You can apply for a residence permit for employment with the consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and by fulfilling the salary criterion, if:
- the vacant position cannot be filled by employing an Estonian citizen or a citizen of the European Union or an alien residing in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit who meets the requirements for qualifications and professional skills for such position, and filling of the vacant position by employing an alien is justified considering the situation in the labour market and based on the data provided by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund
- you have the qualifications, education, health, work experience, special skills and knowledge required for the job
The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund has to give its consent before you can be employed, the consent is valid for 6 months from the moment of its issue.
Your wages must ensure your subsistence in Estonia. An employer is obligated to pay to you a salary which is at least equal to the product of the recent average yearly wages in Estonia published by the Statistical Office of Estonia.
The requirement of the consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund is not applicable in case of extension of a temporary residence permit for employment.
Without the consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and not fulfilling the salary criterion
You can apply for a residence permit for employment without the consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and not fulfilling the salary criterion, if:
- you are a clergyman, nun or monk invited by religious associations (The Police and the Border Guard Board will coordinate the employer's invitation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs)
- you are holding a long-term residence permit of the EU Member State
- you are a journalist accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- you have the right, proceeding from international agreement, for employment in Estonia without a special work permit
- you have the right, proceeding from international agreement, to work in Estonia without a work permit
- you apply for a residence permit for employment as a teacher or member of academic staff in an educational institution of Estonia
- you apply for a residence permit for work in a performing arts institution as a person engaged in creative activities
- you apply for a residence permit for carrying out professional activities as a sportsman, coach, referee or sports official
- you are a posted worker in the meaning of the Working conditions of workers posted in Estonia Act. The new wording of the Working Conditions of Workers Posted in Estonia Act entered into force on 17.12.2016, according to which the sender can be only from an EU member state, Norway, Island, Liechtenstein or Switzerland
- if you apply for a residence permit for employment for the purpose to perform managerial or supervisory functions of a legal person registered in Estonia, which is governed by public law
- you have acquired higher education in Estonia in Bachelor's, Master's or Doctor's degree studie
- you apply for a residence permit for employment with a start-up
The company must be registered in Estonia and the granting of residence permit must be in conformity with the purpose of granting temporary residence permit for employment. The requirement for permission of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and the salary criteria (i.e. fixed rate salary) are not applicable. The salary of an alien must be sufficient for his or her subsistence in Estonia.
The EU blue card is a residence permit for employment, which is granted to an alien for residence in Estonia and for employment on a position or job which requires higher qualification.
Higher professional qualification, which is required for applying for the EU blue card, is the necessary qualification, the nominal time of study for obtaining of which is at least three years and which is evidenced by a document certifying higher education, or at least five years of working experience.
A job requesting high qualification is a job the necessary knowledge and experience for performance of which is evidenced by higher professional qualification.
Assessment of documents evidencing higher professional qualification for employment:
- for settling to work on a regulated position - coordinates the Ministry of Education and Research according to the Acknowledgement of Foreign State Professional Qualification Act;
- for settling to work on an unregulated position or profession - an assessment is made by a structural unit Estonian ENIC/NARIC Centre of the foundation Archimedes (Academic Recognition Information Centre).
The documents enclosed by an alien with the application for the EL blue card, which are required for evidencing higher professional qualification, shall be assessed by the Police and Border Guard Board.
Compatibility of the qualification of an alien to the requirements shall be assessed prior the submission of an application for the EU blue card by an alien.
An EU blue card can be granted to an alien only for employment on such a job, which requires higher professional qualification.
Before submission of an application for the residence permit, an employer shall enter with an alien into an employment contract with at least one year validity period, or shall make an employment proposal by which the employer expresses his/her will to be legally bound with the employment contract and takes the obligation to employ the alien for at least one year period on the position requiring higher qualification, which is determined in the contract entered into or in the employment proposal made.
During the validity period of the EU blue card, an employer is obligated to pay to the alien the salary, the amount of which is at least equal to the multiplication product of the Estonian annual average gross monthly salary, as last Publisher by the Statistical Office, and the coefficient 1,5.
