Student Visas in Estonia
There is no such thing as a student visa in Estonia. Acquiring the right to study in Estonia is done through an entirely different process, with separate and specific requirements for EU citizens and for those outside of the EU.
As student visas are not issued in Estonia, citizens from the EU will have to acquire a right of temporary residence instead should they wish to stay in the country for more than three months.
- To do this, these individuals must register their place of residence with the Local Government of whichever location they are currently staying in.
- The application must be made within the three-month period.
- The right of temporary residence is valid for a five-year period, and is automatically extended for another five years, provided that said place of residence is still located within Estonia.
Within a month after acquiring the right of residence, the student must register for an Estonian ID as this serves a certification for the student’s right of residence.
Citizens from countries outside the EU will need to check if a visa is needed for them to enter Estonia as some none-EU nations have a visa-free agreement with the country.
If a visa is needed, the student can apply for either a short-term stay (type C – less than 90 days) or long-stay visa (type D – 3 to 12 months) to be allowed entry into the Schengen area.
Should the duration of study exceed more than 12 months, an Estonian temporary residence permit (TRP) is also needed to pursue a study in Estonia.
- It is advisable to apply for the TRP prior to the student’s arrival to Estonia, as the process will take up to two months or even longer, depending on the season.
- The application for the visa and the TRP can be submitted at the same time.
- The temporary residence permit (TRP) for study is issued for the entire period of study (3 years for Bachelor’s; 2 years for Master’s)
- Extension of the TRP should be applied 2 months prior to its expiry.
Within a month of arrival in the country (if they already have a permit) or after the acquisition of their residence permit, Non-EU students are required to register their place of residence at the local government registers office.
Requirements for Temporary Residence Permit
- A printed and filled out application form for TRP
- Sufficient funding or income
- A valid health insurance contract
- Enrollment/Invitation letter from the chosen academic institution
- Data concerning close relatives and family members
- Receipt of payment of the state fee
- Documents proving your identity
- A 40x50 mm colored photo
While the entire process may seem intimidating, Estonian academic institutions which offer international programmes are well-experienced in assisting foreign applicants, so requesting for their help is highly recommended.
Working while Studying
Taking up a job as a student does not require an additional permit. If one can study in Estonia, then it automatically ensures the right to work - even full time - provided that the job does not interfere with one’s academic performance.
Should they be interested in finding a job in Estonia, non-EU students can stay for an additional 6 months after their graduation to give them time to do so.
Learn more about education in Estonia: