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Changing Jobs

Changing a job is a normal part of developing your career and that also applies when living in a foreign country.

As a non-EU citizen working in Estonia with a temporary residence permit for employment, you have to make additional arrangements with the Police and Border Guard Board when changing jobs.

Check below for three most common scenarios.

Working in Multiple Positions at the Same Time

If you have a temporary residence permit for employment, you can hold multiple positions simultaneously. 

The salary criteria and the Unemployment Insurance Fund permission will apply for the second employer (in case they are required for a residence permit for employment).

The second employer does not have the obligation to meet the minimal salary criteria if the first employer is already paying the amount required by the Aliens Act. The salary criteria have to be filled by just one of the employers.

Take note: you don’t have to inform the Police and Border Guard Board about your second employer if you received your residence permit without meeting the requirement for the amount of remuneration (see the Aliens Act). 

Changing the Employer at your Own Initiative

  • Inform the Police and Border Guard Board about your decision. When you decide to change your employer and transfer to a new company you must inform the Police and Border Guard Board about it in advance. 

Both the employer and the employee have to inform the state authorities when:

– changes take place in the conditions on which the employee was given a residence permit for employment;

– if the employee does not start work; 

– if the employee decides to take a break and stay away from Estonia; 

– the work relationship is effectively (although not perhaps formally) finished. 

Apply for a new residence permit for employment. If you change your employer you have to apply for a new residence permit.

 Keep in mind, that:

– it may take up to 2 months to process the residence permit application,

– you must wait until you have been granted the new residence permit before starting actual work at the new company,

– there might be requirements for proving qualification, certain salary criteria or a need to get the permission of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. 

When Your Employer Ends the Agreement

If your work relationship ends prematurely and you were granted your residence permit based on this job/position, your grounds for staying in Estonia will also end. 

Don’t worry, though – you won’t be asked to leave country the following day. Instead, you have a  90-day transitional period during which you can stay in the country and apply for a new residence permit.

In case you wish to stay for longer:

When your permit ends, The Police and Border Guard Board will start with the procedural act of invalidating your residence permit. This procedure takes 30 days. You should quickly find a new job and file a new application for temporary residence for employment during this time.

As finding a new job this fast can be difficult and the job application processes can take slightly longer, have an open dialogue with the authorities. If you prove that you are actively looking for a new job, they might meet you halfway and provide you with some additional time for your job search.

  • Apply for a new residence permit for employment

As soon as you find a new employer, submit your application for the temporary residence permit for employment.

The maximum time for the application to get processed is 2 months. If your previous residence permit has ended and a new one hasn’t been granted yet, notify the Police and Border Guard Board personally, so that they would know of your situation.