As of July 15, 2020 the United States Embassy in Riga, Latvia is resuming certain non-immigrant visa services, including: travelers with urgent travel needs; students (F, M, and some J), sea and air crew members (C1/D); and some family members of U.S. citizens consistent with Presidential Proclamation 10014. While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs.

NOTE: All visa applicants should bring facemasks to be used at all times upon entry to the Embassy and its territory.

RENEWALS – We strongly encourage applicants from the above groups who are renewing previously issued nonimmigrant visas of the same classification that expired less than 12 months ago, to follow the guidance on applying via the mail-in (drop box) process and NOT schedule a visa interview. See guidance here on .

If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance at here on or contact the call center at +371-6609-2000 to request an emergency appointment. Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).


The Contact Center is operated under contract with the U.S. Department of State by Stanley Associates Inc. (CGI Federal).

  • Telephone in Latvia: +371-6609-2000, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. local time, except holidays
  • Telephone in the United States: +1-703-520-2565, Monday – Friday 7:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, except holidays
  • E-mail:
  • Skype and online chat is accessible from the website:

E-mail: (For case-specific visa inquiries only. Visa applicants should use above Contact Center assistance for routine visa processing questions.)

VISA INTERVIEWS (by appointments only)

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.