Latvia is a transit country, through which migrants mostly are going to Scandinavia. Majority of the asylum seekers come from Russia, Afghanistan and Georgia. Latvia’s recognition rate is not high (44,7 %) and country receives low number of asylum applications (in 2010 – 61, 2009 – 52, 2008 – 51, 2007 – 34). This is related to obstacles reaching the territory or asylum procedure. There is a high risk, that foreigners are forced to return or deported.
If you request for protection at the border crossing point, you have to do this explicitly. There are border guards, who conduct the initial interview. If your request is not clear and you do not reveal much personal data, they can refuse to proceed the claim. Border guards conduct also the initial examination of application and can refuse the entry in the country. In such situation you have limited possibilities to get legal aid or to appeal.
In Latvia you can be detained for seven days without court permission.