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Short-term employment of foreign nationals in Estonia

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Pursuant to the Aliens Act, a foreign national legally staying in Estonia is allowed to work here for up to 12 months within the period of 15 months, or 9 months within the period of 12 months in the case of seasonal work. This presupposes that the employer wishes to recruit the foreign national and registers his or her short-term employment with the Police and Border Guard Board.

Last updated: 19.09.2020 15:40

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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 case your short-term employment as a foreign national has been registered or you have been issued a residence permit for employment for which the salary criterion applies, there is no legal basis for your employer to pay you less than the criterion sets out.

If you are still working full time, the employer shall be obliged to pay you the remuneration in accordance with the law. If the employer does not do so, they will break the law and you have the right to file a complaint to the Police and Border Guard Board by e-mail (to ppa@politsei.ee).

For more information, please see the Aliens Act: https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/521072020002/consolide

Last updated: 14.09.2020 09:47

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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: 14.09.2020 09:52

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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.

Last updated: 14.09.2020 09:44

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

Last updated: 28.08.2020 11:22

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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.

Last updated: 14.09.2020 09:48

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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: 14.09.2020 09:45

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This can be done if:

  1. The foreign national is staying in Estonia legally,
  2. His or her maximum duration of short-term employment has not been reached, and
  3. His or her employer wishes to do so.

Short-term employment is permitted for up to 365 days within 455 consecutive days and, in the case of seasonal work, 270 days within 365 consecutive days.

Last updated: 19.09.2020 15:40

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No. You shall be given reasonable time to find a new job and update your documentation.

Last updated: 19.09.2020 15:41

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