Ukraine to Latvia
Information for Ukrainians coming to Latvia
Last updated on 09.09.2022
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 24 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. 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.
A 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.
The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
Phone +371 67209422 and +371 67209400 (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.
You can apply for a visa:
In the Central Support Center for Residents of Ukraine, Amatu
Street 1, Riga,
- OCMA territorial offices outside Riga,
- by post or courier, sending documents to: OCMA Migration Division in Riga, Čiekurkalna 1.līnija 1, k-3, LV-1026 or any territorial division outside Riga
Documents required when applying for a visa:
- Copy of your passport (data section and pages with visas and / or border crossing marks).
- When sending documents by mail a 35mm x 45mm photo is required. No photo is required when submitting documents in person.
- Long-term visa application form.
The visa will be issued in the same place where it was requested. Visa is free of charge.
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.
Cities and regions
Support center in RigaThe Riga Support Center for the Residents of Ukraine is located at Amatu street 4. The center is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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,
- apply for child, pension and disability benefits of Ukrainian civilians,
- receive free Latvian SIM cards and e-tickets for the use of public transport,
- receive information about the non-governmental sector's opportunities to help,
- receive psychological counseling from the center "Skalbes".
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.
Starting from July 20, 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 December 31 of this year.
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 31 December 2022, 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 31 December 2022. 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 available 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, please contact your general practitioner, the vaccination office of your healthcare institution, or sign up electronically at manavakcina.lv if you have a Latvian-registered e-signature or internet banking.
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 organizationsnformation 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.
Ukrainian civilians may start employment in Latvia if they have obtained a long-term visa or residence permit with the right to employment without restrictions for a period of up to one year.
Upon entering into employment, Ukrainian civilians are entitled to a one-time employment allowance of EUR 500. The benefit must be applied for at the State Employment Agency within one month after starting work. More information on applying for the employmen allowance can be found here.
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).
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.
From September 5 it is possible to exchange Ukrainian hryvnia
for euro. The currency exchange will be available at "Industra Bank" branches in Riga and four Latvian cities and "Rietumu banka" in Riga.
- No commission will be charged for the exchange transactions;
- The exchange will be carried out only for banknotes with denominations of UAH 100, 200, 500 and 1000;
- Severely damaged banknotes will not be exchanged;
- The maximum amount that can be exchanged by one Ukrainian refugee is 10 000 hryvnias;
- All Ukrainian refugees registered in Latvia can exchange money.
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 order to open an account and issue a payment card, it is necessary to visit the bank's customer service center in person, bringing with you a travel document or ID issued in Ukraine or a residence permit (ID) issued in Latvia. It should be noted that most banks serve customers in person only upon previous appointments. Thus, please contact the specific bank before visiting.
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.
Student registration to enroll in universities and colleges is opening on July 5th, 2022. Ukrainian civilians who in the previous academic year were studying remotely in a Ukrainian education institution and have received certificate of successful completion of secondary education can apply, as well as those who entered the Latvian education system and have received a certificate of successful completion of secondary education recognized in Latvia. Also the Ukrainian civilians who started to study in Ukraine but because of the war could not continue their studies can apply to continue their studies.
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. If the institution offers an internship (without remuneration) to Ukrainian researchers, the state will provide a research fellowship for scientific and academic work of 900 euros per month until 31st August, 2022. More information on applications can be found here.
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
Latvian language at A1 level free of charge. We invite you to
apply by phone - +371 28817083 (Diana Ivanova) or +371
20042381 (Ekaterina Smirnova). The training takes place both
face-to-face and remotely all over Latvia.
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.
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:
- 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 club of the "Gribu palīdzēt bēgļiem" 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 email@example.com