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 - occasionally called herein non-EU citizen.

Who does not need a visa to visit 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. 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 or employment) (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 employment, research or study (PhD students) (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, for employment) 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, he/she can apply for a long-stay visa (type D) at a Service Office of the Estonian Police and Boarder Guard Board (PBGB).

EU citizens

EU citizens receive a Estonian personal identification code (ID code) by registering their place of residence in Estonia (must register place of residence within 3 months of arrival). After this, the EU citizen must go to a PBGB Service Office and apply for an ID card. See here for applying for the ID card. Registering ones place of residence and obtaining personal ID code grants the EU citizen the right for temporary residence (up to 5 years).

 

The ID code enables you to obtain health insurance through the Estonian Health Insurance Fund when employed by an Estonian organisation and receive social support. The ID card can be used as identification and for giving digital signatures, and it carries the data concerning the right of residence. ID cards can be used for a wide range of electronic services. It also gives you the right to vote in local government elections and the European Parliament elections.

 

Non-EU citizens

Together with the residence permit  you will receive an Estonian ID code and an Estonian residence permit card (short - ID card) (Est elamisloakaart). You can apply for an Estonian ID card already at an Estonian foreign representation, but you will receive the ID card once you have arrived in Estonia. The ID code enables you employer to forward all the necessary information to the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, the Employment Register, the Tax and Customs Board and the Social Insurance Board, so that you will have granted health insurance and other rights resulting from paid taxes. The ID card can be used as regular identification and for giving digital signatures. It also carries the residence permit and conditions of employment (name of employer, location of employment, your position). You are allowed to work in Estonia only under the conditions determined in your residence permit. If you have granted a temporary residence permit for employment, you may be employed by several employers at the same time, provided that the specified conditions determined in your residence permit for employment are still followed.

Residence cards can be used for a wide range of electronic services.

 

See also:

Police and Border Guard Board - European Union citizen’s right of residence and ID card

Police and Border Guard Board - ID-card for an adult

 
 

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