Ukraine to Latvia
Information for Ukrainians coming to Latvia
Welcome to Latvia!
Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war are warmly welcomed by the
Republic of Latvia and its citizens in these challenging times.
We will provide you with accommodation, food, and other
A hotline for services and support available for Ukraine
residents in Riga:
+371 27 380 380 (available 24/7)
Arrival in Latvia
On arrival in Latvia via the border crossing points, a border check will be carried out for persons with biometric passports.
Ukrainian civilians who arrive in Latvia from another European Union country and have other travel documents but do not have a valid visa to enter the Schengen area will be given visas.
If a person arrives without travel documents, the identity of the person will be confirmed in cooperation with the competent Ukrainian authorities.
Transport from Poland
If you need help to get to Latvia from the Polish-Ukrainian border, contact the movement "Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem" by filling out this form. You will receive an answer within 24 hours.
If you have a pet traveling with you from Ukraine, please contact your nearest veterinarian to arrange a visit as soon as you settle down. The veterinarian will examine, register, chip and vaccinate the animal free of charge. Phone +371 67095245. Website of the Food and Veterinary Service: www.pvd.gov.lv
If you arrive in Riga, there is a volunteer-operated welcome booth inside Riga Bus Station. The booth is open 8:00 to 24:00 every day.
Information on crossing the state border (24/7) is available by
calling the State Border Guard
The website of the State Border Guard website www.rs.gov.lv www.rs.gov.lv
The website of the Ministry of the Interior of Latvia www.iem.gov.lv/lv
A long-term visa will be issued for a one year term. The possibility of renewing the visa will depend on the further development of the situation in Ukraine.
The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
Phone +371 67209422 and +371 67209400 (Monday - Thursday 8:30 - 16:00; Friday 9:00 - 15:00) You have the right to communicate and receive answers in a language you understand and also to request the services of an interpreter. More information on the OCMA website.
You can apply for a visa:
- In the Central Support Center for the Residents of Ukraine, Kalku Street 1, Riga
- OCMA territorial offices outside Riga
- by post or courier, sending documents to: OCMA Migration Division in Riga, Čiekurkalna 1.līnija 1, k-3, LV-1026 or any territorial division outside Riga
Documents required when applying for a visa:
- Copy of your passport (data section and pages with visas and / or border crossing marks).
- When sending documents by mail a 35mm x 45mm photo is required. No photo is required when submitting documents in person.
- Long-term visa application form.
The visa will be issued in the same place where it was requested. Visa is free of charge.
On-site state and municipal services are available at 138 State-Municipal Customer Service Centers (VPVKAC). They provide assistance to Ukrainian civilians in applying for visas, residence permits and registration of natural persons. The centers also provide advice and help to apply for e-services electronically.
Cities and regions
Support center in RigaThe Riga Support Center for the Residents of Ukraine is located at Kaļķu Street 1. The center is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information at riga.lv or by phone +371 80000 800.
Residents of Ukraine can receive advice and practical support at the support center, including:
- apply for a visa,
- apply for a crisis benefit, a guaranteed minimum income benefit and a housing benefit, a certificate for receiving food parcels,
- receive consultations on registration for schools and kindergartens,
- receive consultations on employment,
- receive free Latvian SIM cards and e-tickets for the use of public transport,
- receive consultations about non-profit sector support,
- receive psychological consultations from the center "Skalbes".
If you need accommodation, please contact the 24/7 hotline +371 27380380 If you are in Riga, you can also contact the Riga city hotline +371 80000800 (workdays from 8am to 6pm) Ukrainians in Latvia are mainly accommodated in hotels and tourist accommodation facilities, as well as in the families of Latvian residents.
Certain groups of persons who, due to objective reasons, may have difficulty providing housing after the state-provided accommodation period, will be able to receive accommodation support after the 120-day period, but not longer than until 31 December this year.
