Frequently asked questions
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Answers to the most frequently asked questions about migration can be read on this page. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, please write to the e-mail address martin.eber@meis.ee, call to the number of our coordinator +372 659 9067.

1. Is it possible to replace the driver’s licences received in different countries with those valid in Estonia and how can this be done?
2. How to obtain Estonian residence permit?
3. If a parent/grandparent is /has been an Estonian, then under which conditions can he/she settle in Estonia?

4. Who needs a work permit in Estonia and how to obtain it?

5. How to apply for asylum in Estonia?

6. How to obtain Estonian citizenship?

7. How to take the Estonian language and citizenship exam? 

8. Are the financial costs related to studying Estonian language compensated and how? 

9. Where to find a place in a kindergarten and suitable school for a child? 

10. How to obtain health insurance? 

11. How to obtain family physician service for you and your family?

12. How to find a suitable job?

13. How to find a place to live?

14. Pension and other social benefits

15. Customs

16. Contacts of transport companies
 

Is it possible to replace the driver’s licences received in different countries with those valid in Estonia and how can this be done?

1. If a person who has settled in Estonia has a driver’s licence from another European Union (EU) Member State, it does not have to be replaced with the Estonian driver’s licence because his/her licence is already valid in Estonia. This means that in the EU driver’s licences issued in another Member State are also accepted.

2. If a licence was issued outside the European Union, it must be established if the licence was issued and formalised according to the principles of the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic or 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and their subsequent agreements and supplements to the Conventions.

A driver’s licence complying with the mentioned requirements is valid in Estonia for 12 months from the settling in Estonia of the owner of the licence or issue of the residence permit. Such licence must be replaced with a driver’s licence issued in Estonia by the mentioned date (12 months from arrival to Estonia). This can be done without passing the exams if the owner of the licence has been conducting properly in the traffic and has not violated the traffic rules during a year.

IF:

● the owner of the driver’s licence has been punished for repeated violation of the requirements of the Traffic Act or a legal act issued on the basis thereof in Estonia during the past 12 months;
● the owner of the driver’s licence has been punished for repeated violation of the requirements of the Traffic Act or a legal act issued on the basis thereof in Estonia during the past 12 months for which suspension of the right to drive has been prescribed;
● the owner of the driver’s licence has not replaced the driver’s licence issued in a foreign country with the Estonian driver’s licence during 12 months from the settling in Estonia of the owner of the licence or issue of the residence permit,

THEN: in such cases the driver’s licence issued in a foreign country will be replaced with a driver’s licence issued in Estonia only after successful passing of a traffic theory and driving exams.

3. If the driver’s licence has been issued in a country which has not joined the respective Conventions (e.g. United States of America, Australia, Republic of Turkey), then the applicant must go to a driving school in Estonia and thereafter pass successfully the traffic theory and driving exams.

NB! This situation will probably change at the end of September or a little later.

Some driving schools that offer driver’s courses in English in Tallinn:

Niguliste driving school: www.nigulisteautokool.ee/s/  
Gestani driving school: http://www.gestani.ee/?eng/  

Countries that have joined the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic:

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Byelorussia, Central African Republic, Commonwealth of the Bahamas, Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Czech Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Federative Republic of Brazil, French Republic, Georgia, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Belgium, Kingdom of Denmark, Kingdom of Morocco, Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Sweden, Kingdom of Thailand, Macedonia, Mongolia, Oriental Republic of Uruguay, People’s Republic of China, Portuguese Republic, Principality of Monaco, Republic of Albania, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Austria, Republic of Bulgaria, Republic of Chile, Republic of Congo, Republic of Costa Rica, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of Croatia, Republic of Cuba, Republic of Ecuador, Republic of Estonia, Republic of Finland, Republic of Ghana, Republic of Greece, Republic of Hungary, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of Italy, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Niger, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Poland, Republic of Romania, Republic of San Marino, Republic of Senegal, Republic of Seychelles, Republic of Slovakia, Republic of Slovenia, Republic of South Africa, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Uzbekistan, Republic of Zimbabwe, Russian Federation, State of Israel, State of Kuwait, Swiss Confederation, State of the Vatican City, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Mexican States, Yugoslavia

Source: Estonian National Motor Vehicle Registration Centre, August 2008
www.ark.ee/atp/?id=34674  
 

 

How to obtain Estonian residence permit?