An employer is obligated, during the validity period of the EU blue card, to pay to the alien the salary, the amount of which is at least equal to the multiplication product of the Estonian annual average gross monthly salary, as last Publisher by the Statistical Office, and the coefficient 1,24, in the following occasions:
- employment as a top specialist or a junior administrator;
- employment as a top specialist in natural or technical science;
- employment as a top specialist in health service;
- employment as a specialist in pedagogics;
- employment as a specialist in business or administration;
- employment as a specialist in information or communication, or
- employment as a specialist in legal, cultural or social sphere.
In case if an alien is residing in Estonia on the basis of the EU blue card and wishes during the first two years of the validity period of the EU blue card to terminate the employment with the employer, for employment with whom the EU blue card was issued to the alien, and to start employment with another employer, then such other employer shall need a consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund for employing the alien (except if an alien has been residing in Estonia on the basis of the EU blue card continuously for at least two years and he/she holds a valid EU blue card, then he/she can start employment with another employer and terminate employment with the present employer, then the consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund is not required).
During the validity period of the EU blue card an alien can be unemployed once with the duration of up to three months.
Residence permit for employment as a top specialist can be granted without applying the requirement for the permission of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, if an alien has appropriate professional training or experience for employment in such sphere. Top specialist is an alien with appropriate professional training or experience in any sphere, to whom an Estonian registered employer shall pay for professional work a salary that is at least equal to the latest annual average wages in Estonia published by Statistics Estonia, multiplied by the coefficient 2.
Residence permit for employment as a top specialist can be granted to an alien, provided that the company where an alien shall be employed has been registered in Estonia at least 12 months and the company complies with at least one of the following requirements:
- The company has at least 65,000 euros of equity capital, which has been used for purchasing in Estonia and classing as fixed assets immovable property, machines or devices or used for making an investment into a company registered in another commercial register of Estonia, which has real economic activities in Estonia or into an investment fund created or established according to the Investment Funds Act
- the sales revenue of the company shall be at least 200,000 euros per year
- the social tax paid in Estonia monthly for the persons employed by the company shall be at least equal with the social tax paid in Estonia monthly on the remuneration equalling fivefold Estonian annual average gross wages
The above requirement that the company must be registered in Estonia at least 12 months is not applicable, if the parent enterprise has been operating at least 12 months and the annual turnover of the parent enterprise is at least ten million euros. After the lapse of one year from the date of granting residence permit the company shall comply with at least one of the above named requirements.
Residence permit for employment as a top specialist can be granted to an alien, provided that the company where an alien shall be employed has been registered in Estonia less than 12 months and it shall start its activities by support of the state or private investment, having received an investment or loan from the state or from a private fund holder with the activity licence issued by the Financial Inspectorate, or a support from a national promotional measures.
For scientific research without the consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and not fulfilling the salary criterion
A temporary residence permit for employment for the purposes of research shall be issued if an alien has appropriate professional preparation or experience for such activities and if:
- the research and development activities of the research and development institution which is recognised by the Ministry of Education and Research have been positively evaluated in at least one field or
- the educational institution has a valid institutional accreditation or
- the principal activity of the institution entered in the state register of state and local government authorities is research and development and
- an alien has signed a hosting agreement with the research and development institution for carrying out research and development work.
A research and development institution must conclude a hosting agreement with a scientist after it has independently checked that:
- the alien has a permanent legal income for subsistence in Estonia;
- the alien has an appropriate insurance policy guaranteeing that any costs related to his or her medical treatment as a result of illness or injury during the period of validity of the residence permit applied for will be met to the extent equal with persons covered with health insurance;
- there are appropriate financial means for the research and development under question.
A hosting agreement must include the following:
- the name and qualification of the alien;
- the name, registration code and location of the hosting institution and the name of the contact person;
- the duration and sources of financing of the research or development.
If the above listed data is stated in the employment contract of an alien, there is no need to conclude a separate additional hosting agreement.
Start-up company – a company starting its activities aiming at developing and launching a business model that is with such a great global growth potential, innovative and reproducible that it shall make a substantial contribution to Estonia’s business environment.
