Estonia Work Permit and Visa 2024 | Cost, Eligibility, Application, Processing time, etc

Nestled in Northern Europe, Estonia is a Baltic gem known for its rich history, technological advancements, and picturesque landscapes. For individuals considering professional opportunities, educational pursuits, or the chance to experience Estonia’s unique blend of tradition and innovation, understanding Estonia work permit and visa process is crucial. In this article, we will guide you through the steps necessary to obtain legal permission to work and reside in this Baltic nation.

However, the first step towards working in Estonia is obtaining a work permit. This is typically granted by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, and requires an employment contract or binding job offer from an Estonian employer. Also, the work permit is tied to the specific employer and position, meaning that if a foreign worker wishes to change jobs, they would need to apply for a new work permit.

Additionally, non-EU citizens must also apply for a long-stay (D-type) visa or a residence permit for work. The type of permit or visa required depends on the duration and nature of the work. For example, a digital nomad visa allows international remote workers to live in Estonia and legally work for their foreign employer. Finally, a startup visa is designed for non-EU founders wishing to establish a startup in Estonia. Navigating these requirements can be complex, but with careful planning and preparation, the process can be managed effectively.

Types of Work Permits and Visas in Estonia

Estonia offers various types of permits and visas tailored to different purposes and durations:

  1. Work Permit: The Work Permit is a fundamental requirement for foreign nationals seeking employment in Estonia. It is typically linked to a specific job and employer.
  2. Temporary Residence Permit: Estonia provides a Temporary Residence Permit for individuals planning to stay in the country on a long-term basis, whether for employment, entrepreneurship, or other purposes.
  3. Startup Visa: Estonia’s Startup Visa is designed for individuals looking to establish and develop innovative startups in the country.

Estonia Visa Application Process

1. Job Offer or Business Engagement:

To apply for a Work Permit or Temporary Residence Permit, securing a job offer from an Estonian employer or establishing a business engagement is a crucial initial step.

2. Legal Representation:

Many applicants engage the services of a legal representative in Estonia, such as an immigration consultant or a designated employer, to assist with the application process. Legal representation ensures compliance with Estonian immigration regulations.

3. Gather Required Documents:

Commonly required documents for work permits and visas in Estonia include a valid passport, proof of financial means, a job offer letter, educational qualifications, and health insurance.

4. Permit Application:

Submit your permit application, along with all necessary documents, to the Police and Border Guard Board in Estonia. Alternatively, your employer or legal representative in Estonia may assist with the application process.

5. Preliminary Approval:

Estonian authorities will review your application, considering factors such as your qualifications, the job market, and the economic impact of your presence in the country.

6. Medical Examination:

Depending on the type of permit and your circumstances, you may be required to undergo a medical examination in Estonia.

7. Wait for Approval:

Processing times can vary, so it’s crucial to be patient while waiting for final approval from Estonian authorities.

8. Travel to Estonia:

Once your permit is approved, you can travel to Estonia and commence your work or business activities. Additionally, registration and immigration procedures will be necessary upon arrival.

9. Residence Permit Application (if applicable):

For those with a Work Permit, applying for a Temporary Residence Permit in Estonia is the next step. Also, this allows for a more extended and legal stay beyond the initial permit period.

10. Renew or Extend:

Be aware of the expiration date on your permit or visa and be prepared to renew or extend it if necessary to continue your legal stay in Estonia.

How long does it take to get Estonia work permit?

The processing time for an Estonian work visa is 30 days. However, the processing time can be extended since it depends on several factors. For example, it depends on your case, political reasons, or application time. However, the average processing time for a work permit in Estonia is approximately 2 to 3 months, but it can vary depending on several factors. For example, it depends on your case, political reasons, or application time.


Can I apply for permanent residency in Estonia?

Yes, you can apply for permanent residency in Estonia if you meet certain criteria. Some of the requirements are:

  • You have lived in Estonia for at least five years with a temporary residence permit.
  • You have valid Estonian health insurance.
  • You know the Estonian culture and language, at least at level B1.
  • You have a permanent legal income in Estonia.

You can find more information on the application process and the documents needed on the websites of the Police and Border Guard Board or the Citizenship and Migration Bureau.

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