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?

  • 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).

 

 

visa roadmap

Roadmap: visas & entry conditions

See this first! This is your map of steps for entering the county.

 

 

EU citizens

EU citizens can enter Estonia and work in Estonia for up to 3 months without applying for additional rights. If EU citizens stay in Estonia for >3 months, they should register their place of residence (adress where they actually live in Estonia) (see tab below) at the local government authority within 3 months of arrival. Family members can submit a joint notice of their place of residence.

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

The registration of the place of residence gives the EU citizens the right to temporary residence for 5 years, right to receive Estonian health insurance and receive social support.

 

 

EU citizens' family

Family members of EU citizens who are also EU citizens can submit a joint notice of their place of residence at the local government.

Family members of EU citizens who are third country citizens

The family members of EU citizens, who are third country citizens, will have the right of temporary residence if the EU citizen:

  • has valid rights for staying in Estonia
  • has valid medical insurance provided by Eesti Haigekassa (Estonian Health Insurance Fund)

The third country family members of EU citizens must follow the visa requirements for entering Estonia, which are described in the section Citizens of third countries - Short stay <12 months (see next tab). They can apply for the right of temporary residency in a foreign representation of the Republic of Estonia or, by going in person to a Service Office of the PBGB after arrival in Estonia (if he/she is already in Estonia on legal grounds (e.g. with visa or visa-free)). Family members of EU citizens, who are third country citizens, should register their place of residence in Estonia within 1 month of obtaining their right of temporary residence permit.

 

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 by law). 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.

 

 

See also:

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

Police and Border Guard Board. Right of Residence of family members of EU citizens

www.eesti.ee Gateway to e-Estonia - Local governments' contacts

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Estonian Embassies and Representations around the world

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign representations in Estonia

 
 

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