Citizens from a number of countries do not need a visa to enter Estonia for stays of no more than 3 months in a 6-month period. If you plan to work in Estonia for 3 to 6 months, you still need to apply for a long-term visa. For a longer stay than 6 months, you must apply for a residence permit for employment (see section below: Long term stay ˂ 6 months – Non-EU).
Check if you need a visa to enter Estonia.Visa applications should be submitted to the Estonian representations abroad or other states representing Estonia. Residence permits or residence permits for employment should be submitted only to the Estonian representations abroad. Exceptions are made for citizens of Japan and USA – research and teaching staff can enter Estonia on the basis of visa and apply then for a residence permit in Estonia.
The applications for residence permits for family members can be submitted all at the same time.
Check if you need a visa to enter Estonia!
If you don’t need a visa, you are allowed to work in Estonia up to 6 months within the period of 12 months. For longer stay you would have to either apply for the long-stay D-visa (up to 6 months stay) or residence permit for employment (longer than 6 months).
If you come to Estonia through another country, do not forget to check whether a transit visa is required.Apply for a short term visa (if needed) if you plan to stay/work in Estonia up to 3 months. Application form for a short term visa can be pre-filled online. You would have to submit your visa application to the Estonian representations abroad or other Member States representing Estonia in issuing Schengen visas in person.Apply for a long-stay D-visa (if needed) if you plan to stay/work for 3 to 6 months. A long-stay visa may be issued for single or multiple entries into Estonia with a period of stay up to 6 months and with a period of validity up to 12 months. A long-stay visa should be applied in person only at the Estonian representations abroad 15 calendar days before the intended visit.Visa Invitation
If necessary, get the visa invitation/confirmation letter from the hosting Faculty or College at the University of Tartu. It will have to be formalized on the letterhead of the structural unit, in Estonian. The original version of the invitation, with the signature of the head of the structural unit, has to be submitted with other required documents to the nearest Estonian representation.
If you plan to stay/work in Estonia for more than 6 months, you would need to go through the following steps:
1. Apply for the residence permit for employment
If you plan to stay/work in Estonia for more than 6 months, you would need to apply for a residence permit for employment, which is valid for up to two years and can be extended for up to five years at a time. The process of obtaining a residence permit for employment may take up to 2 months. You can apply in the Estonian representations abroad. Research and teaching staff can apply for the residence permit also in Estonia.Quick entry!
If you do not need a visa, you can apply for the residence permit after the arrival to Estonia at the Citizenship and Migration Bureau. If you need a visa for entry, apply for a short term visa!Family members
Spouses can apply for a temporary residence permit for settling with the spouse to whom a residence permit for employment has been granted. For your children you should apply for a residence permit for settling with a close relative who resides in Estonia. The applications for residence permits for family members can be submitted all together. If a residence permit has been issued for settling with a spouse, it is not necessary to apply for a separate work permit.
2. Get the Residence Permit Card
Residence permit card is issued in Service Offices of the Migration and Citizenship Bureau or as an exception in foreign representations of the Republic of Estonia.
Residence Permit Card is a mandatory identity document of an alien who is residing permanently in Estonia on the basis of a valid residence permit or right of residence. In addition to regular identification of a person, a residence card can also be used for establishing one’s person in electronic environment and for giving one’s digital signature.
3. Register your place of residence
For registration you will need an identity document (e.g. a passport) and a signed tenancy contract. You would have to register within a month from the notification of the residence permit being granted. Family members can present a joint notice of place of residence. Digitally signed documents can be sent and registration made via e-mail at the Local Government Population Register Office.
Population Register Office in Tartu
Tartu City centre, Küüni 5
Phone: +372 736 1143rt [ät] raad.tartu.ee
Mon 9-12, 15-18; Tue 9-16; Wed-Fri 9-12, 14-16.
For residing in other UT campus towns, check the local government webpages: Viljandi, Pärnu, Narva.