Persons entitled to accommodation after a period of 120 days are as follows: have a disability; provides care for persons with disabilities; is of retirement age in accordance with the retirement age specified in Latvia; In Latvia, acquires full-time education at a pre-school, primary education, general secondary or vocational secondary education institution or is a full-time student at a higher education institution; is a woman during maternity leave; is one of the child's parents during the childcare period; provides pre-school age
Households can receive compensation of 100 euros per month for the first person accommodated and 50 euros per month for each subsequent person, but not more than 300 euros per month. If a natural person owns several properties in which Ukrainian civilians are accommodated free of charge, compensation may be received for each property in which Ukrainian civilians are accommodated. The application for compensation must be submitted to the municipality within 14 days of the start of accommodation.
Both legal person and individual, accommodating civilians in Ukraine free of charge may be reimbursed for a period exceeding 120 days, but not beyond 31 December 2022, if they are accommodating persons who are unable to provide accommodation on their own (see above). More information is available here.
Ukrainian civilians whose housing costs are higher than their income or who do not fully cover their housing costs can apply for housing benefit. Benefits are granted and paid by the municipal social service. For the first three calendar months, the benefit is paid without an assessment of the material situation, while after the end of the first three months - with the assesment of the material situation. Information on the application procedure and the required documents is available here.
The municipality may enter into a lease agreement with a private individual (landlord) for the accommodation of Ukrainian civilians. In this case, the municipality will pay a private person (landlord) a fee for the use of the dwelling in the amount of 100% of the agreed rent, which will include all payments related to the use of the dwelling, including utility payments, but not more than 300 euros per month for the dwelling. An individual in this case does not charge rent to a resident of Ukraine. The support is available for up to 120 days, but no longer than 31 December 2022. More information here.
If you wish to look for accommodation on your own, for short term options we recommend using:
For long-term options of apartments we suggest these websites:
State covered healthcareEvery Ukrainian civilian who arrives in Latvia or is already here is eligible for the same free of charge state-covered healthcare and medical services, including medicines, as are available to Latvian residents.
Urgent medical assistance
If you or your family member needs urgent medical assistance on arrival in Latvia, please inform the State Border Guard officials on duty at the border crossing point or call 113.
Medical assistance for children
The Children's Hospital Foundation offers assistance to Ukrainian civilians in coordinating thealth services, as well as financial support in cases of neccessary medical services not covered by the state, transport to a medical institution, psychological assistance, medicines or medical supplies. More information here. Phone +371 25680140
Psychological and emotional support
Free psycho-emotional support is available for children, adolescents and their families. More information here.
General Practitioners (GP) consultation number
In case you need medical advice outside the working hours of GPs, please call the GP consultation number 66016001 (Monday-Friday 17:00 - 8:00; weekdays - 24/7). To receive information in Russian, press "4".
Support of non-governmental organizations
Information on non-governmental organizations providing support to Ukrainian citizens is available here. The list also includes organizations that provide support for people with visual and hearing impairments, as well as people with disabilities, and can support with technical aids and applying for dedicated parking card.
The termination of an unwanted pregnancy
Ukrainian civilians, who have suffered from violence during the Russian war in Ukraine, have access to state-funded abortion in Latvia. In order to receive the service, Ukrainian civilians must obtain an identity document and make an appointment to a specialist. The full list of facilities making the procedure, is available here.
Several Latvian companies and non-governmental organizations offer children the opportunity to participate in various interest education activities at a discount or free of charge. The wide offer is available at https://propozycii.lv/
Every child who has arrived in Latvia as a refugee from Ukraine has the opportunity to receive education in the state language or in the minority language at the pre-school and primary education level. Also, children will be able to attend interest education groups without any restrictions. Information on admission procedures in schools is available on the website of the Ministry of Education and Science.
