Temporary Residence Permit

You can apply for a temporary residence permit for employment to work for a locally registered employer. If you come to Estonia to do research, an institution entered into the register of research and development organisations must be involved.

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country and want to work in Estonia for a longer time (longer than a year), you need to apply for a residence permitAt first, you have to apply for a temporary residence permit (for work up to 5 years with your first permit). After having lived in Estonia for 5 years on a temporary residence permit, you can then apply for a long-term residence permit.

Information required for the application of the residence permit and the minimum salary criterion vary depending on your qualification.

Before you apply for a residence permit, make sure if you fall under the immigration quota or if you are exempted. To boost the IT sector, developers, startup employees and top specialists (top specialists earning more than €2,322 gross a month) don’t fall under the annual immigration quota. Family members are also exempted.

More information is available on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.

In most cases you have to apply for the permit in person at an Estonian representation abroad. When your short-term employment has been registered in prior, you can also apply for the permit at the Police and Border Guard Board.

Once your residence permit for employment is granted, you’ll receive a temporary residence card within 30 days after submitting the application document. (The application process of the residence permit for employment may last up to 2 months from the acceptance of the application.)


You’ll need the following when applying for a temporary residence permit for work:

Instructions for filling out the forms can be found on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board.

More information on other types of temporary residence permits, exceptions, and requirements.


Contact information

Find your closest Estonian representation that handles residence permit applications. Find a service office of the Police and Border Guard Board.

For further guidance book a migration consultation session at the International House of Estonia.

Have questions? Book a free consultation at International House of Estonia

International House of Estonia provides free personal consultations for foreigners, their families and local employers about settling in, documentation, healthcare, language programs etc. Located in Valukoja 8, Tallinn.

Book your appointment online.

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