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Passport control

Passport control: EU nationals

On the borders of 27 European Union (EU) member states passports are not controlled any more. The procedure is canceled thanks to the Schengen Agreement that is part of the EU legislation. This Agreement has lifted all kinds of control on the internal borders of the EU, replacing it with efficient control on the external border of the EU, and introducing a common visa policy.

The states that have fully implemented the Schengen Agreement are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Sweden (but not Ireland and the U.K.),as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland (non-EU member states). Switzerland that was the last to accede to the Schengen Agreement opened its land border at the end of 2008 and its air territory border on 29 March 2009. 

Cyprus that acceded to the EU in 2004, and Bulgaria and Romania (accession year 2007) are not yet full member states of the Schengen Area. Therefore, when travelling to these countries and to Ireland and the United Kingdom, you will have to carry a valid passport or an identity card (not applicable to the citizens of Latvia).

When crossing the external border of the EU, you will need a valid passport or an identity card (not applicable to the citizens of Latvia). Also, when traveling in the EU, you will have to carry a valid passport or an identity card in case you are asked to prove your identity. For the purposes of maintenance of law and order and state security the control on internal boreders may be renewed for limited periods of time.  

In accordance with the provisions of the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation :

  • A child , who has the nationality of the Republic of Latvia, when crossing the State border independently, at the state border crossing location, in addition to a valid travel document (a passport), shall present a notarially certified consent of at least one parent or guardian to the independent exit of the child from the State. 

  • When crossing the State border accompanied by an authorised person the child at the state border crossing location, in addition to a valid travel document (a passport), shall present a notarially certified consent of at least one parent or guardian to the exit of the child from the State, accompanied by an authorised person.

  • For a child to cross the State border accompanied by either both parents, one parent or a guardian, at the State border crossing location the following shall be presented:

- a valid travel document with an entry regarding the relationship of the child to the parent accompanying the child;

- the child’s birth certificate or a notarially certified copy thereof, if in the travel document of the parent accompanying the child there is no entry regarding relationship with the child; or

- the guardian’s certificate issued by the Orphan's Court (Parish court) or a decision regarding establishment of guardianship, or a notarially certified copy thereof, if the child is accompanied by the guardian.

The agreements signed with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland allow to apply to their citizens the same laws as to the EU nationals and to travel only with an identity card (not applicable to the citizens of Latvia), or a passport.

The Schengen Borders Code determines the procedure of the border control on the persons crossing the external borders of the EU member states.

If you wish to obtain detailed information on the border crossing and customs rules of the country of your destination, please contact the embassy of that state prior to your trip.

Visa

The citizens of the EU do not require visas for travel in the territory of the EU, nevertheless, prior to your trip, we recommend you to contact the representation of the respective state.

In the Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 “listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement”, ,Annex I, the list of the third countries is provided whose nationals must present visas when crossing the external borders of the member states, whereas in Annex II the list of those third countries is provided whose nationals are exempt from that requirement for stays of no more than three months in all.

Information on the procedure of crossing the border of the Republic of Latvia is available on the website of the State Border Guards www.rs.gov.lv, or by calling T: 67075616.

Passport control: Non-EU nationals

You will need a valid passport.

Visa

Nationals of 28 states do not required visas to cross the external border of the Schengen area. These states include the United States of America, Australia, Croatia, Japan, New Zeland and Canada. The list of the states whose nationals need visas to enter the U.K. or Ireland differs from the list of the states whose nationals require visas to enter other EU member states.  When in doubt, please check the information in the nearest consular office of the respective EU member state.

Schengen visa is valid for travel to all the member states of the Schengen Agreement. The residence permit issued by a member state of the Schengen Agreement enables its holder to travel to other member states and stay there for up to three months in a half-year period. Each Schengen member state individually determines which documents issued by it are valid for travel to other Schengen member states. If it is not clear, which document at your disposal grants you such rights, please contanct the immigration office of the issuing state.
A valid health insurance policy, which guarantees the covering of expenses related to health care in the Republic of Latvia, including the conveying of the foreigner back to the country of residence in the case of his or her serious illness (http://www.rs.gov.lv/index.php?id=1107&top=0).

In order to eneter a non-Schengen state, you will need a visa issued by that country.

Useful/additional information: http://europa.eu/abc/travel/index_en.htm

Information on the procedure of crossing the border of the Republic of Latvia is available on the website of the State Border Guards www.rs.gov.lv, or by calling T: 67075616.