U.S. Visas

English

U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

Latvia

Latvia
Republic of Latvia

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2 2 None Multiple 60 Months
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 24 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 24 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 24 Months
L-2 None Multiple 24 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 10 None Multiple 60 Months
O-1 None Multiple 24 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 24 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 24 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 24 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 24 Months
R-2 None Multiple 24 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
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Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

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Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

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General Documents

General Document Information:

Applicants may only obtain their personal Latvian civil documents, including police and court records (parents or legal guardians act on their children's behalf). If applicants are unable to personally appear they may authorize a third party to act on their behalf by issuing a notary-certified power of attorney. An Apostille issued by a Secretary of State is required for a U.S.-issued power of attorney to be accepted as a legal document in Latvia.

Documents should be requested directly from the issuing authority; however, applicants residing abroad may also contact the nearest Latvian diplomatic and consular mission for assistance to obtain documents from Latvia, i.e., civil records, police, court, and military records. Most government authorities have the legal authority to accept document requests and issue them electronically. For U.S. visa purposes, hard copies of documents must be submitted with original signatures and seals. An Apostille must be obtained from the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia for any documents issued by Latvian authorities that will be used in the United States for other than nonimmigrant and immigrant visa application purposes.

Latvian residents who require documents from other countries should check the applicable reciprocity information on availability of the documents from a particular country. They may also seek assistance on requesting documents from abroad from the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia (a service charge is requested).

General Issuing Government Authority Information:

Each type of document is issued by a respective Latvian government authority that has its set standards on how the documents are prepared. List of issuing authorities and other relevant information is provided below.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates

Available

Fees: Current fee is 1.42 euros (approx. $2) for requesting a duplicate certificate. The initial birth registration is a no-fee service. Note that this information is subject to change based on local legislation.

Document Name: DZIMŠANAS APLIECĪBA (title of the document normally is provided both in Russian and Latvian if issued during the Soviet era)

Issuing Authority: Civil records before December 31, 1914 are available from the Latvian State Historical Archives.

Civil records from January 1, 1915 to April 30, 1921 are available from the Archive of the Civil Register Department of the Ministry of Justice: 38a Aleksandra Caka St., Riga, LV-1011, Latvia; tel.: +371-67830677, +371-67830689; e-mail: dzimts.dep@tm.gov.lv. Civil records from May 1, 1921 to December 31, 2012:

Civil records from 2013 are available from the nearest Civil Register Office or the Archive of the Civil Register Department of the Ministry of Justice.

If abroad, one may contact the nearest Latvian diplomatic mission for assistance on obtaining civil records.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Style and format of birth certificates has changed over years. Currently, birth certificates (both initial and duplicates) are printed on A4 size 100g/m2 paper. The Latvian national Coat of Arms is printed at the top of the page in full color print. The ornamental frame along the edge of the certificate is printed in the auseklis [regular octagram] pattern in green. The background pattern is printed in a light color, and the large national Coat of Arms is lightly printed in the center.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Head of Civil Register Office.

Registration Criteria: Birth registration occurs on the bases of a referral from a medical facility where the child was born and information provided by parents. The name of the father of a child born out-of-wedlock is registered on the bases of an application signed by both parents of a child acknowledging paternity.

Procedure for Obtaining: Parents of a child must appear personally and present their passports, marriage certificate, if applicable, and referral from the medical facility. Third parties may represent child's parents if they have a notary certified power of attorney. Similarly, duplicates of birth certificates may be obtained personally by a subject of the record (parents apply on behalf of their minor children) or by their representative who is in possession of a valid power of attorney.

Certified Copies: A copy of the original document may be prepared by a sworn notary. However, it is recommended to obtain duplicate certificates instead.

Alternate Documents: Civil Register Offices issue also birth registration statements upon request. It is a for-fee service. A Birth Note (in Latvian - DZIMŠANAS ZIME) is a document that was issued in addition to a birth certificate until 2005. Birth notes verify the fact of birth, but exclude information about parents.

