Estonia is the northernmost country of the Baltic region in north-eastern Europe. It is part of the Schengen Agreement, therefore it’s visa policy is somewhat determined by the common Schengen rules. Depending on the purpose of your visit, different visas are available, such as work, family reunification, study, or investment visas.
However, if you want to visit Estonia, first, you must check if you need an Estonian visa. If you are from a country that requires a visa, you can apply for either a short-stay or a long-stay visa.
Do I Need a Visa to Go to Estonia?
You need a visa to visit Estonia if you are from a non-EU/EEA/Swiss country that does not have a visa-free agreement with Schengen. You can apply for a:
- A short-stay visa allows you to stay in Estonia for 90 days within 180 days.
- Long-stay D visa allows you to stay in Estonia for one year. With a national visa, you can apply for a temporary residence permit, which allows you to stay in Estonia long-term.
You do not need a visa to visit Estonia if:
- You are an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen.
- You are from a county with visa liberalization with Schengen (e.g., USA, UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, etc.). In this case, you can only stay in Estonia for 90 days within 180 days. For longer stays, you need an Estonian national visa.
Types of Estonia Visas
There are different types of Estonian visas depending on the occasion:
- Estonia Schengen Visa. It allows you to visit Estonia for 90 days within 180 days. This visa is issued for short visits and tourism. Furthermore, since Estonia is a part of the Schengen Agreement, you can visit other Schengen countries with a Schengen visa for Estonia.
- Estonia Transit Visa. This visa is issued for passengers who need to transit in an Estonian airport while traveling to a third country. EU/EEA/Swiss citizens do not need a visa to transit through Estonia.
- Estonia Work Visa. To work in Estonia, citizens outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland need to apply for a work visa. However, your employer must register your employment with the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board before you plan to apply for a work visa. Citizens of EU/EEA/Swiss will need to register as Estonian residents in the Population Register of Estonia and apply for an ID card in the first three months of their stay.
- Estonia Student Visa. All those who want to study in Estonia and are not from the EU/EEA/Swiss need to apply for a student visa. You can only apply for a student visa only after being accepted into an Estonian university or other educational institution. EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who will study in Estonia only have to register their residence at the Local Government authority and apply for an ID card within the first month.
- Estonia Family Visa. If you want to join your family members or partner living in Estonia, you must apply for an Estonia family visa and a temporary residence permit. It allows you to settle in Estonia, work, study, and enjoy the same residency rights as your family member.
- Estonia Investment Visa. If you want to invest in a business in Estonia, you must first apply for an Estonian investment visa and a temporary residence permit.
- Estonia Digital Nomad Visa. To allow freelancers work in Estonia, the authorities have created a special visa just for this purpose, which is known as the Estonia digital nomad visa.
Difference Between Estonia Schengen Visa and Long-Term Visa
The difference between an Estonia Schengen visa and a long-term visa is that:
|Estonia Schengen Visa||Estonia Long-Term Visa|
|Is issued for 90 days.||It is issued for 365 days.|
|It is recommended more for short visits, for tourism, etc.||It is recommended more for study, work, business, and family reunion purposes.|
|You are not able to obtain a residence permit. You must leave Estonia before the visa expires.||You can obtain a residence permit, and exend your stay indefinitely.|
Required Documents for an Estonia Visa
There are a few documents that are required when applying for an Estonian visa, such as:
- A valid passport. The passport must be valid at least three months beyond the return date with two blank pages. Include a copy of previous visas (if any).
- Application form. You must fill out the application form online, print a hard copy, and sign it at the end. Make sure you fill out the application form sincerely and with all the required information.
- Two passport-sized photos. A full-face photo with a bright background. The photo must be taken within the last six months and follow the Schengen visa photo guidelines.
- Schengen Medical insurance. Valid health insurance with at least €30,000 coverage within Estonia and the Schengen area.
- A cover letter. The cover letter must explain the purpose of your visit to Estonia, the flight date and time, the return date, etc.
- Proof of accommodation. Document proof that you have a place to stay in Estonia. This document can be a:
- Civil status. Document proving your civil status if you are married (marriage certificate), if you have a child (birth certificate of the child), or death certificate of the spouse (if applicable).
