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Estonia – Residency

Estonia has several types of residency available for foreign nationals looking to live and work in the country. The main types of residency are temporary residency and permanent residency.

Temporary residency

Temporary residency permits are available to foreign nationals who wish to reside in Estonia for more than three months. There are several types of temporary residency permits, including:

Work permits

Foreign nationals who wish to work in Estonia must apply for a work permit. This permit allows them to work for a specific employer in the country. Work permits are granted for a specific period, usually up to one year, and may be extended if the foreign national continues to work for the same employer.

Business permits

Foreign nationals who wish to start or operate a business in Estonia may apply for a business permit. This permit is granted for a period of up to five years and allows the foreign national to live and work in Estonia as long as they are actively running a business.


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Study permits

Foreign nationals who wish to study in Estonia may apply for a study permit. This permit allows them to reside in Estonia for the duration of their studies. Study permits are usually granted for the duration of the course of study.

Family permits

Foreign nationals who are married to an Estonian citizen or have an Estonian child may apply for a family permit. This permit allows the foreign national to reside in Estonia for the duration of their relationship with the Estonian citizen or child.

Permanent residency

Permanent residency permits are available to foreign nationals who wish to reside in Estonia permanently. There are several ways to obtain permanent residency in Estonia, including:

Long-term residency

Foreign nationals who have legally resided in Estonia for a period of at least five years may apply for long-term residency. This permit allows the foreign national to reside in Estonia permanently.

Investment residency

Foreign nationals who invest a certain amount of money in Estonia may be eligible for investment residency. This permit allows the foreign national to reside in Estonia permanently.

Applying for Residency in Estonia

The process for applying for residency in Estonia depends on the type of residency permit the foreign national is seeking. In general, the process involves submitting an application and supporting documents to the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB). The application may be submitted online or in person.

Documents for Residency Application in Estonia

The documents required for a residency application in Estonia may vary depending on the type of permit being sought. However, in general, the following documents are required:

  • Passport or other valid travel document
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient financial means
  • Proof of legal stay in Estonia (if applicable)
  • Proof of employment or other activity in Estonia (if applicable)
  • Birth certificate (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Educational certificates (if applicable)

Registering with a government department/organisation in Estonia

Foreign nationals who are granted temporary or permanent residency in Estonia must register their place of residence with the local government within one month of arrival. This can be done at the local government office or online.

Finding reliable information on residence in Estonia

Foreign nationals looking for reliable, up-to-date information on residence in Estonia can visit the website of the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (https://www.politsei.ee/en/teenused/residence-permits-and-visas/). This website provides information on the types of residency permits available, the application process, and required documents. The website also provides contact information for the PBGB, as well as a list of frequently asked questions about residency in Estonia.


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