Exceptions: None

Comments: Starting 2013, when the Civil Register office receives an application for a duplicate birth certificate, they obtain current biographic data on the child and his/her parents from the Population Register of Latvia. The duplicate certificate will list the most current (not historical) name and surname of the child and his/her parents as available in the Population Register.

Along with their duplicate birth certificate or later, applicants may request from a Civil Register office a detail reference with information on historical data and all name changes for all subjects of the record. Note that name changes approved by the Latvian authorities are included in the Register automatically. The Population Register is also updated when the subjects of the records are applying to renew their Latvian passports. Otherwise, if the subject no longer is a Latvian passport holder, information about a name change approved abroad may be missing in the Population Register. Some Latvian passport holders fail to comply with the requirement to report their name change in timely manner or at all if they are in possession of a foreign official travel document or photo ID.

 

Death Certificates

Available

Fees: Current fee is 1.42 euros (approx. $2) for requesting a duplicate certificate. The initial death registration is a no-fee service. Note that this information is subject to change based on local legislation.

Document Name: MIRŠANAS APLIECĪBA (title of the document normally is provided both in Russian and Latvian if issued during the Soviet era)

Issuing Authority: Civil records before December 31, 1914 are available from the Latvian State Historical Archives.

Civil records from January 1, 1915 to April 30, 1921 are available from the Archive of the Civil Register Department of the Ministry of Justice: 38a Aleksandra Caka St., Riga, LV-1011, Latvia; tel.: +371-67830677, +371-67830673; e-mail: dzimts.dep@tm.gov.lv. Civil records from May 1, 1921 to December 31, 2012:

Civil records from 2013 are available from the nearest Civil Register Office or the Archive of the Civil Register Department of the Ministry of Justice.

If abroad, one may contact the nearest Latvian diplomatic mission for assistance on obtaining civil records.

Special Seal(s)/Color/Format: Style and format of death certificates has changed over years. Currently, death certificates (both initial and duplicates) are printed on A4 size 100g/m2 paper. The Latvian national Coat of Arms is printed at the top of the page in full color print. The ornamental frame along the edge of a certificate is printed in the auseklis [regular octagram] pattern in black. The background pattern is printed in a light color, and the large national Coat of Arms is printed in the center, in a light color.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Head of Civil Register Office

Registration Criteria: Death registration occurs on the grounds of a referral from a physician verifying the fact of death and information received from the person applying for the death certificate.

Procedure for Obtaining: Deceased person's relatives may apply for and received a death certificate or it's duplicate. Third parties may represent such relatives if they have a notary certified power of attorney.

Duplicates of death certificates may also be issued to applicants who prove legal necessity to have them.

Certified Copies: A copy of the original document may be prepared by a sworn notary. However, it is recommended to obtain duplicate certificates instead.

Alternate Documents: Civil Register Offices issue also death registration statements upon request. It is a for-fee service.

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates

Available

Fees: Current fee is 1.42 euros (approx. $2) for requesting a duplicate certificate. The initial marriage registration is a no-fee service. Note that this information is subject to change based on local legislation.

Document Name: LAULĪBAS APLIECĪBA  (title of the document normally is provided both in Russian and Latvian if issued during the Soviet era)

Issuing Authority: Civil records before December 31, 1914 are available from the Latvian State Historical Archives.

Civil records from January 1, 1915 to April 30, 1921 are available from the Archive of the Civil Register Department of the Ministry of Justice: 38a Aleksandra Caka St., Riga, LV-1011, Latvia; tel.: +371-67830677, +371-67830673; e-mail: dzimts.dep@tm.gov.lv. Civil records from May 1, 1921 to December 31, 2012:

Civil records from 2013 are available from the nearest Civil Register Office or the Archive of the Civil Register Department of the Ministry of Justice. If abroad, one may contact the nearest Latvian diplomatic mission for assistance on obtaining civil records.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Style and format of marriage certificates has changed over years. Currently, marriage certificates (both initial and duplicates) are printed on A4 size 100g/m2 paper. The Latvian national Coat of Arms is printed at the top of the page in full color print. The ornamental frame along the edge of a certificate is printed in the auseklis [regular octagram] pattern in red. The background pattern is printed in a light color, and the large national Coat of Arms is printed in the center, in a light color.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Head of a Civil Register Office or a church official.

