I’m from a non-EU country and I plan to live and work in Estonia longer

  1. SIGN AN EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT: Agree upon work conditions with your employer and sign a contract. You can find general information about employment contracts on here.
  2. APPLY FOR A RESIDENCE PERMIT. In case you are already in Estonia on the basis of the visa or visa freedom and are allowed to apply for a residence permit, you can apply for the permit at a service office of the Police and Border Guard Board. Otherwise you can apply for the permit at a foreign representation of Estonia. Read more in the Temporary Residence Permit section. Together with your temporary residence permit you will get your Estonian ID code.
  3. FIND A HOME. Find a home and sign a tenancy agreement with the landlord. The best websites for property search are city24.ee and KV.ee. Read more about renting in the Housing section.
  4. REGISTER YOUR PLACE OF RESIDENCE and that of your family members at your local government service office. After registering your address, you can start using public and social services provided by the State. Read more in the Registering Your Place of Residence section.
  5. FIND A DOCTOR. Register at a GP’s office. You should submit a registration application to the specific clinic in your residence area where you want to register and receive a confirmation if you are accepted. Read more in the Healthcare section.
  6. APPLY FOR SOCIAL SERVICES THAT YOU NEED OR ARE ENTITLED TO. You are able to get social benefits from the Social Insurance Board. Read more in the Social Care section.
  7. CHANGE YOUR TAX RESIDENCY STATUS. Notify Tax and Customs Board about the change in your tax residency by submitting the Form R. Read more in our Taxes section.
  8. PARTICIPATE IN THE WELCOMING PROGRAMME. After obtaining the right of residence, the Police and Border Guard Board will inform you about the Welcoming programme. Read more in our Welcoming Programme section.


  1. NETWORK. When all the essential paperwork is done, don’t forget to take some time for networking, meeting locals and enjoying the country. You can read about networking in the Expats in Estonia section.
  2. DECLARE CUSTOMS. If you’re coming from Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein or another non-EU country, you will need to declare your personal items and a motor vehicle if you want to bring them to Estonia. The authority dealing with customs is the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. You can apply for a tax exemption as an immigrant – that will allow you to bring household goods and personal vehicles relieved from customs duty (and VAT that may otherwise be due). Read more in the Customs Clearance section.
  3. REGISTER YOUR CAR. As a resident you have to register your car with the Estonian Road Administration within 30 days after becoming a resident in Estonia. Read more in the Car Registration section.
  4. GET A LOCAL DRIVER’S LICENSE. Your driver’s license has to be exchanged for an Estonian one after one or two years, depending on your country of origin. Read more in the Driver’s License section.
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