The Children's Clinical University Hospital (BKUS) provides all necessary medical care to children from Ukraine. To apply for medical assistance and examinations, please call +371 256 801 40 . Information on the support provided can be found on the BKUS website
Information on what to do if:
- the child has arrived in Latvia without parents or an adult known to him,
- the child has arrived in Latvia with another Ukrainian family, but without his parents,
- the child has come to his acquaintances, relatives, but without parents,
- if a group of children from the Ukrainian orphanage arrives in Latvia
Ukrainian civilians may start employment in Latvia if they have obtained a long - term visa or residence permit with the right to employment without restrictions for a period of up to one year. Upon entering into employment, a Ukrainian civilians are entitled to a one-time employment allowance of EUR 500. The benefit must be applied for at the State Employment Agency within one month after starting work. More information on applying for the employment allowance can be found here.
The State Employment Agency (SEA) will help Ukrainian civilians find employment in Latvia.
- At the Riga Support Center at Kalku Street 1,
- At any SEA customer service point in person or by phone (Monday to Thursday - from 9.00 to 16.30; on Fridays - from 9.00 to 15.00).
More information on employment requirements and rules in Latvia is available on the website of the State Labor Inspectorate (SLI).
Information on employment opportunities in the field of education is available here.
Information on employment opportunities and requirements in the field of health is available here.
Possibilities to exchange hryvnias to EUR in cash are limited in Latvia. It is recommended not to withdraw cash from cash machines.
If you have Ukrainian hryvnia in cash, go to Tavex, Romkons, Eiro ars currency exchange points in Riga. One person can exchange hryvnia for up to 100 euros per week.
If you want to transfer hryvnia to a bank account in Latvia, you must first perform a currency conversion.
VISA and MasterCard payment cards issued by Ukrainian banks are operational in Latvia, but technical problems may occur. These payment cards can also be used to withdraw money from ATMs.
In order to open an account and issue a payment card, it is necessary to visit the bank's customer service center in person, bringing with you a travel document or ID issued in Ukraine or a TUA (ID) issued in Latvia. It should be noted that most banks serve customers in person only upon previous appointments. Thus, please contact the specific bank before visiting.
Ukrainian civilians can continue their studies as exchange students, while researchers can be employed in Latvian research institutions, receiving the same support for studies as for students in Latvia or researchers in existing research cooperation programs. The list of higher education institutions, study programs and contacts is available here
Ukrainian students of all study levels enrolled in Latvian public or private higher education institutions (including colleges) are be able to receive a scholarship in the amount of 140 euros per month from the day of enrolment until the end of the semester on 30th June this year. More information can be found here.
Latvian higher education and scientific institutions included in the Register of Scientific Institutions may offer internships to Ukrainian researchers at their institution. If the institution offers an internship (without remuneration) to Ukrainian researchers, the state will provide a research fellowship for scientific and academic work of 900 euros per month until 31st August, 2022. More information on application can be found here
Culture and socialization
Ukrainian civilians have the right to visit all state museums in Latvia free of charge. The list of museums can be found on the website of the Ministry of Culture.
Books in English, Ukrainian and Russian are available in Latvian municipal libraries. Libraries provide a chance to use all the common areas with computers and Internet connection, use working space, socialize, and participate in all of the organized events.
On this site you can find a vet, hairdresser, buy a bike, have coffee or information if you need other services, or just community support. The latest advertisements from Riga and other Latvian cities are regularly added to the page - these are services for free or with a special discount.
Other useful resources
- Embassy of Ukraine in Latvia
- "Gribu palīdzet bēgļiem" Facebook group
- Online resources for learning Latvian
- Latvian news in English: eng.lsm.lv
- Latvian news in Russian: rus.lsm.lv
- Law on Assistance to Ukrainian Civilians
- Social initiative center in Riga Commonground.lv, which offers co-working spaces, library with books in Ukrainian, children playroom and other services free of charge)
The Latvian startup community is ready to warmly welcome techfugees, startups and their families in Latvia. Here are some of the major resources for tech entrepreneurs seeking practical information and assistance with relocation, setting up business in Latvia, as well as integrating into the local startup community.
The Latvian Startup Guide - spotlights benefits and opportunities of the Latvian startup welcome pack. It also contains useful information at a glance regarding moving to Latvia and everyday living. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org