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Complete guide to obtaining a visa to study in Estonia, the required documents, the application steps, and FAQs

If you are from a non-EU/EEA country or Switzerland, and planning to finish your higher education in Estonia, you must apply for a student visa. 

With an Estonian student visa, you will be able to work, study and live in Estonia for one year. If your studies courses are longer than one year, you must apply for a temporary residence permit for studies.   

Do I Need a Visa to Study in Estonia?

Everyone who is not from the EU/EEA/Switzerland needs to apply for a student visa to study in Estonia. Depending on how long you plan to study in Estonia, you can apply for:

  • Short-term study visa. This visa allows you to stay in Estonia for 90 days within six months. A short-term visa is preferred for training, conferences, courses, etc. 
  • Long-term student visa This visa allows you to stay and study in Estonia for 365 days.
  • Temporary residence permit. The residence permit allows you to stay and study in Estonia for five years. 

*EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens do not need a visa to study in Estonia for 90 days. However, if they want to stay longer than 90 days, they need to register their place of residence and apply for an Estonian ID card. 

Estonia Student Visa Document Checklist

Here are all the documents you must submit when applying for an Estonian Student Visa. 

  • Valid passport. Your passport must be valid at least three months after the return date. Include a copy of previous visas (if any) and make sure your passport is in good condition.
  • Two passport-sized photos. The photos must be taken within the last six months. They must be with colors and taken on a light background. 
  • Application form. You must fill out the Estonian application form online, print a hard copy, and sign it at the end. Make sure you do not leave any blank spaces. 
  • Fee payment. The fee payment for an Estonian visa for study purposes is €100. You can make the payment in cash or by card at the embassy/consulate when you submit the documents. After finishing your Estonia visa application payment, attach the receipt to your application. 
  • A letter of acceptance from the university. Document proof that you have been accepted at one of the universities of Estonia. 
  • Bank statements. Document proof of your bank statement from the last six months. This document needs to prove that you can finance yourself in Estonia. 
  • Proof of accommodation. This document must prove that you have a place to stay while in Estonia. For example, this document can be a:
    • Letter from the university in Estonia verifying that you will be provided with student accommodation.
    • Invitation letter. This document can be issued from one of your family members in Estonia, proving that they can sponsor you and finance your stay in Estonia.
    • Hotel reservation.
    • Rent agreement. 
  • Health insurance. Proof that you have valid health insurance within the Schengen area. For further information regarding health insurance in Estonia for students, see ‘Health Insurance for Students in Estonia‘ below. 
  • Criminal record. Document from the police in your home country proving that you have no criminal history. 

Note: You must translate all the documents into Estonia or English language. 

How to Get an Estonia Student Visa?

To apply for an Estonian Student visa, you must follow these steps: 

  1. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Estonia in your home country and book an appointment. 
  2. Submit the application form, fee payment recipe, and all the other requested documents for your visa appointment.
  3. Wait for a response from the embassy or consulate with your visa result. You shall receive an answer for your visa result via text or email from the embassy/consulate where you have submitted the documents.

Once your visa is issued, you can enter Estonia and apply for a residence permit.

Travel to Estonia and Apply for a Temporary Residence Permit

After entering Estonia, you must apply for a temporary residence permit at the Police and Border Guard Board service offices in Estonia, if your study time is longer than one year.

Make sure you gather and submit all the requested documents when applying for a temporary residence permit. A temporary residence permit will allow you to stay in Estonia for five years.

Register your place of residence at the population register after your temporary residence permit is issued. 

How Long Does It Take to Get an Estonia Student Visa?

For an Estonia student visa to be processed, it takes 10 to 30 days. The processing time will start from the day that you submit your application. After your processing time is finished, you will receive a response by SMS or email with your visa result from the embassy/consulate of your home country.  

How Long Can I Stay in Estonia With a Student Visa?

The duration of a student visa is one year. However, if you need to stay longer than one year in Estonia for your studies, you can apply for a temporary residence permit. The temporary residence permit will allow you to stay in Estonia for five years.  

Can I Work in Estonia With a Student Visa?

Yes, you can work in Estonia with a student visa, as long as your work does not affect your studies. However, keep in mind that you are obligated to pass all your exams, follow all the courses and finish your studies in time to be able to complete your studies in Estonia. 

Can My Family Come With Me?

While staying in Estonia with a student visa, your family members can apply for an Estonia family visa to join you. 

If they are issued a family visa, they can stay with you in Estonia for one year. But, if you have a temporary residence permit and your family members apply for a temporary residence permit, they are allowed to stay in Estonia for as long as you stay there. 

Can I Extend an Estonia Student Visa?

Your student visa is issued for one year. However, if your study course is longer than one year, you must apply for a temporary residence permit at Estonia’s Police and Border Guard Border (PBGB). 

How Can I Stay in Estonia After I Graduate?

After finishing your studies as a non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizen, you can stay in Estonia for another nine months to search for a job in Estonia. You must apply for an extension of stay at the PBGB. if you find a job, you can apply for a temporary residence permit for work purposes and live in Estonia indefinitely.

Can I Get a Permanent Registration Card In Estonia as a Student?

To apply for a permanent residence permit, you must stay in Estonia for five years with a temporary residence permit. However, this rule applies to students, too, just differently. 

If you live in Estonia as a student for five years with a temporary residence permit, you cannot immediately apply for a permanent residence permit. Only half the time you have lived in Estonia as a student will count. So, if you have lived in Estonia as a student for five years, it counts as 2.5 years of residence when applying for permanent residency. 

Health Insurance for Students in Estonia

Estonia does not cover health insurance for students from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund. That means non-EU/EEA/Switzerland needs to apply for a private or international health insurance policy. Private health insurance in Estonia must cover everything, including injuries or health problems, for the whole duration of your studies in Estonia. 

Non-EU/EEA/Switzerland students can apply for a student visa with travel insurance. They just need to apply for long-term health insurance in Estonia after entering Estonia.

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