A residence permit is a document that gives an alien the right for longer stay in Estonia.
A citizen of the European Union and his family members do not need a residence permit in Estonia but can register their right of residence.

The right of residence is a right that a citizen of the EU acquires by residing in any EU Member State by registering his/her residence in the country. In Estonia the temporary right of residence is given to a citizen of the EU Member State for five years if the citizen registers his/her residence according to the procedure provided for in the Population Register Act. After five years the term of the right of residence is automatically extended by another five years if the residence of the citizen of a Member State is still registered in Estonia and the temporary right of residence has not been terminated.


A person coming from outside the European Union must apply for a residence permit for living in Estonia.

A residence permit can be either temporary – with validity of up to five years - or long-term.

A temporary residence permit may be issued to an alien who is married to a person permanently resident in Estonia or whose permanent legal income ensures their subsistence in Estonia or whose application for a residence permit is based on an international agreement, also in order to settle with a close relative permanently resident in Estonia, for study in an educational institution according to the application of the educational institution or business. A temporary residence permit can be extended if the bases for issuing the residence permit has not changed and the application is justified. For that purpose one needs to turn to a regional department of the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) or submit the application by post. If an alien staying in Estonia on the basis of temporary residence permit wishes to stay longer than 183 days outside Estonia during one year, he/she must also register his/her stay outside Estonia in the PBGB.

The long-term residence permit can be granted to an alien who is the citizen of a third country and who has stayed in Estonia continuously on the basis of temporary residence permit for at least five years and who has a valid Estonian residence permit and health insurance, registered residence, permanent legal income for subsistence in Estonia and who has fulfilled the integration requirements, i.e. who can speak Estonian at least basic level. The legal period of residence includes temporary staying away, which does not exceed six consecutive months and ten months in total during five years before the submission of the application for the residence permit of long-term resident. An alien holding a permanent residence permit shall be automatically considered as an alien holding the long-term residence permit.


Due to the amendment of the Aliens Act, all persons who received the residence permit before 1 June 2006 shall be considered automatically as long-term residents.


An alien who has been given the long-term residence permit does not need a separate work permit for working in Estonia. 


The long-term residence permit is not granted to an alien who has temporary residence permit for studies; for working in seasonal works related to processing of agricultural produce, for working as an au pair or domestic help, for working for the purposes of practical studies or for servicing a diplomatic representation of a foreign state by the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or to a person who has submitted false data or used fraud upon applying for the long-term residence permit or who is a hazard for public order or security of the state, or who does not comply with the conditions for granting the long-term residence permit.

One of the important conditions for applying for the residence permit is the permanent legal income. The decision regarding granting or refusal to grant the residence permit is made by the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB): www.politsei.ee  

If a parent/grandparent is /has been an Estonian, then under which conditions can he/she settle in Estonia?

A separate residence permit can be applied for settling with a close relative; this first and foremost in the case if one of the parties needs care or is a minor. In other cases, including when a person has had an ascendant of Estonian nationality the Citizenship and Migration Board should be contacted because each case is different and therefore needs individual approach.

Web page of the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB): www.politsei.ee  

 

Who needs a work permit in Estonia and how to obtain it?

A work permit is a document that gives an alien staying in the country legally the right to work either at a certain employer or on the same basis with the rest of the residents.

An alien holding a long-term residence permit in Estonia does not need a work permit.

Work permit for an alien staying in Estonia on the basis of temporary residence permit

In order to work in Estonia an alien must have a work permit. Working shall be activities as a sole proprietor or working on the basis of an employment contract or other contracts, furthermore other activities for another person in the case of which receiving a profit or other material benefits can be expected, regardless of the type or of the contract on which the activities are based or the location or residence of the other party to the contract, unless provided differently with an international agreement or act.
The term of validity of the work permit issued for an alien shall not exceed the term of validity of the residence permit issued for him/her.

A work permit is not required from an alien who has the residence permit of a long-term resident, residence permit for employment, residence permit for settling with a close relative living permanently in Estonia; residence permit for settling with a spouse; residence permit on the basis of international agreement and an alien who has applied for a residence permit before 12 July 1995 and who has been granted the residence permit; a person who is a detainee during stay in prison; a person who is a member of a locomotive crew, a person who is a member of staff providing services to a locomotive or a train, a person who is a driver for delivering passengers or cargo over the border.

A work permit is not issued for an alien who has received residence permit in Estonia with the condition that his/her legal income ensures his/her subsistence in Estonia.

