Visas, work and residence permits

1. As of 1 May 2004 Estonia is a member of European Union and therefore nationals of the member states of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) and any third-country national who is a holder of a residence permit of a Schengen state do not need a visa to enter Estonia.

EU and EEA member states are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Schengen States are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

2. The holders of the following passports do not require a visa to enter Estonia for stays of no more than three months in a 6 month period:

Albania*, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina*, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See, Honduras, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Israel, Japan, Macao Special Administrative Region, Macedonia*, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro*, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Serbia*, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, St Kitts-Nevis, Taiwan**, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.

*Only for the biometrical passports holders

**Passports issued by Taiwan which include an identity card number

3. The holders of diplomatic and service passports of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Estonia for stays of no more than three months in a 6 month period.




Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic and service passports

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic, service or official passports


Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic and service passports


Diplomatic and official passports


Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic and official passports


Diplomatic and service passports


Diplomatic and service passports


Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic passports


Diplomatic, special and service passports


Diplomatic and service passports

Holders of the Laissez-Passer issued by the United Nations



4. A family member of an EU/EEA/EFTA national, who in addition to the valid passport of the country of his/her nationality present a residence card, which has been issued pursuant to the Directive 2004/38/EC bearing the text "Residence Card of a Family Member of an EEA National ", may enter Estonia without a visa if the family member is traveling together with the EU/EEA/EFTA national or to the EU/EEA/EFTA national. This Directive shall apply to an EU/EEA/EFTA national, who move to or reside in a member State other than that of which they are a national.

Types of visas:

1. Airport transit visa (type A) - given for entry into the international transit zone at an Estonian airport and for the stay therein allowing for the departure to the next transit country or arrival country, where the person has a legal basis to enter. This visa shall not grant the alien the right to enter Estonia or stay in Estonia.

2. Short-term visa (type C) – is issued for transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Member States of a duration of no more than three months in any six-month period from the date of first entry in the territory of the Member States.

3. If you wish to visit only Estonia, the Schengen visa has to be applied for at the Estonian representation or at the representation of the member state representing Estonia in issuing Schengen visas.

4. If the travel destination includes more than one Schengen member state, the application must be lodged at the representation of the main destination. The main destination is understood to be the destination where you intend to spend the longest time or where the main purpose of the intended journey is carried out.

5. If you wish to visit several Schengen member states and you are not sure of the state of main destination or plan to spend the equal number of days in each state, the visa must be applied for at the representation of the state through which the visa applicant intends to enter the Schengen area.

6. Long-stay visa (type D) – According to the new Estonian Aliens Act from the October 1, 2010 a long-stay (D) visa is possible to apply  for a number of reasons  such as study, work or family relations. A long-stay visa may be issued for single or multiple entries into Estonia with a period of stay up to six months and with a period of validity up to twelve months. A long-stay visa should be applied in person only at the Estonian representations.


Document requirements when applying for visa:

  1. A valid travel document - it must contain at least two blank pages for visas and be valid for at least 3 months after the end of the validity of the visa
  2. A filled in and signed visa application
  3. A coloured photograph (sized 40 x 50 mm; It should be possible to ascertain the identity of the person)
  4. Supporting documents:
  • documents indicating the purpose of journey;
  • documents in relation to accommodation or proof of sufficient means to cover your accommodation;
  • documents indicating that you possess sufficient means of subsistence both for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to your country of origin or residence (55,6 EUR / 870 EEK for each day in Estonia);
  • information which enables to assess your intention to leave Schengen area before the expiry of the visa.
  1. Visa fee

State fees for processing visa applications

  • Airport transit visa (A) 60 €
  • Short-term visa (C) 60 €
  • Short-term visa (C) children 6-12 years 35 €
  • Long-term visa (D) 80 €
  • EU agreements on the facilitation of the issuance of visas (applies for the citizens of the Russian Federation and Ukraine)  - One-time and multiple-entry visa 35 €; urgent visa 70 €
  • EU agreements on  the facilitation of the issuance of visas (applies for the citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYROM, Georgia, Montenegro, Serbia and Moldova) – One-time and multiple-entry visa 35 €

More information:

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Residence and Work permits
Residence and Work permits for EU citizens in Estonia:

An EU citizen obtains the right of temporary residence upon registration of his/her place of residence in the population register of Estonia.

