I’m from a non-EU country and my stay will be temporary, up to 3 months
If you’re planning to come to Estonia for a short-term project, this is the option for you. You can start working with a short-term registration if you’re staying in Estonia based on visa freedom (for up to 3 months for some countries) or a visa, so you won’t need a residence permit. You can also bring your family.
But note that without a residence permit and without registering your address, you won’t have access to some public and private services like registering with a family doctor or free public transport.
- Secure a job in Estonia. Agree on work conditions with your employer and sign a contract. Read all about employment contracts here.
Note that some employers prefer to sign the work contract on your first day of work. This is fine as far as your immigration process is concerned, because you don’t need a work contract to take the next steps needed to work.
- Your employer will register your short-term employment in Estonia and receive your Estonian ID-code (takes up to 15 business days). Your Estonian employer will take care of this step, but because it’s a crucial one, we’ll give you a short overview so you know what’s happening.
This is a simple online registration that’s usually done before you travel to Estonia. It will allow you to start working without a residence permit when you have legal grounds (i.e. a visa or visa freedom) to stay in Estonia. For your employer to do this, you need to give them a copy of your passport, a photo, and some personal details. The process will take up to 15 business days. It is possible to register short-term employment for up to 365 days within 455 day period.
The ID-code is a unique 11-digit number used to identify you in health care and several other areas of your life in Estonia. Scroll down to the Identification code section here.
Your family members are not required to apply for ID-codes during your stay. But if your children will attend school or kindergarten (even private) while you’re in Estonia, we do recommend you to apply.
To get the ID-code/identification code:
1.Go to a local government office (Tallinn/Tartu) or the International House (appointment required);
2.Prepare an application form;
3.Bring your passport(s).
After a 10-15-minute appointment, in practice it might take up to 7 days to get your ID-code. It might also get done much faster—sometimes even during your appointment. Either way, you’ll have to collect the code in person.
- Apply for a D-visa (check here if you need one). You can work in Estonia once your short-term employment is registered and you have legal grounds to work in Estonia. If you come from a country that has a visa-freedom agreement with Estonia, you and your family members can stay in the Schengen area for 90 days without a visa. In this case, if your stay will not exceed 90 days, you can work based on your short-term registration only and won’t have to bother applying for a visa.
If you come from a country that requires a visa to enter Estonia, you need to visit an Estonian representation to submit your documents for a visa.
Documents needed to apply:
– A passport, issued within the previous 10 years, that has at least two blank pages for visas and is valid until at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa.
– Fully completed, printed out and signed D-visa application form
– Photo (size 35×45 mm)
– Insurance policy valid for Estonia or for the Schengen area with a coverage of at least 30,000 EUR for the first 15 days of your employment. After that, the Estonian national health insurance will cover you
– Document indicating the purpose of your trip: for you, that’s your short-term employment registration
– Proof of visa state fee payment €100.00.
The embassy may ask you for additional documents, so we recommend having these ready:
– Confirmation of accommodation in Estonia;
– Return flights or sufficient funds or employer’s confirmation to cover it.
Additional documents for family:
– Marriage certificate for spouse, birth certificate for children.
– Confirmation that the main applicant will cover the costs of staying in Estonia.
Visas are usually given out for the same duration as your short-term employment registration.
Please note that embassies can have different processing times. Make sure you find out in advance how long the visa process is and how to collect your passport. It may be that you’ll have to travel to another country to apply and stay there until your visa is processed. You can always mention this to the embassy so that they could speed up the process if possible.
- Get proof of taxes paid in Estonia before you leave. Since you’re residing in Estonia for less than 183 days, your tax residency will not change. But because you’ll physically work in Estonia, taxes from your salary will still be paid in Estonia. You can take these into account when filing a tax declaration in your home country. For that, your employer needs to give you a form TSM MR.
Additional information that might interest you:
– You will have health care coverage from your 15th day of employment. Once you’re registered at the Employment Registry (by your employer) and have an Estonian ID-code, the Estonian health care system will cover you from your 15th day of employment. If you need any unavoidable medical help after that point, you can go to your nearest Emergency Medical Center. If you need a doctor’s consultation, the law allows family doctors to add you to their registry without a registered address, if they have the capacity. You can ask the Health Board to recommend doctors who might be able to take you on. For your family, we recommend private health insurance.
– Find a temporary home. For that we recommend to see the options on Airbnb and booking.com. Few examples of private short-term guest apartments available in Ülemiste and Telliskivi.
– Open a bank account. Keep in mind that many banking service providers have limited offers for foreign nationals without a residence permit. For instance, opening a bank account can take about a week and cost up to 250 euros. Read more about daily practicalities in the Living in Estonia Some potential alternatives to traditional banking are TransferWise, Monese, and Revolut.
– Get a public transportation card. More info here.
– Education system: Pre-school and basic education, Availability of international general education. Since you’re planning a short-term stay, private institutions can enrol your children.
Feels like a lot to handle? The International House of Estonia is there to support you and answer all your questions about paperwork, settling in, networking, and jobs. Book an appointment.