National Defence Service: information for diaspora

National Defence Service (NDS) is part of the Comprehensive National Defence framework which was created to strengthen national defence capabilities of Latvia. National development and security of Latvia relies on social cohesion and people’s readiness to defend the country. National Defence Service will significantly boost Latvia’s national security and defence for the benefit of all inhabitants of Latvia. 

Experience of other countries like Finland and Estonia that have similar conscription service shows that citizens who have gone through military service are much more resilient and capable of facing and addressing various challenges in civilian life.


Types of National Defence Service;

  • National Armed Forces (11 months)
  • National Guard (5 years, annual 28-day training): volunteers only
  • Reserve officer programme for university and college students (5 years, total number of training days: 180) – volunteers only
  • State defence civilian service (11 months): only for individuals whose convictions or religion is against military service


Compensation and social guarantees

National Defence Service is an opportunity for young people to develop leadership skills, mental resilience, self-discipline, readiness to manage crises and work in a team, as well as achieve better physical conditioning, learn how to operate new technologies and how military industry works. Knowledge received during military training will not only make young people’s civilian life easier, but also open new military career opportunities with National Armed Forces.

Military service will bring together young people of similar age, giving diaspora recruits an excellent opportunity to get more integrated into Latvian society and make new friends, find like-minded peers and professional contacts. 

During the National Defence Service, recruits will live in barracks and eat at the canteen. Healthcare will also be free. Training will be delivered by qualified instructors.

National Defence Service is a wonderful opportunity to take a break from learning after secondary school and contemplate future education and work choices. During service, recruits will have a chance to learn various military competences that may become useful in future profession in a chosen field. Latvian citizens volunteering for National Defence Service will be given an opportunity to enroll in college and university graduate programmes delivered by state universities and colleges for free if they have successfully completed the National Defence Service and pass the entrance exams.

National Defence Service recruits who have volunteered for the 11-month service with the National Armed Forces will receive monthly compensation of 600 euro for their daily needs, whereas recruits drafted into NDS will be compensated in the amount of 300 euro monthly. Upon completing service, recruits will receive EUR 1100.

NDS recruits joining the National Guard or Reserve Officer Programme with university or college, will be compensated for the number of active duty days that they have completed. 


Drafting of Latvian citizens living abroad

Latvian citizens permanently residing abroad and having registered their residence address abroad at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in accordance with relevant rules and regulations will be excluded from the NDS draft until 2027. 

According to Article 5.1.5 of the Law on the Official Electronic Address, all male Latvian nationals aged 18 – 27 must have an official e-mail address.

Recruitment of diaspora youth for NDS post-2027 will depend on the success of previous drafts and the decision of the parliament.


Voluntary NDS

All female and male Latvian citizens aged 18-27 can enlist for voluntary National Defence Service.

Digital application form is available HERE. More detailed information about NDS can be obtained by Latvian citizens via phone: 1827, or e-mail: