Procedures for obtaining visas and residence permits differ for citizens of different countries. Please see below for a brief introduction to procedures applicable, according to your country of citizenship. For assistance in receiving visas and residence permits, please contact the international affairs department of the university at which you wish to study.
European Union, EEA/Switzerland
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are students of an educational institution registered with the Register of Education Institutions of the Republic of Latvia and whose intended period of residence does not exceed one year do not need to register with the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA), as long as they are in possession of a valid travel document for the duration of their stay. Please see the relevant information on OCMA website. However, a residence permit can be helpful in cases such as opening a bank account. For details on how to apply for a student residence permit as an EU citizen, please see the relevant section on the OCMA website.
For a full list of countries whose citizens do not require a visa to enter Latvia see the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs website (OCMA).
Only those citizens of non-visa countries who are enrolled in full-time studies at an educational institution registered with the Register of Education Institutions of the Republic of Latvia are eligible to apply for residence in Latvia on the basis of their student status. In order to enrol in part-time studies in Latvia, an individual who is a citizen of a non-visa country must first obtain a valid residence permit in a Schengen country.
For details on how to apply for a student residence permit as a citizen of a non-visa country, please see this section of the OCMA website.
Citizens of countries required to hold a visa in order to enter Latvia must apply at the Latvian diplomatic and consular mission with the territorial competence for the country in which the individual legally resides. It is possible to complete the visa application electronically, but documents must be submitted in person.
Not all countries have a Latvian Embassy. In countries where a Latvian Embassy is not present, visa applications can be made to the embassy of the Schengen Area country which has agreed to represent Latvia in the specific country.
Please see the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for the relevant information:
Countries subject to prior consultation
According to Article 22 of the Visa Code, there are a set of Third countries whose citizens, or categories of citizens are subject to prior consultation before they may receive a visa. For a list of these countries, please see the relevant section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.