Officials from Rīga carrying a mobile passport station have begun a tour of the United States in an effort to provide Latvian citizens with new or updated documents before the Oct. 2 parliamentary election.
The officials, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (Pilsonības un migrācijas lietu pārvalde, or PMLP), began their tour in Boston over the Fourth of July weekend. They will continue on to the Midwest and the West Coast before returning east to New York.
The Cabinet of Ministers recently approved more than LVL 49,000 in spending to send the officials and mobile passport stations to the United States, Canada and Australia. The government expects that about 1,800 Latvian citizens abroad will be served.
Valid passports are required of those who plan to vote in the Oct. 2 election.
Latvian citizens in the United States wanting to get new or updated passports had until June 15 to register for an appointment with the officials. However, according to an announcement from the American Latvian Association, citizens may still visit the mobile stations without an appointment, but are asked to come late in the day or on the last day when officials are in town.
A total of 64 applications for new passports were processed in Boston, as well as one application for Latvian citizenship, according to the Latvian embassy in Washington, D.C.
For the rest of the tour in the United States, the mobile passport station will operate:
- July 8-9 in Cleveland at the United Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cleveland, 1385 Andrews Ave., Lakewood.
- July 11-13 in Chicago at the Zion Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church, 6551 West Montrose Ave.
- July 16-17 in Minneapolis at the Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of Minneapolis and St. Paul, 3152 17th Ave. S.
- July 19-20 in Seattle at the Latvian Association of Washington State, 11710 Third Ave. N.E.
- July 23-24 in Los Angeles at the Latvian Community Center, 1955 Riverside Dr.
- July 27-29 in New York. The officials on July 27 will be at the Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York, 4 Riga Lane. Melville; on July 28 at the Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York, 254 Valentine Lane, Yonkers; and on July 29 at the Latvian Ev. Lutheran Church of New York, 564 Second St., Brooklyn.
Further information about how to use the services of the mobile passport stations is available from the website of the Embassy of Latvia in Washington, D.C., latvia-usa.org, or by calling the embassy’s consular office at +1 (202) 328-2840. Additional information, including specific daily schedules and costs, is available from the American Latvian Association in a PDF file that may be downloaded from the association’s website, www.alausa.org.
In Canada, citizens who wish to use the services of the mobile passport station should register by July 30 by contacting the Embassy of Latvia in Ottawa by telephone, +1 (613) 238-6014, or e-mail, email@example.com.
The mobile passport station will operate in Canada:
- Aug. 5-7 in Toronto at the Latvian Canadian Cultural Centre, 4 Credit Union Drive.
- Aug. 10-11 in Edmonton.
- Aug. 13-14 in Vancouver.
In Australia, the mobile passport station will be brought during August to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Details of the Australian tour have not yet been announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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