Entry, Visas, Residence and Work Permits

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas, Work permit | Latvia

        A Schengen Visa

        Residence and Work permits for Researchers and Students

        Procedures for Citizens of European Union and Their Family Members

        Institutions

 

A Schengen Visa

[1.] Latvia has acceded to the Schengen Agreement. Schengen visa is a visa that gives a foreigner the right to stay in Latvia and in other Schengen member states for a period indicated in visa sticker. Uniform visa has two types – A and C – depending on the purpose of the entry. A type visa is intended for crossing international transit zone at the airport of a Schengen member state. C type visa is issued if a foreigner wishes to visit or transit one or more Schengen member states. The validity period of the visa may not exceed 5 years. An entry means crossing the border between a Schengen member state and a non-Schengen state. A foreigner holding a C visa may stay in Schengen member states no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

[2.] Foreigner who needs to stay in Latvia more than 90 days in a half-year period depending on the circumstances should apply for a long-stay visa (or a residence permit). A third-country national holding a valid long-stay visa issued by a Schengen state may travel and stay in the territory of other Schengen states no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

 

Residence and Work permits for Researchers and Students

[1.] The Latvian migration legislation predicts simplified procedures regarding researchers, lecturers and students. A third-country national has the right to request a temporary residence permit in accordance with the procedures prescribed normative acts, if he or she is:

  • involved in scientific co-operation with Latvian host institution included in Register of Scientific Institutions, for a period of time provided for by the contract of scientific co-operation, but not longer than five years. A work permit is not necessary for third-country national in this case;
  • a full-time student (including doctoral students) in educational establishments accredited in the Republic of Latvia, for the time period of studies, but not longer than for one year. A work permit shall be issued to a full-time student, if work time specified in work contract does not exceed 20 hours per week;

[2.] In both cases, the spouse of third-country national, minor children (also those under guardianship) and persons under trusteeship also have the right to request a temporary residence permit for the duration of the temporary residence permit issued to the third-country national.

[3.] Also after the expiration of the time period referred, a third-country national may again request a residence permit if the basis for requesting a residence permit is still valid.

[4.] A work permit is not necessary also if a third-country national on the basis of an invitation from an educational institution or scientific institution, or individual scientist in relation to scientific research or participation in the implementation of an educational programme and the intended length of stay in the Republic of Latvia does not exceed 14 days.

[5.] There are a number of restrictions on the employment of third-country nationals for both entry (visa) and residence (residence permit) and employment (right to work), and the employer takes full responsibility both for the employment of a third-country national (including restrictions on remuneration) and residence (including residence and health care) and, if necessary, expulsion expenses.

[6.] The basic steps for short–term employment of third-country nationals

  1. the employer registers a vacancy to the Employment Agency;
  2. an employer submits an application for an invitation to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (together with the employment contract or its draft and the documents of the employee’s education);
  3. employee in the diplomatic or consular representation of the Republic of Latvia in foreign countries submits documents for applying for a visa. Information on the right to work is included in the visa;
  4. the employee has to make registration in the State Revenue Service as a tax payer.

[7.] The basic steps for long-term employment of third-country nationals

  1. the employer registers a vacancy to the Employment Agency;
  2. the employer submits an application for an invitation to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (together with the employment contract or its draft and the documents of the employee education);
  3. the employee at a diplomatic or consular representation of the Republic of Latvia submits documents for the receipt of residence permits and employment permit. A residence permit with the right to work is issued by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs;
  4. the employee has to make registration in the State Revenue Service as a tax payer.

 

Procedures for Citizens of European Union and Their Family Members

[1.] If the citizen of European Union Member States, European Economic Area States and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter – Union citizens) resides in Latvia for a specified period, he or she shall be issued with a registration certificate. In case if he or she resides in Latvia permanently, the permanent residence certificate should be issued.

[2.] If a family member of a Union citizen, who is not a Union citizen, resides in Latvia for a specified period, he or she shall be issued with a residence permit for a family member of a Union citizen. If such person resides in Latvia permanently, a permanent residence permit should be issued.

[3.] If the Union citizen or his or her family member has established legal employment relations or is a self-employed person in the Republic of Latvia, a work permit shall not be necessary.

[4.] The above mentioned documents shall be issued free of charge. The documents shall include the personal identity number, which is essential also to perform the procedures of taxation and social security!

[5.] Citizens of the European Union wishing to stay permanently in the Republic of Latvia for more than three months have to obtain registration certificate in the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. The registration is not necessary until the six-month period if the citizen of the European Union resides in order to find a job.

 

Institutions

Ministry of Foreign Affairs issue uniform Schengen visas and provide other consular services (see section Consular Issues, information about diplomatic and consular representations of Latvia abroad and foreign countries in Latvia - see section Diplomatic missions).

Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) (under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior) is responsible for issue of identity documents and travel documents, implementation of state migration policy. The OCMA is also competent institution for issuing of work permit. The office is representative of Latvia in European Migration Network.

State Employment Agency (under the supervision of the Ministry of Welfare) () approves work invitations (if necessary). Representative of Latvia in European Employment Services (EURES).