Escaping the Immigration Maze: Entering Latvia

Escaping the Immigration Maze: Entering Latvia

I have been accepted for studies at Ventspils University of Applied Sciences – what happens next? Once you finish the happy dance, we take you by the hand and guide you through the immigration maze and try not to lose you while there.

Once all payments are received and we have your study agreement, VUAS will issue an official invitation that has been approved by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) of the Republic of Latvia, indicating that the candidate is ready to submit documents necessary to receive the right to enter and reside in the Republic of Latvia.

The immigration maze can be quite confusing, but hang in there. Depending on the country of origin, before entering Latvia, the candidate either first applies for the D (national long-stay) visa or the Temporary Residence Permit.

  • Applicants from these countries (PDF) first must apply for a Temporary Residence Permit and upon receiving a positive decision may apply for a D (national long-stay) visa;

  • Applicants from countries not listed in here (PDF) first may apply for a D (national long-stay) visa and then after having arrived in Latvia should apply for a Temporary Residence Permit;

  • Applicants from countries (PDF) whose citizens may enter Latvia without a visa  after having arrived in Latvia should apply for the Temporary Residence Permit;

  • VUAS students who are citizens of the EU/EEA countries (PDF) have the right to move and reside freely within the territory of Latvia. Thus, immigration procedures are not compulsory as long as they leave the territory of Latvia once in every 3 months or if they wish, they may apply for a Registration Certificate or ID Card for European Citizens.

If the invitation is approved (within two to seven working days), the invitation number along with the necessary documents for acquisition of a Residence Permit or visa are sent to the student.

Upon receiving the documents sent from VUAS, the student personally has to submit to a diplomatic or consular representative office of the Republic of Latvia the following documents:

For a Temporary Residence Permit:

  • A valid travel document recognized by the Republic of Latvia (passport);

  • A signed and completed Residence Permit form;

  • One photograph 3 cm x 4 cm;

  • A copy of a document confirming that the applicant has a valid travel medical insurance policy;

  • Police clearance certificate issued by a competent institution from the country of citizenship or the host country if the student has resided there for more than 12 months (most often issued by the police department). The document cannot be older than six months and should be legalized by the Foreign Ministry (or the Embassy) of the host country;

  • Evidence of funds to support the student during the stay in Latvia (a bank statement in the student’s name that is less than three months old indicating that the applicant has at least 5160 EUR available per year;

  • The document guaranteeing accommodation at the dormitory (submitted by VUAS);

  • The original Contract for studies concluded with VUAS;

  • Copy of the remittance order certifying payment of state duty fee (account details are available on OCMA internet website www.ocma.gov.lv).

Documents for a Temporary Residence Permit will be evaluated by OCMA within two months from the date of submission. Therefore it is advisable to travel at least twice to the diplomatic or consular office of the Republic of Latvia and not reside in the country where the consular office is located. It is also advisable to telephone the diplomatic or consular office to arrange an appointment for submission of documents beforehand.

A copy of the OCMA decision will be sent to VUAS and the student. If the decision is positive, VUAS will inform the student and the student will be able to apply to a diplomatic or consular office of the Republic of Latvia to receive a visa for entering Latvia.

NB! If the decision of OCMA is negative, VUAS shall immediately inform the candidate and, within a week after receiving the candidate’s account details, transfer the remitted tuition fee and security deposit deducting the bank transaction charges.

For a D (national long-stay) visa:

  • A valid travel document recognized by the Republic of Latvia (passport);

  • A national long-stay visa form completed and signed;

  • One photograph 3 cm x 4 cm;

  • A copy of a document confirming that the applicant has an adequate and valid travel medical insurance policy;

  • Documents indicating that the applicant possesses sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to the country of origin or residence, or for the transit to a third country into which he is certain to be admitted (14 EUR per day);

  • The document guaranteeing accommodation at the dormitory (submitted by VUAS);

  • The original of the Contract on studies concluded with VUAS;

  • Copy of the remittance order certifying payment of the state duty (account details are available on OCMA internet website www.ocma.gov.lv).

Current and more detailed information on migration-related issues can be received by writing to international@venta.lv.

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