For employment at a start-up, the start-up must have been previously evaluated by the expert committee, unless a specification applies.
Start-ups are evaluated by the expert committee at the Ministry of the Interior. Before submitting the application to the Police and Border Guard Board, an application for the evaluation of the start-up must be provided to the expert committee. The expert committee gives their opinion whether it is a start-up within 10 working days following the receipt of all the required information and evidence from the applicant. Conditions and procedures for the evaluation of compliance with the definition of start-ups, the list of data and evidence to be submitted and requirements for the submission are established by a regulation of the Minister of the Interior.
Here you can submit an application for the evaluation of a start-up to the expert committee.
Specifications in case the evaluation of the expert committee is not required:
- start-up company is pointed out in the directive of the Minister of the Interior as a start-up company that meets the conditions of the Aliens Act. A list can be found from here;
- the expert committee has already given an assessment to the start-up over the last five years. However, if needed, the Police and Border Guard Board may demand in the course of the procedure that the start-up request a new evaluation from the expert committee.
Temporary residence permit for a transfer within an undertaking is a residence permit for employment, which is issued to an alien who is transferred for the purpose of employment or internship within a company into Estonia from a company located in a non EU member state into a company or a branch of a company belonging to the same group as the company located in the European Union.
An alien whose residence is outside an EU member state, shall submit an application for the issue of a residence permit of an employee transferred into Estonia within an undertaking in case the period of the planned stay in Estonia is the longest of the period of transfer within an undertaking planned in the whole European Union.
Temporary residence permit for a transfer within a company can be issued if:
- the receiving unit belongs to the same group as the company located in a non EU member state or is a branch of the company
- the employee transferred within an undertaking has an employment contract with a company located outside an EU member state, according to which the receiving unit has an obligation to employ the person under conditions determined in the employment contract
- an alien fulfils the requirements of a specialist, managerial employee or trainee
Residence permit of an employee transferred within an undertaking can be applied for in case of the following jobs:
- specialist – if he or she has expertise about the areas of activities, practices or management of the receiving unit and the necessary qualification and he or she has worked at the same group or a branch of the company for at least 12 consecutive months
- managerial employee – if he or she is controlled by the governing board or the supervisory board of the receiving unit and is managing a company, department or its subunit established in Estonia and has worked in the same group or a branch of the company for at least 12 consecutive months
- trainee – if he or she has an academic degree and the aim of the traineeship is receiving training as regards organisation or methods of business activity and he or she has worked at the same group or a branch of a company for at least 6 consecutive months
Temporary residence permit for a transfer within an undertaking is issued for the longest period in total:
- for employment as a trainee, for up to one year
- for employment as a managerial employee or a specialist, for up to three years
A temporary residence permit for employment may also be granted to an alien for employment as a temporary agency worker with a user undertaking in the meaning of subsection 6 (5) of the Employment Contracts Act.
A temporary residence permit for employment may be granted for employment as a temporary agency worker, if an employer registered in Estonia operates as an intermediary of temporary agency work and the employer has deposited funds in the amount which constitutes at least ten percent of the payroll.
The deposit account must be opened in a credit institution registered in Estonia in the meaning of the Credit Institutions Act and the funds deposit must constitute covering at least ten percent of the payroll during the whole period of validity of the temporary residence permit.
An alien who has been granted a residence permit for employment as a temporary agency worker may be employed by another user undertaking instead of the user undertaking determined by the residence permit, or be employed simultaneously by the user undertaking determined by the residence permit as well as by another user undertaking, provided that the employee complies with the terms determined by the residence permit.
The state fee can be paid:
- by bank transfer;
- in Service Offices the state fee can be paid in cash, by bankcard or by bank transfer through online bank, using the client computer at the Service Office. All most common debit and credit cards are accepted. American Express payment cards are not accepted.
