What is Visa and Why is it required?

A visa is a sticker of a certain design affixed in a travel document. It shall certify that a person has requested an authorisation to enter and stay in the Republic of Latvia or in any Schengen Member State. There are three visa types: airport transit visa (Category A), short-term visa (Category C), and long-term visa (Category D). In order to reside in the Republic of Latvia for longer than 90 days within a 6 months’ period, the person has to apply for a visa. Exchange students of Riga Technical University can apply only for a long- term visa.

ENTRANCE WITHOUT VISA

A citizen of a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, and a citizen of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR Passport Holders, Israel, Japan, Korea (South Korea), Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Singapore, Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City State, Venezuela, may enter the Republic of Latvia without visa and reside there for 90 days within a 6 months’ period.

Particularly, a citizen of a member state of the European Union or the European Economic Area, or Switzerland may reside in the Republic of Latvia for one year without visa.

HOW TO APPLY FOR A LONG-TERM VISA (Category D)

In Latvia

If a person has entered the Republic of Latvia without a visa, approximately 3 weeks before the 90-day period expires, the person has to apply for a long-term visa.

First of all, an application form has to be filled out in the Foreign Students Department (FSD) in order to receive invitation and guarantee letters. A copy of passport has to be submitted together with the application form. The documents are prepared within 3-5 working days. After receiving these documents from the FSD, the following documents have to be provided to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA):

  • Passport (the original and a copy of it) or a valid travel document with a period of validity extending at least three months past that of the visa, containing at least two blank pages for affixing visas, and issued within the previous ten years;
  • Invitation and guarantee letters (provided by the FSD);
  • Visa application form (can be found either on ORTUS or on this website: http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/services/visas-and-invitations/documents.html);
  • Colourful passport picture (35mm x 45mm)
  • Travel medical insurance policy(valid within Schengen zone and covering the entire period of the stay in the Republic of Latvia. This matter should be settled before applying for a visa. The minimum of the coverage is 42 600 EUR. International Health Insurance card must cover the following services: medical emergency; life or health condition critical patient treatment; transportation to the nearest hospital where person can obtain previously mentioned services; transportation back to individual’s home country in the case of emergency treatment or in the case of death. The document has to be in Latvian, English, French, Russian or German.)
  • Paper providing living expenses – original of a bank statement or a confirmation of scholarship. The amount of the living expenses should be at least 14 EUR per day for the whole period of the stay in the Republic of Latvia. The bank statement has to be in Latvian, English, French, Russian or German; it has to provide the current bank account balance in international currency, the person’s full name as it appears in the passport, date of birth or passport number. The document has to be signed and sealed.
  • Agreement with the place of residence;
  • Acceptance letter from RTU;
  • Study agreement with RTU.

Application for a long-term visa has to be done at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (Pilsonības un migrācijas lietu pārvalde). The office is located at Čiekurkalna 1. līnija, building K-1. To get there, take tram No 11 (the route can be found on the big map, which is included in the Welcome Package or on www.rigassatisksme.lv/en).

Take off the second stop after the bridge over the railway – the stop is called ‘’2. MEŽA KAPI’’. The office is right across the street on the right, it is the large glass building, use the first entrance on the right side of the building. Inside the building, go to the administration (information desk) and inform them that you would like to apply for a long-term visa. They will call an official, who will receive your documents and guide you through the next steps to get your visa.

In the country of residence (home country)

Having received a positive admission from RTU, Foreign Students Department (FSD) will prepare the invitation and guarantee letters in order to apply for a long-term visa. Once they have been received to the personal email, rest of the documents can be prepared (see the document list below) and the assigned embassy of Latvia in the country of residence can be contacted to make an appointment. Once the long-term visa is prepared, the person can enter the Republic of Latvia and reside there for the requested period of time.

The necessary document to apply for a long-term visa:

  • Passport (the original and a copy of it) or a valid travel document with a period of validity extending at least three months past that of the visa, containing at least two blank pages for affixing visas, and issued within the previous ten years;
  • Invitation and guarantee letters (provided by the FSD);
  • Visa application form (can be found either on ORTUS or on this website: http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/services/visas-and-invitations/documents.html);
  • Colourful passport picture (35mm x 45mm)
  • Travel medical insurance policy(valid within Schengen zone and covering the entire period of the stay in the Republic of Latvia. This matter should be settled before applying for a visa. The minimum of the coverage is 42 600 EUR. International Health Insurance card must cover the following services: medical emergency; life or health condition critical patient treatment; transportation to the nearest hospital where person can obtain previously mentioned services; transportation back to individual’s home country in the case of emergency treatment or in the case of death. The document has to be in Latvian, English, French, Russian or German.)
  • Paper providing living expenses – a bank statement or a confirmation of scholarship. The amount of the living expenses should be 14 EUR per day for the whole period of the stay in the Republic of Latvia. The bank statement has to be in Latvian, English, French, Russian or German; it has to provide the current bank account balance in international currency, the person’s full name as it appears in the passport, date of birth or passport number.
  • Agreement with the place of residence;
  • Acceptance letter from RTU;
  • Study agreement with RTU.

In case of necessity, please, contact us on this matter by this email: elina.norniece@rtu.lv

More information on visas and invitations can be found on the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs’ homepage: http://www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/services/visas-and-invitations/