Arrival and Departure of Members of Diplomatic Missions. ID cards

01.08.2016. 11:01

Notification of appointments

In accordance with Article 10 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, it is requested that Missions notify the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter – Ministry) as soon as possible concerning, the appointment of members of a mission, including consular officers, and their dates of arrival and final departure,  as well as information on the persons belonging to their families and private servants (other than persons resident in Latvia, and not entitled to privileges and immunities).

In addition to the above, the State Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (hereinafter – State Protocol) requests the Missions to submit an updated list of their diplomatic staff at least twice a year.

Identity cards (ID-cards)

The State Protocol issues identity cards (hereinafter – ID cards) to members of diplomatic missions, consular posts, international organisations and representations of international organisations, administrative and technical staff, their family members, as well as private servants, honorary consuls general and honorary consuls for the term of their office and residence in Latvia.

Missions are kindly requested to take note of the fact that the Ministry does not accept the assignment of Latvian nationals or permanent residents as diplomatic agents in Latvia. Similarly, the Ministry does not issue diplomatic ID cards to the local staff of missions who have permanent residence status in Latvia.

ID card holders are advised to carry their ID cards with them in order to be able to prove their identity and their registration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

ID cards are granted to the family members of the staff and administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions, consular posts, international organisations and representations of international organisations.

The Ministry does not issue ID cards to:

  • family members of service staff of the mission and private servants;
  • family members of honorary consuls general and honorary consuls;
  • family members of staff of missions, consular posts, representations of international organisations and administrative and technical staff holding Latvian citizenship and who are permanent residents of Latvia;
  • children of staff of missions, consular posts, international organisations, representations of international organisations and administrative and technical staff who have reached 18 years of age and are neither studying full-time at an educational institution in Latvia nor in their country of residence  (that is, in the case of children of diplomatic staff of non-resident diplomatic missions);
  • children of staff of missions, consular posts, international organisations, representations of international organisations and administrative and technical staff who have reached 24 years of age.

Types of Identity cards

Persons subject to accreditation are issued ID cards of the following six categories depending on their status and eligibility for privileges and immunities:

  • Category A (red) – heads of diplomatic missions and members of those missions as well as their family members enjoying privileges and immunities under international law;
  • Category B (yellow) – members of the administrative and technical staff of missions and their family members who have limited privileges and immunities under international law;
  • Category C (white) – heads of international organisations and representations of international organisations, staff of such organisations and representations and their family members who enjoy privileges and immunities according to relevant international and bilateral treaties;
  • Category D (blue) – career consular officers enjoying privileges and immunities under international law and their family members;
  • Category E (grey) – honorary consuls general and honorary consuls of foreign states;
  • Category F (green) – members of service staff of diplomatic missions and the private servants of members of diplomatic missions.

Registration of new staff members

For registration of a new staff member of a mission, please submit the following documents to the State Protocol:

  • the original version  of the application form filled in electronically or by hand using block letters; the application must be signed by the applicant and the Head of Mission, and the seal of the mission must be affixed;
  • a copy of the page of the passport showing personal details;
  • one 30x40 mm colour photo taken in the past six months. The name of the applicant should be written on the back of the photo;
  • a Note Verbale;
  • a copy of the ID card issued by the country of residence (this requirement applies to non-resident diplomats and their family members only);
  • a statement issued by an educational institution of the country of residence confirming the person’s enrolment in full-time studies (this requirement applies to  children between 18 and 24 years of age only).

In addition to the above-mentioned documents, staff members of missions accredited to the Republic of Latvia residing outside the Schengen Area states, are requested to obtain a national visa at the Latvian diplomatic and consular representation (except as provided by bilateral agreements on the waiving of visa requirements for entry, visiting and residing in the Republic of Latvia) prior to applying for ID cards.

Missions are expressly requested to return the ID cards of the departing staff members and family members to the State Protocol within a week of their final departure from Latvia or termination of their functions. This is very important; the State Protocol may delay the issuance of an ID card to a newcomer until the predecessor and his family members have returned their identity cards.

ID cards for heads of diplomatic missions are issued for a period of four years, unless the expiration date of the person’s passport comes earlier. ID cards for members of missions are issued for a period of three years, unless the passport expires earlier. If a person is appointed to the mission for a shorter period than those mentioned above, the ID card shall be issued for the period of time specified by the mission.

Based on the Schengen Borders Code, accredited members of diplomatic missions and consular representations and their families may, as a rule, enter the territory of the EU Member States upon presentation of a valid travel document and an ID card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Please find below the link to the application form for a diplomatic ID card for members of diplomatic missions, consular posts, international organisations and representations of international organisations, administrative and technical staff, their family members as well as private servants, honorary consuls general and honorary consuls.

Lost ID Card

If an ID card is stolen, the nearest police station should be informed immediately. In order to renew the ID card, the mission should forward a Note Verbale with an enclosed application for a new ID card, a copy of the page of the passport with personal data and one (1) photo. If the ID card has been stolen, a copy of the police report shall also be attached.

Extension of validity of ID card

The procedure for the extension of validity of ID cards is identical to that of registration of new staff members. The expired ID card shall be attached to the Note Verbale or given to the State Protocol at the time the new card is delivered. The mission should apply for the extension of validity of ID cards before the expiration of the old ones.

The State Protocol extends validity of ID cards for one additional year or for the period of time requested by the mission not exceeding 3 years for members of missions and 4 years for heads of diplomatic missions.

Family members

Family members of staff of missions are issued ID cards of the same category as the accredited person. Family members enjoy the same immunities and privileges in the territory of the Republic of Latvia as the registered person.

The following persons are recognised as family members:

  • the spouse of the person accredited, and this applies in the case of both officially registered and non­registered marriages, the only criterion being the recognition of the marriage by the government of the respective sending state. This recognition may be evidenced by a copy of a marriage certificate or a document provided by the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs certifying that the marriage is recognised;
  • unmarried children under the age of 18 residing exclusively in the principal household or joining the household during visits to Latvia;
  • unmarried children between the age of 18 and 24 attending an institution of graduate studies in Latvia or in the country of their residence on a full-time basis who are a part of the household.

In exceptional cases, ID cards may be issued to other persons who are regarded as members of the family or household by the registered person. Each case is considered on an individual basis upon receipt of a Note Verbale from the mission that sets forth sufficient and reasonable grounds to justify such a request.

The Diplomatic List

The Diplomatic List is compiled from the database of the State Protocol and is updated on a regular basis.

However, the State Protocol may request missions to provide telephone numbers of persons to be contacted in case of emergency. This information is not made public.

Although the website is being updated regularly, the State Protocol may contact the missions with requests for updated information. Such requests would typically be sent to the missions and posts twice a year. It is essential that missions respond to this communication even when no amendments to their Diplomatic List entries are required.