New in Estonia Handbook
WORK IN ESTONIA
BANKING & INSURANCE
What to know before applying for a D-visa
Overview of Estonia
ESTONIA Cultural traditions Manners and etiquette Service culture
14 16 17 18
LANGUAGE Language learning opportunities
Main branches of the Estonian economy Jobs in high demand Types of employment +RZ WR ȴQG D MRE 7LSV RQ DSSO\LQJ IRU D MRE (PSOR\PHQW FRQWUDFWV
26 28 29
WORKING IN ESTONIA 7D[HV 6DODULHV Working culture (PSOR\HH ULJKWV
SOCIAL BENEFITS Services for newcomers :KHUH WR ȴQG KHOS LQ FDVH RI SUREOHPV ZLWK \RXU HPSOR\HU :KDW WR GR LI \RX ORVH \RXU MRE
ENTREPRENEURSHIP 5HORFDWLQJ \RXU VWDUW XS WR (VWRQLD
ACCOMMODATION +RZ WR ȴQG LW
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BANKING & INSURANCE Insurance
HEALTHCARE 0HGLFDO H[SHQVHV If you need medical services
EMERGENCY 68 Overview of institutions and services that manage threats in (VWRQLD DRIVING Vehicle Regulations for foreign driving licences in Estonia %X\LQJ D YHKLFOH LQ (VWRQLD Operating a vehicle
73 74 74 76
CHILDREN D-visa and kindergarten/school places Pre-school education (kindergartens) 6FKRRO HGXFDWLRQ
77 78 79
RESIDENCY Long-stay (D) visa Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) Estonian citizenship
90 91 91 92
WAR REFUGEES - TEMPORARY PROTECTION Temporary protection and how to apply for it Arrival in Estonia and reception centres Health Financial support /RRNLQJ IRU D MRE
93 94 96 97 98
INTRODUCTION Hello! (or Tere! in Estonian) If you are reading this book, you have most probably come to Estonia to live here for some time. Or maybe you are only looking for information DERXW GLHUHQW DVSHFWV RI OLIH KHUH <RX OLNHO\ KDYH PDQ\ TXHVWLRQV DW WKLV point: What is Estonia like? What is working here like? How to organise life here? What does a D-visa allow me to have or do in Estonia? 7KLV ERRN KDV EHHQ FUHDWHG WR KHOS \RX ȴQG DQVZHUV WR WKHP ΖQ WKLV ERRN \RX ZLOO ȴQG LQIRUPDWLRQ DERXW WKH PDLQ WRSLFV WKDW PLJKW FRQFHUQ SHRSOH who come to Estonia based on the long-term (D) visa: information about the country, the labour market, medical services, accommodation, schools and kindergartens, and so on. Also, you should know that this book goes hand in hand with educational videos that cover the same topics. We recommend you to use handbook and videos together. We hope that the material collected here will help you adapt to your new country more easily. We understand how unsettling the feeling of being a newcomer can be, but we promise that Estonia is a cosy and pleasant corner of the world where foreigners are made to feel welcome. Tere tulemast Eestisse! Welcome to Estonia! Head lugemist! Have a good read!
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE APPLYING FOR A D-VISA Before we tell you how great it is to live in cosy Estonia, we would like to make sure that you know the main information about the D-visa, what opportunities it provides you with, and how to get it. The D-visa is a long-term visa that allows you to stay in Estonia for up to GD\V $ ' YLVD FDQ EH RI WZR W\SHV D VLQJOH HQWU\ ZKLFK DOORZV \RX WR enter Estonia only once; b) multi-visa, which allows you to enter and leave (VWRQLD VHYHUDO WLPHV ΖW LV QRW GLɝFXOW DW DOO WR DSSO\ IRU D ' YLVD \RX MXVW need to have the following documents: A travel document issued within the previous ten years that contains at least two blank pages for visas and is valid for at least three months after the expiration date of the visa $ IXOO\ FRPSOHWHG DQG VLJQHG DSSOLFDWLRQ IRUP ZKLFK \RX FDQ ȴQG on the following link: vm.ee/en/visa-application-forms. $ [ PP VL]HG SKRWR LI \RX DSSO\ IRU WKH YLVD DW D 3ROLFH DQG Border Guard Board checkpoint, a digital photo will be taken there so there is no need to bring a paper version) An insurance policy that covers your medical expenses Documents indicating the purpose of your stay in Estonia A document showing you have paid the state fee The document indicating the purpose of the stay is the key to getting the D-visa as Estonia wants to make sure that you will be staying in a country IRU D YDOLG UHDVRQ <RX FDQ DSSO\ IRU D ORQJ WHUP YLVD LI \RX DUH FRPLQJ WR Estonia with one of these aims: 1. 2. 4. 6. 7.