Registration Criteria: Under Latvian law, marriage is permitted between two individuals who are at least 18 years old (or at least 16 years old if authorization from parents or orphan court granted). Same sex marriages are forbidden under Latvian law.

Procedure for Obtaining: Marriage may be concluded only when both parties are present. Marriage certificate is issued at the end of marriage registration ceremony.

Duplicates of marriage certificates may be obtained personally by the subjects of the record or by their representative in possession of a valid power of attorney. Duplicate certificates may be issued only if the marriage is still effective and has not been annulled or otherwise dissolved.

Certified Copies: A copy of the original document may be prepared by a sworn notary or applicants may obtain duplicate certificates from the issuing authorities.

Alternate Documents: Civil Register Offices issue also marriage registration statements upon request. It is a for-fee service.

Exceptions: None

Comments: Starting 2013, when the Civil Register office receives an application for a duplicate marriage certificate, they obtain current biographic data on both spouses from the Population Register of Latvia. If at the time of application for a duplicate marriage certificate one or both spouses have acquired new names, the duplicate marriage certificate will list them as their names after marriage.

Along with their duplicate marriage certificate or later, applicants may request from the Civil Register office a detail reference on the marriage record with information on historical data and name changes for both subjects of the record.

 

Divorce Certificates

Available: Depending on the date of marriage dissolution one of the following documents may be presented as evidence of divorce:

  1. A notary-certified acknowledgment of  marriage dissolution, if the divorce was administered  by a sworn notary (Sworn notaries were granted rights to dissolve marriages as of February 1, 2011), or
  2. A court decision on marriage dissolution if divorce administered by a court, or
  3. A Soviet-era divorce certificate, or
  4. A divorce certificate by a Civil Register Office.

Duplicate certificates are not available. See information below on alternate documents.

Fees: The document-issuing authorities listed below have different fees that depend on their fee schedules and volume of the required documents.

Document Name: There is no standard name for marriage dissolution documents in cases when sworn notaries acknowledge and administer marriage dissolution.  Court decision (in Latvian - SPRIEDUMS LATVIJAS REPUBLIKAS VARDĀ) in cases where the marriage is dissolved by a court. Certificate on marriage dissolution (in Latvian -LAULĪBAS ŠKIRŠANAS APLIECĪBA) for Soviet-era divorce certificates and for certificates by local Civil Register Offices.

Issuing Authority: Sworn notaries in Latvia issue divorce certificates since 01-Feb-2011 on marriages dissolved by them. Local Civil Register Offices issued divorce certificates until September 1994 on divorces approved by courts where court decisions became effective before September 1, 1993.  Filing for a divorce certificate was mandatory to finalize the divorce.

For marriages dissolved in court after September 1, 1993, the court decision is the final document proving the divorce.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Documents prepared by sworn notaries are printed on A4 size white paper. The document contains a seal of a notary.  Each notary has their own seal.  It is round and red.  It has a complemented Coat of Arms of the Republic of Latvia (as defined by the Latvian Coat of Arms Law) in the center and includes also the sworn notary's full name, title, name of court in jurisdiction of which the notary operates, and their place of service.

Divorce certificates issued by Civil Register Offices until September 1994 were printed on A5 size ivory color paper with an ornamental frame along the edge of a certificate.  It contained a blue-color round seal of the issuing Civil Register Office.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Sworn notary on certificates issued by them; Head of a Civil Register Office on certificates issued by these offices; or the judge that administers the divorce in a local court.