- at a representation - for detailed information, whether the payment can be made either in cash or by bank card, you can get in your particular representation.
|Temporary residence permit
||In Estonia||In Estonian representation||Payment of the state fee|
|Temporary residence permit||64 €
||80 €||By bank transfer:
Recipient: Rahandusministeerium (Ministry of Finance)
SEB PANK EE891010220034796011
DANSKE BANK EE403300333416110002
NORDEA BANK EE701700017001577198
Please indicate the name of the act, the name and personal identification code (if available) of the person for whom the payment was made
(e.g.: residence permit - Meeri Meri, 40302010000)
|Extension of a temporary residence permit||64 €
||Cannot be applied in Estonian representation|
|Temporary residence permit for an alien under one year of age||24 €||25 €|
|Extension of a temporary residence permit:
||24 €||Cannot be applied in Estonian representation
|To settle with spouse who is an Estonian citizen or with a close relative who is an Estonian citizen||31 €
|Extension of a temporary residence permit for settling with spouse who is an Estonian citizen or with a close relative who is an Estonian citizen||31 €||Cannot be applied in Estonian representation|
|Temporary residence permit for employment
||96 €||120 €|
|Extension of a temporary residence permit for employment||96 €||Cannot be applied in Estonian representation|
|Temporary residence permit for business
||160 €||180 €|
|Extension of a temporary residence permit for business||160 €||Cannot be applied in Estonian representation|
Payment by bank transfer from a bank located in a foreign country
When the state fee is paid from a bank located in a foreign state, then the receipt of the transferred sum on the recipient’s account may take 2 weeks. While effecting payment of the state fee from a bank located in a foreign country, it is necessary to know, in addition to the abovementioned, also BIC-code or SWIFT-code of the bank located in Estonia.
- The BIC i.e. SWIFT code of the SEB is EEUHEE2X.
- The BIC i.e. SWIFT code of the Swedbank is HABAEE2X.
- The BIC i.e. SWIFT code of the Danske Bank in Estonia is FOREEE2X
- The BIC i.e. SWIFT code of the Nordea Bank is NDEAEE2X
- SEB Pank AS: Tornimäe 2 Tallinn 15010 Estonia
- Swedbank: Liivalaia 8 Tallinn 15040 Estonia
- Danske Bank A/S Eesti filiaal: Narva mnt 11 Tallinn 15015 Estonia
- Nordea Bank AB Eesti filiaal: Liivalaia 45 Tallinn 10145 Estonia
Please send the documents requested for applying and the copies of original documents to the address:
Police and Border Guard Board
Pärnu mnt 139
More detailed requirements to documents enclosed to the application form can be found here.
You can apply for extension of residence permit by e-mail, if less than two years have from the last application for residence permit and capturing of fingerprints, provided that You are holding a valid residence card.
Sign all documents required for application digitally in one container. Digital colour photo (minimum size is 480х600 pixels) and specimen signature must be in .jpg format.
Send the signed container to an address firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject of an e-mail, please write: „Residence permit for employment“.
Instructions for saving and digital signing of the questionnaire.
- An employer shall pay an alien a salary that is at least equal to the latest annual average wages in Estonia published by Statistics Estonia
- An employer is generally required to pay to an EU Blue Card applicant a salary that is at least equal to the latest annual average wages in Estonia published by Statistics Estonia, multiplied by the coefficient 1,5
- An employer shall pay to a top specialist a salary that is at least equal to the latest annual average wages in Estonia published by Statistics Estonia, multiplied by the coefficient 2
- For employment in a field having labour shortages, confirmed by an order of the Government of the Republic, the employer is obligated to pay an alien remuneration at least equal to the average annual salary in Estonia as published last by the Statistical Office
The amount of the remuneration to be paid to an alien shall be in compliance with the data last published by Statistics Estonia, valid at the moment of commencement of proceedings of an application for a temporary residence permit, this shall be adjusted upon the extension of the temporary residence or application for a new temporary residence permit.
Time of acceptance of
|Rate of salary criterion
In the case, if the residence permit shall be issued without the compliance with the salary criterion, then the salary of an alien must be sufficient for his or her subsistence in Estonia.
Obligation of notification:
An employer is obligated to give notice about the following:
- An employer is obligated to notify the Police and Border Guard Board in writing within one week about the commencement of work by an alien, the failure of an alien to set to work, the amendments to the conditions determined in temporary residence permit for employment, the termination of the contract which is a basis for employment relation ahead of time and the actual termination of employment of an alien. The notification obligation does not concern the data already registered by the employer in the employment register.
