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Complete guide to obtaining an Estonia retirement visa, the required documents, the application steps, and the best places for retirees

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is located in Northern Europe and is famous for its clean environment, diverse culture, and delicious food. With a remarkable extent of forest and more than 2,000 islands, most inhibited, Estonia is the perfect getaway destination for every retiree.

Unfortunately, Estonia does not have a designated retirement visa for foreigners who want to move in permanently. But there are other ways you can move to Estonia and spend your retirement.

How Can I Retire Permanently in Estonia?

An alternative way of moving to Estonia for longer than one year is to get a residence permit. Estonia issues two types of residence permits, but you cannot be eligible for both types at the same time.

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals who wish to move to Estonia for retirement must apply for a temporary residence permit.

An Estonia Temporary Residence Permit is issued to individuals who want to make Estonia their new home for a long-term period of time (retirees, employers, students). This type of residence permit is issued with a D visa; thus, you need to obtain a long-stay visa (D visa) before applying for a temporary residence permit. 

What Are The Eligibility Criteria For Retirement In Estonia?

To be eligible for retirement in Estonia, you must meet the following criteria.

  • You need to be financially independent.
  • You must have a monthly passive income from a source outside Estonia.
  • You must have no criminal records.
  • You must be in good health conditions.

What Is The Duration of an Estonia Retirement Visa?

The temporary residence permit is issued for a period of five years but can be extended for up to 10 years.

Can I Become a Permanent Resident With a Retirement Visa?

To become a permanent resident of Estonia, you must be a holder of a temporary residence permit for five consecutive years. There are also other conditions that you need to fulfill in order to be eligible for permanent residency in Estonia.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Estonia?

Living costs in Estonia are considered to be lower than in most other European countries, and many expats agree with this. If you purchase a house, then your monthly estimated costs would be around $730 for your daily living expenses and utilities such as electricity, water, cooling, heating, etc. This value is estimated for a single person, whereas for a family of four, the monthly costs would be approximately $2450

If you decide to rent a property, the estimated monthly costs would be around $1500 to $2000 for necessities and rent. Rent prices in Estonia can go from as low as $260 to $770 for one-bedroom apartments and from $360 to $1540 for three-bedroom apartments. 

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Estonia:

ACCOMMODATION (rent)Monthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center$525
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center$390
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center$935
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Center $660
ACCOMMODATIONPRICE per m2
Price for purchasing an apartment in City Centre$3050
Price for purchasing an apartment Outside of Centre$2120
FOODCOSTS
Milk$0.86
Rice $1.71
Eggs$1.95
Tomato$2.27
Potato$0.76
Apples (kg)$1.62
UTILITIESMONTHLY COSTS (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$250

Healthcare In Estonia

Healthcare in Estonia is funded by general taxation through the National Health Service. The healthcare system consists of two sectors: public and private healthcare sectors. The public sector is administered by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). The Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF) is an independent body that serves as the only purchaser of medical care in Estonia and operates through four regional branches.

The Estonian health insurance system covers about 95% of the population. An insured individual must be a permanent resident or a legal resident of Estonia who pays the social tax. The Ministry of Social Affairs covers uninsured individuals, but to have access to health insurance from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, and they must pay taxes to the government. 

What Are the Best Places for Retirees in Estonia?

Estonia has many towns, cities, and islands that would be suitable for every type of retiree. The location variety makes it easier to choose what is best for you. Here are some of the best places for retirees in Estonia.

Tallinn

Estonia’s cultural hub, is home to cafes and shops and is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe. Tallinn is a cozy city with clean air and relaxed vibes which enchant retired foreigners to move in permanently. It is also packed with tourists almost all year round, so you will get the chance to meet new people and feel the vibrant atmosphere the city offers.

Tartu

If you like the eastern part of Estonia, Tartu is a great choice for you. The city has a medieval spirit and is modern at the same time known for the prestigious 17the-century University of Tartu. The safe and tolerant environment makes Tartu one of the best cities for retired people who want to enjoy a relaxing life, and with urban greenery, easy transit, and excellent healthcare, the life quality in Tartu ranks high.

Pärnu

Moving to the southwestern part of Estonia, Pärnu makes a great option for foreign retirees who want to spend their retirement in a resort city with some of the most beautiful beaches. The Pärnu beach is one of the most famous attractions in Pärnu and the biggest beach in Estonia. However, Pärnu is a very vibrant city; therefore, people who do not like beaches, festivals, nightlife, and funfairs should avoid the city.

Haapsalu

Haapsalu is a calm and small sea resort on the west coast of Estonia. Built in the 13th century, Haapsalu is an architectural gem famous for its healing seawater and mud. The town is the perfect place to relax and enjoy delightful walks in the neighborhood. 

Haapsalu has many famous attractions, but the most visited area is the one with the castle and the old are of the town.

Hiiumaa 

Estonia’s second largest island lies in the Baltic Sea and is a great place if you want to get away in a beautiful rural region. Hiiumaa is known for its historical lighthouses and pristine nature. Tourists from all over the world visit Hiiumaa every year, especially during the winter season, because it offers the longest ice road in Europe.

Kuressaare

Kuressaare is the administrative center of Saaremaa with many popular attractions. The Kuressaare Castle is one of the most interesting and well-preserved fortresses in Estonia and makes it the biggest tourist hotspot in the city. You can choose to reside in one of the nine neighborhoods of Kuressaare, depending on what type of lifestyle you want to have.

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