Registration Criteria: Notaries in Latvia may dissolve marriages since February 1, 2011, when no disputes regarding custody of children or property exist between the spouses.

Otherwise, only a court may approve a divorce. Before September 1, 1993, spouses had to take an additional step to finalize their divorce and apply for a divorce certificate with a Civil Register Office after a court had approved their divorce.

Procedure for Obtaining: Duplicate certificates are not available. See information below on alternate documents.

Certified Copies:  A copy of the original document may be prepared by a sworn notary or applicants may obtain duplicate certificates or court decisions from the issuing authorities.

Alternate Documents: Transcripts (in Latvian - NORAKSTS) of divorce certificates issued by notaries may be obtained from that same office personally by subjects of the record or their representative in possession of a valid power of attorney. A fee applies. The amount of fee is based on the number of pages in the divorce certificate. On average, the fee is about 14.23 euros (approx. $20) per transcript. The Civil Register Offices maintain data in the marriage register.  Courts and sworn notaries forward information about approved divorces to respective Civil Register Offices where marriages were originally concluded.  The data are included in the marriage register, and later subjects of the records or their legal representatives may apply for marriage/divorce statements from the marriage register.  The fee for this service is 4.27 euros (approx. $6).

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Adoption Certificates

Available: In intercountry adoption cases under the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention), adoption certificates are issued by the Latvian Ministry of Welfare.  In non-Hague adoption cases , the ministry does not issue adoption certificates.  There are only court decisions. 

Fees: The Ministry of Welfare charges no fee for adoption certificate issuance.  The fee for obtaining a certified court order on adoption approval is 5.00 euros (approx. $5) per document.

Document Name: The adoption certificate is called an Article 23 Letter.  Court decisions are called SPRIEDUMS LATVIJAS REPUBLIKAS VARDĀ in Latvian.  

Issuing Authority: For adoption certificates, the Children and Family Policy Department, Ministry of Welfare, 28 Skolas St., Riga, Latvia, LV-1331, tel. 371-6702 1600, e-mail: lm@lm.gov.lv. (in intercountry adoption cases subject to the Hague Adoption Convention); OR the court decision on adoption approval (in adoption cases that are completed domestically).

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Documents prepared by the Ministry of Welfare and courts are printed on A4 size white paper.  They contain the issuing authority’s round ink seal and the black-and-white full Coat of Arms of Latvia is printed at the top of the first page.  In the upper right corner of the court decision the word NORAKSTS [transcript] is stamped or printed.  All pages of court decisions are numbered and attached by string.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Adoption certificates by the Ministry of Welfare include the original signature of the Ministry’s State Secretary.  Court decisions on adoption approval include the original signature of the judge who administered the case.

Registration Criteria: Adoption certificates and court decisions are available after the adoption enforcement date.

Procedure for Obtaining: Adoptive parents (or their legal representatives holding certified powers of attorney) may apply for adoption certificates or court decisions by filing applications directly with the issuing authorities or, if abroad, with the applicants’ nearest Latvian diplomatic and consular mission.  Subjects of the records (adopted children) may apply for their adoption certificates and court decisions after the age of 18.

Certified Copies:  Notaries have the right to provide certified copies of original documents.

Alternate Documents: The child's birth records are amended to reflect the new maternity and paternity information after a court has approved adoption of a child.

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Identity Card

National ID Cards

Available

There are three types of identity cards issued since April 1, 2012:

  • Latvian citizen identity card - it serves as a travel document for the citizens of Latvia to the countries of the European Union, European Economic Zone and Swiss Confederation, and it will serve as a return certificate from third countries in cases of passport loss/theft.
  • Latvian alien's (non-citizen's) identity card - it serves as a return certificate in the countries of the European Union, European Economic Zone, Swiss Confederation and from third countries in cases of passport loss/theft.
  • Residency permit (temporary or permanent) - not a travel document. The permit gives a foreigner the right to reside in the Republic of Latvia for a definite period of time (a temporary residence permit) or permanently (a permanent residence permit). The document is issued for the citizens of third countries, refugees, stateless persons, and persons who have been granted the asylum status according to the Asylum Law.

