Latvian electronic identification cards now available for foreigners

2021 - 10 - 28
Article by: Toms Šulmanis, Marija Berdova

Starting from October 18, 2021 Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (“OCMA”) has started to issue Latvian electronic identification cards for foreigners (“Foreigner’s eID card”).

Foreigner’s eID card is a method of remote authentication whereby the individual can obtain direct and seamless access to Latvian state and municipal e-services. Furthermore, the Foreigner’s eID card includes a qualified electronic signature (QES) which is fully compliant with eIDAS regulation. Consequently, the Foreigner’s eID card allows the individual to remotely and securely execute all types of documents all across Europe. Specifically in Latvia on most occasions the use of qualified electronic signature will also substitute the need to involve the notary.

Please note that Foreigner’s eID card is not a travel document and will not grant rights to reside in Latvia (in contrary to residence permits or EU registration certificates).

Until recently only Latvian residents (including foreigners, holding residence permits and EU registration certificates in Latvia) had access to electronic identification cards and Latvian electronic signatures. Now this handy tool is available to foreigners, who intend to conduct business in Latvia, own real estate or promote economic, scientific, educational or cultural relations in Latvia.

Foreigner’s eID card can be obtained in 3 steps:

Step 1: Registration with Latvian Register of Natural Persons (registration can be done in person in any regional unit of OCMA in Latvia, Register of Enterprises, Land Register, National Social Insurance Agency or sworn notaries in Latvia);

Step 2: Appointment to any regional unit of OCMA in Latvia for passing biometric data and applying for identification card.

Step 3: Receipt of Foreigner’s eID card (identification card will be issued in 3 business days)

It is planned that in nearest future it would be possible to obtain Foreigner’s eID card also in Latvian diplomatic missions abroad.

For any queries in regard to obtaining a Foreigner’s eID card please contact Partner Toms Šulmanis.