Gonsiori 29, 15027 Tallinn, Estonia
phone: +372 626 9301
fax: +372 699 2209
Office hours: 8:30-17:00
All matters related to granting international protection to foreigners in Estonia are regulated by the “Granting International Protection to Aliens Act”.
The task of the Ministry of Social Affairs is to receive applicants for asylum and to arrange for refugees to live in local government areas.
An asylum-seeker is a foreigner who, upon their arrival in Estonia, immediately lodges an application for asylum in order to be recognised as a refugee or as a recipient of supplementary protection and to obtain international protection, in relation to which the Border Guard Administration or Citizenship and Migration Board are yet to make a decision.
A refugee is a foreigner who, out of a justified fear of persecution because of their race, faith, nationality, political convictions or belonging to a certain social group, is outside of their country of origin and who cannot or, due to their fear, does not wish to obtain protection from the country in question and in regard to whom there are no circumstances excluding their recognition as a refugee.
A recipient of supplementary protection is a foreigner who does not qualify as a refugee but in regard to whom there are no circumstances excluding their being granted supplementary protection and there are grounds to believe that should they be deported or repatriated from Estonia to their country of origin they may face significant danger there, including:
1) being sentenced to death and/or such a sentence being carried out;
2) being tortured or methods of treatment or punishment being used against them which are inhumane or degrading to human dignity; and
3) their life or the lives of civilians generally being endangered or them or civilians being attacked as part of an international or internal armed conflict.
Temporary protection represents an exception procedure designed, in the event of mass immigration or the likelihood of mass immigration, to grant immediate, temporary protection to foreigners who cannot return to their country of origin, especially if there is a danger that the asylum system will not manage to process this immigration without affecting its efficiency in terms of the interests of foreigners applying for temporary protection.
A recipient of temporary protection is a foreigner who is forced to leave or is evacuated from their country or region of origin, primarily when called upon to do so by international organisations, who is unable to safely and permanently return due to the situation in this country or region, who may be eligible for international protection under provisions regulating this area of jurisdiction and:
1) who have fled from a region of armed conflict or continuous violence; and/or
2) who are in serious danger of falling victim to or have fallen victim to a general or systematic breach of human rights.
The fact of mass immigration of displaced foreigners and the need for the application of temporary protection are determined by the Council of the European Union.
The Government of the Republic decides whether to receive displaced foreigners from the danger zone or a member state of the European Union on the proposals of the competent government agencies. The government may decide to grant temporary protection to asylum-seekers residing in Estonia who belong to the category of foreigners covered by the decision named in section 1 of this paragraph. On the basis of the decision of the Government of the Republic, temporary protection is applied to the foreigners named in the decision if there is no basis for refusing to apply temporary protection.
The Border Guard Administration and the Citizenship and Migration Board are responsible for the processing of applications for resident permits submitted on the basis of asylum applications and temporary protection.
Reception of asylum-seekers and recipients of temporary protection (hereafter referred to as applicants) is organised by the Illuka Reception Centre for Asylum-seekers, a state agency administered by the Ministry of Social Affairs, which is located in the village of Jaama in Illuka municipality in Ida-Viru County.
While applications for asylum and temporary protection are being processed the reception centre arranges the following for applicants, where required:
2) for applicants residing in the reception centre and those residing outside of the centre on the basis of § 34 (2) (3) or § 62 (2) (3) of the Granting International Protection to Aliens Act: food or catering; essential clothing and other consumer goods and hygiene products; and money for small emergency expenses in accordance with the procedure set out in § 36 (6) of the act;
3) emergency care and medical examinations;
4) essential translation services and training in Estonian;
5) information about their rights and obligations;
6) the provision of transport services required for legal formalities to be conducted; and
7) the provision of other essential services.