Fees: 14.23 euros (approx. $20)

Document Name: PERSONAS APLIECĪBA for ID card and UZTURĒŠANĀS ATĻAUJA  for residency permit

Issuing Authority: Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of the Republic of Latvia (OCMA).

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The cards contain a non-touch microchip that provides individual biometric information. Detailed information about all types of Latvian passports and other identity documents and their security features is available on the Council of European Union Public Register of Authentic and Identity Documents Online (PRADO) website.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: Every Latvian national is mandated to be in possession of a valid Latvian citizen or non-citizen passport and/or national ID card (eID) after reaching the age of 15. Requests must be filed by the applicants in person.  The previous Latvian travel document or birth certificate must be presented at the time of making the application.

Minor children are issued Latvian eID cards upon request for international travel purposes.  eID card applications for children under 15 are submitted by one of parents.  If one parent is not a Latvian citizen or non-citizen or a citizen of another European Union country, but they need/want to apply for their child's eID card, they must be in possession of a valid power of attorney issued by the parent having such nationality.  The presence of the child is not required at the time of submitting the eID card application. OCMA issues initial residency permit cards to people in refugee, asylum, or stateless resident status upon granting such status.

Certified Copies: Certified copies are not available

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions: None

Comments: None

Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates/Prison Records

Available

Fees: From 4.27 Euros (approx. $11)

Document Name: CERTIFICATE (issued in English for U.S. visa or immigration benefits purposes).

Issuing Authority: Information Center of the Ministry of Interior at 72b Bruninieku St., Riga, LV-1009, Latvia, or Latvian diplomatic and consular missions abroad.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: The Information Center of the Ministry of Interior issues the certificates for U.S. visa purposes in sealed envelopes. The actual certificates are printed on the Information Center letterhead - A4 size ivory color paper with the complemented Latvian Coat of Arms in full color and the Information Center logo at the top of the page. For immigrant visa processing, applicants should only send a copy of the sealed envelope to the National Visa Center and not break the seal to show contents inside.  Applicants must bring the original Police Certificate in the sealed envelope to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate at the time of their interview.

Police certificates obtained through Latvian embassies abroad are issued on embassy-specific letterheads, rather than the letterhead used by the Information Center. They do not come in sealed envelopes.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Chief of Information Center or an official of the Latvian diplomatic or consular mission abroad.

Registration Criteria: There are no registration criteria

Procedure for Obtaining: The subject of the record or their legal representative must apply for the statement in person by filing an application with the Information Center of the Ministry of Interior. The request may be also submitted electronically using e-signature as defined by the Latvian law or though the Latvian e-services portal: latvija.lv (available to those having e-signature or using Latvian online banking).

If abroad, one may contact the nearest Latvian diplomatic or consular mission for assistance on obtaining police records.

Certified Copies: A copy of the original document may be prepared by a sworn notary.

Alternate Documents: There are no alternate documents

Exceptions None

Comments: At the time of submitting a request for a Latvian police certificate, one MUST indicate that it is required for U.S. visa purposes. We recommend using the application form available in this link for ensuring the correct type of police certificate is requested and received.

Under Latvian law, almost all records are routinely expunged after several years. Subsequently, ex-offenders are not normally obliged to indicate their convictions, for example, when applying for a job or when involved in criminal or civil proceedings.  The expunged records remain in the Punishment Register and are available if the person specifically authorizes disclosure of the entire record.  The police certificates issued for U.S. visa purposes contain the entire record (including convictions that are considered expunged).  Note: The Punishment Register contains complete information on criminal offences committed in the territory of Latvia both before and after 1991 when Latvia declared independence.

