before you arrive
As a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to obtain a (D) visa to legally stay in Estonia for up to a year. Keep reading to learn how to acquire your (D) visa.
about the 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.
applying for the 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
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.
If you’re staying in Estonia for more than 183 days and/or if you register your address in Estonia, you’ll need to change your tax residency, too. But take note, the change does not happen automatically, so you’ll want to inform the tax authorities by submitting Form R.
What happens when I change my tax residency?
Your tax residency will be changed retroactively to the day you arrived in Estonia. The change will be reflected in your annual tax declaration and you’ll be able to use the same deductions as other residents. When you leave Estonia, remember to notify the Tax Board by submitting another Form R.
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.