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Country Details

Here are some important facts about Latvia:

1. Location and Geography: Latvia is a country located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It shares borders with Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, and Belarus to the southeast. Latvia has a diverse geography that includes plains, forests, and a long coastline along the Baltic Sea.

2. Capital and Major Cities: The capital and largest city of Latvia is Riga. It is a vibrant cultural and economic hub known for its historic architecture, medieval Old Town, and Art Nouveau buildings. Other major cities in Latvia include Daugavpils, Liepaja, and Jelgava.

3. Language and Culture: The official language of Latvia is Latvian, which is a Baltic language and part of the Indo-European language family. Latvian culture is influenced by its history and the traditions of the Baltic region. The country has a rich folk heritage, and traditional celebrations, music, dance, and crafts play an important role in Latvian culture.

4. Historical Significance: Latvia has a complex history shaped by various influences and occupations. It gained independence from the Russian Empire in 1918 and later endured periods of occupation by the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany during World War II. Latvia regained its independence in 1991 and has since developed into a democratic country and member of the European Union.

5. Nature and Tourism: Latvia is known for its picturesque landscapes and abundant natural beauty. It has numerous national parks, including Gauja National Park, Kemeri National Park, and Slītere National Park, which offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife observation, and enjoying the outdoors. The country's sandy beaches along the Baltic Sea are popular in the summer, while its pristine lakes and dense forests attract visitors year-round.


Immigration Details

To immigrate to Latvia, here are the main ways to obtain residency or citizenship:

1. Visa Types:
- Schengen Visa: Allows for short-term stays in Latvia and other Schengen member countries for tourism or business purposes. The duration of stay and visa requirements depend on your nationality.
- Long-Term Residence Permit: For stays exceeding 90 days, a long-term residence permit is required. There are various types, including employment-based permits, student permits, and permits for family reunification.

2. Established Company:
- Establishing a company in Latvia can be a pathway to residency. The capital requirements and legal forms depend on the type of company you want to establish. Generally, you will need to invest a specific amount of capital and meet other business requirements.

3. Investment:
- Latvia offers investment opportunities, such as the Latvian Startup Visa, which allows entrepreneurs to establish and develop innovative startup businesses in Latvia. Specific investment programs and requirements may vary, so it's recommended to research and consult with relevant authorities or legal professionals.

4. Real Estate Investment:
- Purchasing real estate in Latvia does not automatically grant residency or citizenship. However, it may be a factor considered in certain residency programs.

5. Work Permit:
- A work permit is required for foreign nationals employed in Latvia. The employer is typically responsible for initiating and sponsoring the work permit application.

6. Study:
- If accepted into a recognized educational institution in Latvia, you can apply for a student visa or a long-term residence permit for studies.

7. Citizenship and Residency:
- Latvian citizenship is generally obtained through birth, descent, or naturalization. Naturalization requirements include residing in Latvia for a specified period, demonstrating knowledge of the Latvian language, passing a citizenship examination, and meeting other criteria.
- Temporary residency permits can be obtained through employment, investment, study, or family reunification. After several years of continuous residence in Latvia, it may be possible to apply for permanent residency.

The allocated time to achieve residency or citizenship can vary depending on the visa type, individual circumstances, and processing times. Fees and required support documents will also vary based on the specific visa or permit being applied for.

It is advisable to consult with the nearest Latvian embassy or consulate or seek professional advice to obtain accurate and up-to-date information tailored to your situation.

  • Time To Citizenship
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To be a tax resident in Latvia, an individual must have his or her permanent place of residence in Latvia, or be present in Latvia for 183 days or more in any 12-month period.

Residents are subject to tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents pay taxes on their income derived from Latvia.
Employment income and business income are taxed at 23%, capital gains at 15% and investment income at 10%.

Income from controlled foreign companies (CFCs) is subject to personal income tax at 23%. A foreign entity is deemed to be a CFC when a Latvian tax resident holds at least 25% of equity, stock, or voting power.

Real property tax is levied at 1.5% of the cadastral value of land and buildings. Residential properties are taxed between 0.2% and 0.6%. Unused agricultural land is taxed at 3%.

A stamp duty is levied on the higher of sales price or cadastral value when real property is registered in the land register, capped at €42,686.

The standard V.A.T. rate is 21%. A reduced 12% rate applies to certain goods and services.

There are no taxes on inheritances and personal wealth in Latvia.
Regarding corporate taxation, resident entities are subject to a 15% tax on their worldwide income.

  • Property Tax Yes
  • Transfer Tax Yes
  • Inheritance Tax No
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law Yes
  • Tax Residency Days 183
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 23%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 15%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 10%
  • Territorial Taxation No
Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Latvian Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Latvian passport holders can travel visa free to 153 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Gambia
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Türkiye
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Eswatini

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

Where Can Latvian Citizens Go Without a Passport?

Latvian citizens can enter the following countries without a passport with only an ID card:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mayotte
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Saint Martin
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

What Countries Issue eVisa to Latvian Citizens?

The following 14 countries issue eVisas for Latvian passport holders:

  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Myanmar
  • Pakistan
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Latvian Passport Holders?

If you are a Latvian citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 29 countries listed below:

  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Saint Helena
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Zimbabwe

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Latvian Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 30 countries with a Latvian passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cuba
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ghana
  • Guyana
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkmenistan
  • Yemen

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in Latvia. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Latvian Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Latvian citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Latvian passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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