Emergency situation

Foreigners right to stay and work in Estonia

As of 6 July, foreign nationals can enter Estonia for the purpose of work and study. The Police and Border Guard Board will continue to process residence permits and register short-term employment as usual.

Although foreigners have the right to enter Estonia for the purpose of work and study, people without symptoms may be subject to the obligation to self-isolate depending on the country from which they started their trip or countries through which they transited. The list of countries exempted from the obligation of self-isolation is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In order for a foreign national to come to work in Estonia, the employer must previously register the foreign national for short-term employment with the Police and Border Guard Board. In order to study in Estonia, a foreign national must be admitted to an educational establishment in advance.

The specificity of short-term work in the agricultural sector

Foreign nationals who are working in the agricultural sector for a short term or foreign nationals who are starting their work in the agricultural sector and are already in Estonia are entitled to continue working in Estonia. The employer’s field of activity must be crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities (EMTAK A 01).

The short-term work permit of foreign nationals who are working in the agricultural sector for a short term or foreign nationals who are starting their work in the agricultural sector and are already in Estonia can be extended until 31 July 2020.

An employer whose field of activity is crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities can submit an application for the registration of short-term employment in the self-service portal of the Police and Border Guard Board: https://etaotlus.politsei.ee/ltr/.

Ask a migration advisor for additional information at 612 3500 (Mon–Fri 9:00 am to 3:00 pm) or by email migrationadvice@politsei.ee

According to the directive of the Minister of the Interior, foreign nationals working in the agricultural sector who meet the following conditions may stay in Estonia until 31 August of this year on the basis of the exception, in which case they do not need to apply for a visa:

  • the foreign national is currently legally staying in Estonia and arrived in Estonia before 17.03.2020
  • the foreign national has used up the maximum period permitted for short-term employment (depending on the type of employment it is either 365 or 270 days) or it will end before 31.07.2020
  • the short-term employment of the foreign national is registered with the Police and Border Guard Board
  • the principal activity of the employer is agriculture (crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities)

Under which conditions can a foreign national work in Estonia?

A foreign national who is already legally present in Estonia may work here under the same conditions as before the emergency situation. If he or she has not used up the maximum period of short-term employment, he or she may continue to work in Estonia if his or her employer so wishes and registers the short-term employment of the foreign national with the Police and Border Guard Board. If the foreigner’s visa is about to expire, a new visa application must also be submitted. With the exception of short-term employment in the agricultural sector.

What to do in order to extend the right for employment in agriculture?

An employer whose field of activity is crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities can submit an application for the registration of short-term employment in the self-service portal of the Police and Border Guard Board: https://etaotlus.politsei.ee/ltr/. A state fee must also be paid.

How long can the short-term work permit of foreign nationals working in the agricultural sector be extended for?

The short-term work permit of foreign nationals who are working in the agricultural sector for a short term or foreign nationals who are starting their work in the agricultural sector and are already in Estonia can be extended until 31 July 2020.

I work in the construction sector and my registration of short-term employment will soon expire. Can my employer extend my period of employment after having reached the maximum period of employment?

No, they cannot. The only exception is the agricultural sector.

I am a contractor in the agricultural sector. Can I register a worker if he or she has previously worked in another sector?

Yes, you can.

Can an employer extend the period of employment of the foreign national after having reached the maximum period of employment?

No, they cannot. Just as before the emergency situation, an employer cannot extend the employment period of a foreign national after the maximum period of employment has been reached. The only exception is the agricultural sector.

How long can a foreign national work in Estonia?

Pursuant to the Aliens Act, a foreign national legally staying in Estonia is allowed to work here for up to 12 months within the period of 15 months, or 9 months within the period of 12 months in the case of seasonal work. This presupposes that the employer wishes to recruit the alien and registers his or her short-term employment with the Police and Border Guard Board.

Where can an employer apply for registration of short-term employment?

These applications can be submitted online via the Police and Border Guard Board’s self-service portal: https://etaotlus.politsei.ee/ltr/

If I have a valid D-visa and my employer terminates my employment, will my visa be revoked immediately?

No. You shall be given reasonable time to find a new job and update your documentation.