Visa and Residence
All international students must submit an application for a visa, a temporary residence permit, or register their address in Estonia.
The students, who enter Estonia using their visa-free access right, must ensure that the period of stay in Estonia is sufficient to obtain a D (long-stay) visa or TRP for studies.
Migration advisers will help you understand the legal particularities related to TRP, visa, and migration-related issues in general.
NB! Government introduced restrictions concerning students who are Russian and Belarus citizens
An amendment to the regulation of the Government of the Republic is currently in effect, which restricts Russian and Belarusian citizens from applying for a temporary residence permit or visa to study in Estonia.
According to the regulation, the Police and Border Guard Board will no longer issue study visas or temporary residence permits to citizens of the Belarus and Russian Federation. The regulation applies to all citizens of Russia and Belarus studying for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral studies, including those who have completed bachelor’s or master’s studies in Estonia and wish to continue their studies here.
All degree students from outside of the European Union should apply for a long-stay D-visa in order to enter Estonia for studies. D-visa permits you to travel to Estonia and remain here long enough to be granted a resident permit. D-visas can be issued for up to 365 days.
In order to obtain a D-visa, you need go to the closest Estonian Embassy in your country or abroad. You can pre-fill the D-visa application form online here.
Regardless of whether you hold a D-visa, you must begin the application process for a residence permit (TRP) as soon as you arrive in Estonia.
See the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information and a list of required documents.
Temporary residence permit for study (TRP)
Applying for TRP
All students from outside of the European Union must apply for a temporary residence permit immediately after arriving in Estonia at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) office.
TRP is only for degree students studying full time and it is granted for the entire nominal study period (3 years for bachelor students, 2 years for master’s students, etc.). The application process takes place in Estonia. You must reserve a time at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board office. Reservations can be done by phone at +372 612 3000 or through the PBGB webpage. https://broneering.politsei.ee/
Appointments can be booked up to three months in advance.
Students holding TRP for study can be employed in Estonia without a separate employment permit, provided that the employment will not interfere with their studies.
Information and list of required documents are also available on the Police and Border Guard Board website.
There are also guidelines for accurate submission of a TRP application, please see here.
After receiving TPR and registering a place of residence
After you have received your TRP, all students must register themselves as citizens of Tallinn. https://www.tallinn.ee/en/services/changing-residence-address-population-register
The residence card issued for studies is not valid as a travel document, but you need to have it along with your passport while travelling outside Estonia. You can use your TRP to digitally sign documents and access a broad range of e-services (banking, bill payment, etc.) using a card reader, which can be purchased at most electronics stores.
Legal requirements for keeping TRP
Students must fulfill their curriculum at full time. Studing in full-time means completing at least 75% of the study load (45 ECTS) by the end of each academic year. In case the student fails to follow a full-time curriculum or takes academic leave, the TRP will be canceled.
If an international students takes an academic leave, the university is required to notify the Police and Border Guard Board and the TRP is withdrawn. After the end of the academic leave, the person may again apply for TRP.
Extension of TPR
Extension of residence permit beyond the nominal time is only possible in case of exceptional study-related circumstances. The students need to provide additional explanation why the TRP extension is needed.
The requirements for extending TRP for studies can be found on the PBGB website. https://www.politsei.ee/en/instructions/residence-permit-for-study-for-a-foreigner/extending-the-residence-permit
Expiry of TPR
When your TRP expires or you graduate, you have the right to stay in Estonia for an additional 270 days to finish your studies and make further arrangements. This is not applicable if the TRP is canceled.
Should you not be able to graduate within the additional 9 months, you are instructed to apply for a new D-Visa as a current student.
NB! To be able to travel during the extension period, apply for a special sticker (similar to multiple entry visa) to indicate the existence of the extension period.
Estonian ID Card (for EU citizen)
EU students who come to Estonia for more than 3 months must register their place of residence in Estonia within a period of one month from your arrival.
More information is found HERE.
Once you have registered yourself as a citizen of Tallinn, you receive the Estonian ID code (isikukood). Please remember to send this number to email@example.com
After registering the place of stay, the next step is to apply for an ID card at an Estonian Police and Border Guard service point.
You must reserve a time at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board office. Reservations can be done by phone at +372 612 3000 or through the PBGB webpage. https://broneering.politsei.ee/
More information and list of required documents are found here