Information about support in Latvia
LEGAL STATUS AND ARRIVAL
When traveling to Latvia, please bring valid travel documents, if you are able to. The absence of travel documents or medical documents (vaccination certificate, Covid-19 test) will not be an obstacle for Ukrainian residents to enter Latvia.
Ukrainian citizens who have a biometric passport do not need a visa for the first 90 days. Residents without a biometric passport will be issued a visa free of charge. You have the right to apply for a long-term visa with the right to employment.
All Ukrainian civilians will be granted the same level of protection in all EU Member States, ensuring residence rights, access to employment, accommodation, social welfare, medical treatment, education for minors etc.
For more information about your stay in Latvia, call the 24/7 helpline +37127380380.
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.
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:
EMPLOYMENT IN LATVIA.
Ukrainian civilians can be legally employed in Latvia (including in health care, education) and can receive an additional one-time payment of 500 euro when starting a job. The Latvian startup community is ready to warmly welcome techfugees, startups and their families in Latvia. Employment options can be found following these links - https://saite.lv/GAs, https://saite.lv/YOo
Every 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. You will be able to enrol their children in public kindergartens and schools.
Ukrainian civilians can apply for state sponsored Latvian language lessons.
You will be able to verify your pets’ health as well as register them, provide them with the necessary vaccine shots, and implant a microchip - all free of charge.
Ukrainian civilians can use the regional public transport in Latvia - trains and buses - free of charge, upon presentation of an identity document.
Ukrainian civilians will be entitled to the following support packages upon receipt of a certificate from the municipal social service on the crisis situation: one person will be able to receive two food parcels, a hygiene and household goods parcel, two additional child food parcels if the family has young children aged 7 to 24 months, as well as an additional package of hygiene products if the family has small children under 2 years of age. In addition, families with school-aged children will be able to receive a package of neccessary school materials.
Propozycii.lv website contains information about special offers of Latvian companies and non-governmental organizations for people from Ukraine. 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.
CASH AND MONEY WITHDRAWALS
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 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 most Latvian credit and financial institutions, Ukrainian civilians can open payment accounts free of charge.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS AND RESOURCES
Information to Ukrainians coming to Latvia: https://ukraine-latvia.com/
Information on crossing the Latvian border, state support, and all other practical questions: +37127380380 (Society Integration Foundation; available 24/7)
Website of The Latvian Ministry of the Interior: www.iem.gov.lv/en
Ukrainian civilians' support law (in Ukrainian): https://saite.lv/YMM