Remote work Short-term work Studies Working with or establishing/relocating a start-up company Visiting family Visiting a company as a member of the management body Medical and other aims (additional proof required)
If something is confusing at this point, don’t worry. Below we will describe what the documents indicating the purpose of your stay should look like and how you can get them. Imagine that you are an IT worker coming to Estonia to work remotely, a socalled digital nomad. In that case, the documents indicating the purpose of your stay must prove that you are indeed a digital nomad, meaning that your work does not depend on your location. The documents that will permit you to get the visa are, therefore, the following:
a written explanation of your intention to use the visa for remote work. a written declaration by your employer that you will be able to perform your duties remotely your employment contract. D FHUWLȴFDWH IURP WKH FRPSHWHQW DXWKRULW\ RI \RXU KRPH country that shows you have paid any compulsory national or local taxes and social security contributions in that country. D FHUWLȴFDWH IURP WKH FRPSHWHQW DXWKRULW\ RI WKH FRXQWU\ in which the company you are working for is established, showing the name, location, and activity of the company, your shareholding in it, and the identity of the company's legal representatives. D FHUWLȴFDWH LVVXHG E\ WKH FRPSHWHQW DXWKRULW\ RI \RXU FRPSDQ\ V FRXQWU\ RI HVWDEOLVKPHQW FRQȴUPLQJ WKDW DOO compulsory national or local taxes and social security contributions in the country of establishment have been paid and that there are no tax arrears.
If you are applying for a visa to start or continue your studies in Estonia, \RX ZLOO QHHG FRQȴUPDWLRQ IURP WKH HGXFDWLRQDO LQVWLWXWLRQ \RX ZLOO EH VWXG\LQJ LQ <RX FDQ DVN IRU WKLV GRFXPHQW IURP \RXU HGXFDWLRQDO institution and they will gladly provide you with it. To prove that you are applying for the visa to establish or relocate your VWDUW XS FRPSDQ\ WR (VWRQLD \RX ZLOO QHHG WR ȴOO LQ WKH DSSOLFDWLRQ RQ the website of Startup Estonia, startupestonia.ee/visa. In short, in the application you will be asked for a thorough description of your company, EXVLQHVV PRGHO DQG WHDP <RX ZLOO DOVR EH DVNHG VRPH TXHVWLRQV UHODWHG WR WKH PDUNHW FRPSDQ\ ȴQDQFLQJ DQG \RXU VWUDWHJ\ <RX FDQ ȴQG IXUWKHU information on the webpage of Startup Estonia. In case you are applying for a visa to work in a start-up, then the same rules apply as if you were working for a regular company. If you are a family member of a person who is already living and working in Estonia, this is likely to be the easiest way to apply for a long-term visa. <RX ZLOO RQO\ QHHG WR SURYH \RXU UHODWLRQVKLS WR WKH SHUVRQ \RX DUH YLVLWLQJ )RU H[DPSOH \RX FDQ VXEPLW D PDUULDJH FHUWLȴFDWH LI \RX DUH PDUULHG Lastly, you can apply for a visa as a member of a company’s management ERG\ 7R GR WKDW \RX ZLOO QHHG WR VKRZ D FRQȴUPDWLRQ RI WKH FRPSDQ\ȇV business activity in Estonia and proof of an adequate income. The adequate income rate is tied to the minimum salary in Estonia. The law states that the adequate income rate is calculated according to the following formula: PLQLPXP JURVV ZDJH LQ (VWRQLD PLQLPXP DGHTXDWH LQFRPH IRU one day of your stay. To apply for a visa for entrepreneurship purposes, you will need to have the required amount of money at the time of your application.
So, for example, if you want to stay in Estonia for 30 days in 2022, the adequate income is calculated like this: 654€ × 0.2 × 30 days = 3924€
Applying for a visa for short-term work is similar, but in addition to the GRFXPHQWV OLVWHG HDUOLHU \RX ZLOO QHHG WR SUHVHQW D FRQȴUPDWLRQ LVVXHG by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board of your registration for VKRUW WHUP ZRUN <RX FDQ UHFHLYH WKH SULQWRXW RI WKLV FRQȴUPDWLRQ IURP your employer. Also, if your employer indicated your email address when registering your short-term employment, a copy of the registration of the short-term work will be sent to you automatically.
We hope that you can grasp the main aspects of getting a D-visa and what types of it there are. We recommend you visit the Police and Border *XDUG %RDUG ZHEVLWH WR ȴQG RXW WKH PRVW XS WR GDWH LQIRUPDWLRQ DERXW the D-visa you would like to apply for. <RX FDQ DFFHVV WKH UHOHYDQW ZHEVLWH VHFWLRQ KHUH politsei.ee/en/instructions/visa-and-extending-period-of-stay.
In short, getting a job with D-visa should look like this:
OVERVIEW OF ESTONIA Estonia is a little gem located in the northern part of Europe on the shore of the Baltic Sea. It is one of the cosiest places in the world to live in, with dozens of lakes scattered across its territory and vast green forests that FRYHU RI WKH country.
