45 Nottingham Place
Telephone: 020 7312 0041
Fax: 020 7312 0042
Online: Embassy website
Do I need a visa to visit Latvia?
Some countries have special relationships with other countries which enables their residents to travel freely between the two without a visa. Check if you definitely need a visa to travel by checking the website.
How can I apply?
You must apply through the VFS centre which is located at:
Visa Application Centre
66 Wilson Street,
London EC2A 2BT
To make an appointment you must apply through the VFS Website.
To contact the VFS Centre you can email email@example.com or telephone 0871 376 0023 between 08:30 and 17:30 from Monday till Friday.
Please note: It may take you several weeks to get an appointment at an Embassy, especially before the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Therefore, you should be making your application at least 8-12 weeks before you intend to travel.
What documents do I need?
For a full list of documentation required, see the Latvian Embassy website as requirements may change.
As a guideline you should expect to provide:
- Completed application form. You can choose to complete this in German, Russian, French or English. Available here to download.
- Your passport or travel document which must be valid and in date. This must contain your student visa (which must be valid for at least 3 longer than the validity of the Schengen visa applied for). Your passport must have 2 blank pages to affix the Schengen visa sticker.
- 1 colour passport photo: check the Embassy website for specifications.
- Schengen letter available from your faculty.
- Health insurance to cover the duration of the visit. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online.. The insurance company will provide you with a letter of certificate to include with your application.
- Proof of travel plans: this will be the flight / ferry / train booking for your trip. This country insists that you must pre-book your travel before application.
- Proof of accommodation: this will be the booking for the hotel or other accommodation you will be staying at. It is easy to find hotels that make bookings either with a small deposit or no fee at all, so book with one of these. See our tips in our travel pages.
- Letter of invitation. If you are visiting friends or family, they will need to write you a letter inviting you to come and visit. This should either be in English or in the language of the country you are visiting. If they are providing you with food and / or accommodation, the letter should state this as well.
- Proof of financial means. You should have approx. £40 per day available to you for the duration of your visit. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months or travellers cheques for the relevant amount to prove this.
- Schengen visa fee. This varies from country to country so check the Embassy website for charges and method of payment.
- Self addressed special delivery envelope. This is so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all post offices.
- Copies of all documents provided. Generally, you will be expected to take both originals and copies of all your documents to your appointment with you.
How do I get to the VFS Centre?
If you have a morning appointment, you will probably have to book overnight accommodation in London to ensure that you arrive in time. Make sure you plan your route across London on a map before you go. If your appointment is early in the morning, try and have a practice walk of the route the day before your appointment. You will not be seen or offered a later appointment if you miss your slot.
A map of the London Underground is available.
See www.megabus.com for cheap bus travel between Cardiff and London, www.nationalexpress.com/coach/index.cfm for National Express coaches to all destinations and www.thetrainline.com for trains between all stations.
See www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-hotels or www.hostelworld.com for cheap hotels and hostels. In London, you may also be able stay at The International Students House www.ish.org.uk/accommodation/. Contact them direct for details.
How long will it take?
When you have had your documents checked at your appointment, the Embassy official will retain your passport (and the copies of your documents) for a decision to be made. Your passport will then be posted back to you. To check the prospective time that you will have to wait, contact the Embassy directly. Most embassies aim to return your passport within a few days.
How can the Immigration & International Student Advice team help me with my Schengen visa?
IISA does not offer a service whereby they make your Schengen visa application or appointment for you. This is because generally travelling outside of the UK during your studies is for your personal pleasure. They can however check through your documents before sending/your appointment.
If you would like an adviser to check your documents for you, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org stating which country you are applying to and the date of your appointment.
You should start making your Schengen visa application at least 8-12 weeks before your proposed travel date.