- A science and development institution is obligated to give immediate notice to the Police and Border Guard Board about the termination of a hosting agreement entered into with an alien.
An alien, who has been granted residence permit for employment, can be employed by several employers at the same time, on condition that employment shall be continued on the conditions determined in the residence permit.
In the case, if you terminate your employment on the conditions determined in the residence permit and you wish to be employed by another employer, then you must previously apply for new residence permit for employment.
Document annexed to an application that is issued in a foreign country has to be translated into Estonian, English or Russian and notarised certification of the translation is required.
The document needs to be certified with an apostille certificate (marginal note) or legalised, excl. in cases, if it has been issued by a country:
- with which Estonia has signed a contract of legal assistance: Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Russia.
- who are subjects to the Convention on the issue of multilingual extracts from civil status records, signed at Vienna in 1976: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Spain, the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, France, Germany, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey;
- who are subjects to the Brussels 1987 Convention and who are temporary applying the Brussels Convention: Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, France, Denmark.
Additional information can be found at home page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On 1st of July 2012 entered into force an agreement on cancellation of the legalization requirement of population register documents of Estonia and Finland, which significantly simplifies for people to manage their public businesses in both countries. Pursuant to the agreement the statements of population register, which are made in English language, shall be mutually recognized without any additional certificate (apostille) or translation.
The agreement specifies the list of documents which will be mutually released from apostille. On the part of Estonia such documents are statements of the population register in English language (certificates for birth, death, marriage, change of name, divorce, certificate on ability to get married and statement with selective data). On the part of Finland such documents are the statement of the population register (with selective data), certificate by church and certificate on ability to get married.
From now on, for a citizen of Estonia and for a citizen of Finland who is residing in Estonia the best way is to apply in a local municipality for an English language statement of Estonian population register with all the requested data. The statement of the population register is free of charge. For evidencing a certain event, it is possible, when required, to ask from a county government the English language certificate of such event, which shall be issued against state fee payment pursuant to the State Fees Act (for certificate of birth, death, marriage and divorce the state fee is 3,19 Euros, for certificate on ability to get married 1,59 Euros and for a statement of decision on change of name 3,19 Euros).
This named agreement is not applicable to vital statistics documents which have been issued before 1.07.2010 and to the statements issued in Estonian and Finnish languages.
The full text of the agreement is provided in the State Gazette „Riigi Teataja".
Requirements to a photo
It must be possible to identify a person on the basis of a photo univocally.
- A person must be depicted at a photo:
- en face,
- having neutral expression and closed mouth,
- without headgear,
- with eyes open and look has to be directed towards camera lens.
- It has to be a colour photo, by size of 40 x 50 mm.
- Area between chin and top of head must form 70-80% of the vertical height of the photo.
- Glasses are allowed, if eyes are not covered by spectacle frames and there are no “gleams of light” from reflection of glasses.
- Photo has to be taken within 6 months before submitting an application.
- Hair may not cover face nor cause shades on face.
- Photo may not have fingerprints, scratches or any other defects on it.
- Colour gamma of the photo must have natural spectre (may not be overexposed nor underexposed).
- Background of the photo must be flat, mono-colour, of bright colour (commendatory colours are light blue, beige, light brown, light grey or white) and in contrast with colour of face and hair.
- Red-eye effect on the photo is not allowed are also its removal by means of the software is forbidden.
More detailed requirements set to the photo can be found here.
Proportions of the taken photos can be compared by means of a template that can be found here. By printing of the template, we ask not to change the scale.
The document photo can be taken free of charge in all service points.
Photo taken in a photo booth is digital and it can be used in all Service Offices, by applications sent by post or by e-mail within 30 days. If you submit the application by post or by email and you took he photo at the photo booth in the Service Office, then please insert this information to your application.
By applying for a document for a child being below the age of three years it is easier to take a photo by a photographer than in photo booth. If necessary, ask for additional information or assistance from customer service official.