To apply for a residence permit, a foreigner must file the documents with a diplomatic or consular representative office of the Republic of Latvia that is not located in a Schengen Member State. If the foreigner holds a valid residence permit in any Schengen Member State then he/she is entitled to file the documents with the representative office located in the Schengen Member State.
A foreigner can submit documents to apply for a residence permit to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs if:
- he or she holds a valid residence permit in the Republic of Latvia and the validity term of it expires after not less than 45 days;
- he or she is a citizen of a country that does not need the visa to travel to the Republic of Latvia;
- he or she holds a valid residence permit issued in another Schengen Member State;
- he or she is legally staying in the Republic of Latvia and holds a residence permit of a long-term resident of the European Union issued in another European Union Member State, and the validity term of his/her legal stay in the territory of the Republic of Latvia expires after not less than 45 days;
- he or she is a family member of a foreigner, who holds a residence permit of a long-term resident of the European Union issued in another European Union Member State and is legally staying in the Republic of Latvia, if the family has been formed in another European Union Member State before the foreigner who holds a residence permit of the long-term resident of the European Union issued in another Member State has applied for a temporary residence permit in the Republic of Latvia.
If a foreigner resides in a country with a valid unified visa then the documents for the application for a residence permit may be filed at regional offices of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. The documents are accepted if a foreigner is applying for a residence permit:
- as a teacher at an accredited educational institution;
- as a scientist who has entered into a contract of scientific cooperation with a scientific institution included in the register of scientific institutions;
- as a consultant (expert) who provides assistance to a State or local government institution or a person who helps to implement such an international agreement or project, to which the Republic of Latvia is a member state;
- as a composer, a musician, a singer, a choreographer, a dancer, a director, an actor, a circus artist, a technical worker involved in the provision of a performance or the head of a culture institution financed from the State or local government budget;
- has received a work permit in Latvia;
- as a sports trainer;
- as a professional athlete upon an invitation of a sports club;
- as a parent of a citizen of Latvia or a non-citizen of Latvia who requests a residence permit in accordance with Section 30 of the Immigration Law;
- as a minor;
- as a pupil or a full-time student of an educational institution accredited in the Republic of Latvia and his or her residence is related to participation in an exchange programme or he or she is admitted for studies in a master’s or doctoral study programme or a study programme at the end of which the student obtains a degree regarded as equal to a master’s degree;
- as a foreigner, one of the ascendant relatives of whom in direct line is a Latvian or a Livonian (Liv) and who is moving for permanent residence in the Republic of Latvia;
- as a highly qualified employee applying for a European Union Blue Card;
- as a person applying for a residence permit in accordance with Paragraphs 28, 29 or 30 of Part One of Section 23 of the Immigration Law. This condition does not apply to a foreigner who is the citizen of a country included in the list specified in Part Nine of Section 4 of the Immigration Law or a foreigner who has been granted the status of a stateless person, refugee or alternative status, or temporary protection in a foreign country;
- in relation to accepting the citizenship of another country and prior to the acceptance of citizenship of another country he or she has been a citizen of Latvia or a non-citizen of Latvia.
!!! Together with the foreigner, the documents for the application for a residence permit may also be filed by the foreigner’s spouse,their minor children (including those under their guardianship) and the persons under his/her guardianship.
!!! A foreigner holding a valid permanent residence permit may apply to the regional office of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, except for Riga Section No. 1.