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

If EU citizens stay in Estonia >3 months, they must register their place of residence (address where they actually live in Estonia) at the local government authority within first 3 months of arrival by law. The registration of the place of residence gives to EU citizens the right of temporary residence for 5 years.

In addition to obtaining the right to receive Estonian health insurance and social support, registering your place of residence at a local government EU citizens will have the right to vote in local government elections and the European Parliament elections (must have the Estonian ID card).

 

Non-EU citizens

Registration of one’s place of residence is obligatory by law if you are staying in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit. Citizens of third countries can register their place of residence only when they already have a valid right of residence or a residence permit.The place of residence should be registered at the local government registers services, or in the case of smaller local governments, directly in the local government’s office with a person responsible for the registers. The place of residence can also be registered by mail. Family members can present a joint notice of place of residence. A non-EU citizen residing in Estonia on the basis of a long-term residence permit may vote at the local government council elections but cannot stand as candidate to the council.

 

City Government's Contacts

For registering your place of residence in Tartu see for instructions on the City of Tartu portal Registration of Residence in Tartu.

For registering your place of residence in Tallinn see for instructions on the City of Tallinn portal Changing the residence address in the Population Register

 

 

See also:

Estonian Ministry of Interior - Residence procedures, about registering place of residence

www.eesti.ee Gateway to e-Estonia - Local government's contacts, register place of residence

City of Tartu - Registration of Residence

City of Tallinn - Changing the residence address in the population register

City of Tallinn - City districts

 
 

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