changing jobs

  • changing jobs in Estonia? here’s everything you need to know as a non-EU citizen

here’s the deal:

are you taking on multiple jobs?

Simply planning to get an extra job? Then it’s all quite straightforward.

As long as you keep the job that your residence permit is based on (and the conditions of that job don’t change), you can get a second job without any special requirements for you or either one of your employer(s).

decided to change your job?

Leaving your job to join a different company? Both you and your current employer need to let the Police and Border Guard Board know in advance.

Because your job is the basis for your residence permit, you’ll have to apply for a new permit, keeping in mind that:

  • Applications can take up to 2 months to process. If you submit a new application before your previous residence permit is revoked, you can stay in Estonia while your application is being processed.
  • Before you start working at your new job, you need to wait until your new residence permit comes in. If you absolutely need to start sooner, your new employer has the option of registering you for short-term employment.
  • There may be additional requirements: proving your qualifications, salary criteria, or certain permissions from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (contact the Fund for more information).
has your contract ended?

If for some reason your employer decides to end your work relationship and your residence permit is based on this position, that means your legal grounds to stay in Estonia will end.

If you want to stay in Estonia—and we hope you do—here’s what you should do:

  • Let the Police and Border Guard Board know about your situation. Your employer has to do the same.
  • Start your job search. The Police and Border Guard Board will begin the process of invalidating your residence permit, which takes 30 days. Ideally, you should find a new job and file a new application within this window, which is not a lot of time. The trick is to be open with the authorities: If you show them you’re actively looking for a new job, they may meet you halfway and give you more time for your job search.
  • Apply for a new residence permit for employment as soon as you find a new employer.

Processing time for residence permit applications is up to 2 months. If you apply for a new residence permit before your previous one is revoked, you can stay in the country while the new one is being processed.

If you need to start working while the Police and Border Guard Board is still processing, your new employer can register you for short-term employment.

For more details and support, please contact the Police and Border Guard Board’s migration advisers or book a consultation at the International House of Estonia.

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