- Bank statement. This is a document issued from your bank, and it must prove that you have at least €100 every day for the whole time you are staying in Estonia.
- Biometric (fingerprints). When submitting the requested documents to the embassy or consulate, you must submit your fingerprints.
Estonia Visa Application Process
Follow these steps when applying for an Estonia visa:
- Contact the consulate/embassy of Estonia in your home country and book an appointment. If there is no consulate or embassy of Estonia in your country, you can contact another Schengen country’s consulate representing Estonian interests and book an appointment.
- Complete the application form. Fill out the application form through Estonia’s online visa system. Download it, sign it at the end and submit it with all other requested documents to the consulate or embassy.
- Pay for the fee. You must pay the application fee when submitting the documents. The cost of the fee changes depending on the type of visa you apply for or your nationality. Make sure you attach the receipt of payment to other requested documents.
- Submit the documents. Submit all the required documents listed below. Make sure you translate the documents into Estonian or English.
- Wait for a response. You will receive a response via email or SMS from the embassy or consulate with your visa result.
Here is a more detailed explanation of each of the steps to apply for an Estonia Visa.
Estonia Visa Application Processing Time
The processing time for an Estonia visa is 15 to 60 days. However, the processing time depends on when you submit the documents or your specific case. Therefore, ensure you fulfill all the requested steps, so there are no delays in your visa response.
What Can I Do If My Estonian Visa Application Is Refused?
If your visa application for Estonia is refused, you can:
- Re-apply for the same visa one more time.
- Apply for a Schengen visa to another Schengen country and visit Estonia with the same visa.
- Appeal the decision. You can appeal the decision within 30 days of your visa rejection by following the instructions on the visa rejection letter. You must pay a fee of €20 when you appeal the rejection.
The main reasons why your Estonian visa can be refused are:
- If you have a past or a current criminal record.
- If you have false travel documentation.
- If you have a damaged passport.
- If any of the required documents are missing.
- If you have any incorrect information in your application form.
- If you don’t attend your visa appointment on time.
- If you don’t have proof of accommodation.
- If you don’t have a return flight ticket.
- If you lie at your interview for your visit purpose.
How Long Can I Stay in Estonia With a Visa?
Depending on how long you plan to stay in Estonia and what type of visa you apply for, you can stay in Estonia for 90 days with a short-stay visa or one year with a long-stay visa.
Estonia Visa Extension
If you want to stay in Estonia for longer than three months, you can:
- Apply for a long-stay visa. The long-stay visa will allow you to stay in Estonia for one year. You can work, study and stay in Estonia with a long-term visa.
- Apply for an extension of your Schengen visa. Extensions for a Schengen visa are granted only under certain conditions, such as humanitarian reasons.
Estonia Visa Fees
You can finish the payment for the visa fee at the embassy/consulate of Estonia in your home country when submitting the documents. However, the Estonia visa fees can change depending on the type of visa you apply for, your age, or your location.
- A short-stay visa is €80.
- A long-stay visa is €100.
- An airport transit visa is €80.
- A Schengen visa for children under the age of 15 is €40.
*Attach the receipt of the payment to your Estonian visa application after finishing the fee payment.
Estonia National (Long-Stay) Visas
Estonia long stay visas are issued for up to a year, depending on the purpose of your stay. It can be issued for work, studies, family reunification, or investments. In addition, this type of visa can be extended or switched into a temporary residence permit.
With a long-stay D visa, you can visit other Schengen countries for 90 days.
Facts About Estonia
Here are some fun facts about Estonia before you take your trip:
- Over half of Estonia’s land is covered in forest, so few people are there. However, it also means that different species consider Estonia as their homeland.
- Estonia is known for having the world’s most spa-dense town, Kuressaare, with over 1,200 spa beds.
- Estonia has a sport called Wife Carrying, where men compete in obstacle tracks while carrying a female teammate.
- Estonia is known for the highest number of supermodels per capita globally.
- Estonia has spa challenges.
- Estonia is known for the most extensive collection of national folk songs globally, over 133,000.
- Estonian women and men are considered the third tallest people in the world.