Applicants who have served an imprisonment term in Latvia, including pre-trial detention or imprisonment, should follow the above guidance and acquire Police Certificates. 

 

Court Records

Available

Fees: Fees apply per number of pages in the requested duplicate transcripts.

Document Name: SPRIEDUMS LATVIJAS REPUBLIKAS VARDĀ.

Issuing Authority: Courts of the Republic of Latvia or the Latvian State Historical Archives

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Printed on A4 size white paper. The black and white full Coat of Arms of Latvia is printed at the top of the first page. Furthermore, in the upper right corner word NORAKSTS [transcript] is stamped or printed. All pages are numbered and stringed together. The court seal, total number

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Judge or the archives official

Registration Criteria: None

Procedure for Obtaining: Subjects of the record or their legal representatives must apply for court records in person.

Certified Copies: Available. A copy of the original transcript may be prepared by a sworn notary.

Alternate Documents: None

Exceptions: None

Comments: Court decisions in Latvia are gradually made available for accessing online at tiesas.lv/tiesu-nolemumi (in Latvian only). Personally identifying information is removed when information is accessed by public. Full transcript is/will be available only to the subjects of the record or their legal representatives.

Military Records

Available

Fees: Fees apply and vary per type of document request and issuing agency

Document Name: Varies depending on the issuing agency

Issuing Authority: Records on Latvian citizens who retired from the National Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia (NAF) after January 1, 2007 are available from the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Latvia (10/12 Krisjana Valdemara St., Riga, LV-1473, Latvia; tel. +371-67335123); Other records on military service with NAF are available from the State Archives of Latvia 1 Bezdeligu St., Riga LV-1048, Latvia; tel.: +371-67462317; email: lva@arhivi.gov.lv or its regional branches. Military service in the Soviet Army was recorded in military books (voyenniy bilet) which contain information on the length of service and circumstances of discharge. Often people have these books available for presenting. If unavailable, records about military service in the Soviet Army may be available from the Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense of Russian Federation (74 Kirova St., Podolsk, Moscow Oblast, Russia, 142100). Latvian permanent residents may contact the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia for assistance requesting documents from abroad.

Special Seal(s)/Color/Format: There is no special seal(s)/color/format

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title

Registration Criteria: Genuine military service

Procedure for Obtaining: Subject of the record or their legal representative must apply for their records as instructed by a respective agency listed above.

Certified Copies:  A copy of the original transcript may be prepared by a sworn notary.

Alternate Documents: Military service in the Soviet Army was recorded in military books. Often people have these books available for presenting.

Exceptions: None

Comments: 12 months of military service was obligatory until December 31, 2006 for all men, Latvian citizens, between the age of 19 and 27. However, the law provided a number of exceptions, for example, for people with health problems, under criminal proceedings, students enrolled in universities, or having families with at least two small children.

Latvian non-citizens (a.k.a. Latvian alien's passport holders) were not subject to the obligatory military service. They are not eligible to serve in the National Armed Forces of the Republic of Latvia.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.):

  • Latvian Citizen Passport (regular)
  • Latvian alien's (non-citizen) passport (regular)
  • Diplomatic passport
  • Service (official) passport
  • Travel Document (Convention 28 September 1954) for stateless people
  • Travel Document (Convention 28 July 1951) for people in refugee status
  • Travel Document - for people granted asylum

Fees: Defined by local legislation

Document Name: PASE for passport; CELOŠANAS DOKUMENTS for travel document

Issuing Government Authority: Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of the Republic of Latvia (OCMA). Latvian diplomatic and consular missions accept applications for travel documents from Latvian nationals residing abroad.

Latvian diplomatic and service (official) passports are issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia. OCMA performs personalization and recordkeeping of these passports.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Detailed information about all types of Latvian passports and other identity documents and their security features is available on the Council of European Union Public Register of Authentic and Identity Documents Online (PRADO) website.

