Immigration. Travel. Living.

How to relocate in Estonia?

Despite a very strict immigration law, this is possible, but a number of nuances must be taken into account.

It is impossible to become a citizen of Estonia without permanent residence in most cases. But having at least a residence permit, a person can be equated with a native of the country. 

Having a residence permit in Estonia, it is allowed to freely move around the EU countries that are members of the Schengen zone. Also in this state there is no income tax, but social deductions, fees from individuals and VAT are quite large. You can use one of several options to enter this country.


You can apply for a residence permit in Estonia after entering into an official marriage with a citizen of this state, but it will take a lot of time and effort. Moreover, Estonian authorities do not really welcome immigration to rebuild a family. This requires not only applying, but also filling out a large number of different questionnaires, while proving the need to live in Estonia, and not in another country. In addition, personal documents and some information should be presented.

Entering the country to start a business

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Relocation to Estonia in order to develop their own business has many advantages. Most importantly, this procedure is not very expensive compared to other states of the European Union. Estonia has relatively low taxes, and its economy welcomes the appearance of entrepreneurs from other countries. Any investment from abroad is welcome here. Emigrants are allowed to register in this country as a joint-stock company or a limited liability company. After that, a residence permit in Estonia for two years is automatically granted, which can be further extended for five years. Keep in mind that in order to extend the residence permit, it is necessary to conduct entrepreneurial activity by the company for 8 months prior to the filing of the application.

Mandatory requirement upon registration of the company – the authorized capital must be in any bank in Estonia. Only after that the owner of the company can freely use his funds. In addition to the initial investment, registration will have to incur some other costs. It will be necessary to pay various state fees and several mandatory payments. The total amount is approximately 2,000 Euros. It is important to know that when attracting law firms that specialize in registering firms, the cost of paying for such services can range from 4,000 to 6,000 Euros. The cost depends on the type of enterprise and legal status. But in registering the company through a specialized company, the customer in any case must be present at the registration of the company for signing documents, notarizing them and investing the amount of money in an Estonian bank, which is equal to the authorized capital of the future company.


One of the most popular ways to immigrate to Estonia is investing. A residence permit in Estonia, without the opportunity to work, can be issued in case the emigrant’s profit allows him or her to fully provide his or her living. At the same time, a foreigner needs to buy real estate at his own expense, which will allow him to submit a request for permanent residence after 5 years.


Relocation to Estonia to get a job is not a very easy way to gain a foothold in this country. A residence permit can be issued only if the company initially conducted an interview for the vacancy, and after three weeks no resident of Estonia or a person with a residence permit, a citizen of the European Union who would meet the declared requirements and qualifications of the company, applied for it, except foreigner.

At the same time, the number of applicants for a residence permit in Estonia should not exceed 0.1% of the total population of the state. The expat must have an education and work experience, as well as good health. Before issuing documents, the emigrant must obtain permission in advance from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, which will be valid for 60 days from the date of registration. Before applying for a residence permit, an emigrant and the owner of an Estonian company must enter into an employment contract for a period of at least one year or the employer must make an offer to the visitor. In this case, a legal contract is drawn up that binds the company and the employee for a period of 1 year. In this case, a residence permit is issued for two years with the possibility of renewing it for a further five years.

Higher education and training in Estonia

Another way to get a residence permit in Estonia is to study. Since Estonia is part of the European Union, diplomas of its higher education institutions are quoted by all European countries. The educational system of Estonia is based on the Bologna process, in which a bachelor’s degree is reached after 3 years, after another 2 you can get a master’s degree. To get a doctorate, you need to unlearn another 4 years. There are three private and six state higher education institutions in Estonia. Tartu University is considered the first university in the country. It is the largest classical state university in Estonia. Currently, Estonian institutions offer about a hundred programs with an English bias. Throughout the entire period of study, emigrants have the opportunity to earn extra money.

The purchase of real estate in Estonia enables the holder to apply for a multiple-entry Schengen visa, which allows them to freely stay in the countries of the Eurozone for three months. Schengen is issued to foreigners for a maximum of five years. It is necessary to note that the purchase of real estate is not a good reason to apply for a residence permit in Estonia.

Foreign owners of Estonian companies are able to freely buy any property and land. Registration of an enterprise can be a significant advantage in obtaining a residence permit in Estonia. These positive aspects in Estonian life make it more attractive for emigrants from different countries.

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