Customs Regulations and Visa Requirements of Latvia
To visit Latvia, citizens of the CIS and Russia must have a visa. Latvia is a member of the Schengen Agreement. Citizens who have this visa (previously obtained) can enter the country without hindrance. Check a2zdirectory for history of Latvia.
You can apply for a visa at the Consular Section and Consulates General of Latvia in Russia, as well as at the Hungarian Consulate in Yekaterinburg.
Transit through Latvia without a visa is allowed only if a transfer to another flight is planned. Staying at the airport should be no more than a day, it is also forbidden to leave the airport transit zone.
When submitting documents to the consular department for a visa, you must pay a fee. The fee for a C-category visa is 35 EUR and 70 EUR if urgent processing is required.
The fee for a national single-entry D-category visa is 65 EUR, for a multiple-entry visa – 90 EUR.
The fee is not paid:
- children under the age of 6;
- students and pupils with teachers whose purpose of visiting the country is education and study;
- researchers whose purpose of visiting the country is to conduct research.
In case of visa refusal, the fee is non-refundable.
Types of visas
A short -stay C-category visa can be issued in case of tourism, visiting relatives and friends, transit or business visit.
Long-term visa D-category is issued in case of stay in the country for a period of more than 90 days within six months.
Visa validity periods
The validity period of a double and single entry C-category visa is up to 90 days and up to 180 days for a single entry (up to 90 days of stay in the country for six months). The time of stay in the country is determined by the terms specified in the hotel booking confirmation or invitation.
The period of transit stay in the country is determined by tickets and hotel reservations.
If you have an insurance policy, a single entry visa may also include an additional period of 15 days.
Visa processing times
As a standard, it takes up to 10 days to issue a tourist visa, and up to 24 hours for a transit visa.
When applying for a C-category visa, the consular department must submit the following series of documents:
- a passport, the validity of which should be from the end of the trip from 3 months;
- a copy of the passport page, which contains the personal data of the applicant;
- application form (filled in English), personally signed by the applicant;
- two color photographs, 3.5×4.5 format;
- if the purpose of the trip is transit or tourism – confirmation of hotel booking, or a voucher from a travel agency. Each document must be signed and stamped by the manager. It is worth remembering that hotel reservations made through the website www.booking.com are not accepted for consideration;
- for a private visit to the country, it is necessary to present an invitation received from a citizen of Latvia, certified at the same time by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Latvia. An invitation sent directly to the consular department must be numbered – the number is entered in the applicant’s questionnaire;
- for persons who are ethnic Latvians and whose parents are citizens of Latvia, it is not necessary to have an invitation, it is enough to submit documents confirming kinship;
- insurance policy (original and copy) valid for the entire stay in the country. The amount of coverage of the policy must be from 30,000 EUR;
- Russian passport;
- certificate received from the place of study or from the place of work;
- tickets for the entire journey (copies and originals);
- documents confirming sufficient financial security (bank statements, traveler’s checks, etc.) for living in Latvia, at the rate of 45 EUR per day per person.
Traveling with children
During a planned trip with children, a separate questionnaire must be filled out for each child, to which photographs and a full package of documents must be attached. You must also bring the following documents with you:
- birth certificate (original and copy);
- if the child enters accompanied by third parties or one of the parents, a power of attorney (notarized) from the remaining parent (s) should be provided;
- for a child entering unaccompanied by adults, it is necessary to provide a permit (notarized) to cross the border, valid in the Schengen countries.
For children inscribed in the parent’s passport, a separate visa is pasted into the passport of one of the parents. Also, a photograph of the child must be pasted into the parent’s passport.
Latvia does not restrict the export and import of foreign currency. All valuables must be subject to mandatory declaration. See Latvia import restrictions.
Citizens staying in Latvia from EU countries are allowed to import duty-free:
- up to 1 kilogram of tobacco or up to 800 cigarettes or up to 200 cigars;
- up to 110 liters of beer or up to 10 liters of fortified drinks or up to 90 liters of wine.
It is forbidden to import parrots, live plants and fruits.
Citizens residing in Latvia from non-EU countries are allowed to import duty-free:
- up to 250 grams of tobacco, or up to 200 cigarettes, or up to 100 cigars;
- up to 1 liter of fortified drinks or up to 2 liters of beer or up to 2 liters of wine.
Import into the country is prohibited:
- ammunition and weapons;
- meat products and dairy products;
- medical preparations.
The ban does not apply to essential medicines, for people with chronic diseases, and baby food.
Finding dairy or meat products from a tourist is punishable by a fine, and the goods are confiscated.
From Latvia, the export of amber products, as well as artistic and historical values, whose age is more than 50 years, is limited.
When traveling by car, it is possible to carry a can of gasoline (up to 10 liters). Entry into the country with a full tank is allowed once a day.