Latvia is a Schengen state in Europe, along with 25 other countries. These countries are all part of the European Union.They have chosen to abolish passport and all other types of border control at their mutual national borders. A holder of a Schengen visa, granted by any of the Schengen Area member countries, is eligible for free movement within the entire Schengen Zone, within the validity and period limitations of the visa. Different types of visas issued by the embassy of Latvia have different restrictions that apply to them, in relation to the nature of travelling and length of stay in the country. Both Travel Visa as well as Business Visa to Latvia comes under the Schengen short stay visa, which allows visitors to stay for a maximum period of 90 days.
Short Stay Travel visas are granted to people who wish to enter Latvia for tourism, travel and leisure purposes. Visitors are allowed to stay in Latvia for a predetermined amount of time. These visas do not permit the holder to work or engage in any business activities in the host country. Thus, in case you are travelling for tourism purposes, you must use the travel visa application which is valid for travel period of less than 90 days.
A business visa allows the bearer to enter a foreign country and engage in business activities without joining that country’s labour force, temporarily or permanently. Typically, the visitors must show that they are not receiving any income from the country. Indian nationals are granted Latvian business visas to meet with business corporations, participate in a scientific, educational, or professional meetingsand conference, work out an estate or negotiate an agreement in Latvia. This is valid for a period less than 90 days. If the applicant intends to participate in gainful professional activities, even if the work is not financially rewarded, they will have to apply for a work permit to Latvia.
Latvia Visa requirements from India
The following documents are required irrespective of which visa type you are applying for.
- Travel document– The applicant’s passport must be valid for a minimum three months after the intended departure from Latvia. It must contain at least two blank pages and must have been issued within the last 10 years. The passport should not have any observation regarding the front data page.
- Application form– The applicant must submit a fully completed application form. Applicants must note that any incomplete information or false statement in the application could result in delay in processing or rejection of the application. Application form can downloaded in English or Hindi, but it has to be filled out in the English language only.
- Photograph– Applicants require one recent original passport-size colour photograph with a white background. The photograph should not be more than six months old.
- Covering letter– The applicant must submit a covering letter to the centre, with details such as the applicant introducing himself/herself, explaining the purpose of visit, duration & itinerary of the visit in brief.
- Travel Medical Insurance– To cover all possible expenses in connection with a return to India for health reasons, death, indispensable medical treatment or acute hospitalisation during their stay in Latvia, applicants must hold a valid travel insurance policy while travelling. The minimum policy coverage should be 30,000 Euro and thisinsurance policy must cover all Schengen countries. The insurance policy must be valid for the entire duration of the applicant’s intended stay in Latvia. The applicant may shorten the validity of visa if their insurance policy does not cover the entire duration of the stay in Latvia.
- Proof of Means of Transport – Applicants need their flight reservation of return or round ticket. Proof of flight reservation between the different countries, train itinerary or car rental receipt is required, if the applicant wishes to travel to multiple Schengen States. Please note that the tickets do not have to be paid for, only the booking receipt needs to be submitted.
- Proof of Lodging – The applicant’s hotel reservations, receipt of renting a holiday home or campus residence reservation are required as proof. Proof of sponsorship and private accommodation from the host is required, if the applicant intends to stay with a family member or a friend in Latvia. If applicant wishes to travel to several Schengen States, proof of lodging in each of them is required.
- Proof of Financial means– The applicant’s original bank statement showing their transactions in the last three months, duly stamped and signed by the bank authority, or Indian income tax return statement acknowledging returns for the last two assessment years are required. The bank account should be in the name of the applicant or the sponsor of the trip. In case of the applicant is sponsored, the bank statement should be accompanied by a signed sponsorship letter and a signed copy of the sponsor’s passport.