An alien who has been issued a residence permit for studies may work in Estonia without a work permit for the purposes of practical studies according to the curriculum. Otherwise he/she may work in Estonia only on the basis of a work permit and beyond the study time, provided that working does not hinder the studies.
A work permit may be extended if an alien has a valid residence permit or his/her residence permit is extended and he/she has an employer during the extension of the work permit.

Upon applying for the extension of the work permit the same documents that are submitted during the application for the work permit shall be submitted (exact list at the web page of the PBGB).

The submitted applications are taken into processing on the day of submission. During the processing the PBGB checks justification of the application, correctness and compliance of the documents and makes a decision regarding granting or refusing the work permit.

If the application has deficiencies (e.g. the application does not have the required data, the required documents have not been submitted or the application does not comply with the established requirements), the applicant or his/her representative shall be informed of that fact and a term for elimination of the deficiencies shall be set. If the deficiencies are not eliminated the application shall not be reviewed.

Police and Border Guard Board may extend the term for reviewing the application and making the decision for checking correctness of the data submitted in the application and justification of the application. The authority that received the application shall inform the applicant or his/her representative of the extension of the term to the address indicated in the application.

If an alien has a valid residence permit, the PBGB shall decide granting or refusing the work permit during one month from taking the application into processing.

If a work permit is applied for simultaneously with the temporary residence permit, the Citizenship and Migration Board shall decide granting or refusal to grant the work permit simultaneously with deciding granting or refusal to grant the residence permit.

The application for extending a work permit shall be submitted to a regional department of the Police and Border Guard Board no later than two months before the expiry of the valid work permit.
The term for application for the extension of the temporary residence permit shall not be restored if the term of validity of the residence permit has expired.

In order to extend the work permit a regional department of the Citizenship and Migration should be contacted.
Information and application forms: www.politsei.ee

Registering short-term employment in Estonia 

An employer may apply for registering short-term employment in Estonia:
– for an alien who arrives in Estonia on the basis of visa * or visa free (unless provided differently with an international agreement);
– for an alien staying in Estonia on the basis of a visa * or visa free (unless provided differently with an international agreement).

* If an alien needs a visa to enter and stay in Estonia, he/she has to apply for the national or long-term D-type visa for short-term employment. Before applying for the visa the short-term employment must be registered at the Citizenship and Migration Board.

Short-term employment shall not exceed six months during a year.

Short-term employment cannot be registered for an alien who is staying in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit. In such case, a person is required to apply for a work permit or a residence permit for employment. Citizens of the European Union are not required to register short-term employment.

An application for registering short-term employment can be submitted in the following cases:

● a creative employee within the meaning of the Performing Arts Institutions Act who works at a performing arts institution;
● for working as a teacher or lecturer at an educational institution complying with the requirements established with Estonian legal acts;
● for research activities if the alien has the required professional preparation or experience for that;
● an athlete, coach, sports referee or sports employee for professional activities by an invitation from the respective sports association;
● for employment as a trainee in order to obtain vocational education intermediated by an educational institution or a student organisation located abroad if this is a part of the relevant training programme;
● for servicing a diplomatic representation of a foreign state with the permission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
● for employment as an au pair;
● for employment as an expert, an adviser or a consultant if the alien has professional preparation for that;
● for an employment as an installer of equipment or skilled worker if the alien has professional preparation for that;
● for working in seasonal works related to processing agricultural produce;
● on the basis of an international agreement.

According to the Aliens Act an employer must pay an alien a salary which is at least equal to the latest average gross monthly salary in the main field of activity of the employer published by the Statistical Office of Estonia but not less than the product of the average yearly wages in Estonia and the coefficient 1.24.

If an employer is a natural person or a self-employed person the due amount of the salary of an alien is calculated on the basis of the average salary in the field of activity in which the alien will be engaged instead of the main activity of the employer. The main activity is determined on the basis of the letter code of the Classification of Economic Activities (EMTAK) established by the Statistical Office of Estonia. The amount of wages paid to an alien must, until the end of his/her short term employment, correspond to the latest data published by the Statistical Office at the time of application for registration for short term employment.

Jobs which are subject to the above-mentioned requirements as to the amount of salary:

1. au pair
2. expert, advisor or consultant
3. installer of equipment or skilled worker
4. seasonal workers processing agricultural products

At the time of application for the registration of short-term employment the travel document of an alien must be valid for at least six months after the termination of the registration of short-term employment concerned.

