Coming to Estonia
- Nationals of the member states of EU and EEA.
- Nationals of Schengen States
- The holders of the following passports do not require a visa to enter Estonia for stays not exceeding three months in a 6 month period:
Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Israel, Japan, Macao Special Administrative Region, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Serbia*, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, St Kitts-Nevis, United States of America, Taiwan, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.
* Only for the biometrical passports holders
- The holders of diplomatic and service passports of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Estonia for stays not exceeding three months in a 6 month period:
Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, holders of the Laissez-Passer issued by the United Nations
Citizens of countries not mentioned above require a visa to enter Estonia.
Airport transit visa (type A) - given for entry into the international transit zone at an Estonian airport and for the stay therein allowing for the departure to the next transit country or arrival country, where the person has a legal basis to enter. This visa shall not grant the alien the right to enter Estonia or stay in Estonia.
Short-stay visa (type C) - given for single- or multiple-entry stays up to 90 days within six months in Schengen area.
A long-stay visa (type D) is valid only in Estonia and is issued to an alien for single or multiple temporary stay in Estonia. Before applying for a visa for the short-term employment the short-term employment must be registered at the Citizenship and Migration Bureau. If an alien is issued a visa for short-term employment in Estonia, a visa shall be issued to the spouse, a minor child or an adult child who due to his or her health status or disability is unable to cope independently under the same conditions as to the specified alien.
A long-stay visa may be issued with a period of stay up to six months and with a period of validity up to twelve months.
If a visa applicant wishes to visit only Estonia, the Schengen visa has to be applied for from an Estonian foreign representation.
If a visa applicant wishes to visit several Schengen member states (incl. Estonia), the visa has to be applied for from the Schengen state's foreign representation that is the state of main destination. In order to determine the state of main destination the visa applicant must know in which Schengen state one plans to spend most time.
If a visa applicant wishes to visit several Schengen member states and is not sure of the state of main destination or plans to spend the equal number of days in each state, the visa must be applied for from the representation of the country through which the person enters the Schengen area.
A valid travel document - it must contain at least two blank pages for visas and be valid for at least three months after the end of the visa expiry date.
A completed visa application form.
A colour photograph (sized 35 x 45 mm).
A valid health insurance certificate, which would grant the covering of treatment costs arising from an illness or injury during the period of validity of the visa being applied for, unless otherwise specified by law or an international agreement. The minimum rate for limit of indemnity in the health insurance agreement is EUR 30,000 for the whole period of stay in the Schengen area.
Documents proving the purpose of the travel and the reason for it.
Documents certifying the existence of sufficient monetary means during the stay in Estonia.
Documents certifying the covering of the accommodation costs and the costs of stay in Estonia.
Document certifying the payment of state fee or document certifying the exemption from paying state fee.
For citizens of the EU, EEA and Swiss Confederation
The Citizen of European Union Act regulates the issue of residence permits to the citizens of the EU, EEA and Swiss Confederation (hereafter EU) and their family members.
A citizen of the EU may stay in Estonia without a residence permit on the basis of a valid travel document or identity card for a period of up to three months.
In order to obtain the right of temporary residence an EU citizen must contact the local government authority nearest to his or her place of residence and register his or her residence within three months from the date of entering Estonia. The right of temporary residence is granted for a period of five years.
Generally, an EU citizen who has resided in Estonia permanently for five successive years on the basis of the right of temporary residence shall obtain the right of permanent residence.
Citizens of the EU do not need a separate permit to work in Estonia.
For third country nationals
The Aliens Act regulatesthe issue of residence and work permits to third country nationals and persons with undetermined citizenship.
Residence permit may be temporary (validity period up to five years) or long-term.
Temporary residence permit may be issued to an alien:
- married to a person with permanent residence in Estonia;
- for settling down with a close relative permanently residing in Estonia;
- for working;
- for studies at an Estonian educational institution;
- for business;
- whose permanent legal income ensures his or her subsistence in Estonia;
- in case of substantial public interest;
- whose application for residence permit is based on an international agreement.
A temporary residence permit may be extended if the basis for the permit has not changed and the application is justified. In order to extend a temporary residence permit the applicant may visit the service point of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau or submit his or her application by post. An alien residing in Estonia on the basis of a temporary residence permit, who desires to stay outside Estonia for more than 183 days per year, shall register his or her absence from Estonia at the Citizenship and Migration Bureau.
In order to provide for a more flexible extension of Estonian residence a 90-day transitional period is provided after the expiration of a residence permit (183-day period with regard to foreign students graduated from Estonian universities and researchers/professors). During this time period a foreigner may stay in Estonia and apply for a residence permit on a new basis – be it a residence permit for establishing one’s own business, working or further studies.
Since 2016 it is also possible to apply for a new type of temporary residence permit. It can be issued to a foreigner for a period of up to five years, and its aim is to make it easier for people who have adapted to life in Estonia and received a residence permit to continue living, working, studying and doing business in Estonia.
A long-term residence permit may be issued to an alien:
- who has stayed in Estonia permanently on the basis of temporary residence permit for at least five years;
- holds a valid temporary residence permit;
- has registered residence, health insurance and permanent legal income for subsistence in Estonia;
- has knowledge of the Estonian language at least at a basic level.
An alien, who is residing in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit, has a right to work in Estonia, unless otherwise stipulated by the law.
Short-term employment in Estonia
In certain cases an employer can apply for the registration for short-term employment in Estonia for aliens who stay or arrive in Estonia either on the basis of a visa (type D) or on a visa-free basis. Before applying for a visa the short-term employment must be registered at the Citizenship and Migration Board.
An alien who stays in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit cannot be registered for short-term employment in Estonia. In this case an alien has to apply for a work permit or a residence permit for employment.
An application for registration for short-term employment may be submitted in the following cases:
- persons engaged in creative activities who work in a performing arts institution;
- for working as a teacher or lecturer in an educational institution, which complies with the requirements established by Estonian law;
- for working as a scientist if the alien has appropriate professional training or experience;
- for working as a sportsman, coach, referee or sports official for professional activities on the basis of an invitation from a respective sports federation;
- for employment as a trainee in order to obtain vocational education intermediated by an educational institution or a student organisation located abroad if this is a part of the relevant training programme;
- in order to serve in the diplomatic representation of a foreign country with the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- for working as an au pair;
- for working as an expert, adviser or consultant providing that the alien has the required professional training;
- for working as an installer of equipment or a skilled worker providing that the alien has the required professional training
- for working as a seasonal worker processing agricultural products;
- on the basis of an international agreement.
In certain cases involving short-term employment, employers are obliged to pay an alien a fee amounting to at least equal to the average monthly salary in the field in which the employer primarily operates in Estonia, as most recently published by the Statistical Office, but not less than the average annual gross monthly salary in Estonia most recently published by the Statistical Office multiplied by a coefficient of 1.24. The basis for determining an employer's primary area of operation is the Classification of Estonian Economic Activities code of the Statistical Office.