In addition if the applicant is employed:
- Current employment contract
- Copy of current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- No-objection certificate from current employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary from the applicant
If the applicant is a company owner or self-employed:
- A copy of their business license
- Copy of the company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR) of the company
If the applicant is retired:
- Pension statement for the previous 6 months
- Proof of regular income received from property or rent for the last 6 months (if any)
- Minor Applicant
- If the minor is travelling with only one parent, except in cases of the parent having sole custody or guardianship of the minor, written consent certified by a public notary of the other parent or guardian is required.
- If the minor is travelling alone, without a legal guardian, written consent certified by a public notary from either the parents or guardians having custody of the minor is required. Additionally, copies of the passport of the parents are required. If not applicable, birth certificate of the applicant and copies of Identity proof of the parents must be submitted.
- All minors must be accompanied by both parents or legal guardians to the Visa Office, to sign the application form in front of an officer. In cases where the child is traveling with one parent to visit the other parent who is residing in Latvia, this clause is dropped.
- Passport Copy– All applications must enclose a full colour photocopy of the valid passport of the applicant. All the pages of the passport are required to be photocopied and attached. Applicants are also encouraged to submit any old copies of expired or cancelled passports held by them to the centre.
- Invitation-all Indian citizens need an invitation approved by the Office of Migration of Citizenship Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior of Latvia to enter the country. This should be submitted in a paper-form.The Latvian entity who invites the Indian citizen,must take a charge of liability for the departure of the invited foreigner from Latvia beforethe time specified in their visa.
For Latvia Tourist Visa
- If the applicant is being sponsored, an invitation letter with the address and phone number from the family or company that is sponsoring is required.
- Bank statement of the last 6 months
- Passport copies of the applicant
- A certificate from the travel agency confirming the booking of an organised trip of the applicant (if any)
- Any other appropriate document indicating the travel plans of the applicant, including period and reason of visit.
- If applicant is married and cannot provide evidence of marital status in the passport, a marriage certificate must be submitted. If applicable, a copy of ration card can also be submitted.
For Latvia Business Visa
- Invitation letter from the Latvian company which the applicant will be visiting and their complete address along with the dates of the visit
- A No Objection Letter from your employer allowing the business travel and stating the details about the trip.
- Both invitation letter as well as letter from employer must confirm the following details:
- The applicant’s identity;
- The purpose of the visit, such as meetings, conferences, training or business related events.
- The period and place of intended stay of the applicant, while in Latvia.
- Proof of previous trade relations between the two companies, if such events have occurred.
- Bank statement of the last 6 months of the company
- The coverage of applicant’s expenses during their stay in Latvia must be proved by either the employer or the host company who is hosting the applicant, on the letter or invitation.
- The applicant must ensure always to have a valid Schengen travel insurance during their stay in Latvia. The border authorities may ask to see proof of a valid insurance when you enter the Schengen Area or Latvia.
- All documents should be provided in A4 size of paper.
- If the documents not originally in English, they must be accompanied by valid English translations.
- Although the Embassy reserves the right to request the original of any document provided at any point during visa processing, please submit only photocopies of all documents. Do keep in mind to carry original documents at the time of submission at the Visa Centre.
- It must be noted that the Latvian Embassy has the right to ask for additional documents or personal appearance of the applicant for an interview in special cases.
- The application may be rejected if the applicant submits incomplete documentation or refuses to appear for a special visa interview.
Latvia visa fees
The cost for a Short Stay Schengen Visa for travel and business purposes is:
- For children below 6 years of age- No Charge
- For children between the ages of 6 and 12 years- INR 2800
- For regular applicants- INR 4700
- For spouse or children of a European Union National – No Charge
Youwill be charged a service cost of INR1607/- (Inclusive of all Tax) that must be paid in cash or by debit/ credit card at the Visa Application Centre. There is an optional courier facility available at Rs.450/- (Inclusive of all Tax) per application.
The current exchange rate dictates the visa fee in Indian Rupees and it is subject to change without notice, as per fluctuations in economy. All visa fees are non-refundable, regardless of whether the visa is granted or not. Applicants that are exempt from paying the visa fee are not exempt from paying the service fee at the respective Visa Application Centres.