The Police and Border Guard Board has the right to require additional data or documents concerning the circumstances related to the registration for short-term employment.

An application for registration for short-term employment may be submitted by the employer personally, by post or through a legal representative to the Citizenship and Migration Board.

The documents and forms to be submitted for registration of short-term employment can also be found at the web page of the PBGB www.politsei.ee.  

If an application is submitted by an authorised person in addition to the application and the required documents, copies of the personal data pages of an identity document of the authorised person must also be submitted.

If the application is submitted by post the correctly completed application form together with all the necessary documents must be sent in a sealed envelope, with keyword “Short-term employment” ("Lühiajaline töötamine"), to the address of the particular bureau on PBGB, where one prefers the document to be delivered.

The CMB registers an applicant for short-term employment or refuses to do so within 10 working days from the date of receiving the relevant application.

If an applicant does not submit the data required in an application or the necessary documents, or if an application is not completed as required, or if some other deficiencies are found the Citizenship and Migration Board will set a deadline for rectifying such deficiencies. If the deficiencies are not rectified the application will be rejected.

An employer is informed through the methods of contact submitted in the application about the registration for short-term employment, the refusal to register such employment, the extension of the period of processing an application, the revocation of the registration or the refusal to process an application.

A written confirmation is issued to confirm the registration for short-term employment. The confirmation is forwarded through the methods of contact submitted in the application.

The employer must inform the Citizenship and Migration Board about not concluding the employment contract or premature termination of the employment contract of an alien.

Additional information from the PBGB : Telephone: +372 612 3000
 

How to apply for asylum in Estonia?

An application for asylum means a standard-format application submitted by an alien for receiving international protection. Asylum means a residence permit and certain social guarantees for an alien who needs international protection against persecution in his/her home country.

An alien is entitled to asylum in Estonia if he/she has justified gear that he/she may be persecuted in the home country for racial, political, religious, ethnic or other reasons. Asylum is not given to persons who have the possibility to receive protection from the authorities in the country of origin or if it is safe for the applicant to live in another part of the country of origin.

If the conditions for asylum are not met, a person may receive an additional protection and temporary residence permit for the reason that return to the country of origin is not safe (is life-threatening) for him/her .
An application for asylum cannot be submitted in writing in the diplomatic representations of Estonia or by e-mail in Estonia or outside Estonia. The asylum seeker must submit the application personally or through a legal representative at the Police and Border Guard Board. If an alien in a border inspection point has no legal grounds for arrival in Estonia and he/she wishes to apply for asylum, the application for asylum must be submitted to the border guard authority.

Further information regarding asylum procedures can be found at:
www.politsei.ee

How to obtain Estonian citizenship?

An alien who wishes to obtain Estonian citizenship must meet certain conditions, e.g. before the submission of the application he/she must have lived in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit or right of residence for at least eight years, the last five of which have been permanent; he/she must be familiar with the Constitution and the Citizenship Act of the Republic of Estonia; have permanent legal income that ensures subsistence of him/her and his/her dependents; have registered residence in Estonia.

Overview of the conditions established for obtaining Estonian citizenship is available at the web page of the Citizenship and Migration Board:
www.mig.ee/index.php/mg/est/eesti_kodakondsus/kodakondsuse_taotlemine

An ethnic Estonian who does not have Estonian citizenship may apply for reinstatement of the citizenship if he/her has lost the Estonian citizenship for some reason as a minor.


 

 

How to take the Estonian language and citizenship exam? 

In addition to the aforementioned conditions a person must take an exam in Estonian Constitution and Citizenship Act as well as Estonian language organised by the Foundation Innove (www.innove.ee) in order to apply for Estonian citizenship.

The Migration Foundation offered free intensive Estonian courses and adaption trainings within the framework of the project “NEW HOME – integrating new immigrants to the Estonian society and their entry to the labour market“(02.04.2007–31.08.2008) and the continuation project (01.09.-31.12.2008). In addition to the studies of the official language and citizen training that includes lectures introducing Estonian culture and history as well as legislation, the case-based career counselling and introduction of the basic principles of starting-up a business are provided. The volume of the project is certainly not sufficient for taking the Constitution and Citizenship Act exam and Estonian language exam, however, the interactive manner of presentation is very inspiring for the participants giving them high adjusting-readiness for integrating into our society and the wish to continue individual studies.

