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Border crossing

Crossing of internal and external borders of the EU

  • Border control of individuals and vehicles on the internal borders of the EU, and on the internal ferries and airlines is canceled. The nationals of all countries who have legally entered the Schengen area can freely cross its internal borders.

  • The nationals of the EU, the European Economic Area or Switzerland must carry a valid passport or an identity card whereas the nationals of the third countries must carry a valid passport with a valid Schengen visa or a residence permit if they are subject to the visa regime under 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” . Schengen Borders Code, Article 5:
 For stays not exceeding three months per six-month period, the entry conditions for third-country nationals shall be the following:

a) they are in possession of a valid travel document or documents authorising them to cross the border;

b) they are in possession of a valid visa, if required pursuant to 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”  (1), except where they hold a valid rezidence permit;

c) they justify the purpose and conditions of their intended stay, and they have sufficient means of subsistence, both for the duration of the intended stay and for return to their coutnry of origin or transit to a third country into which they are certain to be admitted, or are in a position to acquire such means lawfully;

d) they are not persons for whom an alert has been issued in the SIS for the purposes of refusing entry;

e) they are not considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Member States, in particular where no alert has been issued in Member States’ national data bases for the purposes of refusing entry on the same grounds.

  • Foreigners who are not nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland shall be subject to a thorough check on the location of state border crossing at all times. 

  • However, on a non-systematic basis, on the nationals of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland and on non-citizens of Latvia the border guards may consult Latvian and European data-bases in order to insure that such persons do not represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the internal security, public policy, international relations of Latvia or a threat to the public health.   

  • Third-country nationals presenting a valid Schengen visa or a residence permit or a residence permit for Lichtenstein may cross the territory of Latvia in transit or enter and stay in the territory of Latvia for the period not exceeding three months. Holders of the Latvian residence permit during the term of its validity may stay in the country and travel to other EU and Schengen member states for the period not exceeding three months.  

  • All third-country nationals are checked in the Schengen Information System SISone4all. If the system issues an alert, consultations are held with the SIRENE office and: 

1.      a person wanted in other Schengen state or in Latvia is detained and handed over to the State Police;

2.       a foreign national forbidden to enter the Schengen area is denied entrance into Latvia;

3.       the information on a missing person is forvarded to the search initiator, and persons in imminent danger are rendered protection;

4.       the information on the witnesses or persons subpoenaed to appear in court is transferred to the relevant institution;

5.       discreet surveillance of persons or vehicles is instituted;

6.       the information on the item sought for confiscation or use as an exibit in a criminal case is transferred to the relevant institution.

  • Foreign citizens should apply for a visa in a diplomatic or consular office prior to entry  into an EU/Schengen member state. In separate exceptional cases (e.g. in the state interests or for human reasons) border guards are allouwed to issue Schengen visas to the third country nationals.

  • Border control  on the internal border of the European Union  can be temporarily renewed by a special decision of the Cabinet of Ministers in the events posing serious threat to public policy, internal security or public health.

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.