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Complete guide to obtianing a visa to work in Estonia, the requirements, the application steps, and FAQs

If you want to work in Estonia and you are a non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizen, you must apply for an Estonia work visa. A work visa will allow you to work and stay in Estonia for one year; however, the visa is renewable. 

If you have questions regarding the application method and the visa requirements, you will find all the information you need in this article. 

Do I Need a Visa to Work in Estonia?

Everyone from non-EU/EEA/Switzerland must apply for a work visa if they want to work in Estonia. A work visa is issued for one year, but you must apply for a temporary residence permit if you stay longer than one year.  

EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens do not need to apply for a work visa to work in Estonia. They must only register as an Estonian resident in the Population Register of Estonia during the first three months of their stay and apply for an ID card within the first month of their stay in Estonia.

Conditions to Obtain an Estonian Work Visa

To apply for an Estonian work visa, you have to meet these conditions:

  • Your employer has to register your employment with the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board beforehand.
  • You must have a valid work contract.
  • You must have the required qualification for the requested work position. 
  • You must be in good health condition. 

Estonia Work Visa Requirements

Here are all the requirements for an Estonian work visa:

  • Valid Passport. Your passport must be valid at least three months after the return date, and it must have two blank pages. Include a copy of previous visas (if any), and make sure that the passport is in good condition.
  • Two passport-size photos. The photos must be taken within the last six months. They must be in color and taken on a light background.  
  • Application form. Fill out the application form online. Select the long-stay D visa option, and make sure you fully complete it with all the correct information. After you fully complete it, print a hard copy and sign it at the end.  
  • Fee payment. After filling out the application form, you must make the payment for your visa application. The payment can be made in the consulate/embassy when you submit the documents. Attach the receipt of the payment to other requested documents.  
  • Health insurance.  A document proving that you have valid health insurance. Your health insurance must be valid within the whole Schengen area and a coverage of €30.000. After entering Estonia, Estonian health insurance will cover you. 
  • Proof of accommodation. Document proving that you have a place to stay while being in Estonia. This document can be a rental agreement or contract, a letter of invitation, etc. 
  • Cover letter. The cover letter must serve as an introduction letter for the embassy. Therefore, you must include the purpose of your visit to Estonia in detail.
  • Criminal record. This document must be released from your home country’s police authorities, and it must prove that you have a clean criminal record. 
  • Work contract. The work contract must explain the type of work you will be doing in Estonia. It must include the salary, the duration of your work, etc. This document proves that you have a job waiting in Estonia.
  • Personal qualification documents. These documentsprove that you are qualified for the job you have applied too. It includes:
    • A diploma of your educational level
    • Your CV
    • Your driving license (if applicable), etc. 

Note: You must translate the documents into Estonian or English language. The documents must be original or notarized. Keep in mind that the Estonian embassy may request any additional documents; submit everything they request, since any missing documents can lead to your visa refusal. 

How to Apply for an Estonia Work Visa?

The application process for an Estonian work visa is as follows: 

  1. Your employer registers your employment in Estonia.  
  2. You apply for a work visa at the Estonian embassy in your country.  
  3. After entering Estonia, you apply for a residence permit. 

Registering the employment in Estonia

Your employer must register your short-term employment in Estonia. This document allows you to work in Estonia until you receive your residence permit. For your employer to apply for your short-term employment register, you must give them a copy of your passport, photo, and other required personal details. After that, you shall receive the ID code, an 11-digit number used to identify your details in Estonia. 

Applying for a work visa at an Estonian Embassy/Consulate

First, you need to contact the nearest embassy/consulate of Estonia in your home country and book an appointment. You may be required to be interviewed during your visa appointment, so make sure to arrive on time. Next, you need to collect and submit all the requested documents at the Estonian embassy. The documents must follow the embassy requirements and fulfill every condition. 

After fulfilling all the requested steps wait for a response. You will receive a response from the embassy/consulate with the result of your visa application. They will contact you via email or text message. 

Applying for a residence permit

After entering Estonia, you must book an appointment at the Police Border Guard Border and apply for an Estonian residence permit. You must personally submit all the requested documents at the at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB). After that, you have to register your residence online here or personally at the PBGB. 

After your address registration is finished, you can personalize a public transportation card and enjoy free public transport.

Note: It takes up to two months to receive a residence permit. 

Estonia Work Visa Processing Time

The processing time for an Estonian work visa is 30 days. However, the processing time can be extended since it depends on several factors. For example, it depends on your case, political reasons, or application time. If you apply in the summertime or during the holidays, the embassy can extend the processing time due to the many applicants. In addition, it takes another two months to receive a residence permit after you enter Estonia.

Estonia Work Visa Fees 

The Estonian fee for a work visa is €100. You can make the payment in cash or by card. The payment for your visa application needs to be done when submitting the documents to the embassy/consulate in your home country.

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

The duration of an Estonian work visa is 365 days. If you want to stay longer, you must apply for a temporary residence permit after you enter Estonia, which is issued for up to five years and is renewable. 

You can visit other Schengen countries for no more than three months within 180 days. 

Can I Extend an Estonia Work Visa?

You can extend your work visa in Estonia at least three working days before your visa expires. Then, make sure you submit your application in person at any of the Police and Border Guard Board offices in Estonia.  

Bringing Your Family Along in Estonia

You can bring your family members with an Estonian work visa. Your family members are allowed to work, study and stay in Estonia.  Your family members are defined as:

  • Your spouse (partner).
  • Your cohabiting partner.
  • Your child (if it’s under the age of 18).  
  • Your lonely relatives (if they are older than age 65) with health problems. 

Things to Know About Working in Estonia

If you are planning on working in Estonia, it is good to keep in mind the following things: 

  • The average salary in Estonia is €1,150 per month. Depending on your job, the monthly income can be higher. 
  • The average monthly cost if you are a single person living in Estonia is (€661) without rent. 
  • Depending on the type of health insurance company you choose, you can pay €188 per month for premium health insurance. 
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