Obtaining Residence Permit in Estonia

Estonian residence permit
Estonian residence permit

I knew how digitally-oriented Estonia is and I was told that the process of obtaining temporary residence permit as an EU citizen will be easy, but I was still impressed with the fact that it was not only easy to obtain all the necessary documents, but incredibly fast, as well.

All I had to do, to get my residence permit, can actually be summarised in 2 simple steps:

First, I had to go to the local government authority, nearest to my place of residence (district administration) with my valid travel document and apply for the Estonian personal identification number (in Estonian: isikukood). I filled in a form to register my address in Estonia and that was pretty much it.

Second, I had to go to the Police and Border Guard, to apply for the actual Estonian identity card. Here, I recommend that you make an appointment; otherwise, you will have to wait in line (like I did) and trust me, it’s not a short one. Anyways, all I had to do was take a picture in one of the photo booths and fill in another form.

Only two days after the visit to the Police and Border Guard, I received an email invitation to pick up my card. Initially, I was slightly confused, because the email was in Estonian and I thought Google Translate was playing games with me. I couldn’t believe that the entire procedure was for obtaining the residence permit so fast, but it turned out that the translation was correct and that’s exactly what the email said. My ID card was ready!

In addition, when I received my ID card, I was also given a paper with more information about events tailored to internationals who recently arrived in Estonia. I am very much looking forward to some of the events on topics such as culture and society, traditions, lifestyle, work, entrepreneurship, and many others. Lastly, I can’t wait to register for the language classes. I plan to learn Estonian, even though most of the locals speak English very well and they all warned me regarding how difficult this language is. We shall see!

If you want to learn more about the procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Estonia, visit the official portal.

Are you an expat in Estonia? What was your experience with obtaining your residence permit?

Image source: www.raulwalter.com

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  1. Hi,
    I have applied for Estonian Resident permit from Netherlands.
    Could you suggest how much time it may take (optimistically) to get it processed.
    I am not and EU Citizen.


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