The way to work overseas: What you need to work in Estonia

What you need to work in Estonia

Let’s talk about the opportunities of working in Estonia, an EU member nation, and see how is it possible to work in Estonia.

How can non-EU nationals work in Estonia?

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country wanting to work in Estonia for a period of not more than 6 months, you must apply for a D-visa. A D-visa is issued for a maximum term of 1 year.

It’s necessary that your employer in Estonia has to register for such a short-term job you are joining in Estonia. This registration must be done with the Estonian Police as well as Border Guard Board.

To work in Estonia any longer, you must apply for a residence permit. This works out as follows:

Step 1 – Apply for a temporary residence permit. This will let you work for up to 2 years with your first permit.

Step 2 – After living for 5 years in Estonia on a Temporary Residence Permit, you will be eligible to apply for a long-term residence permit.

Step 3 – In case you want to settle in Estonia on a permanent tenure, you can also file an application for a temporary residence permit with the intention to permanently be in the country. This permit makes it easier to make settling in Estonia and meeting the criteria required for a permanent resident permit.

Documents to submit to apply for a long-stay visa (D-Visa) for work

  • A valid travel document with:
    • A minimum of 2 blank pages
    • Validity of a minimum of 3 months after the visa gets expired
  • A photo (35×45 mm)
  • A document showing the journey’s purpose
  • Application form (in PDF format)
  • An insurance policy
  • A visa fee of €100

Documents to submit for a temporary residence permit application for work

  • An application form
  • A document of identification
  • A document that certifies that the state fee is paid
  • Employer’s invitation (completed and submitted by the employer to the Police and Border Guard Board by e-mail/post
  • An annex – Data on family members and close relatives
  • A photo (40×50 mm)
  • Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund’s permission to work (if necessary)

Documents to submit to apply for a long-term residence permit

  • Application form (filled out on-screen and then printed)
  • A color photo (40×50 mm)
  • A valid ID
  • A document that certifies that you have paid the state fee

If you are applying for the registration of permanent residence based on an exception (before having completed living in Estonia for 5 years) these additional documents will have to be submitted:

  • certificate of proof that you have been employed in Estonia for a minimum of the last 12 months
  • a certificate that proves that you have been employed in Estonia for a minimum of 3 years successively
  • the decision by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund regarding the establishment of partial capacity for work or the lack of it
  • free form application that confirms that you will go back to Estonia once a week

Within a month of acceptance of the application, it will be decided whether your right of permanent residence will be registered or not.

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