before you arrive
- find a job
Have a look at the latest offers. Once you’ve secured a job contract, you can begin your relocation process.
- employment registration
As a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to obtain a temporary residence permit if you’re planning on being in Estonia for more than a year. But if you’re in a hurry to get to Estonia, we’d recommend applying for a long-term (D) visa first, then applying for a temporary residence permit once you’re here.
about the temporary (D) visa
A long-term (D) visa will allow you to stay in Estonia for up to 365 days. The process takes 2 weeks to a month and needs to be completed before you arrive in Estonia. You’ll need to have a valid reason to apply, such as employment, education, or accompanying your spouse. If you’re a citizen of one of these non-EU countries you can stay in Estonia without a visa for up to 90 days.
apply for a temporary (D) visa
You can apply for your (D) visa at your nearest Estonian embassy or at the Police and Border Guard office in Tallinn. Please note that embassies can have different processing times and requirements, so be sure to contact your nearest Estonian embassy to confirm.
If you’re coming to Estonia to work, your employer needs to register you with the Estonian Police and Border Guard. Once your registration has been processed, expect to receive your Estonian ID-code in up to 15 working days.
arrival to-do list
valid travel documents (take care to confirm their eligibility beforehand)
immunization passport or certificate (if required)
check the latest border crossing regulations
bring travel tickets
purchase travel health insurance
research bank and wire transfer options
research your destination city
find a place to stay
bring a hat, scarf, and warm gloves. Essential if arriving in winter, spring, or fall
start networking! contact the international house of estonia and join local expat communities on Facebook
temporary residence permit
As a non-EU citizen living in Estonia for more than 365 days, a temporary residence permit is the way to go. Temporary residence permits are issued for up to 5 years and can be extended. The length of permit will be decided by the Police Board based on your reason for applying.
There are 2 options for applying for a temporary residence permit:
Every year the number of new temporary residence permits are issued based on a quota, which can’t exceed more than 0,1% of Estonia’s permanent population
The quota can be overridden if you meet one of the following exemptions:
- If you’re employed at a startup
- If you’re an ICT specialist
- If you’re a top specialist earning at least €2528 gross monthly salary
You can schedule an appointment to apply for your temporary residence permit online. Once you arrive in Estonia, submit all the required documents right away to ensure the processing time fits into the standard 2-month window. If you’re confused by all this, know that you’re not alone. The Police Board has migration advisors available by phone, email Skype, or for in-person appointment — who can help you find answers if you get stuck. The International House of Estonia also has migration advisors available to answer any of your questions.
open a bank account
If you plan to open a bank account, keep in mind that many local banks have limited offerings for foreigners without a residence permit. It can take up to a week and cost up to €250. If you’re only staying a few months, neobanking options like Wise, Monese, or Revolut can be great alternatives to a traditional bank account.
Once you have your residence permit, you can open an Estonian bank account in-person.
register an address
Once you’ve found your new home, you’re required to register the address in the Estonian Population Register. You have 3 options:
- Submit the residence notice form in person at the local government office. If you live in Tallinn, you can also submit it at the International House of Estonia
- If you already have your Estonian residence permit card, you can email the digitally signed notice form, along with the signed rental agreement, to the local government.
- If you have your Estonian residence permit card, you can also register online at eesti.ee, and the owner of your residence can confirm the registration. Note that the portal is partially in Estonian, so be sure to have google translate ready.
good to know
- If the rental property is owned by more than one person, all the owners signatures need to be on the lease.
- Came with family? You have the option to submit a joint address registration form.
- Moved? Yes, you need to re-register. But don’t worry, with your Estonian ID or temporary residence card you can complete it online.
change tax residency
If you’re staying in Estonia for more than 183 days, you’re required to change your tax residency. But take note, the change does not happen automatically, so you (and any adult family members living with you) will want to notify the tax authorities. Here’s what to do:
- Make sure your place of residence is registered in the Estonian population register
- Complete Form R.
- Sign it digitally and send it directly to
- Notify your employer that you’re officially an Estonian tax resident
Your tax residency will change retroactively to the day you arrived in Estonia, which will be reflected in your annual tax declaration.
good to know
who is considered an estonian tax resident?
According to subsection 6 (1) of the Income Tax Act, you’re considered a tax resident of Estonia if you meet at least one of the following requirements:
- Your place of residence is in Estonia
- You reside in Estonia for at least 183 days of the year
- You’re an Estonian diplomat in the foreign service
can I contribute to a pension?
Yes, you can. Once your tax residency has been changed to Estonia, you’ll have the option to join the pension system, which withholds 2% of your gross monthly salary to be reinvested.
I’ve decided to leave estonia. now what?
We’re sorry to see you go! You’ll want to notify the Tax Board of your decision by submitting another Form R.
De-register your Estonian residency address at the Population Registry, either online, via email or at one of their service bureaus.
Once your employer has registered you with the Employment Registry and you’ve received your Estonian ID-code, you’ll have health care coverage starting on your 15th day of employment. In case of a serious injury or illness, visit the nearest Emergency Medical Center or dial 112.
In Estonia’s capital city of Tallinn, public transport is free for all registered residents. You’ll want to buy an Ühiskaart card (which you can purchase at any post office or R-kiosk) and then personalise it so you can start accessing the public transport system. Every time you ride, hold the card up to any automatic ticket reader. Wait for the beep, then take a seat!