Ukraine to Latvia
Information for Ukrainians coming to Latvia
Last updated on 19.01.2023
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 Ukrainian
residents in Riga:
+371 27 380 380
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.
A Ukrainian citizen staying in Latvia on the basis of a residence permit is obliged to declare their place of residence in Latvia within one month from the moment of receiving the residence permit card. Information on how to declare your place of residence in Latvia is available here.
Transport to LatviaTransport to Latvia You can purchase bus tickets from various carriers, for example https://ecolines.net/ua/uk, https://www.flixbus.ua/, https://luxexpress.eu/lv/. If you need any help with the purchase of the tickets, please fill out this form. You will receive an answer within 48 hours.
If you have a pet travelling with you from Ukraine, please contact your nearest veterinarian to arrange a visit as soon as you settle down. This visit should take place no later than within 5 working days after arrival of the pet. The veterinarian will examine, register, chip and vaccinate the animal free of charge. Phone +371 67095245. Website of the Food and Veterinary Service: https://www.pvd.gov.lv/en
Information on crossing the state border (24/7) is available by
calling the State Border Guard
The website of the State Border Guard: www.rs.gov.lv
The website of the Ministry of the Interior of Latvia: www.iem.gov.lv/lv
If you arrive in Riga, there is a volunteer-operated welcome booth inside Riga Bus Station. The booth is open from 8:00 to 24:00 every day.
For those residents of Ukraine who received temporary protection status in the Republic of Latvia in 2022, long-term visas and temporary residence permits issued until December 31, 2022 will be valid until March 4, 2024, regardless of the document's validity period specified in these documents.
A special law on Ukrainian civilians has been adopted and is in force in Latvia, so you do not need to apply for a refugee status.
The documents will continue to be valid in the territory of the
Republic of Latvia, but the Ukrainian resident will have the
opportunity to request a new temporary residence permit in the
- the person needs to travel outside the territory of the Republic of Latvia (in cases where the person renounces the temporary protection status in the Republic of Latvia and leaves for another country or returns to Ukraine, a new temporary residence permit will not be issued);
- the visa or residence permit issued to the person has been lost or has become invalid due to damage or changes to the data specified in it;
- the person has previously been issued a visa, but the person needs to obtain a residence permit in order to use the electronic signature options, or the person's previously issued residence permit has expired, but the person wants to continue using the electronic signature options. 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.
In order to receive a residence permit, citizens of Ukraine must
submit a copy of their travel document and:
- persons who have previously been issued a visa or persons who receive temporary protection for the first time and apply for a residence permit, or if a civilian resident of Ukraine is a citizen of the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus, must fill out a residence permit application form;
- persons who have previously been issued a temporary residence permit must fill out a free-form application. If a civilian citizen of Ukraine is an adult citizen of the Russian Federation or the Republic of Belarus, he must fill out an additional questionnaire for providing information to the competent state authorities.
The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
Phone +371 67209422 and
+371 67209400; +371 67209600
- working hours of info phone on migration issues (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.
On-site state and municipal services are available at
138 State-Municipal Customer Service Centers
(VPVKAC). They provide assistance to Ukrainian civilians
with visa applications, residence permits and registration of
natural persons. The centers also provide advice and help to
apply for e-services electronically.
Ukrainian refugees who have been issued a visa or a temporary residence permit in Latvia, or have been granted a personal identity number, when they intend to return to Ukraine or travel to another country, should submit an application for cancellation of their temporary protection status and visa or temporary residence permit to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. More information here.
Cities and regions
Support center in RigaThe Riga Support Center for the Residents of Ukraine is located at Amatu street 4 and it is open on weekdays from 9 to 17. 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,
- submit applications for issuing personal codes and receive personal codes,
- receive a package of food, household and hygiene products,
- receive information about educational opportunities in Latvia,
- receive advice on employment,
- receive consultation about child, pension and disability benefits of Ukrainian civilians,
receive information about the non-governmental sector's
opportunities to help,
receive psychological counseling from the center
Ukrainian residents who are registered in Riga can also:
- apply for a benefit in a crisis situation, guaranteed minimum income, benefit and housing benefit, certificate for receiving food parcels,
- receive information about registration in schools and kindergartens,
- receive free Latvian SIM cards and e-vouchers for using public transport.
Ukrainian residents registered in other municipalities should
get in touch with their local relevant municipality.
Support in other cities
For more information on support opportunities, please contact the relevant municipality:
Other municipalities: more information here. Local municipalities may also provide additional help and support, depending on their capacity.
Ukrainian civilians registered at the Riga Support Centre for Ukrainian Residents can use the capital's public transport free of charge after the receipt of the ticket and only until June 30, 2023.
Regularly updated information for Ukrainian civilians about the public transport in Riga is available here.
- See all public transport arrival and departure times here
- Plan your route here
- See information about tickets here
- See the map of ticket trade places here
There are 6 zones in Riga: A, B, C, D, R and V, in which the parking fee and working hours, as well as the payment method, may differ. Maps with parking zoning can be viewed on the website of Rigas Satiksme. Currently, five payment methods are available in paid parking lots in Riga: prepaid, postpaid, by phone, monthly subscription and resident card. More detailed information is available here.
