Visa or residence permit?


A visa is usually used if your stay in the Republic of Latvia is for a short period (no more than 90 days in any six-month period from the first day of entry). If the third-country national intends to stay for a longer period, a residence permit must be issued. Residence permits are granted based on employment and business activities, investments made, studies and research, family and other reasons such as religion.

Where can I find more information about visas, residence permits and conditions?

The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs is a state institution of the Republic of Latvia, which is responsible for:

  • Visas, procedures for approving invitations, the procedure for issuing the invitation and the related state fees.
  • Residence permits, the documents you need to submit to obtain a residence permit, the procedure for registering a residence permit, the necessary means of subsistence, the questionnaire form for a residence permit, the state fee for issuing a residence permit, etc.
  • Asylum procedure, asylum seekers’ centre, number of asylum seekers, refugee or alternative status, how to apply for refugee or alternative status, etc.
  • Procedures for recruiting third-country nationals for employment, short- and long-term employment of third-country nationals, etc.

If you enter Latvia via another European Union country, you can obtain a certificate from a Latvian diplomatic or consular mission in the first EU country of entry confirming that you are allowed to enter Latvia. You must contact the relevant mission to obtain a certificate.


You can obtain and process identity documents every working day at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, in all of its administrative divisions:

  • on a first-come, first-served basis at any division, without a prior appointment, and on any working day;
  • pre-booking an appointment at a specific division, date and time using Qticket online appointment system.


Can I invite a friend to visit if I have a residence permit?

If you have a permanent residence permit, you can invite friends for a private visit.


If you have a temporary residence permit in Latvia, you are not allowed to invite friends to Latvia. In this case, you can only issue an invitation to invite your spouse or close relatives for a short-term visit, and you must prove your kinship with the foreigner you are inviting with documents.


If you want to invite a third-country national for a private visit, you must use the e-invitation service “Validation of an invitation or sponsorship to apply for a visa or residence permit”.


The invitation is given a number and is validated within two working days (the inviter is notified electronically), and the number can be used to apply for a visa.

Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
More information: see here
Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
Contact us!
+371 26959706 (I 8.30-18.00 II-IV 8.30-17.00 V 8.30-16.00)
+371 26959706 (Whatsapp)
Raiņa bulvāris 15, Rīga