Avalehe pilt
Legal bases for the stay of aliens in Estonia
06/27/2017

An alien shall have a legal basis for entry into Estonia and temporary stay in Estonia.

The legal bases of an alien for a temporary stay in Estonia are:

  • a visa issued by a competent Estonian agency;
  • a visa issued by a competent agency of a member state of the Schengen Convention unless the terms of a visa preclude the right to stay in Estonia;
  • the right to stay in Estonia arising directly from a treaty;
  • the right to stay in Estonia arising from a resolution of the Government of the Republic to forego the visa requirement;
  • the right or obligation to stay in Estonia directly arising from law, a judicial decision or an administrative act;
  • a residence permit issued by a competent agency of a member state of the Schengen Convention;
  • a diplomatic or service card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the staff of the diplomatic mission and consular post of a foreign state and a representation of an international organisation accredited to Estonia, their family members and private staff;
  • the right to stay in Estonia arising from the expiry of the period of validity of a temporary residence permit.


A long-stay visa issued by a competent agency of a member state of the Schengen Convention is a legal basis for the stay of an alien in Estonia.

The right to stay in Estonia arising from the expiry of the period of validity of a temporary residence permit shall be the legal basis of an alien for stay in Estonia for the 90 days following the expiry date of the period of validity of the residence permit, if the period of validity of the temporary residence permit of an alien expired upon arrival of the term. When an alien has been issued a residence permit for study or employment for research work or employment as a lecturer, the right to stay in Estonia arising from the expiry of the period of validity of a temporary residence permit shall be the legal basis of an alien for stay in Estonia for the 183 days following the expiry date of the period of validity of the residence permit, if the period of validity of the temporary residence permit of an alien expired upon arrival of the term. You can check the validity of the residence permit of an alien and the following possible right of residence from here.

If an alien has applied for the extension of residence permit, a new temporary residence permit or residence permit of a long-term resident during the period of validity of the residence permit or within the period referred to in the preceding subparagraph, his or her stay in Estonia at the time of the examination of his or her application is legal. You can check the status of the pending application for residence permit from here. Granting or refusal of temporary residence permit shall be decided within 2 months from the acceptance of the application. If possible, we ask you to submit an application for a residence permit for at least 2 months prior to the expiry of the validity of the residence permit.

An alien has a choice to formalise his/her right to stay in Estonia arising from the expiry of the period of validity of the temporary residence permit as a long-stay visa. An application can be submitted during the period of validity of the temporary residence permit as well as after its expiry.

For formalisation, an alien himself/herself or his/her representative must appear before a service point of the Police and Border Guard Board (in Tallinn – A. H. Tammsaare tee 47, P. Pinna 4; in Pärnu – Aida 5; in Tartu – Riia mnt 132, in Jõhvi – Rahu 38, in Narva – Vahtra 3).

For formalisation, one must submit:

  • a free-form application, including the applicant’s forename or forenames, surname or surnames, personal identification code, contact information, the date of application and signature
  • a photograph
  • a travel document
  • a document that confirms the payment of state fee; otherwise, the state fee should be paid at the service point


If the application is submitted by a representative, in addition to the aforementioned documents, one must also submit the following information about the representative: type of the document confirming the right of representation, forename or forenames, surname or surnames, contact information, personal identification code or date of birth and signature.

The Police and Border Guard Board shall review the application submitted within three working days.