In an ever-evolving world where remote work is becoming the norm, Latvia has emerged as a key player by introducing the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa. This initiative caters to the growing community of digital nomads who desire the flexibility to live and work within the scenic beauty of Latvia. As part of the Schengen Visa system, this visa offers an unparalleled opportunity to explore not only Latvia but also other Schengen countries.
Latvia has recently become a popular destination for digital nomads looking to move to a beautiful European country. Digital nomads are lured to the country by its gorgeous landscapes of unspoiled forests and scenic lakes. Latvia has long been a magnet for ex-pats in Europe. Compared to many other European countries, the taxes here are comparatively low while the quality of life is good.
If you're a digital nomad looking to move to Latvia, you can expect unforgettable experiences in one of Europe's hidden gems. Although it's a small country with only two million inhabitants, Latvia has an excellent quality of life and a fast-growing economy. Between working, digital nomads in Latvia can enjoy a chunk of nature, whether hiking, cycling or a scenic stroll by the beach.
But before you pack your stuff and fly to Latvia, it's worth researching the Latvia digital nomad visa requirements and qualifications. So, here's everything you need to know.
About the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa
The Latvian government approved a draft of the Latvia digital nomad visa around February 2022. The legislation is currently under review and will go through final approval before it becomes official.
With the Latvia digital nomad visa, foreign remote workers and freelancers can live in the country for one year, with an option to renew for another year. After two years of living in Latvia with the digital nomad visa, holders can apply for permanent residency in the country.
After residing legally for five years, digital nomads can apply for Latvian citizenship, and that's an advantage for digital nomads looking to obtain an EU passport. As a holder of an EU passport, you'll have the privilege to travel to 26 Schengen Area countries visa-free!
Latvia is the latest country to have joined a growing number of European countries offering digital nomad visas, such as Montenegro, Estonia, Romania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Croatia, and the Czech Republic.
Who Are Qualified to Apply for the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa?
The digital nomad visa of Latvia applies to two groups of foreign nationals:
- Those employed in another country, but capable of working remotely in Latvia.
- Self-employed individuals who can remotely work from Latvia.
Qualified foreign nationals approved for the visa can live in Latvia and continue to work for a company based abroad or take up remote freelance work while living in the country.
The Latvia digital nomad visa is a convenient option for those who want to take advantage of remote working possibilities and experience a good quality of life in Latvia.
Riga, the country's capital city, is popular among digital nomads in Latvia, thanks to its modern infrastructure, fast internet speed, and excellent co-working spaces. The capital city is also well-connected to various countries in Europe and some other countries worldwide by direct flights, making it an ideal base for nomads who need to travel constantly while living in Latvia.
What Are the Requirements for the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa?
To be eligible for the Latvia digital nomad visa, one must meet the following requirements:
- Valid passport – you need to present a valid passport upon application for the digital nomad visa.
- Citizen or Resident of OECD Country – to be eligible for the visa, you need to be a resident or citizen of one of the OECD countries, like the United States, Canada, UK, Japan, Israel, United Kingdom, Mexico, New Zealand, Turkey, and more.
- Can work remotely – you need to show proof that you are earning an income remotely. You can present business documents or contracts and must be with the company for at least six months. The company must also be based and registered in any of the OECD countries.
- Income should be at least 2,857.50€ per month – applicants must present proof that their monthly income is at least 2,857.50€. You can submit bank statements and pay slips as proof.
- Health insurance – applicants should have health insurance coverage for the entire duration of the visa.
Countries Eligible for the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa
As stated above, one of the requirements to be eligible for the Latvia digital nomad visa is a resident or citizen of any OECD member country.
Below is a list of countries that are members of the OECD:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
Other Visa Options for Remote Workers in Latvia
If you want to move to Latvia as a digital nomad but don't have the qualifications for the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa, you can consider other visa options.
Foreign nationals from several countries can enter Latvia visa-free and stay up to 90 days. Most are from EU countries, although visitors from a few non-EU countries also qualify for the visa-exemption scheme, such as Brazil, Australia, and the United States. Take note that visa-free entry is only for tourism and business purposes. If you will take up employment in Latvia, a visa is required.
Starting November 2023, digital nomads from countries eligible for visa-free entry to Latvia can apply for the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System). ETIAS is a visa waiver that will serve as a travel permit for foreigners entering Latvia under the visa-free scheme, allowing them to travel to other Schengen countries, not just Latvia.
Take note that you are not allowed to work for a local company with the ETIAS. However, those who entered as tourists can continue their remote work while sightseeing in Latvia and other Schengen countries. Those who come to Latvia on a business trip using the ETIAS can also work remotely.
Digital nomads also have the option to apply for a Schengen visa and stay in Latvia for up to three months using this visa. But if you plan on staying longer than three months, the Latvia digital nomad visa would be a great option.
Living as a Digital Nomad in Latvia
Latvia has recently been gaining popularity in the digital nomad world. While it's not among the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, the country is slowly gaining popularity for its stunning natural beauty and mostly untouched ecosystem that makes up for about half its entire territory.
Latvia is a small European country sandwiched between Estonia and Lithuania. It's home to approximately two million inhabitants and offers plenty of natural wonders, from national parks to gorgeous castles, scenic lakes, and fascinating historical relics.
The majority of the country enjoys a calm and tranquil atmosphere, except for Riga, the bustling capital city. The Latvian capital is home to fantastic restaurants, lovely parks, and everything you would expect in a vibrant fast-paced capital.
If you don't mind the cold weather, Latvia is a great country to live in as a digital nomad. In the capital city of Riga, you'll find many excellent co-working spaces and cafes with fast internet. There's currently a thriving community of digital nomads in Riga. With the government offering the Latvia digital nomad visa, it won't be long before it becomes one of Europe's most popular hubs for digital nomads.
Latvia offers many great things for digital nomads to do between working. It's a great summer destination with beautiful, pristine beaches and parks with great hiking trails. You will easily find many things to keep you entertained while working remotely in this lovely country.
In addition, the cost of living in Latvia is reasonable compared to other European countries. The cost of living for digital nomads in Latvia is approximately $2,142 per month. A one-bedroom apartment in the centre of Riga costs an average of $391 per month.
The Latvia Digital Nomad Visa represents a significant step forward in embracing the digital nomad lifestyle. It reflects Latvia's commitment to innovation and international standards, offering a unique opportunity for remote workers to experience life in Latvia and beyond. With its straightforward application process and numerous benefits, the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa is an attractive option for those seeking to explore Europe while continuing their digital work.
FAQs on the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa?
How to Apply for the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa?
Since the Latvia digital nomad visa is still in the process of getting finalized, there's not yet any information about the process of application. Once it's approved by the Latvian government, the application process should be straightforward, as long as you have all the requirements.
How Much Will It Cost to Apply for the Latvia Digital Nomad Visa?
The fee for the Latvia digital nomad visa is 60€, with an option for expedited processing at €120 if the application is submitted within three days of the legal stay period's expiration in Latvia.
How Long Can You Stay in Latvia with a Digital Nomad Visa?
If you get approved for the Latvia digital nomad visa, you can stay in the country for up to a year. You have the option to renew for another year.
Can I Bring Family Members?
The Latvia digital nomad visa does not permit the inclusion of family members.
After two years of living in Latvia with the digital nomad visa, you can apply for a temporary residence visa. Otherwise, you need to spend at least six months outside the country before you can reapply for another digital nomad visa.