2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes
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Volunteering projects of the “European Solidarity Corps" programme are an opportunity for young people in Latvia aged 18 to 30 to contribute to the daily work of organisations that carry out solidarity activities. They can volunteer from 2 to 12 months for the benefit of communities where the activities are implemented. Volunteering enables young people to acquire useful experience, skills and competencies for their personal, educational, social, civic and professional development, thereby improving their employability and active citizenship. Volunteering activity can take place abroad or in the country of residence of a volunteer.
If volunteering takes place in a group or by a young person with fewer opportunities, then the volunteering activity can last from 2 weeks to 2 months.
Non-governmental organisations, state/local government agencies, local governments can host young volunteers from other countries, to help them implement their projects, familiarise the local community with their culture and broaden their horizons.
The “European Solidarity Corps” programme was implemented in Latvia for the period from 2018 till 2020. Before then, the "Erasmus+: Youth in Action" programme was implemented. In 2018, 48 European Voluntary Service projects were implemented while in 2019 – 43 projects. During a period from 2018 to 2019 more than 250 volunteers from abroad participated in volunteering projects in Latvia and more than 160 young people from Latvia undertook their voluntary work abroad. By October 1, 2020, Quality Label for Volunteering in Latvia was issued to 217 organisations.
There is no information about other programmes.
Legal framework applying to foreign volunteers
Individual volunteers participating in the “European Solidarity Corps” programme can stay in Latvia no longer than one year. According to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia, if the citizen of the European Union stays in Latvia longer than 90 days within half a year’s period, he or she should obtain a Union citizen’s registration certificate.
The “European Solidarity Corps” programme provides also an opportunity for young people from non - EU member countries to participate in volunteering projects. In case the volunteer is not a citizen of the European Union, he shall obtain a visa before entering Latvia.
Before entering volunteering activities young people have to express their willingness to participate in the “European Solidarity Corps” programme by registering on the European Solidarity Corps Portal. The registration on the portal is possible already as of 17 years of age but volunteer must have reached 18 and must not be older than 30 at the start date of the volunteering activity.