Frequently Asked Questions about moving to Estonia
The following section displays a collection of the most FAQ-s about moving to Estonia. Please consider that the answers to the FAQ-s may not always correspond to the answers that would have been given in your personal case.
Therefore please do not hesitate to contact the EURAXESS Services Centres that are ready to help you in all matters related to your mobility experience.
Do I need a visa to enter Estonia?
Whether you need a visa or not depends on your present citizenship and the duration of your stay. In Estonia, residence permits are applicable for longer visits and in that case a separate visa is not needed. Please consult our Road-map section for further details.
Do I need a residence permit while in Estonia?
As with visas, the need for residence permit is determined by law and depends on your citizenship and the length of your stay in Estonia. Please take a look at the web-page of Estonian Police and Border Guard Board: Police and Border Guard Board. Residence permits
Where do I have to apply for a visa or residence permit?
As a rule the visa or residence permit application should be submitted at the nearest diplomatic representation of the Republic of Estonia before your arrival in Estonia. See the list for embassies here: Ministry of Foreign Affairs A short-term visa can be also applied at a representation of another Schengen member state. EU citizens do not need to apply for a residence permit, but should register their place of residence at the local government authority within 3 months of their arrival. The registration of the place of residence gives the right to temporary residence for 5 years.
What is the Personal Identity Code and what do I need it for?
The Personal Identity Code consists of 11 digits and is given to legal residents of Estonia. The ID number enables your employer to send information to the Tax and Customs Board, Estonian Health Insurance Fund and the Social Insurance Board, so that you will have access to the benefits resulting from paid taxes.
What do I need an ID-card for? How do I get it?
The ID card is an identity document for domestic use and is mandatory for all Estonian citizens over 15 years of age and for all permanent resident aliens. It carries the residence and work permit data and can be used for wide range of electronic services. The card is issued by the Police and Border Guard Board. In order to apply, see here: Police and Border Guard Board. ID card
Social security and health insurance
How many health insurance funds are there in Estonia?
There is only one health insurance fund in Estonia called Eesti Haigekassa. See Estonian Health Insurance Fund.
If I need to go to a medical specialist, what do I do?
It depends on which specialist you need to visit. In Estonia, the first level doctors are the family physicians and they can send you for further consultations to various specialists, if necessary. Read more about family physicians.
My wife is pregnant, is she eligible for any kind of special social services while in Estonia?
All pregnant women are entitled to a health insurance from the 12th week of pregnancy. In addition, she is entitled to a dental care refund. Being an alien residing in Estonia with a temporary residence permit, she is entitled after the birth of your child to a parental benefit and to family benefits. Please see here: Estonian Social Insurance Board.
I choose to visit a private doctor, am I entitled to a refund from the Haigekassa?
There is no reimbursement for the costs paid to private doctors.
Am I eligible to social security benefits in Estonia?
The list and terms of social benefits are available on the web page of the Estonian National Social Insurance Board.
I would like to know about the pension for working in Estonia.
The old-age pension in Estonia consists of state old-age pension, funded pension and supplementary funded pension. Information about the different pensions and conditions can be found: EURAXESS > Pensions and Estonian National Social Insurance Board.
How much income tax do I need to pay in Estonia?
In Estonia there is a proportional income tax system. Information about Estonian tax rates can be found on the web page of Estonian Tax and Customs Board . See also EURAXESS.Taxation. If you are a non-resident for tax purposes, please see here: EURAXESS. Taxation of non-residents.
I need to declare my taxes in Estonia. Where and how can I do it?
You can do so at the nearest office of the Tax and Customs Board. See for the Customers Service centres here: Estonian Tax and Customs Board. The easiest way to declare taxes is through the e-Tax Board.
Do I need to pay social tax from my salary?
No, the social tax is paid for you by the employer.
Grants and vacancies
Where can I find information about fellowships and grants in Estonia? What are the main research funding organisations in Estonia?
You can start looking here: Euraxess: Grants and you will get the answer to both questions.
Where could I get some information about Estonian researchers and fields of research?
Estonian Research Portal gives answers to many questions about research done in Estonia.
I am looking for a research position in Estonia. Where can I start?
Have a look at the vacancy links first: Euraxess: Jobs. It might be useful to visit Estonian Research Portal, to find and contact directly the teams doing research in your field: Estonian Research Portal. Projects
How is the salary system determined at the Estonian universities?
The universities in Estonia are autonomous and they are allowed to decide their own salary levels. See for the employment regulations at universities here: Euraxess: Working conditions. Actual salary depends on the outcome of the negotiations between the employer and the potential employee, though.
I got my PhD recently and would like to do my post-doc studies in Estonia. Where can I find information?
Please keep an eye on Euraxess: Jobs for vacancies. Estonian Science Foundation provides post-doc grants, for guidance see Estonian Research Council. Section “Research Funding”.
I am considering PhD studies in Estonia. How can I apply?
You have to apply directly to the university. The international offices in the universities can recommend you about the rules etc. For the list of the universities see Euraxess: Universities.
How can I open a bank account in Estonia?
Opening a bank account in Estonia is simple – you just have to give an identification document at the nearest bank office and you will be assisted to open a bank account.
Is my driving license valid in Estonia?
Driving licence of an EU country is valid in Estonia. Other foreign driving licences that have been issued in accordance with the Vienna Convention are valid in Estonia for one year and within this time you should change your driving license for an Estonian one.
I need a place to stay in Estonia, where could I start looking for it?
The most convenient way is to use the help of a real estate agent. For more information, see: Euraxess: Finding a house or a flat.
I am renting a flat, when and how do I have to pay for the heat, water and electricity?
In Estonia one usually pays for all these items once a month and according to the bill presented by the responsible companies. It is advisable to consult the flat owner about the exact rules.
What is the easiest way to get around in Estonia?
If you do not have a private car, the easiest way is to use the public transportation, i.e. mainly the bus, since good train connections are sparse.
What about Internet connection in Estonia?
Internet access has been made available to almost anyone in Estonia. In many public places you can use wifi for free, also in universities and libraries.
What is the ID–ticket and what do I need it for?
ID-ticket is a ticket for public transportation. Please note that the ID-ticket is cheaper than the one on paper and a ticket for 3 months is cheaper than the monthly one. To buy an ID-ticket you need the Estonian ID number. Please check as well ID-ticket
What is mobile parking?
Estonia is trying to make payment for all services as easy as possible. Mobile parking is one of them and it means that you can pay for parking your car with your mobile phone. In order to have access to this service you first need to make a contract with one of the Estonian mobile phone companies.
Here you can find a collection of FAQ-s about EURAXESS in general and the funtions on the EURAXESS portal (managing your user account, using the job search and many other things).