Work in Latvia

Ukrainians, as well as persons, having a permanent residence permit in Ukraine arriving in Latvia will be able to work there practically immediately.

Upon registration after arrival, Ukrainians will be able to start working in Latvia if they obtain a long-stay visa (issued for one year) and the right to employment (without limitations). A state fee for issuing a long-term visa in this case will not be applied.

Ukrainian nationals who do not have all the necessary documents will also be able to obtain a visa. In this case, they may be obliged to submit the relevant documents within one year.

The employment of Ukrainian nationals will not require the registration of an employer vacancy with the State Employment Agency and will not be subject to the requirement to provide a salary of no less than the average gross salary in the Republic of Latvia in the previous year.

The law also regulates the possibility for Ukrainian nationals to work in the fields of education and treatment, as well as providing for an exception to the use of the official language in the field of employment. Namely, the employer has the right to employ Ukrainian people even without knowledge of the official language (Latvian), provided that this does not interfere with the performance of work duties.

Upon employment of Ukrainian nationals, the employer will be entitled to receive a grant from the State Employment Agency totalling the minimum salary for one month.

Upon starting employment, Ukrainian nationals will be entitled to a one time allowance in the amount of one minimum monthly wage exempted from personal income tax.

Arrival to Latvia and registration

  • There will be border checks for persons entering with biometric passports and visa issuing to persons who have other travel documents but no visa to enter the EU. If the person does not have travel documents, identification will be carried out in cooperation with the competent Ukrainian authorities.
  • After arrival in Latvia, Ukrainian nationals should apply for a long-term visa with rights to employment at Riga Congress Hall, or at any of the branches of the Office of the Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
  • If the person does not have travel document, a third country citizen identification card will be issued with the validity term of one year.
  • Accommodation, food and medical care will be provided.

Residency options

Currently Ukrainian nationals have the following options for further residency in Latvia:

  • A temporary residence permit under humanitarian grounds, which will be valid up to five years (with yearly registration). The legal ground for such residence permit is not asylum, but not being able to return to the country of origin for humanitarian reasons.
  • A national (D) visa under humanitarian grounds (valid for one year)

Since the above residency options are not based on asylum, arriving in another safe country first (e.g. Poland, Romania or others) will have no effect on eligibility to stay in Latvia.

Ukrainians may also choose to formally apply for asylum, but this is a much longer process and may involve additional legal issues (e.g. first safe country of entry and similar).

When applying for visas or residence permits, Ukrainian nationals will not be required to have a valid passport, health insurance, or other documents, if they are not available for objective reasons, which would normally grant them the right to arrive in Latvia. However, they may be obliged to submit the relevant documents within one year.

If a travel document issued in Ukraine has expired, it will be considered valid in Latvia until 28 February 2023.

Employees arriving with children

The matter should be relatively simple if a child is arriving with one of their parents and has some sort of identification documents (passport, birth certificate, student certificate or any other document evidencing the child‘s identity and/or relationship with the parent). The border check and identification will be performed.

A new institution is established under the law — emergency guardianship. The emergency guardianship is introduced for children who have arrived to Latvia from Ukraine without their parents. The law provides that a person to whom an unaccompanied child arrives may become an extraordinary guardian, as well as a person who has been granted the status of guardian or in Latvia, the status of foster family or host family, as well as a person with whom an unaccompanied child has arrived together in Latvia.

Covid-19 certificates

In addition, it should be noted that Ukrainian citizens do not need to take the Covid-19 test upon arrival in Latvia. Presenting Covid-19 certificate to receive services in green mode is not necessary, only an identity document – a passport and/or visa is necessary.

Arriving with pets

Immigrants from Ukraine who have arrived in Latvia with their pets – dogs, cats or ferrets – must go to the nearest veterinary clinic to register, chip, and, if necessary, vaccinate the animal. For immigrants from Ukraine these services will be provided free of charge.

In addition, it should be taken into account that in order to facilitate the processing of documents and necessary procedures, it is recommended to take all personal documents with you to enter Latvia – passports, birth and marriage certificates, educational documents, etc.

Useful links for Ukrainian nationals:

Read about relocating and employing Ukrainian citizens in Lithuania and Estonia.