Latvia has issued biometric passports since November 20, 2007.  Only biometric Latvian citizen passport holders may be able to travel to the United States visa free. Latvian citizen or non-citizen passports issued during the below listed time periods had a 50-years validity for people who were at least 60 years old at the time of submitting their passport applications; however, these passports are no longer valid for travel outside the Schengen Zone or U.S. visa purposes:

  • Citizen passports issued between July 1, 2002 and November 19, 2007
  • Non-citizen (Alien) passports issued between April 10, 1997 and November 19, 2007.

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: There is no issuing authority personnel title

Registration Criteria: Latvian citizenship:

  • Children acquire Latvian citizenship from birth if both parents are Latvian citizens.
  • A child may be granted Latvian citizenship if at least one of the child's parents is a Latvian citizen. Conditions apply.
  • Latvian non-citizen parents of a child may request registering their child as a Latvian citizen if the child is under 15 and born in Latvia.
  • Latvian citizenship may be granted as a result of naturalization.
  • Latvian citizenship may be granted to permanent residents of Latvia having no other citizenship if they have graduated from a Latvian state elementary or secondary school where study language was Latvian.

In accordance with the recent changes in Latvian citizenship law, dual nationality with certain countries may be permitted for Latvian citizens.

Latvian alien (non-citizen) status:

In 1992, the government of Latvia granted special alien (non-citizen) status to a certain category of former USSR citizens. This status allows these citizens to remain in Latvia permanently. This category of permanent residents bears alien's (non-citizen) passports. Children of non-citizens acquire non-citizen status at birth, unless parents apply for citizenship for their child.. Non-citizens account for approximately 12 percent of the Latvian population. They exercise many of the same rights as do Latvian citizens. However, they cannot vote or travel visa-free to the United States.

Procedure for Obtaining: Every Latvian national is mandated to be in possession of a valid Latvian citizen or non-citizen passport and/or national ID card (eID) after reaching the age of 15. Applications must be made personally and in person. A previous Latvian travel document or birth certificate must be presented upon submitting an application.

Minor children are issued Latvian passports upon request for international travel purposes. Passport applications for children under 15 are submitted by one of parents. If one parent is not a Latvian citizen or non-citizen or a citizen of another European Union country, but they need/want to apply for their child's passport, they must be in possession of a valid power of attorney issued by the parent having such nationality.  The presence of the child is not required at the time of submitting the passport application.

OCMA issues initial travel documents to people in refugee, asylum, or stateless resident status upon granting such status.

Alternate Documents:

  • Latvian citizen or alien's (non-citizen's) identity cards.
  • Return certificates are issued by Latvian diplomatic and consular missions abroad for immediate return to Latvia if one's Latvian passport or travel document goes missing or becomes invalid while abroad, and they are not in possession of a Latvian citizen or alien's identity card.  The return certificates must be surrendered to OCMA immediately after return to Latvia.

Exceptions: None

Comments: Latvian passport holders may choose to list their minor children, their ethnic origin, and transliteration of their names in English in their passports.

Latvian non-citizens must be processed as stateless for U.S. visa purposes. Note: until September 2012, U.S. Embassy in Riga issued visas to Latvian non-citizens with the nationality code LATV [for Latvia]. Visas issued with LATV designation prior to September 2012 remain valid until they expire, as long as visa holders retain their Latvian non-citizen status.

Latvian non-citizens are considered Latvian nationals for U.S. Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa purposes. They may be principal E-1/E-2 visa applicants.

Other Documents Available: There is no other documents available

Other Records

Not applicable.

Visa Issuing Posts

Post Title: U.S. Embassy Riga, Latvia

Address: 1 Samnera Velsa Street, Riga, LV-1510, Latvia

Tel: (371) 6710-7000

Fax: (371) 6710-7001

E-mail: askconsular-riga@state.gov  

Visa Services: All visa categories for all of Latvia.

Comments / Additional Information: None

Visa Services

Processing all types of immigrant and non-immigrant visas.

Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.