How to apply for Latvia Visa fees
Step 1:Visit the URL: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Latvia/India/ . Click on the tab ‘Online Application’ from the homepage.
Step 2: You will be redirected to the application form. There you must read the instructions provided. Click on the box stating that you have read and accepted the terms of using the service. Then click on the button ‘Fill the visa Application Form’.
Step 3: You will be asked for the Visa Type which you are applying for and from which country you are applying. It will then select the Embassy automatically. You must then choose the language in which you wish to fill in the application.
Step 4: Fill in the application form by stating the following details:
- Surname at present
- Surname at birth
- First Name of the applicant
- Date of Birth, Place of Birth and Country of Birth of the applicant
- Current Nationality and nationality at birth
- Marital status
- In case of Minor applicant: fill in first name, surname, address (if different from main applicant) and nationality of parents or legal guardians
- Type of Document held by applicant (official Passport, Ordinary Passport, Diplomatic Passport or Service passport)
- Number on travel document (passport number)
- Validity of travel document
- Date of Issue of travel document
- Name of Issuer of travel document
- Applicant’s home address, email address and telephone number
- State whether the applicant is currently residing in another country
- Current occupation of the applicant and employer’s name, address and telephone number. If the applicant is a student, mention the name and address of educational establishment in this field.
- Main purpose of the journey (such as tourism, business, visiting friends and family, cultural, sports or other reasons)
- State of destination which the applicant wishes to visit. If multiple, member state of first entry must be mentioned
- Number of entries requested (such as single entry, double entry or multiple entry)
- Duration of intended stay or transit
- Tick whether the applicant was issued a Schengen visa in the past three years. If yes, state the date of issuance and date of expiry of visa.
- Tick whether the applicant’s fingerprints have been collected previously for the purpose of obtaining a Schengen Visa.
- Fill in the name and address of the inviting company/organisation or person, their email ID, telephone number and address, if any.
- Fill in the how the costs are to be met and by whom in Latvia.
Step 5: Enter the presence validation shown on your screen. Then click on ‘Save’. Your Application Number and Security Code will be shown, along with your application summary.
Step 6:The applicant must then take a printout of the filled out application form and go to the Visa Application Centre. They must choose a centre in their application which is nearest to their residence. Applicants must keep in mind that they must bring the required supporting documents and the visa service fees to the centre.
Step 7:At the visa application centre, your picture will be taken by the service centre personnel (for all applicants). A biometrical process will then take your fingerprints. All Schengen short stay visa applicants must appear in person at the centre to have their fingerprints recorded and their photograph taken. The Visa Information System (VIS) will then register this information. Although this registration procedure only takes a few minutes, it identifies you with certainty as the only legal holder of the visa. Identity theft and fraud are prevented by this method. However, children younger than 12 years of age do not need to get their fingerprints recorded.
Step 8:After the staff checks the veracity of application, they will record your application information in the system. You will have to pay the fees at this point. They will then generate an acknowledgement receipt which you can use to track the status of your application.
What do I do After Submission?
After submitting the application, you can track the application by visiting the following website- http://www.vfsglobal.com/Latvia/India/after-submission.html. Next, you must click on the button that says ‘Track your Application’. You will be redirected to another page once you click this button. Here you have to enter the application reference number (found on the receipt) and your last name. The screen will then display your application status.
You may collect your passport from the respective VAC office after your visa application is approved. You must collect your passport yourself. Please ensure you bring the receipt issued to you on the day of your appointment, during collection of passport.
The documents or passport of the applicant will not be handed over to third parties, except if the collection is done by the following people:
- Immediate Family Member such as Parents, Children or Spouse of the applicant
- A person collecting the passport on behalf of Government officials, if so mentioned on the Government letter head.
- Red Carpet Representatives of the applicant, if authorized on the Company’s letter head
If any of the above people come to collect the passport, they need to carry any of the following documents:
- Original Government ID card
- Original Identity Proof
- Original authorization letter from applicant