How to Enter Latvia

Do I need a passport or visa to enter?

You need a valid passport to enter Latvia. Latvia is a party to the Schengen Agreement; as such, U.S. citizens may enter Latvia for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond your intended period of stay, and Latvian Border Guards strictly enforce this policy. Only one stay of up to 90 days is permitted in the Schengen territory within a six-month period. If you plan to visit multiple European Schengen zone countries on the same trip, you should pay attention to the total number of consecutive days spent in member countries, including Latvia. U.S. citizens are advised to carry passports when traveling to neighboring Baltic countries from Latvia – even on day trips – as random passport checks are possible. For further details about travel into and within Schengen countries, please see our Schengen Fact Sheet.

In addition, upon entering or exiting the country, you must declare cash in excess of 10,000 Euros (or equivalent value) to Latvian customs.

If you are going to stay in Latvia for more than 90 days, you must apply for temporary residence. You must have a valid insurance policy, which includes coverage of medical expenses while in Latvia. Repatriation costs, including funeral and disposition of remains costs, also have to be covered by the policy. One of the requirements for the temporary residence application is a criminal record check from the United States, which can be requested through the FBI. You must submit proof of identity, which consists of name, date and place of birth, and a set of ink-rolled fingerprint impressions.

For more information, contact the Latvian Embassy at 2306 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, tel. (202)328-2840, fax (202)328-2860. Within Latvia, contact the Ministry of Interior’s Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs at Ciekurkalna 1st line, building 3, Riga, LV-1026. Tel. (371) 8300, email:

If you are planning to travel to the Russian Federation from Latvia, even in transit, we recommend you obtain a visa prior to entry into Latvia. The process to apply for a visa at the Russian Embassy in Riga can be lengthy, and may involve submission of your passport for an undetermined period of time.

Special Travel Circumstances in Latvia

Bank and currency exchange counters may refuse to accept U.S. currency that is crumpled, torn, discolored, or defaced (even small pen strokes are considered defacing). If such notes are accepted for exchange, an additional processing fee, based on the size of the transaction, may be charged. ATMs are widely available in Riga and in major towns. For security purposes, it is recommended that visitors use ATMs located inside major hotels or shopping malls, versus those located on the street, in high-volume tourist areas.

Telephone connections with the United States are reliable; however, U.S. toll-free numbers cannot be accessed from Latvia. Please check with your long-distance carrier before departure to see if they offer service in Latvia. Local Internet cafes offer computer access, and fax machines are widely available.

Latvian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from Latvia of items such as firearms, religious materials, antiquities, medications, business equipment, drugs, etc. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Latvia in Washington or one of the Latvian consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.


You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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