Gonsiori 29, 15027 Tallinn, Estonia
phone: +372 626 9301
fax: +372 699 2209
Office hours: 8:30-17:00
Citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation (hereafter referred to as citizens of the European Union) do not need a separate permit to work in Estonia. In order to obtain a residence permit they must register their place of residence with the appropriate local government agency within three months of arriving in Estonia. Temporary residence permits are issued for periods of up to five years.
Matters regarding citizens of the European Union living and working in Estonia are regulated by the European Union Citizen Act. More detailed information is available from the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.
Matters regarding foreigners living and working in Estonia are regulated by the Aliens Act. More detailed information is available from the websites of the Citizenship and Migration Board and the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund.
All people who are not citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation (hereafter referred to as foreigners) need a work permit to work in Estonia with the exception of:
Residence permits for the purpose of employment are issued to foreigners for work with an employer registered in Estonia. Before applying for a residence permit for the purpose of employment for a foreigner, an employer must generally search for an Estonian citizen or foreigner already residing in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit with the same skills and qualifications for the position using a three-week open competition and national employment mediation services. If a suitable candidate is not found and filling the position with a foreigner is justified given the situation on the labour market, the Unemployment Insurance Fund grants the employer permission to hire the foreigner. The Citizenship and Migration Board then issues the foreigner with a residence permit for the purpose of employment provided that they have the necessary qualifications, education, health, experience and professional skills and knowledge. Exceptions to this procedure are set out in the Aliens Act.
In certain cases employers are obliged to pay the foreigner a fee to an amount at least equal to the average annual gross monthly salary in Estonia most recently published by the Statistical Office multiplied by a coefficient of 1.24 (for more detailed information see § 132 of the Aliens Act). Foreigners who are issued with a residence permit for the purpose of studying may work in Estonia without a work permit within the bounds of curriculum-based work experience. In other cases they may only be employed on the basis of a work permit outside of study time on condition that their employment does not hinder their studying. Applications for work permits must generally be submitted to the regional departments of the Citizenship and Migration Board.
In certain cases foreigners may work in Estonia for short periods of time (up to 6 months) without a work permit. Such employment must still be registered with the Police and Boarder Guard Board. In certain cases involving short-term employment, employers are obliged to pay the foreigner a fee to an amount at least equal to the average monthly salary in the field in which the employer primarily operates in Estonia as most recently published by the Statistical Office, but not less than the average annual gross monthly salary in Estonia most recently published by the Statistical Office multiplied by a coefficient of 1.24. The basis for determining an employer’s primary area of operation is the Classification of Estonian Economic Activities code of the Statistical Office.
A foreigner may work in Estonia as a member of the management body of a legal entity registered in Estonia in order to fulfil management and supervision functions for up to six months in a year without a work permit or a residence permit for the purpose of employment and without being registered with the Police and Boarder Guard Board under short-term employment provided they have a legal basis for residing in Estonia, not including a residence permit.