The right of temporary residence is granted for a period up to five years and shall automatically extend if the place of residence of an EU citizen is continuously registered in Estonia and the right of temporary residence has not been terminated.

An EU citizen must, within the period of one month from the acquisition of the right of temporary residence, contact personally a customer service of the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Prefecture (CMB) to apply for an identity card which certifies his/her right of temporary residence.

An EU citizen who has resided in Estonia permanently for five successive years on the basis of the right of temporary residence shall obtain the right of permanent residence. An application for the registration of the right of permanent residence shall be submitted by an applicant or by his/her legal representative at a customer service of the CMB or by post.

A citizen of the EU has the right to work in Estonia starting from entering the country for three months and also, if right of residence has been granted (work permit is not needed).

Citizens of the EU are not required to register their short-time employment.

Residence permits for third country nationals

Residence permit may be temporary (validity period up to five years) or long-term. Temporary residence permit may be issued to an alien:

A residence permit for undertaking business in Estonia may be issued to an alien who owns shares in a company or acts as a sole proprietor if the company or the sole proprietor is registered in the Estonian Commercial Register and if the business is necessary for the national interest of developing the Estonian economy and the settlement of the alien is important for the business. The fields and, if necessary, the territory of activities, shall be determined in the residence permit for business.

An alien may be granted a residence permit for business if:
· the alien has invested in Estonia a capital sum of  EUR 63,900 under his/her control in the case of a company;
· the alien has invested in Estonia a capital sum of EUR 15,950 under his/her control in the case of a sole proprietor.

Temporary residence permit for employment
An alien may apply for residence permit for work with an employer registered in Estonia and for scientific or research works, if the institution has been entered with the register of science and development institutions.

An alien applying for residence permit is subject to the annual immigration quota for aliens immigrating to Estonia, which shall not exceed 0.1 per cent of the permanent population of Estonia annually.

An alien can be granted a residence permit for employment if an open competition has been carried out to staff the post and if, within three weeks, it has not been possible to recruit through the state employment mediation service any citizen of Estonia, EU citizen or alien residing in Estonia on the basis of residence permit, who would meet the prescribed qualification and professional skills requirements. An alien must 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 an alien can be employed (more information: The consent is valid for 2 months from the moment of its issue.

An alien may be granted a residence permit for employment without the consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, public competition or fulfilling the salary criterion in four cases (more information

A residence permit for employment is issued for a period of guaranteed employment in Estonia by an employer with a period of validity of up to 2 years and it can be extended for up to five years at a time.

Work permit for an alien who stays in Estonia on the basis of a temporary residence permit.
A person may work in Estonia temporarily without a work permit up to 6 months during a year. Employment in Estonia without a work permit is permitted to an alien, whose employment has been registered prior commencement of work. An employer may apply for registration of temporary employment in Estonia:

for an alien arriving to Estonia on the basis of visa* or visa free (if not provided differently by an international agreement);

for an alien staying in Estonia on the basis of visa* or visa free (if not provided differently by an international agreement).

*If an alien needs visa for entering and staying in Estonia, he or she has to apply for a national or long-stay D-type visa for short-time employment. Before applying for visa, the short-time employment has to be registered.

Short-time employment can not be registered for an alien who is staying in Estonia on the basis of residence permit.

By a work permit a right for employment in Estonia during the term stated in the work permit is granted to an alien who holds a temporary residence permit for study.  

Validity period of the work permit to be granted to an alien may not exceed validity period of the residence permit granted to him or her. The validity period of a work permit may be extended until the expiry date of the residence permit.


More information:
Police and Border Guard Board: