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Latvia is a party to the Schengen agreement. For American citizens, this means that they may enter Latvia without a visa and stay for a maximum of 90 days for business and tourist purposes. Only one stay of up to 90 days is allowed in the Schengen territory within a 6-month period so travelers have to take careful note of the total number of consecutive days spent in member countries when visiting multiply Schengen zone countries.
Random passport checks are also always possible, so US citizens have to keep their passports with them at all times. When traveling to Latvia, it is also imperative that the passport’s validity exceed the date of departure from the country for at least 3 months. Additionally, travelers are required to declare cash in excess of 10,000 EUR to Latvian customs upon arrival and departure.
Those who are intending to stay in Latvia for more than 90 days must apply for temporary residence. For this, the following must be presented:
General Requirements – Temporary Residence:
- Insurance policy, valid in Latvia. Aside from covering medical costs, repatriation as well as funeral and disposition of remains costs should also be covered.
- Proof of identity, with a set of ink-rolled fingerprint impressions.
- Criminal record check from the United States which can be requested from the FBI.
Important Notice: US travelers, who are going to Russia, even if just in transit, are advised to obtain a visa prior to entry in Latvia. The process of obtaining a visa at the Russian Embassy in Riga can be a lengthy one and involve having to surrender the passport for an undetermined amount of time.
For the most current visa information, Americans can contact: