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Short-term employment of foreign nationals in Estonia

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Short-term employment in Estonia is permitted for: a) 365 days (9 months during a 12-month period), or b) 270 days (12 months during a 15-month period).

Foreign labour currently residing in Estonia whose short-term employment period (9 months during a 12-month period or 12 months during a 15-month period) has been exhausted or is about to be exhausted, may continue working in Estonia under the following conditions (all four conditions must be met):

  1. Foreign national is currently staying in Estonia legally and has arrived here before 17.03.20;

  2. The foreign national has exhausted the maximum permitted employment period (365 or 270 days depending on the type of work) or this period ends before 31.07.2020;

  3. The foreign national´s short-term employment is registered with the Police and Border Guard Board;

  4. The employer's main activity is agriculture (plant and livestock farming, hunting and provision of services to these activities).

Foreign nationals who are legally staying in Estonia with right to stay and work under general conditions later than 31 July 2020, or who have a valid residence permit are allowed to continue working in Estonia also after that date.

NB! Those foreign nationals employed under short-term employment rules, whose employment period has been exhausted or is about to be exhausted, and who are not employed in the sector of agriculture, and are not applying for the permit of short-term employment in agriculture, cannot continue working in Estonia. In this case, the foreign national must leave Estonia as soon as possible.

Currently, third-country nationals who not in Estonia and wish to work in Estonia cannot come to Estonia yet. If it is possible to remove the restrictions for cross-border movement, then the former procedure will be restored, according to which foreign nationals who can stay in Estonia with a visa or under a visa-free regime, have the opportunity to register their short-term employment in Estonia and their employer can use foreign labour up to 12 months during a 15 month period

Additional information from the Aliens´ Act: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/akt/119032019083?leiaKehtiv.

Last updated: 20.05.2020 18:08

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The Police and Border Guard Board re-started registration for short-term employment. Prerequisite for the registration is the legal presence of the foreigner in Estonia, their maximum allowed short-term work period is not yet over, and the employer of the short-term employee is in support of the application. The maximum allowed short-term employment period is 365 days for the period of 455 consecutive days and 270 days for seasonal work for the period of 365 consecutive days. Short-term employment can be registered by the employer at the Police and Border Guard self-service: www.politsei.ee/en.

Last updated: 02.05.2020 00:24

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Foreign nationals who no longer have employment in Estonia, we recommend returning to their home country as soon as possible. Return is recommended border crossings and transport permitting.

As of June 1, it is possible for unemployed foreigners who have had short-term employment in Estonia, to use the job placement services of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund, if they have the right to continue with short-term employment in Estonia if employment has been found for them. Previously, the employee had to be still employed by their previous employer in order to receive the services of the Unemployment Insurance Fund job placement services.

Last updated: 30.06.2020 08:53

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In the case of a foreigner whose short-term employment is registered or who has a work-based residence permit, for which the salary criterion applies, then currently the Alien´s Act does not provide a legal basis for reducing the payment. If the work is carried out on a full-time basis, the employer shall be obliged to pay the remuneration corresponding to the conditions laid down in the Alien´s Act, otherwise the employer will infringe the remuneration requirement laid down in the Act. In such a situation, the employee can submit a complaint to the Police and Border Guard Board in writing ppa@politsei.ee.

Last updated: 31.03.2020 00:09

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These foreign nationals who are legally staying in Estonia, whose short-term employment period is exhausted or about to be exhausted, may work in Estonia until 31 July 2020 if their employer in the sector of agriculture wishes to employ them.

The employer must register the employment of the foreign national with the Police and Border Guard Board according to the usual procedure.

After 31 July, the foreign worker has until August 31 to organise their departure from Estonia.

Foreign nationals who are legally staying in Estonia with right of stay and work under general conditions later than 31 July 2020 or have a valid residence permit are allowed to work in Estonia after that date.

Those foreign nationals who work under the rules of short-term employment, whose permitted employment period is exhausted or about to be exhausted, and who are not employed in the agricultural sector, cannot continue working in Estonia. In this case, the foreign national must leave Estonia as soon as possible.

Last updated: 20.05.2020 09:44

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Under the Aliens Act, a foreign national can be fined for violating the conditions of employment in Estonia for an amount up to 300 units, i.e. EUR 1200, or can be arrested. The employer's failure to comply with the conditions of employment of a foreign national in Estonia shall be penalised by a fine of up to EUR 32,000.

