Frequently asked questions

26.03.2019. 11:07

1. What is the procedure pursuant to which young Canadian citizens enter the Republic of Latvia?

Information on the procedure pursuant to which young Canadian citizens enter the Republic of Latvia can be found here.

2. What is the procedure for transporting animals to Latvia?

Information on import of dogs, cats and ferrets to Latvia can be found here.

For more information please contact the Food and Veterinary Service of Latvia:

Peldu street 30, Riga, LV-1050, Latvia

Phone: +371 67095230

Fax: +371 67322727

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3. What are the requirements for transporting cremated remains to Latvia?

A number of conditions must be met and documentation must be in place to bring cremated remains to Latvia. Please be aware that, although not all documentation is checked when crossing the border, the paperwork is nonetheless necessary for the actual burial of cremated remains to take place.

1.The cremated remains must be transported in a durable, securely fastened and sealed urn.

2.A number of documents are required to transport and bury the cremated remains. The titles of official documents might differ depending on jurisdiction involved:

Medical certificate of Death (includes cause of death)

Statement of Death

Certificate of Cremation

Letter of Confirmation from the funeral home that the content of the urn is solely the cremated remains.


A Notary Public must notarize the Certificate of Cremation and the Letter of Confirmation (# 3 and #4).

All documents issued in Canada must first be legalized (authenticated) at Canada's Ministry of Global Affairs before they can be legalized at the Embassy and accepted as official valid documents in Latvia.

4. Where and how can I explore my family tree in Latvia?

Family Tree Investigation is a service offered by the Latvia State Historical Archive (Latvijas Valsts Vēstures arhīvs, or LVVA).

For the LVVA to begin an investigation, the interested person needs to send a letter of inquiry to the LVVA, with all known information about the family to be investigated, including any or all of the following: names, surnames, birth dates, marriages, death dates and where deaths were registered, religious affiliation, last known place of residence, education level attained, places and lengths of employment, location of owned property, any other known detail which could be relevant. The investigation could begin with a limited number of the above-mentioned details; however, places and years involved are essential. When giving a place name, the name of a city/town or rural municipality (pagasts) is necessary; simply saying, "born in Latvia" or mentioning the geographical region (Kurzeme, Latgale, Vidzeme, Latgale, Zemgale) is insufficient, as would be the property name or rural property holding (sādža) by itself. Letters of inquiry can be submitted personally to the LVVA, by mail or electronically. In all cases, the person making the request must include their postal address.

After the letter of inquiry is received, and if it has not be submitted in person, the LVVA sends a letter to the person requesting the information, confirming receipt of the inquiry, and indicating the parameters of the inquiry, as well as the potential fee for the service. The person is asked to forward a deposit, as well as a copy of proof of payment (in cases where money is transferred). If necessary, the LVVA will also indicate specific questions that may need to be addressed for the inquiry to proceed.

At the conclusion of the investigation, the LVVA prepares an archival synopsis, or if so requested, a more detailed genealogical tree and copies of documents found. An archival synopsis would generally consist of family member birth, marriage and death dates, family members, and beginning with the oldest found materials. Each and every case is different in terms of information available as well as the length of time needed to process the inquiry.

Payment for services can only be done in lats, in person or through a bank transfer. In the latter instance, a copy of proof of payment must be forwarded to the LVVA. The cost of a genealogical inquiry depends on the amount of information available, the number of related individuals and the amount of information relating to each individual, whether the investigation is for the birth, marriage and death dates for one person or for many individuals, along a patriarchal or matriarchal line. In the final bill there would also be charges for the preparation of copies, processing, as well as a VAT (18% of total bill), plus postage and handling. The LVVA begins the investigation on the receipt of a deposit, and the deposit is deducted from the final tally.

At the end of an investigation, the person making the request is informed about the results of the inquiry, including the number of persons found and the final balance. At the same time the LVVA asks the person requesting the information the scope of their interest (the patriarchal or matriarchal descendant's lineage, only direct lineage, the maximum amount of information available, etc). In the event that the investigation is unsuccessful, the person making the inquiry is so informed, indicating the sources and materials researched. The deposit is non-refundable. Naturally, if the person making the inquiry so chooses, paying the appropriate fees they may continue to request information, request more detailed information based on the first investigation results after the first investigation is carried out.

Family Tree Investigation is a service offered by the Latvia State Historical Archive (Latvijas Valsts Vēstures arhīvs, or LVVA).

State Historical Archive of Latvia

Address:   Slokas Street 16, Rīga, LV-1048

Phone:       +371 20017505   +371 20377661

Email:         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.