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Working in Estonia


IF YOU WANT TO WORK IN ESTONIA
(information for non-EU nationals)
1. In order to be officially employed in Estonia, you need to find an employer on your own or via a recruitment agency in your home country. The registration of an Estonian company can be verified here: https://ariregister.rik.ee, https://www.inforegister.ee.

2. When using the services of a recruitment agency or a mediator, remember:
  • it is essential to sign a written contract for the provision of employment services with the recruitment agency and keep one signed copy of the agreement for yourself;
  • the recruitment agency is not your future employer in Estonia;
  • the terms of your employment will be determined by an employment contract with an Estonian employer (e.g. salary and wages, working hours, etc.).
3. Sign a detailed contract (employment contract (tööleping), contract for services (töövõtuleping), etc.) with your potential employer before coming to Estonia and make sure it is written in a language you can understand (service and employment contracts in Estonia can be also concluded in foreign languages). Keep one signed copy of the agreement for yourself for the whole period of working in Estonia!

4. Verify the name of your official employer in the employment contract. Sometimes foreign workers are employed as posted/leased workers. In this case, you will be employed by the company in your home country, which will be also responsible for the payment of your salary.

5. Apply for the documents that provide you with the right to live and work in Estonia. You can get detailed migration advice via phone +372 612 3500 (Mon-Fri 9.00-15.00, migrationadvice@politsei.ee).
  • Estonian working visa (type D): You must personally submit an application for a working visa (type D) to the Estonian embassy (www.vm.ee/en/estonian-representations-which-are-handling-visa-applications). Before applying for the visa, the employer must register your short-term employment at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (Politsei- ja Piirivalveamet, www.politsei.ee). The working D-visa is issued with the period of stay up to 270 days and you must leave Estonia before the expiry of the visa. If your employment ends before the expiry of the working visa, you and your employer must report it to the Police and Border Guard Board.
  • working visa (type D) issued by another EU/Schengen State (e.g. Poland)or staying on a visa-free basis: In order to receive the right to work in Estonia, your short-term employment must be registered at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board before you begin working. The application to the Police and Border Guard Board can be only submitted by your potential employer. The decision about the registration is delivered within 10 working days. Unregistered employment is considered illegal employment. You can check the validity of your short-term employment registration here: www.politsei.ee/et/teenused/e-paringud/luhiajalise-eestis-tootamise-registreerimise-kontroll.dot (indicate your date of birth [Sünniaeg], name [Eesnimi] and surname [Perekonnanimi]). The total period of stay and work in Estonia should not exceed 90 days within 180 days.
  • residence permit for working in Estonia: You must personally submit an application for a residence permit for employment (elamisluba töötamiseks) to the Estonian embassy. Make sure to provide all necessary documents to support your application (invitation from the potential employer registered at the Police and Border Guard Board etc.). Upon the expiry of the residence permit for employment, you have temporary right to stay in Estonia during the following 90 days if the right to stay was formalised as a long-term visa at the Police and Border Guard Board (Politsei- ja Piirivalveamet, www.politsei.ee).

 

IF YOU CAME TO WORK IN ESTONIA
(information for non-EU nationals)
1. Before you begin working, verify the name of your official employer. The information should be indicated in your employment contract.

2. The name of the company and its registration number should match the data in the Estonian Commercial Register (äriregister, https://ariregister.rik.ee). Definitely, check this data.

3. If you did not sign a contract with the employer before coming to Estonia (employment contract [tööleping], contract for services [töövõtuleping], etc.), be sure to sign it before you begin working. If you are going to be employed in Estonia as a posted/leased worker, then you should conclude an employment contract with an employer in your home country.

4. We recommend concluding contracts only in writing. Keep one signed copy of the agreement for yourself for the whole period of working in Estonia!

5. If you arrived in Estonia on a visa-free basis or as a posted/leased worker, your short-term employment must be registered at the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board before you begin working. The application to the Police and Border Guard Board can be only submitted by your potential employer. The decision about the registration is delivered within 10 working days. Unregistered employment is considered an illegal employment! You can check the validity of your short-term employment registration here: www.politsei.ee/et/teenused/e-paringud/luhiajalise-eestis-tootamise-registreerimise-kontroll.dot (indicate your date of birth [Sünniaeg], name [Eesnimi] and surname [Perekonnanimi]). You can get detailed migration advice via phone +372 612 3500 (Mon-Fri 9.00-15.00, migrationadvice@politsei.ee).

6. If you are working in Estonia on the grounds of working visa D or registration of short-term employment, you must personally apply for an Estonian identification code (isikukood) within 5 days after starting your work. The application can be submitted to the closest local government office (maavalitsus, www.maavalitsus.ee).

7. If you are working in Estonia on grounds of a residence permit for employment (elamisluba töötamiseks):
  • Register your place of residence at your local government office (maavalitsus, www.maavalitsus.ee) in order to obtain the right to Estonian health insurance. During the registration process, you need to submit a written permission of the property owner or a copy of rental agreement to confirm your right to occupy the property.
  • The health insurance, offered by the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (Eesti Haigekassa, www.haigekassa.ee), will automatically take effect within two weeks after you start working if your employer registered you in the employment register with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.
  • You can also participate in the Welcoming Program for foreign citizens coming to Estonia. The Police and Border Guard Board will notify you about the possibility to participate in an orientation program and basic language training (www.settleinestonia.ee).


IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM AT WORK IN ESTONIA
You can become a victim of human trafficking if you during the recruitment you were deceived about:
  • the employer, location and nature of the job;
  • content or legality of work contract;
  • obtaining legal migration status or legal documentation;
  • housing and living conditions;
  • wages/earnings.
And while working you were exposed to labour exploitation that includes:
  • hazardous work and very bad working conditions, that was not indicated in the contract;
  • excessive working days or hours;
  • bad living conditions;
  • confiscation of documents and withholding of money;
  • wage manipulation (low or no salary);
  • no respect of labour laws or contract signed;
  • no social protection (contract, social insurance, etc.);
  • isolation, confinement or surveillance;
  • abuse of your illegal status and threat of denunciation to authorities;
  • etc.
REMEMBER:
  • The salary in the job announcement can be different from the sum determined by the employment contract. The announcement is an advertisement, but not an employment contract.
  • Concluding a contract for services with the recruitment agency does not guarantee your employment. The hiring decision is made by an employer and not by a mediator.
  • In Estonia, employment services are free of charge for job seekers. Mediators and recruitment agencies that demand money for their services are violating the law and misleading job seekers.
  • The employer is not obligated to provide you with free accommodation in Estonia. If you are promised an accommodation, make sure that the terms of rent payment and living conditions are defined by a written agreement (employment contract or rental agreement).
  • Information received from friends and social media is not always correct.
  • Websites with job announcements do not guarantee legal employment or the existence of the concrete employer and/or recruitment agency. It is impossible to check the existence of a company on the basis of a telephone number, a website or an email address.