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Latvia

Latvia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, and the Baltic Sea. Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden. The government system is a parliamentary republic; the chief of state is the president, and the head of government is the prime minister. Latvia has transitioned to a market-oriented economy in which the prices of goods and services are determined in a free price system. Latvia is a member of the European Union (EU).

Capital City: Riga (+2 GMT)

Currency: Latvia Lat (LVL)

Population: 1,901,548 (2020)

WORK PERMIT

For non-EEA employees to obtain a Long-Stay Visa for Latvia, this requires gathering certain documentation. First, the employer must apply for an employee invitation and an OCMA decision (which includes a residence permit) on behalf of the employee. Once received, the Long Stay Visa application can begin.

The employee should provide their employer with the following documents that must be translated to Latvian or English and legalized for both the decision and the Long Stay Visa (although documentation requirements may vary according to country of the non-EEA employee):

  • The application forms: which can be submitted electronically or by hand.
  • OCMA decision: should be dated no later than 6 months prior to the application date.
  • A valid passport: Your passport must be issued within the last 10 years, contain at least two blank pages, and be valid at least 3 months after the visa’s duration.
  • Photos: Passport photos that have been taken around the time of application, in colour.
  • Employee’s Invitation
  • Proof of sufficient funds and means
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Ticket reservation
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Confirmation of state duty payments to the embassy/consulate (EUR 65)
  • Proof of health insurance: the sum insured must be for at least EUR 42,600.
  • A certified copy of a valid employment contract, which has been notarized or approved by a public authority. The employee’s salary must be (at least) equal to the National Minimum Wage, and equal to the national terms of employment.
  • Proof of employee’s qualifications and experience
  • Any relevant certifications, licenses, references, or authorization.

How to Apply for work visa/work permit in Latvia

To obtain a Long-Stay Visa (D) and work permit, the employer must first apply for an OCMA decision (which doubles as a residence permit) and an invitation on behalf of the employee to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA). Once this is done and approved, the employee must then apply for the work visa:

  • Fill in the national visa application form: this can be done online or by hand.
  • Present documents: You need to present/attach the required documents you have collected to your online or offline application.
  • Schedule an appointment with your embassy/consulate: Once application is done, you must make an appointment at your local Latvian embassy or consulate. This process may vary according to the regulation in your country of residence and might include an interview.
  • Go to the embassy/consulate & give your biometrics: Your fingerprints need to be scanned and facial image taken (if you have not travelled to the Schengen Area in the last 5 years) at the Latvian embassy/consulate.
  • Pay the visa fee: The payment process/requirements may also vary according to the country of residence.

A work permit is issued simultaneously with a Long-Stay Visa, once approved. The visa process can also be done online through the OCMA website or in person at the embassy/consulate.

The process time for a residence permit and long-stay visa is 5-15 business days for each application. However, it is best to apply ahead of time, in case of any possible delays.

How much is a Latvia Work Visa?

Long-Stay Visa applicants are subject to a visa fee of EUR 60.

Working Visa / Permit for Latvia

To legally work in Latvia, members of the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) do not require a work visa or work permit. Non-EEA nationals, however, require both – which are both granted on the application of a Long-Stay Visa.

A Long-Stay Visa D authorizes a person to enter Latvia for a maximum period of a year, but the need for a work permit and/or residence permit depends on the type of national visa, which varies according to the job and qualifications of the foreign national. Non-EEA nationals (in both cases) must also apply for social insurance and a tax number. Long-Stay Visas, or Work Visas, are normally authorized for a year, but they can be renewed.

Non-EU and non-EEA nationals may also apply for an EU Blue Card – this works both as a work and residence permit for highly-qualified non-EU workers who wish to work and live in the EU. To meet the qualifications, you will need:

  • Proof of your higher education qualification (university degree, transcripts, etc.), or in some case, proof of at least 5 years of relevant professional experience.
  • An employment contract of at least a year (does not apply for self-employed work or entrepreneurs).
  • A higher-than-average salary compared to the average salary of Latvia (except when the lower salary threshold applies).
  • Long-Stay Visa application.
  • The necessary travel documents – passport, health insurance, travel itinerary, etc.
  • Proof you meet all legal requirements to practice your profession, where this is regulated.

STUDENT VISA

Latvia is part of the border control-free Schengen Area. This means that its visa requirements are similar to those of countries like France and Germany. Any member of the Schengen Area can issue a visa for the area, but you’ll need to enter the Area through the country that issued the visa. For example; you can’t enter through France on a Schengen visa issued by Poland.

