Since 1 January amendments to the Aliens Act will come into force that are to make settling in Estonia easier for foreign specialists and highly qualified people looking for long-term self-fulfillment in Estonia.
“Amendments to the Aliens Act that come into force in the next year continue the changes already introduced two years ago,” says the Minister of the Interior Mr. Hanno Pevkur. “We welcome foreigners who are ready to contribute to the development of Estonia. The changes will make it easier for foreigners coming to Estonia to deal with necessary documents and will ensure better self-fulfillment conditions”.
Since January a foreigner who comes to work to Estonia is able to simultaneously work for several employers upon the condition that work-related provisions set out in the residence permit are complied with. In order to commence work with another employer a permission of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, payment of the salary in the amount set out in the law and notification are no longer required.
Approval of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund required to apply for a residence permit for working in Estonia is no longer personalized. It means that the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund may provide to a company an approval to fill one or several workplaces with foreigners, where employees with respective skills and qualifications cannot be found in Estonia. At the same time there is an option for foreigners staying in Estonia on a short-term basis or on the basis of a temporary residence permit to work as temporary (rent) workers. According to the changes, Estonian employers have the opportunity to hire foreigners though recruitment agencies.
In order to provide for a more flexible extension of Estonian residence a 90-day transitional period is provided after the expiration of a residence permit (183-day period with regard to foreign students graduated from Estonian universities and researchers/professors). During this time period a foreigner may stay in Estonia and apply for a residence permit on a new basis – be it a residence permit for establishing one’s own business, working or further studies.
Since 2016 it will be possible to apply for a new temporary residence permit (i.e. a permit for permanent residence in Estonia). It can be issued to a foreigner for a period of up to five years, and its aim is to make it easier for people who have adapted to life in Estonia and received a residence permit to continue living, working, studying and doing business in Estonia.
As of today 23,787 foreigners possess temporary Estonian residence permits. Majority of them are citizens of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, followed by people with no citizenship and citizens of the United States of America.