The Integration Foundation offers free courses on Constitution and Citizenship Act, which are aimed at the persons who wish to take the exam. Further information: http://www.meis.ee/kodanik/

The web page of the Integration Foundation has thorough list of companies offering language courses: www.meis.ee/est/taiskeeleope/keelefirmad


 

 

Are the financial costs related to studying Estonian language compensated and how? 

The National Examination and Qualification Centre compensates the costs of Estonian studies for the persons who apply for citizenship and to those who have passed the Estonian language proficiency exam by the order of the Language Inspectorate and at the time determined in the precept. The compensation can be applied for only by persons who are not citizens of Estonia and who have passed both exams – Estonian language proficiency exam (basic, intermediate or advanced level) as well as the Estonian Constitution and Citizenship Act exam successfully. An application for the compensation can be submitted during three months after receiving information regarding successful passing of the Estonian language proficiency exam and the Estonian Constitution and Citizenship Act exam.

Further information: National Examination and Qualification Centre
www.ekk.edu.ee/eksaminandile/eesti-keele-tasemeeksamid/eesti-keele-oppe-kulude-huvitamisest  


 

Where to find a place in a kindergarten and suitable school for a child? 

Children in the ages of 1-7 are taken to the kindergarten. Estonia has both municipal as well as private kindergartens. The procedure for applying for a place in a kindergarten as well as accepting into a kindergarten as well as expenses related to the kindergarten may differ significantly in different parts of Estonia. A parent has to submit an application for applying for a place and a standard-format certificate of a family physician. In Tallinn a parent has to pay 348 EEK a month, in Tartu 350 EEK. To that, usually the food costs are added (ca 20-25 EEK/day). Generally the kindergarten groups are completed at the end of the summer, in the case of availability of vacancies children may be taken in during the entire year. It should be kept in mind that the queues for the kindergarten places may become very long and therefore it would be wise to put a child in the waiting list as soon as possible.

Information regarding kindergartens in Tallinn: http://www.tallinn.ee/lasteaiad/
Information regarding kindergartens in Tartu: www.tartu.ee/?lang_id=1&menu_id=8&page_id=976  
International kindergarten in Nõmme, Tallinn: www.training.ee  

In most Estonian schools – primary as well as secondary schools and high schools – the studies are in Estonian, however, there are also schools with only Russian language and special schools with intensive English, French and German studies. There are very few private schools in Estonia – thus education up to university is generally free.

In Estonia the school obligation is applicable up to acquiring secondary education or until a person is 17 years old. Children who are seven years old by 1 October of the current year go to the first grade. If the parents wish so, children who are six years old by 30 April of the current year may be accepted to the first grade. Estonian as a second language is an obligatory subject in schools which teach in language other than Estonian from the first grade. Each child is ensured with a school placement in the service area, if places are available, a child can be placed in another school. To register in a school, it is necessary to submit a respective application, identity document of the child (if not available, the birth certificate) and if available, also the health chart. Specific requirements are set forth at the homepages of the schools.

The general education institutions also have pre-school classes where children are helped to adjust with the studies and get used to the school environment before going to the first grade.

Estonian schools: www.edu.ee  
Information regarding schools in Tallinn: www.tallinn.ee/koolid/g5983  
Information regarding schools in Tartu: www.tartu.ee/?lang_id=1&menu_id=8&page_id=63  

Estonia is also implementing language immersion as a national programme. Language immersion is a study form the aim of which is to improve a child’s Estonian language skills as a second language through its active use in kindergarten or schools without harming the child’s mother tongue skills. In the immersion classes and groups the volume of studies in Estonian exceeds 50% of the total volume of studies. The language immersion programmes are carried out in 24 kindergartens and in even more schools all over Estonia.

Read more about language immersion at the Integration Foundation webpage:
www.meis.ee/est/keelekymblus
 
Language Immersion Centre: www.kke.ee  


 

 

How to obtain health insurance? 

Pursuant to the Health Insurance Act a permanent resident of Estonia, persons living in Estonia on the basis of temporary residence permit or right or residence for who the social tax is paid or who pay the social tax for themselves (i.e. sole proprietors), furthermore persons who are equal to these persons on the basis of the Health Insurance Act or a respective agreement (i.e. pensioners of the Republic of Estonia) shall have the right to have health insurance. Health insurance is ensured for all young people under 19, irrespective of the fact if their parents are working or not.

