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March 11, 2022

How to Apply & Get Estonia Work Visa

Estonia is becoming a popular choice for anyone seeking a job in Europe. It is especially popular among the digital nomads and the digital entrepreneurs. The country has straightforward visa procedures and also allows visitors to bring their families, making it an appealing overseas job location. If you wish to work in Estonia you need an Estonia Work Visa.

To apply and get an Estonia Work Visa you should meet certain conditions. Read below to know more and apply for your Estonia Work Visa.

EU

  • If you are a citizen of the EU, the EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), or Switzerland, you can enter Estonia without a visa.
  • If you want to work in Estonia for more than 3 months, you just need to register as an Estonian resident in the Population Register of Estonia during the first 3 months of your stay. Within a month of residence registration, you must apply for an Estonian ID card.

Non-EU

  • If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and would like to work in Estonia for a short time (up to year), you should apply for a D-visa. Before applying for a D-visa, your employer should register your short-term employment with the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.
  • If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and want to work in Estonia for a longer time (longer than a year), you need to apply for a residence permit. At first, you have to apply for a temporary residence permit (for work up to 5 years with your first permit). After having lived in Estonia for 5 years on a temporary residence permit, you can then apply for a long-term residence permit.
  • If you wish to settle in Estonia permanently, you can also apply for a temporary residence permit for settling permanently created to make settling and fulfilling the required criteria for a long-term residence permit easier.

Temporary Residence Permit

You can apply for a temporary residence permit for employment to work for a locally registered employer in Estonia. If you come to Estonia to do research, an institution entered into the register of research and development organizations must be involved and given you consent to come and work in Estonia.

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and want to work in Estonia for a longer time (longer than a year), you need to apply for a residence permit. At first, you have to apply for a temporary residence permit (for work up to 5 years with your first permit). After having lived in Estonia for 5 years on a temporary residence permit, you can then apply for a long-term residence permit.

Information required for the application of the residence permit and the minimum salary criterion vary depending on your qualification.

Before you apply for a residence permit, make sure if you fall under the immigration quota or if you are exempted. To boost the IT sector, developers, startup employees and top specialists (top specialists earning more than €2,814 gross a month) don’t fall under the annual immigration quota. Family members are also exempted.

More information is available on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.

In most cases you have to apply for the permit in person at an Estonian representation abroad. When your short-term employment has been registered in prior, you can also apply for the permit at the Police and Border Guard Board.

Once your residence permit for employment is granted, you’ll receive a temporary residence card within 30 days after submitting the application document. (The application process of the residence permit for employment may last up to 2 months from the acceptance of the application.)

You’ll need the following when applying for a temporary residence permit for work:

Instructions for filling out the forms can be found on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.

Right of Permanent Residence and Long-Term Residence Permit in Estonia

After living in Estonia for 5 years, you will be eligible to apply for either right of permanent residence (as an EU/EEA-citizen) or for a long-term residence permit (as a non EU/EEA-citizen).

EU/EEA citizens

You can register the right of permanent residence if you have lived in Estonia for 5 successive years based on the right of temporary residence. There is also a few exceptions when you can do it earlier.

Documents required for the registration:

The registration of or refusal to register the right of permanent residence is decided within 1 month from acceptance of the application.

More information is available on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.

Non-EU/EEA citizens

You can apply for a long-term residence permit if you have resided in Estonia for 5 years on the basis of temporary residence permit.

Please note thatyour time spent studying in Estonia will be counted toward your total with a 0.5 coefficient. For example, 4 years of studies will count for 2 years of residence in this case.

To apply for the long-term residence permit, you must also:

  • hold a valid temporary residence permit;
  • have your place of residence registered in the population register of Estonia;
  • have permanent legal income for living in Estonia;
  • be covered by the Estonian health insurance scheme;
  • comply with the integration requirement (be fluent in Estonian to the required level, etc.).

