Residence permit

Citizens of the European Union


Citizens of the European Union, the European Union Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter an EU citizen) have the right to stay in Estonia on the basis of a valid travel document or an identity card for the period of up to three months without registration of the right of residence. 

An EU citizen shall obtain the right of residence upon registration of his/her place of residence located in Estonia in the population register of Estonia. After that he/she can apply for residence permit. The document certifying the right of residence of an EU citizen is the digital ID card.

The following procedures should be done by the applicant in person:

  1. Applicant should register his/her place of residence, (which usually takes a few days).
  2. Submit the application for a residence permit (processing of which takes usually 2-3 weeks)
  3. Receive the ID card.

Validity of a temporary residence permit is up to 5 years.


Citizens of third countries


The issue of residence permits to the third country nationals is regulated by the Aliens Act.

An alien, who is applying for a residence permit, is subjected to the immigration quota of Estonia for aliens, which shall not exceed 0,1% of the Estonian permanent population in one year (in 2013 the population of Estonia is 1,3 million). An alien shall not be subjected to the immigration quota, if he or she is a citizen of the United States of America or Japan

As a rule we do not assist in the procedure of obtaining the right of residence. It is often close to impossible to get Estonian residence permit unless you can convince Estonian authorities that you can create some value here. Creating a company in Estonia is generally not considered sufficient reason to get residence permit.

Temporary residence permit for business

An alien may apply for a residence permit for business, if such alien owns shares in a company or acts as a sole proprietor, and:

  • the alien has invested in Estonia a capital sum of at least 65 000 euros under his/her control in the case of a company;
  • the alien has invested in Estonia a capital sum of at least 16 000 euros under his/her control in the case of a sole proprietor.

The application for a residence permit may be submitted in Estonia, provided that the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • the company has been registered in Estonia at least 4 months prior the submission of the application for residence;
  • the company has conducted business activities in Estonia at least during the last 4 months;
  • the person is staying in Estonia legally on the basis of visa-free stay or visa in connection with the activities of the company.
  • A summary business plan is submitted either in Estonian or English language.

The summary of business plan must contain the following data:

  • idea of business – planned activities, potential clients and suppliers, plans of development, fixed assets available for the company, circulating capital, labour force being used;
  • financial forecasts for the next two financial years – revenue forecast, balance sheet, cash flow forecast;
  • Curriculum Vitaes of the persons who perform managerial and supervisory functions.

Rules for temporary residence permit for business 

In short, the residence permit can be obtained if the company has real business activities in Estonia, salaries and taxes are being paid regularly and the applicant has a registered place of residence in the population register of Estonia.