Estonia has obligatory health insurance which is funded by the social tax, which in total is 33% of the gross salary of an employee, 20% of it is for pension and 13% for health insurance and it is paid by the employer. Furthermore, a person receiving unemployment benefit is also insured. Health insurance functions according to the principle of solidarity: the medical service does not depend on the amount of social tax paid for the person. The Health Insurance Fund pays the cost of the medical service to the medical institution for the insured person. In Estonia everyone has the right to receive emergency medical care regardless of the fact if they have health insurance or not.

Health insurance is also given to the persons who have been entered to the Commercial Register or registered at the Tax and Customs Board as sole proprietors and are paying social tax for themselves. The health insurance of a sole proprietor arises after a 14-day waiting period from the day of registering at the Tax and Customs Board or entry into the Commercial Register. If a sole proprietor employs people on the basis of employment contracts or contracts under the law of obligations for who he/she is obliged to pay social tax, the sole proprietor shall have the obligation to register and unregister his/her employees at the Health Insurance Fund.

Further information regarding different conditions of health insurance, including for pupils, students, pregnant women, recipients of parent benefit and dependent spouses can be found at the web page of the Health Insurance Fund: www.haigekassa.ee/kindlustatule/  


 

How to obtain family physician service for you and your family?

A family physician provides general medical assistance and is the first contact doctor for those who have registered themselves in his list. A family physician provides assistance directly himself or organises the medical care through other providers of health care services directing the patients to consultations of specialised doctors or hospital treatment.

A person who is at least 15 years of age can choose a preferred family physician by submitting the respective application to the family physician either personally or by registered mail. The lists and service areas of family physicians are available at the web page of the Health Insurance Fund. It is recommended to choose a doctor whose who is seeing patients as close to the residence of the patient as possible. The citizens of Tallinn can also use the help of the Social and Health Care Board for finding a family physician.

A person who does not have health insurance may also contact a family physician, however, in such case the person has to pay for the provided medical service. A patient is not required to pay for emergency assistance.
Further information: www.haigekassa.ee/kindlustatule/perearstid/


 

 

How to find a suitable job?

In Estonia job offers are made through bigger daily newspapers, labour market authorities as well as the respective internet portals.

The Labour Market Board (LMB) is a state authority working in the area of administration of the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Republic of Estonia the regional departments of which are located in every county and Tallinn, if necessary there are also branch offices or consultation points in smaller cities. The LMB organises social protection of the unemployed and provision of labour market services, processes and analyses the database of job seekers and provided labour market services. The daily activity of the LMB is to register unemployed persons and organise payment of labour market supports to them.

The aim of the LMB is to bring together employers and employees – collect information regarding vacancies, offer training and retraining as well as advice for obtaining a suitable job for the unemployed, furthermore to provide information to the employers in order to help them in finding the suitable work force. One of the most important functions of the LMB is to approve and submit temporary work permits of aliens to the CMB for decision-making.

Both Estonians who have stayed away from Estonia for a longer time as well as aliens can register themselves at the Labour Market Board as an unemployed person or job seeker. This is of course provided that they are in Estonia legally and they have a valid residence permit. An unemployed person is a person who is not working, is registered at the Labour Market Board and is looking for a job. An official of the Labour Market Board and the unemployed person compile an individual job-seeking plan that the unemployed person has to follow. The unemployed person must be ready to accept a suitable job and start work immediately. The unemployed person is provided with information regarding the labour market situation and labour market services and supports, employment intermediation is provided and labour market training, career counselling and other labour market-related services are offered. The unemployed person is also ensured with health insurance. A job seeker is a person who is looking for a job and is registered at the LMB as a job seeker. The Labour Market Board offers the job seekers employment mediation and informs him/her of the situation on the labour market as well as labour market services and supports.

In order to register oneself as an unemployed person or job seeker, a person needs to contact one of the fifteen regional departments of the Labour Market Board. The consultants of the Labour Market Board help to decide what is the most useful for the given person. 

In 2011 the minimum salary in Estonia is 278,02 eur a month, the average salary, however is ca 792 eur a month.

Useful portals for searching for work:
www.cv.ee  
www.cvkeskus.ee  
www.hyppelaud.ee  
www.amet.ee  
www.eas.ee  

More information can be found at the web page of the Labour Market Board: www.tta.ee,  
Web page of the Citizenship and Migration Board: www.mig.ee and
EURES Estonia webpage: www.eures.ee  

 

How to find a place to live?

One should look for a place to live on his own. For justified social reasons renting of a municipal or social apartment may be applied for from a local municipality.

Information regarding municipal apartments of Tallinn: http://www.tallinn.ee/g4082s37905  

Real estate portals:
www.city24.ee  
www.kv.ee  
http://ekspresskinnisvara.ee  
www.vesta.ee  
www.ikodu.ee  

 

 

Pension and other social benefits

Permanent residents of Estonia, aliens staying in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit or right of residence as well as persons receiving international protection from Estonia have the right for social welfare.

Old-age pension


An Estonian citizen who is working in another European Union member states shall receive sickness and childbirth compensations, invalidity, old-age or loss of provider pensions, work accidents or vocational illness compensations, funeral support, benefits paid to unemployed persons and family benefits (parent benefit, child allowance, child care allowance, allowance for large families, single parent’s child allowance etc) under the same conditions as the citizens of that country.

Having worked in different countries of the EU a person shall receive, after retiring, pension from each country he/she worked in according to the time worked. The length of service applicable for pension is received by summing-up the time worked in different countries. In addition to that Estonia has co-operation agreements for pension with Canada, Ukraine and Russia. The agreements concluded with Canada and Ukraine provide payment of pension under the same conditions as in the European Union Member States. The agreement concluded with the Russian Federation provides that Estonia pays pension also to the Russians living in Estonia and the Russian Federation pays pension to the Estonians living in its territory.

Aliens receive pension from Estonia in case if they have worked in Estonia during at least a year before retiring. In such case pension is given for the time worked in Estonia.

Estonian pensioners continue to receive pension from Estonia when they retire. On the basis of the respective co-operation agreements, the service length of the pre-pension age persons who have gone to live abroad may be recalculated.

In Estonia the length of service applicable for pension was considered for determining the pension until the year 1998, included, however from January 1999 the personalised part of the social tax is taken as a bases, i.e. the pension is calculated on the basis of the social tax paid from the salary of the employee. 

Pension for persons resettled from the former Soviet Union (excl. Ukraine and Russia)

 

At the moment most of the persons repatriated from the former Soviet Union (SU) receive only a national pension, because the Pension Board does not calculate the length of employment in the former SU countries in the pension payments in Estonia.

According to the decision of the Supreme Court of Estonia on March 18, 2009 (so-called Gontšarov case) Estonia has the obligation to take into account the length of employment in the former USSR until 1991 when assessing pensions pursuant to the pension agreement between Estonia and Russian Federation.

Judicial aid of old-age pension payments for pensioners from the former SU countries is offered by the Human Rights Information Center: Nunne st 2, Tallinn. Phone: +3726464263
 
Family benefits
 

National family benefits are paid to permanent residents of Estonia, aliens living in Estonia who have temporary residence permit and aliens staying in Estonia on the basis of temporary right of residence. The family benefits include among other things a single childbirth benefit, monthly child allowance, monthly child care allowance, monthly single parent’s child care allowance and school allowance. In order to apply for family benefits the Pension Board of the residence must be contacted.

Additional information: www.ensib.ee/frame_pensionid.html  

Parent benefits
 

The parent benefit covers the income not received due to raising a small child. A parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, guardian or curator who is a permanent resident of Estonia or an alien staying in Estonia on the basis of temporary residence permit or temporary right of residence has the right for the parent benefit. The amount of the benefit in a month is, as a rule 100 % of the average income per calendar month in preceding calendar year subject to social tax.

Social support for disabled persons


Supports are granted and paid to a permanent resident of Estonia or a person staying in Estonia on the basis of temporary residence permit or temporary right of residence in the case of moderate, severe or profound disability.

Further information:
Foreign relations department of the Social Insurance Board: Telephone: +372 6408137 or short number (calling from Estonia)142

Social Insurance Board: www.ensib.ee  

A very informative folder of the Social Insurance Board regarding going to work in another Member State of the European Union: www.ensib.ee/euro/euroopa_liit_ja_meie.pdf  

 

 

Customs

Just in case one should review what can be taken across the border (e.g. arms, medicine, chemicals etc). Furthermore, one should clarify if there are tax arrears, e.g. to the Tax and Customs Board.

If a person comes to permanently settle in Estonia from a third country and wants to bring along a bigger amount of personal items,

then the customs require proving living in a third country but also settling in the community by submitting relevant documents (e.g. residence permit, work permit, contract of lease, registration card of a third country, notice on application for the passport sent to the Citizenship and Migration Board etc.).

