Estonia Residence Permit Appointment Booking Opens

Effective November 27, 2023, applicants can book appointments for submitting applications in December for Etonian residence permits on the basis of the 2024 immigration quota.

The recently-announced 2024 quota is 1303 permits, in the following categories:

  • 200 temporary residence permits for employment in the transport and storage sector;
  • 35 temporary residence permits for employment as a journalist accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
  • 34 temporary residence permits for professional activities as an athlete, coach, sports referee or sports professional at the invitation of the relevant sports federation;
  • 15 temporary residence permits for employment in a performing arts institution as a creative employee within the meaning of the Performing Arts Institutions Act;
  • 5 temporary residence permits on the basis of a treaty;
  • 1,014 temporary residence permits freely distributed.

Some foreign workers are excluded from the quota, including those working in information and communications technology and start-up workers, those in short-term employment or in a growth company, those employed as lecturers, or highly-paid specialists, and family or student migrants. Citizens of the European Union and their family members, citizens of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, and applicants for international protection are also not included in the quota.

Application Process
  • To submit an application for a residence permit at the Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB), an appointment should be booked on the PBGB’s website.
  • Applicants can also apply for a permit at the nearest Estonian embassy, but the PBGB asks applicants to contact the embassy in advance.
  • If an applicant for an extension of a residence permit has provided a fingerprint image to the PBGB in the last six years, they may also apply by e-mail or mail.
Important information for employers and foreigners arriving for work:
  • The submission of an application for a first residence permit does not give the applicant a legal basis for stay in the country. If the applicant’s visa or other basis for stay expires before a decision has been made on the application for a residence permit, they must leave Estonia and wait for the decision in their home country. In this case, it may also be necessary to inform the PBGB and amend the place of receipt of the residence card on the application if Estonia was initially indicated as the place of receipt of the document.
  • Russian and Belarusian citizens are still subject to sanctions and will not be issued residence permits for employment or business.
  • A booking is mandatory for a foreign national when submitting an application for a residence permit – the booking is not intended for the employer and cannot be used by the employer for another employee.
  • A booking is only intended for the person in whose name it was registered. An application will not be accepted based on a booking registered in the name of another person.
  • Applicants will not be able to change their booking later. If they cannot arrive at the scheduled appointment, they will have to cancel the appointment and make a new booking.
  • Cancelled bookings will be re-opened in the calendar for everyone to book after a while.