Reason for entry – employment

How to get the so-called “work visa” or residence permit on the basis of employment?

To obtain a visa or residence permit in Latvia on the basis of employment, you need to research the Latvian labour market and find a job vacancy with a local employer. The job description provides information about the company or organisation, describes the job advertised and specifies the knowledge and training required to qualify for position. It also specifies the procedure for applying for the vacancy. The employer will contact you if you are a suitable candidate. If you receive a positive reply from your prospective employer, they will initiate the procedures necessary for the acquisition of your visa or residence permit.

What do I need to start working in Latvia?

To work legally in Latvia, third-country nationals must obtain a visa or a residence permit. For short-term employment of third-country nationals, the employer shall submit an invitation request to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, and for long-term employment – a sponsorship request. An approved invitation is the basis for granting a visa and the right to employment. Find out more about the steps you need to take to work legally in Latvia here.

Can my family live with me in Latvia if I have a “work visa”?

If you are staying in Latvia on a temporary residence permit, you can ask your employer to apply for a temporary residence permit for your spouse and underage children. The employer takes full responsibility not only for the employee’s and their family members’ stay in Latvia (including accommodation and healthcare), but also, if necessary, for paying the costs of expulsion.

Four steps to apply for a temporary residence permit for family reunification:

Step 1

Your employer, at your request, submits documents to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs to issue a sponsorship for your relatives (spouse, underage children) to stay with you in Latvia.

Step 2

The employee submits the necessary documents at a mission of the Republic of Latvia abroad including proof of kinship and proof of the necessary means of subsistence, proof of payment of the state fee. The full list of documents is available on the website of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

Step 3

If you receive a positive decision, you must go to the nearest Latvian mission abroad to obtain a visa. If you enter Latvia with a visa issued for 30 days, for example, you must visit the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs within those days to obtain a temporary residence permit.

Step 4

On arrival in Latvia, you must go to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs to apply for a residence permit card. You will need to present a valid health insurance and a certificate from a Latvian medical institution stating that you do not have tuberculosis before you can get your card. Once you have received your residence permit, you must declare your place of residence in Latvia within 30 days. Once you have done that, you can go to a bank to open a bank account.

A third-country national is initially issued with a temporary residence permit. After five years of continuous residence and a test of national language proficiency (at least at A2 level), a permanent residence permit can be obtained.

* “biometric data” means personal data, after specific technical processing, relating to the physical, physiological or behavioural characteristics of a natural person which permit or confirm unique identification of that natural person, such as facial images or dactyloscopic data.

Citizenship and Migration Affairs
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