Last updated: 31.03.2020 00:01

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Foreign nationals outside Estonia

Currently third-country nationals who not in Estonia and wish to work in Estonia cannot come to Estonia yet.

If it is possible to remove the restrictions for cross-border movement, then the former procedure will be restored, according to which foreign nationals who can stay in Estonia with a visa or under a visa-free regime, have the opportunity to register their short-term employment in Estonia and their employer can use foreign labour up to 12 months during a 15 month period.

Foreign nationals residing in Estonia

Foreign nationals who are already legally staying in Estonia may work here under the same conditions as before the emergency situation.

If they have not used up the maximum short-term employment period they may continue working in Estonia if their employer, who registers their short-term employment at the Police and Border Guard Board, wants to continue with the employment relationship. When registering a new short-term employment period, the employer must make sure that the foreign national has a sufficient number of days of legal stay left (to provide a legal basis) for the foreign national to work during that period.

As before the emergency situation, the employer cannot extend the employment of the foreign national if the maximum employment period has been exhausted.

Agricultural sector forms an exception. The short-term employment permit for foreign nationals who are working in the sector or who will start working in the agricultural sector may be extended until July 31, 2020. The employer's economic activity must be

  • plant and animal husbandry,
  • hunting or
  • providing services to these sectors (EMTAK a 01).

Under the Aliens Act, a foreign national legally staying in Estonia may work here:

  • up to 12 months over a 15-month period,
  • in the case of seasonal work up to 9 months over a 12- month period.

The precondition is that the employer is willing to employ the foreign national and will register their short-term employment at the Police and Border Guard Board.

Opportunities for finding workforce

The Estonian Unemployment Fund is ready to facilitate connecting the job seekers and employers in Estonia: job offers can be published at web-portal: www.tootukassa.ee , and for finding temporary employment we advise to use the virtual employment fair: toomess.ee/ajutinetookoht (https://www.onlineexpo.com/ee/ajutised-tookohad/).

For advice and assistance, you can contact an employment consultant of your county. Their contacts are available at the website of the Estonian Unemployment Fund.

Last updated: 20.05.2020 18:09

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First you should contact the Estonian Unemployment Fund Eesti Töötukassa, and find the temporary jobs site OnlineExpo.

Depending on your specific requirement, you may also consider other platforms, including

Last updated: 30.04.2020 15:49

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A foreign national legally residing in Estonia may work here under the same conditions as before the emergency situation. If they have not used up their maximum short-term employment period, they may continue working in Estonia if their employer would like to continue with the employment, the employer will register the foreign national for short-term employment with the Police and Border Guard Board. If the visa of the foreign national is expiring, a new visa application must also be submitted.

The exception is short-term work in the agricultural sector.

Last updated: 07.05.2020 14:14

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The employer, whose economic activity is in the sector of plant and animal husbandry, hunting or providing services to these sectors, can submit a request for registration of short-term employment to the Police and Border Guard Board self-service website: https://etaotlus.poliitsei.ee/ltr/. The state fee must also be paid.

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:01

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The short-term employment permit of foreign nationals who area already in Estonia and are starting work in the agricultural sector or are already working in the agricultural sector, can be extended until July 31, 2020.

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:02

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No, you cannot. The exception only applies to the agricultural sector.

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:03

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Yes, it is possible.

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:03

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No, it is not possible. As before the emergency situation, the employer cannot extend the employment of a foreign national when the maximum employment period is over. The exception is the agricultural sector.

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:04

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The Police and Border Guard Board started registration for short-term employment again. The prerequisite for this is the legal stay in Estonia of the foreign national, they have not exceeded their maximum allowed short-term employment period, and their employer wishes to employ them. The maximum permitted short-term employment period is 365 days during 455 consecutive days and 270 during 365 consecutive days for seasonal work.

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:05

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According to the Aliens Act, a foreign national legally staying in Estonia may work here for up to 12 months during the period of 15 months, in the case of seasonal work for 9 months during a period of 12 months. The prerequisite is that the employer wishes to employ a foreign national and registers their short-term employment with the Police and Border Guard Board.

Last updated: 07.05.2020 21:56

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Applications can be submitted with the Police and Border Guard Board on the Internet: https://etaotlus.poliitsei.ee/ltr/

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:06

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After the end of the emergency situation you have 10 days to leave the country or to re-legalise your stay here with sufficient grounds, i.e. to submit a visa application.

Last updated: 11.05.2020 09:06

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More information about the coronavirus and restrictions related to it is available calling 1247 (from abroad +372 600 1247).