Requirements vary depending on your nationality and what type of visa you’re applying for, but this is broadly what you’ll need for a Latvian Schengen visa:

  • A completed application form
  • Your passport and two passport photos
  • Health insurance with minimum coverage of €30,000 within the entirety of the EU
  • A letter outlining why you want to enter Latvia
  • Flight confirmation
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your stay - at least €14 ($16.50) per day
  • Proof of enrolment from your school

You’ll need to apply in-person at your nearest Latvian embassy or consulate. You’ll need to present these documents in Latvian with a notarized translation. Your student visa is valid for the entire duration of your studies. Your permit allows you to work for up to twenty hours per week during term time, going up to forty hours per week during holidays.

Remember, if you have an EU, EEA or Swiss passport, you can freely enter Latvia and, once registered, stay for as long as you like. The requirements listed here only apply to third-country nationals. Please note: UK citizens are now third-country nationals.

RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT

Latvia residence by investment program was launched in 2010 in order to attract foreign investors. This European Golden visa program offers EU residency and citizenship in exchange for investment in real estate. Though Latvia might not be the first country that would come to your mind when choosing a residence destination, we’ll tell you why it’s worth considering it.

Latvia is a beautiful country with its own unique identity, culture, traditions and customs. Living there is affordable; however, it is not at the expense of the quality. By investing €250,000 into real estate, you will get a luxury property with high-end finishes and you’ll be eligible to apply for Latvia Temporary Residence. The application process for residence takes 30–90 days.

Benefits of Latvia Golden visa

You and your family do not have to live in Europe prior to applying for Latvia residence permit. Neither would you be asked to attend an interview or prove your knowledge of the Latvian language. Latvia Golden visa offers the cheapest real-estate investment in Europe.

How to get a Latvia residency by investing in property?

For many years Imperial & Legal is the go-to experts for all the things you need when moving to another country. We provide immigration, taxation and relocation advice, and much more. We will help you find your ideal home through our trusted real estate agents in Latvia, close a deal and settle there with comfort, confidence and security.

Buying a real estate in Latvia

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality of property you can buy in Latvia for €250,000. About 150 m2 of high-quality living in the city centre, close to all the amenities, schools and shops. It will be ready for you and your whole family to move in and enjoy the high standards of design and finishes. If you wish to sell your flat later, rising housing prices will make sure you capitalise on your investment. The Latvian real estate market is full of properties for any taste and budget. And don’t forget that you are not only buying a home for yourself and your family in a beautiful country; this investment will secure your future as it will help you get Latvia permanent residence and a European passport.

Requirements for Latvia Golden visa

To be eligible the main applicant must be 18 and older. Dependants can include a spouse, minor children, financially dependent children and parents. All dependent family members can apply for Latvia Residence Permit together with the main applicant. Residence permit is valid for 5 years with annual renewal requirement. Invest at least €250,000 in one or two properties depending on the location. Please bear in mind that you are not permitted to buy agricultural land, woods or forests and you cannot pay in cash. Cadastral value of the property must be at least €80,000. Additional 5% of the real estate purchase value must be paid as government fees upon approval and 2% stamp duty for registration of title.

Other criteria

In addition to requirements given above, applicants must comply with and have the following:

  • Clean criminal record.
  • No real estate tax debts.
  • Good health condition.
  • Available funds to maintain yourself and your family.
  • Health insurance for 1 year after the permit is granted.

Latvia permanent residence and citizenship

If you decided to start your life in Europe and would like to apply for Latvia permanent residence, you must live in Latvia for at least 4 out of the last 5 years after obtaining a Latvia residence permit. Apart from that, you must also pass the Latvian language test, have knowledge of general history of the country and know the National anthem.

Latvian citizenship requirements In order to be eligible to apply for Latvian citizenship and get European passport you must live in Latvia for 10 years, 5 of which as a permanent resident, you will need prove it with your permanent place of residence and a confirmation of employment. Make sure you fulfil other requirements as well:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia, the National Anthem and the basics of the history and culture.
  • Clean criminal record and good character.
  • No tax or other debts.
“I was very disheartened when my visa was rejected in 2019. I applied for the visa to a different consultancy in Delhi but they only gave me hope and didn’t do anything affirmative that can assure my immigration application. After a few days, I found out that the guys are a novice and it was a fraud company.”

Nigilesh Vashishth