Avalehe pilt
Working in Estonia

Aliens, who are residing in Estonia on the basis of residence permit, are, in general, permitted to work in Estonia. Starting from 01.09.2013 separate work permits shall not be issued in Estonia any more.

An alien who has been issued a temporary right of residence on the basis of legal income or in case of substantial national interest, has no right to be employed in Estonia.

An alien, who is staying in Estonia without legal basis, including those have been prescribed by administrative act or judicial decision the obligation to leave Estonia, is prohibited to work in Estonia.

Aliens who are staying temporarily in Estonia (for example, on the basis of a visa or visa-free) are permitted to work in Estonia if:

  • the right to work follows directly from a law or a treaty or
  • their short-term employment has been previously registered by the employer in the Police and Border Guard Board. Here you can find details on the registration of short-term employment

The right to work of an alien who is staying temporarily in Estonia follows directly from the Aliens Act and short-term employment does not have to be registered with the Police and Border Guard Board on the following cases:

  • an alien who performs directing or supervisory functions of a legal person or a branch of a foreign company registered in Estonia throughout the duration of his or her temporary right to stay;
  • an alien who owns a visa or a residence permit issued by a competent agency of a member state of the Schengen Convention and who has the right to work in that member state if:
    • the alien’s employment in Estonia is related to the establishment of an undertaking in Estonia;
    • the alien has a legal basis for staying in Estonia;
  • a journalist accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who has a legal basis for staying in Estonia and whose working time does not exceed 270 days during 365 consecutive days;
  • an alien whose work is of a temporary nature and whose working time does not exceed five days within the period of 30 days;
  • an alien who has the right to stay in Estonia arising from the expiry of the period of validity of the temporary residence permit.


A citizen of a member state of the European Union or European Economic Area or Swiss Confederation (hereinafter an EU citizen) may reside and work in Estonia without registration of his/her right of temporary residence for a term of up to 3 months.

An alien family member of an EU citizen is entitled to work in Estonia only in case if the right of temporary/permanent residence has been granted to him or her.