Officially known as the Republic of Latvia, one of the few Baltic states, this country has much to offer interested travelers to Europe. From 2021, tourists visiting Latvia will need to obtain a European Travel Information and Authority System (ETIAS) visa waiver for Europe in order to be able to enter and travel around Latvia according to European immigration laws.
One of the smaller European states, Latvia has a population of just under 2 million people. However, this has not stopped the country from developing rapidly and becoming a popular European tourist destination with more than 2.5 million visitors in 2017. This number is expected to continue to grow in the future, thus the ETIAS Latvia will be highly solicited when it becomes available.
Latvia Europe Visa Waiver Program
To get the ETIAS for Latvia, eligible citizens will have to apply online for a European visa waiver from the ETIAS platform before traveling. This process shouldn’t take longer than 10-15 minutes and soon after the successful applicant will receive the approved ETIAS in their email inbox.
Using the online ETIAS application form, travelers must introduce their personal and travel information, details from their passport and answer some basic security, health and immigration questions.
The Europe visa application will be screened automatically by the ETIAS system once the fee has been paid by credit or debit card, therefore, it is essential that all tourists wishing to visit Latvia have available their method of payment, valid passport and accessible email account to complete this procedure. These Europe travel authorization for Latvia requirements are mandatory for all who apply.
The Europe visa waiver scheme will permit tourists to enter and travel around Latvia, as well as the other ETIAS countries, for a total of 90 days. The ETIAS allows for multiple entries within the 3-year validity period.
Latvia in Europe
This northern European Baltic state is bordered to the north by Estonia, the south by Lithuania and to the southeast by Russia and Belarus, in addition to a shared maritime border with Sweden. This location has been both positive and negative for Latvia throughout its recent history in Europe.
Throughout the history of Latvia, the country has been subject to various reigns from Sweden, Poland, and Russia. Finally gaining independence in 1918, taking advantage of the situation in post-war Europe but with continued political unrest throughout the 1930s only to fall under Nazi occupation in the Second World War and finally back into Russian hands as the Latvian SSR from 1944 until 50 years later. The non-violent ‘Singing Revolution1 of 1987 finally lead to Latvia regaining independence in 1990.
Today, Latvia is a member of the EU, the Council of Europe, the UN and NATO, among many other pivotal international organizations and agencies. It has been a part of the Eurozone since 2014 when Latvia officially changed its previous currency to the Euro.
Travel to Latvia: places to visit in Latvia
Travelers are keen to discover more of Latvia with its humid continental climate giving way to extremely cold winters and warm, sunny summers. Latvia has 4 seasons each year and during different parts of the year, people can enjoy varying activities throughout the country.
The topography of the land offers fertile ground with an abundance of wildlife and rare flora and fauna to be explored by nature buffs. The country is cloaked with forests, fields, national parks, rivers, and unexplored beaches.
Latvia has a rich tradition of conservation which extends to animal and plant species found over the land. Thanks to this behavior, Latvia has been recognized as the 25th country for Biodiversity and Habitat in the Environmental Performance Index which measures global levels of sustainable policies.
The country is dotted with tourist attractions and some of the places to visit in Latvia include Riga, the capital city, named the European Capital of Culture in 2014, medieval castles, luxurious palaces, insightful museums, quaint towns, and tranquil villages where many of the longstanding Latvian folk traditions of music and dance can be witnessed.