Welcome to our insider guide to living in Estonia. This beautiful Baltic nation is one of the most innovative and digitally advanced countries in the
Estonia Tourist Visa
Estonia is a part of the Schengen area and for some countries you will need to get a Schengen visa to visit. These member countries have open borders when it comes to tourism and therefore for some getting a Schengen visa is a difficult process. Please see use the iVisa tool here to see if you require a tourist visa to visit or not.
Estonia Long Term Visas and Permits
European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens can move to the country without needing a visa.
If you want to work for a period longer than three months, registration as an Estonian resident is required. Additionally, this must be done within the first three months of stay.
To live in Estonia for longer than six months as a non-EU and EEA citizen, you will need a residence permit. The residence permit allows you to work in the country as well. If you want to stay permanently, you can apply for a long-term temporary residence. This residence permit leads to eligibility for a permanent residency and access to an ID-Card.
The government encourages immigration to Estonia. It offers several visas for those looking to visit, live and work, or to relocate to Estonia. In keeping with the policy drive to modernize, this includes the innovative Estonia e-Residency program.
You can register a business and become a virtual resident. This business registration allows you to get an Estonia ID-card. With this identification, you can open bank accounts, sign documents, open a company, and more.
You can do all of this over the internet without ever visiting the country. For freelancers and digital nomads, e-residency and an ID-card may be the virtual visa you need to make your business location independent. There is also the additional benefit of being a European VAT registered entity. The welcoming bureaucracy and innovative, low tax environment are great for online businesses.
Please see our detailed article on Estonia e-Residency. We cover the program in detail and how you can benefit.
Estonia Digital Nomad Visa
The government announced its game-changing digital nomad visa in June 2020. This visa allows those running a location-independent business to work in Estonia for up to a year.
You’ll need to show that your business is capable of being run from anywhere. Importantly, you must show that your clients and income come from outside the country.
Also, you’ll need to show a pre-tax income of €3,504 per month for the last six months. The visa costs €80 for a short-stay (Type C) and €100 for a long-stay (Type D).
You can get more details and apply here.
Estonia Youth Mobility Visa
Australian, Canadian or New Zealand citizen between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible under the Working Holiday Maker programme. This visa allows you to live and work in Estonia, subject to conditions.
To explore the best working holiday visa programs around the world, please see our article.
Estonia Startup Visa
Founders of startups are eligible for residency. The Estonia Startup Visa program has a definition for a startup. “A business with the goal to develop and launch an innovative and repeatable business model with great global growth potential.”
Additionally, it must contribute significantly to the development of the business environment in Estonia. If your startup meets these criteria, you can apply for an Estonia Startup Visa to move to Estonia to live and work.
To see more startup and entrepreneur visa opportunities in Europe and around the world, please read our in-depth article here.
Estonia Family Visa
If one or both of your spouse’s parents were citizens when he/she was born, your spouse is probably also a citizen.
Accordingly, you can apply for residency through your spouse, which will allow you to live and work in the country.
Importantly, your spouse needs to be recognized and registered as a spouse or partner as per local laws.
Long-Stay D-Visa (Estonia Work Permit)
You need two things to apply for a long-stay visa. First, you need a confirmation letter from your host.
Second, you must have documents proving that you are going to work in Estonia. This visa was especially popular amongst location independent world travellers. It has now been superseded for that group by the dedicated Digital Nomad Visa (see above.)
For more options to live and work in Europe, please see our article here.
Estonia Residency by Investment
Estonia also encourages immigration through its residency by investment programs. Both programs are pathways to citizenship by naturalization.
Estonia Major Investor Scheme
You need to invest €1,000,000 directly in the Estonian economy to qualify for this visa. The investment must be into a company registered on the national commercial register or in a fund that invests primarily in Estonian companies.
Once this residence visa is issued, there is no restriction on the holder or their family living and working in Estonia. After eight years of residency, you are eligible for citizenship and an Estonia passport.
Business owner and sole proprietor visa
You could gain residency in Estonia through the investment of a capital sum of €65,000 or more in an Estonian company.
The figure is reduced to €16,000 if you are a sole proprietor. You must also have substantial control and hire or create jobs in the company.
In addition, you need to show that your Estonian residency is necessary and related to the business investment.
Estonia Citizenship by Investment
After eight years of residency, you are eligible for Estonia citizenship and an Estonia passport. You’ll need to follow the 6-step process for citizenship by naturalization. Please see the citizenship section above for all the details.
For information on the best Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment programs, please see this article.
Do you have experience of moving to Estonia? We’d love to hear from you about why you chose to relocate to Estonia.
What did you feel are the pros and cons of living and working in the country. For example, we’d be very interested in your experience with Estonia visas and residency permits, citizenship, Estonia nationality, and Estonia passports.
Please contact us to share your Expat story here.
At its best, Expat life is incredible. But, it can be extra challenging when things go wrong. And, if you or your family need healthcare, you want to
US Citizens living abroad need private health insurance in case of any illness or injury. Health insurance will not only help you avoid hefty medical
Moving overseas is a new beginning that gives you the chance to follow your dream and live an exciting and life-changing adventure. Thousands of peopl
You may know that there are numerous tasks to deal with when planning your move. And, one of the key tasks on the top of your checklist will be findin