You should submit your application in person at the Police and Border Guard Board service office or, if less than two years have passed since you last applied for a document and submitted your fingerprints, you can also submit it via e-mail.

The application for long-term residence permit is recommended to be submitted at least 2 months before the valid temporary residence permit expires.

You need to submit: 

Additional documents are required for children and family members.

The granting or refusal of the long-term residence permit is decided within 3 months from your application submission but not later than 10 days before the expiry of your temporary residence permit.

After obtaining the long-term residence permit, your residence card is issued to you in person within 30 days.

Since 2016 those wishing to settle in Estonia permanently can also apply for a long-term temporary residence permit created to make settling and fulfilling the required criteria for permanent residence permit easier.

A Residence Permit for Settling Permanently in Estonia

You can apply for the residence permit for settling permanently in Estonia, if:

  • you have settled in Estonia based on a temporary residence permit and your permanent settling in Estonia is in compliance with public interests;
  • you’ve been given a temporary or permanent right of residence in Estonia; you have held a long-term residence permit; you have previously been an Estonian citizen;
  • you have resided permanently in Estonia at least 3 years within the 5 consecutive years (except if you have obtained higher education in Estonia in the Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral study);
  • you are well adapted in Estonia;
  • your activities so far have been in compliance with the purpose and terms for granting the residence permit to you.

It is possible to apply for the residence permit for settling permanently in Estonia in foreign representation of Estonia or at the Police and Border Guard Board service office – both in person.

Documents required for the residence permit for settling permanently in Estonia:

The granting or refusal of a residence permit is decided within 2 months as of the acceptance of your application.

Applying for a D-Visa

The D-visa is a long-stay visa (for up to a year) that can be applied for the purpose of work, study or family relations.

Applying for a D-visa (a year long visa) is a reasonable option in case you only want to work with a short-term project or also if you want to start working as quickly as possible (and will apply for a residence permit in Estonia later). Your visa application can take up to 30 days to be processed.

You can work in Estonia when your short-term employment is registered and you have legal grounds to work in Estonia. If you and your family members come from a country that has a visa-freedom agreement with Estonia, you can stay in the Schengen area for 90 days without a visa. This means you can enter and start working in Estonia and move on to the residence permit (up-to 5 years) or D-visa (up to a year) step once you arrive but make sure to have at least 2 months before your visa runs out before you submit the documents. More info about the process when applying in Estonia here.

If you come from a country that requires a visa to enter Estonia, you and your family members need to visit an Estonian representation to submit your documents for a visa.

Documents needed to apply:

– A passport, issued within the previous 10 years, that has at least two blank pages for visas and is valid until at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa.
– Fully completed, printed out and signed D-visa application form
– Photo (size 35×45 mm)
– Insurance policy valid for Estonia or for the Schengen area with a coverage of at least 30,000 EUR for the first 15 days of your employment. After that, the Estonian national health insurance will cover you
– Document indicating the purpose of your trip: for you, that’s your short-term employment registration
– Proof of visa state fee payment €100.00.

The embassy may ask you for additional documents, so we recommend having these ready:
– Confirmation of accommodation in Estonia;
– Return flights or sufficient funds or employer’s confirmation to cover it.

Additional documents for family:
– Marriage certificate for spouse, birth certificate for children.
– Confirmation that the main applicant will cover the costs of staying in Estonia.

Your visa will be granted for the same duration as your short-term employment registration but will be automatically terminated if you receive an Estonian residence permit in the meantime.

Please note that embassies can have different processing times. Make sure you find out in advance how long the visa process is and how to collect your passport. It may be that you’ll have to travel to another country to apply and stay there until your visa is processed. You can always mention this to the embassy so that they could speed up the process if possible.

If you need professional help to get your Estonia Work Visa you can get in touch with us by filling up this form  below.

  • eg. +44-1234567890
  • Sorry for asking, but we have to know if you can sustain yourself in Canada. or the country you are applying for.
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