Estonia is an emerging and advancing European country that’s a great place for companies looking to establish a European presence. Thanks to simple visa requirements and the option to bring families, many individuals are drawn to the prospect of a job in the country. If your company is looking to expand, however, you’ll need to know how to get a work visa in Estonia to stay compliant, avoid fines, and harness the talent of a global workforce.
Types of Work Visas in Estonia
Estonia has three different visa categories:
- Type A: Airport transit visa for those passing through international transit parts of airports within Schengen Area member states.
- Type C: Short-term visa for individuals staying in the Schengen Area for no more than 90 days within 180 days.
- Type D: Long-stay visa used for single or multiple entries for a period of up to 365 days within 12 consecutive months.
Type A and C visas are Schengen visas and allow for entry to other member states. Individuals only entering Estonia can apply with the appropriate Estonian representation issuing the visas. However, if the visit includes going to several member states over two months, the applicant must go to the main destination to file the application.
While there are some exceptions, most of your employees will apply for a long-stay visa. They can do so in person with an Estonian representation that handles visa applications or at the service point of the Police and Border Guard Board in the country.
Requirements to Obtain Estonia Work Visas
Your employees will need to meet certain requirements to obtain an Estonia work visa. First, they’ll require a job offer from you as an Estonian employer. You should also provide a recognized work contract proving that they will work for you. It’s important to provide a letter of invitation that you submit to the Police and Border Guard Board. In some cases, the applicant will need permission from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund for employment. If your employee is a top specialist, they may need to meet additional requirements.
You will need to submit several documents to obtain a long-stay work visa in Estonia, including:
- A travel document issued within the previous 10 years that’s valid for at least three months after the visa expires and has two blank pages for visas
- A completed and signed application form
- A photo
- An insurance policy with at least EUR 30,000 coverage for the duration of the stay
- Documents showing the purpose of the journey, such as a letter from the host, work documents, study documents, proof of family ties, and proof of accommodation
- Biometrical data, including 10 fingerprints
- Payment of the visa fee of EUR 100
Other Important Considerations
Citizens from non-EU countries who want to work in Estonia for longer than six months should apply for a residence permit as well as a long-stay visa. First, your employees can obtain a temporary residence permit for up to two years. After living in Estonia for five years with a temporary residence permit, they can apply for a long-term residence permit that functions similarly to an Estonian work permit.
Starting July 2023, foreign workers renewing their temporary residence permits must demonstrate their Estonian language proficiency. Some applicants are exempt from this language proficiency requirement if they are: intra-company transferees, academic staff and researchers, or hold an EU Blue Card.
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At this moment, G-P does not offer support processing work visas or permits in this particular location.
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