

If you wish to extend your visa and stay longer in the Schengen Zone, then you need to start getting ready for your application. The overall process of extending your Latvia Schengen visa will involve:

  • Determining whether you have a justified reason to request for an extension
  • Submitting all the necessary documents. These include a valid passport that has the Schengen Visa used to get in the Schengen area stamped in it, one passport-sized photo, proof of financial subsistence, Schengen Visa Insurance that covers the extension duration, and all the documents that justify your reason for an extension
  • Paying visa fees where applicable
  • Attending a visa interview if necessary
  • Waiting for the approval

You must apply for a Schengen visa extension before it expires. It may take a few days to a month for the authorities to process your visa extension request, during which you are legally permitted to stay in the country where you applied for the Schengen visa but cannot travel to other Schengen countries. If your visa extension request is approved, you can extend your stay in the Schengen Area until the visa validity. If your visa extension application is rejected, you will have to leave the Schengen area as soon as possible.

faq

Latvia Schengen Visa Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Latvia Schengen visa easy to get?

Yes, it’s easy to apply for a Latvia Schengen visa! You can apply for the visa online or use immigration services like IAM to make the process even simpler for you and have a higher chance of your application being accepted.


How long does a Latvia Schengen visa take to process?

You can apply for a Latvian Schengen visa up to 180 days before your planned trip. The Latvian visa application process takes a minimum of 5 working days but can take up to 2 weeks. We advise you to make your application 3 weeks before your trip to make up for any possible delays in processing.


How can I get a multiple entry visa to Latvia?

If you want to get a multiple entry visa to Latvia or any country in the Schengen area, you need to justify through your documents and your visa interview why you should be granted such a visa, which includes proving that you have sufficient resources to support your multiple trips.


How much is a Schengen visa for Latvia?

The fee for a Latvian Schengen visa is 80€ for adults, 40€ for children between 6-12 years of age, and free for children younger than 6 years of age. Keep in mind that these fees may change depending on currency fluctuations and can be paid only in UK Pounds. Payments can be made in cash and by credit or debit card.


How can I get a Latvia Schengen visa fast?

You can get a premium Schengen visa to get your Latvian Schengen visa within 24 to 48 hours, which includes personalised advice from an expert immigration adviser.


How much money do I need to show in my bank account for a Latvia Schengen visa?

You will need 48€/day for the period of your stay in Latvia.


Are Euros used in Latvia?

Yes, the country adopted the euro as their currency on 1 January 2014.


What other countries can I travel to on a Latvia Schengen visa?

You can travel to any of the 26 countries in the Schengen Area and 18 other countries.

Are you ready to apply for your Latvia Schengen visa? Is there anything we missed or anything you need clarification on? Comment below.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.

 

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