Latvia is one of Eastern Europe’s less-explored countries, yet it has a lot to offer with its pristine countryside and cobblestone towns and cities. It was part of the Soviet Union until 1991 and has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 2004.
Latvia is located on the Baltic coast and is bordered by Russia to the east, Estonia to the north, and Belarus and Lithuania to the south. Latvian and Russian are the main languages of Latvia, but English is spoken widely within the cities. Like Estonia to the north, it has a small Russian population, which is a remnant of the Soviet Union.
The country is known for its untainted green countryside and large areas of forest. The weather here can get cold with winter lows in the 30s, but the summers are pleasant with temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The country isn’t very green for no reason though; it rains quite a lot! Living costs in Latvia are very low and are estimated at €350 per month, excluding fees.
It is mandatory to be covered by health insurance for the entire planned period of stay in Latvia.
The health insurance policy should guarantee coverage of expenses for care in Latvia, including expenses associated with return travel to your home country in case of serious health problems.
The minimum coverage limit indicated in the policy cannot be less than 42,600 EUR over the insurance period.
You must demonstrate financial means of 430 EUR per month for the duration of your residence permit (1 year).
You must first determine whether you will need an entry visa. The US is one of the 50+ countries that are exempt from the entry visa requirement. Check with the Latvian embassy in your home country for further details.
Students who are staying longer than 90 days will need to apply for a residence permit at a Latvian embassy or consulate outside Latvia. Your school may assist you in this process, and they will certainly furnish certain documents.
To apply for a residence permit, you will need to provide the following: a completed application form, photo, copy of passport, copy of study agreement with the university (original must be presented), copy of education/degree certificate or secondary school diploma and transcripts, copy of academic recognition of foreign qualification (provided by school), proof of payment of tuition to receiving school (provided by school), copy of police record, proof of means, and proof of housing in Latvia.