Latvia – How to get a residence permit?

Latvia – How to Get a Residence Permit?

Are you planning to move to Latvia and stay there for an extended period? If so, you will need a residence permit. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need on how to obtain a residence permit in Latvia.


Latvia is a beautiful country located in Northern Europe. It has a rich history and culture, stunning landscapes, and a high quality of life. If you decide to move to Latvia, you will need a residence permit.

Why Do You Need a Residence Permit in Latvia?

A residence permit is a legal document that allows you to stay in Latvia for an extended period. Without a residence permit, your stay in Latvia is limited to 90 days within a 180-day period. A residence permit also allows you to work, study, and conduct business in Latvia.

Types of Residence Permits

There are several types of residence permits that you can apply for in Latvia. The most common ones are:

Temporary Residence Permit

A temporary residence permit is issued for up to five years and can be extended. This type of permit is suitable for those who want to stay in Latvia for work, study or family reasons.

Permanent Residence Permit

A permanent residence permit is issued for an indefinite period and allows you to reside in Latvia permanently. This type of permit is suitable for those who want to live in Latvia permanently.

European Union Blue Card

An EU Blue Card is issued to highly skilled workers who want to work in Latvia. This permit is similar to a temporary residence permit, except that it has additional benefits such as the right to travel within the EU without a visa.

How to Apply for a Residence Permit?

To apply for a residence permit in Latvia, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose the Right Type of Permit

The first step is to choose the right type of permit based on your purpose of stay. You can apply for a residence permit for work, study, family reunification, or investment purposes.

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents

The next step is to gather all the required documents for your application. The list of required documents depends on the type of permit you are applying for. However, the most common documents include:

– Valid passport

– Proof of accommodation in Latvia

– Proof of financial means to support yourself

– Health insurance

Step 3: Submit the Application

Once you have gathered all the required documents, you can submit your application to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA). You can do this either in person or online.

Step 4: Wait for the Decision

After submitting your application, you will need to wait for the OCMA to process it. This can take up to 30 days for a temporary residence permit and up to 90 days for a permanent residence permit.

Step 5: Collect Your Residence Permit

If your application is approved, you will need to collect your residence permit from the OCMA.


Obtaining a residence permit in Latvia may seem daunting, but it is a straightforward process as long as you follow the right steps. Remember to choose the right type of permit, gather all the required documents, submit your application, wait for the decision, and collect your residence permit. Good luck with your application!# Living in Latvia – A Guide for Expats

Congratulations on obtaining your residence permit in Latvia! Now that you can legally stay in the country, it’s time to start thinking about what life will be like as an expat in Latvia. In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about living in Latvia as a foreigner.

Cost of Living in Latvia

The cost of living in Latvia is relatively low compared to other European countries. The average monthly salary in Latvia is around €900, which is enough to cover basic expenses such as rent, utilities, and groceries. However, if you want to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle, you will need to budget for additional expenses such as dining out, entertainment, and travel.

Accommodation in Latvia

Finding suitable accommodation in Latvia can be challenging, especially if you don’t speak Latvian. Most rental properties are advertised in Latvian, and landlords may prefer tenants who speak the language. If you’re struggling to find accommodation, consider using a real estate agent or online rental platforms such as or OberHaus.

Healthcare in Latvia

Latvia has both public and private healthcare systems, but the quality of care can vary significantly between hospitals and clinics. Public healthcare is free for Latvian citizens and residents with valid health insurance, but waiting times can be long. Private healthcare is more expensive but offers shorter waiting times and better facilities.

Education in Latvia

Latvia has a high-quality education system, with both public and private schools available. Public schools use Latvian as the primary language of instruction, but some international schools offer classes in English as well. If you have children, make sure to research schools in advance and apply early to secure a spot.

Work Culture in Latvia

Latvian work culture can be quite formal compared to other countries, with punctuality and professionalism highly valued. It’s essential to dress appropriately for work, and it’s common to address colleagues and superiors by their last names. Latvians also value direct communication and may be more reserved in expressing emotions.

Social Life in Latvia

Latvia has a vibrant social scene, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs catering to all tastes. Riga, the capital city, is known for its Old Town, which boasts a variety of historic landmarks and cultural events throughout the year. If you’re looking to make friends, consider joining social clubs or volunteering organizations.

Transportation in Latvia

Latvia has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trolleybuses. Fares are relatively affordable, and tickets can be purchased from kiosks or onboard. Taxis are also readily available but can be more expensive than public transportation.

Weather in Latvia

Latvia has a temperate climate, with four distinct seasons. Summers are mild and sunny, with temperatures averaging around 20°C. Winters can be cold and snowy, with temperatures dropping as low as -20°C. Make sure to pack appropriate clothing for the season if you’re planning to stay in Latvia long-term.


Living in Latvia as an expat can be both challenging and rewarding. With a low cost of living, high-quality education and healthcare systems, and a vibrant social scene, Latvia offers plenty of opportunities for foreigners. However, it’s important to be prepared for the language barrier and cultural differences, and to approach your new life in Latvia with an open mind and a willingness to adapt. Welcome to Latvia!We hope this guide has provided you with all the essential information you need to know about living in Latvia as an expat. Remember to budget for additional expenses, research accommodation and schools in advance, dress appropriately for work, and embrace Latvian culture and language. With the right preparation and mindset, living in Latvia can be a fulfilling and enriching experience. So pack your bags and get ready for your new adventure in Latvia!

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