Entry conditions and residence permits for Estonia

Living in Europe, Working in Europe | Entry conditions/visas | Estonia

Different rules about residence and work in Estonia apply to citizens of the EU and to citizens of third countries. The length of their stay also influences which rules they must follow.

A citizen of the European Union (EU), of a member state of the European Union Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss Confederation - herein EU citizen.

A citizen of a third country - herein non-EU citizen or citizen of a third country.

Who does not need a visa to enter Estonia? Which are the Schengen countries?

 

roadmap 2017

 

Roadmap: visas & entry conditions

See this first! This is your step by step path for entering the country. EU or non-EU citizen, what applications and in which order?

 

  • EU citizens have the right to enter Estonia without a visa, but if they stay for more than 3 months, they must register their place of residence and apply for an ID card. By registering their place of residence, they obtain the right for temporary residence.
  • Citizens of third countries need legal grounds to stay in Estonia. For short-stay visits (up to 12 months) they may need a visa. For longer stays (more than 12 months) they need a temporary residence permit (for study, employment or employment for research purposes) (valid up to 5 years) or a long-term residence permit (termless).

An EU citizen may obtain the right for residence, a third country citizen may obtain a residence permit.

For citizens of third countries

  • Short stay <12 months - you will need a visa: a Schengen visa (type C) (valid for 90 days during 180 days period) or a long-stay visa (type D) (valid up to 12 months!)
  • Longer stay >12 months - you will need a temporary residence permit for study (PhD students), employment or employment for research purposes (valid up to 5 years)

Applications for:

- Short-stay visas (Schengen visa (type C)) 

must be submitted personally to a diplomatic representation of the Republic of Estonia or to a diplomatic representation of another country (see link for list) that represts Estonia.

Application for:

- Temporary residence permits (for study, employment, employment for research purposes) and

- Long-stay visas (type D)

must be submitted to a diplomatic representation of the Republic of Estonia. Or, if the third country citizen is already in Estonia on legal grounds (e.g. short-stay visa (type C)), he/she can apply for a long-stay visa (type D) at a Service Office of the Estonian Police and Boarder Guard Board (PBGB).

Read more:

Citizens of third countries - stay in Estonia with residence permit of another EU country

As of 23 May 2018 third country citizens can stay in Estonia with a visa or a residence permit for study or employment for research purposes issued by another European Union (EU) country (note: EU country, not Schengen country). Estonia adopted the EU directive for migration for studying and research on 23 May 2018.

Staying in Estonia for studying is allowed for up to 360 days or until the visa or residence permit issued by the other EU country expires.

Staying in Estonia for employment for research purposes is allowed after registering ones short-term employment in Estonia and during the validity period of the visa or residence permit issued in the other EU country.

If the visa or residence permit issued by another EU country expires during ones stay in Estonia and one wishes to continue studying or working in Estonia, one should apply for a visa or residence permit in Estonia at the Estonian Police and Boarder Guard Board. 

Students staying in Estonia with a visa or residence permit issued by another EU country are allowed to work during their studies on the same conditions as students staying in Estonia with a visa or residence permit issued by Estonia. This means, on the condition that working does not interfere with their studies.

Persons with a visa or residence permit for employment for research purposes are likewise allowed to study and work in other EU countries on the condition, that the country has adopted the given directive.

 

Read more:

Directive (EU) 2016/801 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2016 on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing

 
 

Migration advice

Migration Advice

The Estonian Police and Boarder Guard Board offers migration advice free of charge by phone, Skype, e-mail and by appointments to individuals and institutions.

 

Last updated in winter 2018

 

See also:

Welcoming Programme - Free crash courses (language, work and daily life etc) for new settlers with residentce permits up to 5 y.

Work in Estonia - Hiring outside EU

Work in Estonia - Hiring from EU

Information provided by EURAXESS Estonia