Please note that residents of Ukraine who need to park their car
from September 5, 2022 while receiving services at the Riga
Support Center for Residents of Ukraine can receive a special
parking pass in room 118 on the ground floor (the number of
places is limited).
Civilians from Ukraine may participate in road traffic using
vehicles registered in Ukraine for three months since the moment
of entry without re-registering the vehicle in Latvia.
If a vehicle registered in Ukraine is to be used in Latvia for more than three months, a civilian resident of Ukraine may register it for a period of 3 years without a certificate of compliance (for more information, see: Temporary vehicle registration.
When a vehicle is registered temporarily, Latvian national registration number plates and a registration certificate are issued for it. The documents and registration number plates submitted for temporary registration are kept and issued when the vehicle is removed from the register, and to be moved from Latvia.
When registering a vehicle previously registered in Ukraine (temporarily or permanently), the importation of the vehicle must be formalised in the manner specified in the customs laws and regulations. In order to register a vehicle with CSDD, it must first be cleared by customs, meaning that a customs declaration must be submitted to the customs authority. This can be done by contacting a declaration service provider (a customs broker), looking up their contact details using a web browser search. The authorised customs broker will prepare the customs declaration and submit it to the SRS EMDAS electronic customs data processing system.
More information on customs formalities available here.
Winter tires are compulsory from 1 December 1 until 1 March for the winter season and require at least 4 millimeters of tread. The Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) also advises drivers not to continue to use tires after 5-6 years and to ensure they are running with the correct air pressure.
If you receive a fine, pay attention to the information in the fine print, as there are a number of administrative penalties for which officials can apply a conditional partial release (for example, if you pay a fine within 15 days after receiving it, there may be an exemption from payment 50 % of total volume).
Driving licenceDriving licences issued in Ukraine are valid for driving all categories of vehicles specified in the licences in Latvia for the period of temporary protection; the licences need not be exchanged for a Latvian driving licence.
In relation to getting a driving licence, the provisions of Section 22(1) (1) of the Road Traffic Law do not apply. Specifically, this means that the rule requiring a person wishing to get a driving licence to be a permanent resident of Latvia does not apply here.
Starting from July 20, 2022 municipalities can make a decision
on accommodation for up to 60 days, if it is not possible to
provide accommodation for up to 120 days in the relevant
municipality. The municipality will be able to make a decision
on accommodation for up to 60 days only if the municipality has
reached 80% of the actually possible number of accommodated
Ukrainian civilians and it is not possible to provide
accommodation in another municipality.
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 official accommodation facilities and tourist accommodation facilities, as well as in the families of Latvian residents.
Certain groups of persons who, for objective reasons, may find it difficult to provide housing after the period of accommodation provided by the state, have the possibility to receive accommodation support also after a period of 60 or 120 days, but no longer than until June 30, 2023..
Individuals who are eligible for accommodation after the 60 or 120 day period are:
- people with disabilities,
- care providers for people with disabilities;people of retirement age according to the retirement age set in Latvia,
- people who are acquiring education in person at a pre-school, primary education, general secondary or vocational secondary education institution or are transferring to studies at the next level of education,
- people who are obtaining education at a higher education institution or are continuing education in Ukraine through distance learning or remotely at a primary education, general secondary or vocational secondary education institution,
- women registered as pregnant,
- one of a child’s parent or an emergency guardian who takes care of the child up to the age of two,
- care provider for a preschool aged child and the child does not have the opportunity to attend a preschool educational institution,
- a child of preschool age who does not have the opportunity to attend a preschool educational institution.
Explanation of the groups of persons who have the right to receive accommodation support after 60 or 120 days under the Ukrainian Civilian Support Law.
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 a private person and a legal entity who are accommodating Ukrainian civilians free of charge may be reimbursed for a period exceeding 120 days, but not beyond 30 June 2023, 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 30 June 2023. 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.
Civilians of Ukraine in Latvia have the opportunity to receive various healthcare services. More information about healthcare services can be found here.
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.
For vaccination against Covid-19, including the free fourth booster vaccine, please contact your GP, the vaccination office of your healthcare institution, or register electronically at manavakcina.lv if you have an e-signature or internet banking account registered in Latvia. A map of GPs and medical facilities providing vaccination can be found here and more information on vaccination can be found here.
In the autumn season it is recommended: to get a primary vaccination if not already received; booster vaccination if: it has been 3 months after the last vaccine for people aged 65 and over and immunosuppressed people; 6 months (but not earlier than 3 months) after the last vaccine for other people; 4-6 months (but not earlier than 3 months) after a Covid-19 booster.
Medical assistance for children
The Children's Hospital Foundation offers assistance to Ukrainian civilians in coordinating health 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).
Tuberculosis treatmentInformation and support for tuberculosis treatment, diagnostic services is available here.
Support of non-governmental organizationsInformation 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 with applying for dedicated parking card.
Maternity care and childbirth assistanceUkrainian civilians in Latvia can receive state-paid maternity care and maternity assistance. More information about available services is available here.
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.
Ukraine's disability status is not accepted in Latvia, so Ukrainian civilians have to undergo a disability assessment to determine their disability status in Latvia. With the disability status, you can receive various state support, such as care allowance for a child with a disability, care allowance for a disabled person in need of care. State social security benefits for people with disabilities can be obtained if the Ukrainian civilian has resided in Latvia for at least three months from the date of issue of the long-term visa or residence permit. To receive these benefits, the Ukrainian civilian or his/her legal representative must apply to the State Social Insurance Agency. More information here.
Every child who has arrived in Latvia as a refugee from Ukraine has the opportunity to receive education in the state language or in a minority education programme in Ukranian 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 vaccination for children is available here.
Legal representatives and professionals (e.g. educators) of Ukrainian civilian children with behavioural problems and communication difficulties can receive advisory support from the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Children's Rights. More information here.
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
Information on children rights in Latvia is available here.
The "Family of Honour" (''Goda ģimene'') certificate is available to families with three or more children under the age of 18, people over 18, but under the age of 24 who are pursuing general, vocational or higher education, and to families caring for a disabled child or an adult under the age of 24 who has a disability of Group I or II. Holders of this card can benefit from discounts on services offered by public and private companies in Latvia. More information here.
Citizens are encouraged to report all statements and individuals
who call for, support and justify Russia's war in Ukraine. State
+371 67014002 or 110;
State Security Agency 24/7 phone
In cases where victims of crimes need support, persons can call a specially created telephone number - 116006 or visit the website www.cietusajiem.lv.
The State Police closely monitors developments in society and pays increased attention to any expression of opinions and actions related to aggression against Ukrainian refugees or support for Russia's war in Ukraine.
The State Employment Agency (SEA) will help Ukrainian civilians find employment in Latvia.
- At the Riga Support Center at Amatu Street 4,
- 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).
The benefit will not be granted to those who have previously received an NVA employment start-up allowance. If a person is entitled to both the employment start-up allowance and the self-employment start-up allowance at the same time, he/she can only receive one of these benefits. More detailed information on the self-employment start-up allowance for Ukrainian civilians is available on the NVA website.
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.
Information about job opportunities in the field of culture and
creative professions is available
The exchange rate is revised once a week and is published on
the website of Latvijas Banka.
Other options to exchange hryvnias for euros - at currency
exchange points (for example, Tavex, etc.) according to their
Other options for exchanging hryvnias for euros are at currency
exchange points (for example, Tavex, etc.) at the rate indicated
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.
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
From 1 September 2022 minor Ukrainian civilians are receiving their education in Latvia in the Latvian language. At the level of pre-school education or basic education, the child is also entitled to learn the minority education program, which is implemented in the Ukrainian language. Free lunches are financed from the state budget for those children who are enrolled in basic education programs in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade.
More information about primary, secondary, professional and higher education opportunities in Latvia for Ukrainian citizens you can find here.
Latvian higher education and scientific institutions included in the Register of Scientific Institutions may offer internships to Ukrainian researchers at their institution.
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.
Support and resources
The Society Integration Fund
provides an opportunity for adult Ukrainian civilians to learn
the Latvian language at A1 level free of charge. The training
takes place both face-to-face and remotely all over Latvia.
For more information on how to apply, please call:
extends assistance to Ukrainian refugees in Latvia, providing it
to the same extent as to Latvians. A special section in
Ukrainian language and an application form have been created on
Ziedot.lv, so that refugees from the Ukrainian war can rely on help for
medical treatment, rehabilitation and the purchase of medicines,
as well as receive consultations and support in emergency
Ukrainian civilians have an opportunity to recieve social mentoring. It is free practical support to help with everyday situations (e.g. providing information or helping you get to and contact institutions such as the National Employment Agency, kindergarten, school, health centre, NGOs). To receive support from a social mentor, you need to apply to the municipal social services. It is available for 60 days. More information is available here.
At the NGO Information Point at the Riga Ukrainian Civilian Support Centre, 4 Amatu Street, Riga, 1st floor (separate entrance from Amatu Street) you can find out where to find humanitarian aid (clothes, shoes, hygiene and other essentials for children and adults), where to get free household items, where to go if you need free legal, psychological or veterinary advice, what are the current cultural events and events for families.
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
- Ukrainian public radio news (in Ukrainian) are available on Latvian Radio 4 every day at 18:05
- Every Saturday at 18:10 in Latvian Radio 4 there is a program "Ми з України" for Ukrainian people in Latvia
The Ukrainian TV programme "RADA" is broadcast free of charge
- 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's playroom and other services free of charge)
If you want to become a volunteer, but do not know in which
organization, we invite you to
fill out this questionnaire, indicating your skills and opportunities!
Voluntary work opportunities:
- In the association "Tavi draugi"
- Association "Young Folks"
-"Common Ground" initiative
- The group of volunteer drivers of the "Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem" movement for cases when it is necessary to help move people or belongings, mainly in Riga
- Latvian language teaching staff club of the "I want to help refugees" movement
The Latvian start-up community is ready to warmly welcome techfugees, start-ups and their families in Latvia.
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