Immigrate to Estonia

Immigrate to Estonia

Updated on Thursday 03rd February 2022

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Immigrate to Estonia.jpgThe conditions one has to follow in order to immigrate to Estonia are related to the right of entry, the reason for remaining in the country as well as compliance with the requirements for becoming an Estonian citizen, should the foreign national wish to do so.
Those who are interested in moving to Estonia may do so for employment purposes, as well as for starting a business or attending the courses of an Estonian University. Likewise, the reason for the move can be related to reuniting with family members who are already Estonian permanent residents or citizens.
In this article, our team of lawyers answers part of the common questions that arise when one decides to relocate to Estonia. Seeking specialized legal advice is recommended in all cases, in order to ensure that the individual applies to the right type of visa to enter the country (when applicable) and that he follows through with the steps required to obtain permanent residence, a prerequisite for those who immigrate to Estonia.
 Quick Facts  
  Entry visa requirement (from EU)  (YES/NO) 



Entry visa requirement (outside EU) (YES/NO)

Yes, with some exceptions (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, the United States of America, etc.)

Types of visas available

 Airport transit visa
Short-term visa
Long-term national visa
Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.) 

30 days

Validity of temporary residence permit Up to 5 years
Time frame for obtaining permanent residence (approx.)

One can apply for permanent residence after 5 years; the processing time is around 2 months.

Investor Visa Availability (YES/NO)

Temporary residence for business owners

Sponsorship requirement (YES/NO) No
Time frame for obtaining citizenship  Up to 6 months after the submission of the application 
Citizenship/Residency by investment scheme availability (YES/NO) Temporary residence by investment, followed by long-term residence or citizenship after 5 uninterrupted years in the country.
 Tax benefits for expats Non-residents who are residents of another EEA member state can reduce their taxable income amount in Estonia. This does not apply to non-residents from other countries.

What are the conditions to remain in Estonia long-term?

The conditions differ according to nationality. Below, you can read more about some of the most common cases:
  1. EU citizen: can remain in the country without visa/permit for up to three months; after this time he will need to register with the population register;
  2. Non-EU citizen: will obtain a temporary residence permit, according to the purpose of the stay;
  3. Employment: when the employment is a long-term one, the individual applies for the residence permit for employment/work in Estonia; it is common for the purpose of those who immigrate to Estonia to be related to employment;
  4. Start-up: for foreign nationals who are able to open a company (subject to an examination of the business proposal).
Our team can help you immigrate to Estonia. We know that each situation is different and we are your trustworthy partners during your relocation process. when working with us, you can rest assured that you follow through with all of the applicable requirements, the conditions and the submissions needed for moving to the country.

How is Estonian citizenship acquired?

For some foreign nationals who relocate to Estonia, the goal is to remain in the country indefinitely. Citizenship is acquired either at birth or by naturalization, when the foreign national has lawfully lived in the country for at least eight years before application, of which five years were on a permanent resident basis.
In addition to the residency requirement, the foreign national who intends to immigrate to Estonia and obtain citizenship will need to have proof of language proficiency, permanent legal income, ne registered in the population register, as well as other conditions.
We can also give you more details about Estonia citizenship by investment.

What are the rights and the obligations of an Estonian citizen?

Those who immigrate to Estonia are subject to a set of both rights and obligations. Our Estonian lawyers list some of the most important ones below:
  • the right to vote (once the person is 18);
  • the right to belong to political parties;
  • the obligation to be loyal to the constitution and to respect the constitutional order of Estonia.
Foreign nationals who start teh process of moving to Estonia follow a number of mandatory steps and it is a tailored process, depending on one’s reason for the relocation, as well as the arrangements he or she makes in the country (seeks employment, starts a business, marries an Estonian citizen or other situations).
The statistical data issued by the Police and Border Guard, as presented by the Ministry of Interior was the following for the year 2017-2018:
  • residence: in January 2018, 188,678 individuals had valid residence permits; out of these, 163,183 were long-term permits;
  • citizenship: 873 individuals acquired citizenship by naturalization in 2017; out of these, 590 had undetermined citizenship;
  • reason for the stay: in 2017, 1,370 permits were issued for temporary purposes for family relocation, 2,272 were residence permits for work purposes and 1,412 for study purposes.
Our team of lawyers can assist those who wish to immigrate to Estonia with personalized services that include legal counsel and representation as well as legal assistance in front of the Estonian authorities. If you need assistance with part of the pre- or post-arrival steps, one of our attorneys can act on your behalf and make the necessary submissions whenever possible.
You can contact us as soon as you decide to immigrate to Estonia to find out more about our services.