Personal items can be sent to the community up to six months before the actual resettlement. In such a case the person shall submit to the customs authority a written certificate regarding settlement during six months and a security to the extent of customs arrears that may arise. Generally the personal items of a person going to live in another country can be imported tax free during twelve months from the date when he/she settled in the community. During the mentioned date the personal items may arrive as several separate consignments.

Restrictions could apply to the import of certain objects such as plants, medicine, arms, food products etc (also live beings), including the requirement to submit certain documents upon import.

If a traveller has bought a motor vehicle from a third country and he takes the vehicle to Estonia himself, he shall declare the vehicle at a customs authority at the border. During five calendar days from accepting the customs declaration the taxes subject to payment upon allowing a vehicle to free circulation (customs duty and value added tax) shall be paid. The customs declaration approved by the customs official and the certificate on payment of taxes must be presented by the owner of the motor vehicle to an office of the Motor Vehicle Registration Centre where inspection is carried out on the vehicle and the vehicle is entered into the Estonian register. If a citizen of a non-European Union country sells his or her vehicle during his or her stay in Estonia, the buyer of the vehicle shall present a customs declaration to the customs authority of his or her location and pay the customs duty and value added tax during five calendar days in order to take the vehicle into use.

Tax exemption shall not be applicable for alcohol, tobacco and tobacco products, commercial vehicles (means of transport that in their nature are equipment for production or equipment of service trade) and items necessary for operating in a vocation or speciality, except portable equipment for industrial art and humanitarian sciences.

If a traveller has goods for the value exceeding 175 euros (including gifts) it must be declared separately.

Cash must be declared only if the traveller has it in an amount exceeding 10 000 euro.

In order to obtain a clear overview of the procedures and required documents it is necessary to contact the Tax and Customs Board.

Tax exemption for the personal items of a natural person settling permanently in Estonia from outside the EU: www.emta.ee/?id=23588  

If one comes from the European Union, then there are no restrictions on luggage (except alcohol, tobacco, motor fuel, medicines, arms etc).

Value added tax of 18% of the purchase price shall be paid in Estonia for a vehicle bought from an European Union Member State for using in Estonia (sold before passing of six months from the first taking into use or mileage less than 6000 km). During ten calendar days from delivery of the vehicle to Estonia the data of the motor vehicle to the nearest customs authority of residence and pay the value added tax by the day of registration of the vehicle. A used vehicle must be inspected at an office of the Motor Vehicle Registration Centre and the vehicle must be entered into the register in Estonia.

If one is leaving Estonia permanently and wishes to bring more personal items, then the customs policy of the country of destination should be investigated more closely.

Byelorussia – Upon border crossing a fee has to be paid for the vehicle according to the date of make and capacity of the engine. Cash must be declared only if there are more than 10, 000 dollars. The Byelorussian customs requires also a fee for home appliances, furthermore, they also regulate importing any kind of electronic appliances (except mobile phones).

www.customs.gov.by  

Russia – Cash must be declared? Means of transport for personal use is not taxed unless it is a new vehicle the engine capacity of which exceeds 1800 cm3. There is a special authority for registering means of transport that operates on the basis of border activities. The Border Guard Administration issues the UVTS certificates for vehicles.

www.russian-customs.org/ftravelers/ietv/index.html  

Ukraine – It is not required to declare cash under 1000 dollars.

In most countries there are separate restrictions for alcohol, tobacco, arms, live beings etc.

 

Contacts of transport companies:

Navaka Transport Grupp
Address: Paavli 6A, 10412 Tallinn
Telephone: +372 6264 020       
Fax: +372 6264 021
www.navaka.ee  
E-mail: navaka@navaka.ee  

CF&S Agentide AS
Address: Ahtri 12, 10151 Tallinn
Telephone: +372 6664400       
www.cfs.ee  
E-mail: cfs@cfs.ee  

AVA-Ekspress OÜ
Address: Peterburi tee 46, 11415 Tallinn
Telephones: +372 6139737, +372 6139760       
Fax: 6139729
E-mail: ava@ava.ee  

OÜ Veoste Ekspedeerimise Agentuur – does not provide services to Russia
Address: Akadeemia tee 33, 12618 Tallinn
Telephones: +372 6720441       
Fax: +372 6720440
www.vea.ee  
E-mail: tallinn@vea.ee  

OÜ Tran Siva
Address: Mäe tn. 22, 86304 Kilingi-Nõmme