Immigrate to Estonia from US - 2022 Guide

Immigrate to Estonia from US

Updated on Thursday 26th January 2023

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Immigrate to Estonia from US.jpgEstonia has a flexible migration policy and foreign nationals can be attracted by long and short-term employment opportunities as well as the possibility to start a business in one of the top industries in the country.
In order to immigrate to Estonia from US, Americans are required to observe the general immigration polity set forth in the Aliens Act and comply with the requirements that pertain to their specific motive for stay, be it for employment, family reunification, investment or others.
In this article, our lawyer in Estonia briefly lists the main issues to consider when moving to the country as well as the conditions that apply to those who are United States citizens. For more in depth information, as well as ongoing legal assistance during the pre-arrival and post-arrival immigration stages, we encourage you to reach out directly to one of our attorneys.

Legal stay in Estonia

Foreign nationals can stay in Estonia both for long-term and short-term purposes. United States citizens are allowed to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days in a given 180-day period without a visa, however, for long-term purposes they do need to apply for a residence permit.
Obtaining temporary residency in Estonia is subject to a set of steps, as which start with selecting the type of temporary residence permit that applies to their purpose of stay. Moreover, US investors will need to comply with the conditions for the minimum investment in order to obtain the business temporary residence permit. All applications are accompanies by a fee payment and require specific documents. 
Individuals who wish to relocate to Estonia should know that the Estonian Government issues annual immigration quotas and in 2020 this was for 1,314 people – a number that ahs already been exceeded. Out of this total, 28 permits were reserved for creative workers, 18 for athletes and coaches and 10 for foreigners who come to the country under an international agreement. The rest of the permits were reserved for those who come to Estonia for employment in different fields. The quota does not apply to those who move to the country to live with their spouse or close relative nor does it apply to students or those who will work as researchers.
One may immigrate to Estonia from US for:
  1. Employment purposes: when a US national has concluded an employment agreement with an Estonian company.
  2. Study: for those US citizens who have been admitted to an Estonian University or other educational institute;
  3. Investment: US entrepreneurs or investors who are interested in opening a company in Estonia or making an investment by purchasing shares in an existing Estonian company;
  4. Family reunification: Americans who wish to reunite with their spouse or with another family member who is already an Estonian resident. 
The current immigration policy, under which one who wishes to immigrate to Estonia from US needs to be mindful of the annual quota, makes it important to plan the relocation accordingly and in such a manner in which the application will qualify for the remaining positions in a given year. Applications that are submitted after the quota is exceeded are refused and the permits for employment are not granted. We recommend reaching out to our attorneys in Estonia for assistance and advice. 
We can also help those who are interested in knowing how they can obtain Estonia citizenship by investment.

Residence permit card fees

The residence permit is either a long or a short-term one and it includes the holder’s personal data, his data related to any work permits, if applicable, a photograph as well as his fingerprint.
According to the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, certain state fees apply for issuing a residence permit card and those who wish to immigrate to Estonia from US should take these into account. The list below includes the main fees:
  • - Residence permit for individuals aged 15 and more: the cost is 35€ and a service office as well as a self-service portal and 65€ at a foreign representation;
  • - Residence permit for children under 15 years: 10€ at a service office and at a foreign representation and 7€ at the self-service portal;
  • - Residence permit for retirees: for individuals who have reached the retirement age in Estonia, the costs are the same as for children under 15 years of age, namely 10€ or 7€;
  • - Residence permit for family members of EU citizens: if a US national is a family member of a European Union citizen, the cost for the card will be 25€ at a service office or self-service and 55€ at a foreign representation.
Those who immigrate to Estonia from US and need to apply for a residence card under the expedited procedure should know that this is not possible at a foreign representation. In the two remaining cases, either at a service office or at the self-service portal, this costs 64€.
Please keep in mind that these fees may be adjusted by the Estonian authorities. You can reach out to the experts at our law office in Estonia for more information on how to apply for the residence permit card, the fees applicable at the time of the submission as well as how to order a document to a foreign representation or to change the pick-up location for a document.
Do you meet all of the mandatory conditions for gaining Estonian citizenship by naturalization? The income and language proficiency requirements are among these and an US citizen living in Estonia for the minimum number of years will have acquired these. However, Americans who wish to apply for citizenship also need to be mindful of the other conditions, such as being loyal to the Estonian state. Our team can detail these.
Contact us for complete information and assistance on how to immigrate to Estonia from US.