Applying for a job
Going for a job interview
Agreeing terms and conditions
Registering short-term employment with the Police and Border Guard
Starting the work
2FLDO QDPH Republic of Estonia (EE: Eesti Vabariik ) 6KRUW IRUP Estonia (EE: Eesti ) ,QGHSHQGHQFH GHFODUHG 24 February 1918 &DSLWDO Tallinn
(VWRQLD LV UHODWLYHO\ VPDOO ZLWK DURXQG PLOOLRQ LQKDELWDQWV RI WKH population are ethnic Estonians, but the country is home to more than QDWLRQDOLWLHV DQG HWKQLF JURXSV ZKHUH DUH HWKQLF 5XVVLDQV DQG RI RWKHU QDWLRQDOLWLHV VR DSDUW IURP (VWRQLDQ (QJOLVK DQG 5XVVLDQ DUH also widely spoken here as well. An interesting fact is that Estonia is one RI WKH OHDVW UHOLJLRXV FRXQWULHV JOREDOO\ ZLWK RQO\ RI WKH SRSXODWLRQ considering religion an essential part of their daily lives. Nevertheless, there are long-standing traditions and holidays that Estonians cherish and celebrate every year – such as Midsummer Day (jaanipäev Ȃ b-XQH DQG &KULVWPDV b'HFHPEHU 2QH RI WKH ȴUVW WKLQJV WKDW \RX ZLOO SUREDEO\ KHDU DERXW (VWRQLD LV WKDW LW is an innovative and digital country. And that is absolutely true! There is HYHQ D QDPH IRU LW Ȃ H (VWRQLD RI JRYHUQPHQWDO VHUYLFHV DUH DYDLODEOH to citizens through the internet, making them fast and easy.
Estonia is a country that cares for its population, providing many social services for free: it has free primary and higher education as well as health VHUYLFHV LW RHUV YDULRXV EHQHȴWV IRU LWV FLWL]HQV UHODWHG WR XQHPSOR\PHQW childcare and many more.
e-Estonia at a glance
98% of the population has an ID-card
99% of state services are online
95% of tax declarations 5 days and 2% of GDP ȴOHG RQOLQH per year is saved with digital signatures
Estonia has always been and still is an ethnically diverse country. Estonia was part of essential business routes back in medieval times and a crucial strategic spot in many wars, including the First and the Second World War. This has left the region with a diverse ethnic society that needed, and still needs, to be integrated. Therefore, Estonia has an established integration policy and welcomes foreigners coming here. The integration policy revolves around learning the Estonian language and history, and getting a more nuanced understanding of the political scene. It also emphasises the labour market, education policies, security, and social cohesion. In this handbook, we will not be able to touch on all aspects of the policy. One reason is the requirement to have at least a Temporary Residence Permit WR XVH WKH VHUYLFHV RHUHG 1HYHUWKHOHVV ZH ZLOO PDNH VXUH WR WHOO \RX about all the opportunities that you can start using with the visa straight away. And we will begin by telling you about Estonian culture and the Estonian language (and ways to learn it). If you want to read or watch more about Estonia, its history and culture in detail, you can use these materials:
98% of companies established online
Entire country is covered with a broadband connection
99% of banking done online
e-Residency - Freedom for everyone to run a global EU company fully online
Estonia might greet you with long frosty winters (temperatures often UHDFK r& EXW WKHVH DUH FRPSHQVDWHG E\ ORQJ VXPPHU GD\V ZKHQ \RX can see the sun until late evening. And Estonians, who may not be as ZDUP DV \RX ZRXOG OLNH GXULQJ WKH ȴUVW HQFRXQWHUV ZLOO RSHQ XS RQFH \RX get to know them better – it is a friendly, kind, and supportive nation.
[TBS] Settle in Estonia handbook 1. Estonia: State, Society and Language issuu.com/settleinestonia/docs/estonian_state_society_and_ language (VWRQLD Ȃ RɝFLDO ZHEVLWH DERXW WKH FRXQWU\ estonia.ee/overview 9LVLW (VWRQLD Ȃ RɝFLDO ZHEVLWH IRU WRXULVP LQIRUPDWLRQ visitestonia.com <RX FDQQRW LPDJLQH KRZ XVHIXO LW LV WR XQGHUVWDQG WKH FXOWXUDO EDFNJURXQG of Estonia! We can assure you this will help you not get confused, will leave a good impression, and show that you understand the society and people. Here we will talk about the main aspects of the local culture that you should keep in mind when discovering it.
15 It is often the case that Estonians, as people, tend to be reserved and serious DW OHDVW RQ WKH RXWVLGH RU ZKHQ \RX DUH ȴUVW JHWWLQJ WR NQRZ them). This means that close relations with strangers might develop slowly, but be assured that once they are created, they can be sincere and long-lasting. Estonians typically refrain from physical contact and are rather reserved ΖW GRHV QRW LQGLFDWH XQIULHQGOLQHVV EXW MXVW PHDQV WKDW Estonians respect their personal space and the personal space of others. There is usually a slight distance between people in business situations, whether standing or seated. This means that kissing on the cheeks or hugging a person you do not know is not common (instead done between friends and relatives). The best way to initiate physical contact with an Estonian is by shaking hands. Estonian jokes are, for the most part, ironic and disguised, but once you get used to them, you will learn to appreciate them. Estonians favour transparency and straightforwardness. Passive silence and listening are very much part of the Estonian communication style. Eye contact is appreciated in communication: it shows that you are interested in the other person and that they have your attention. Estonians are a disciplined and law-abiding nation. Rules are respected, and for instance, it is not common to cross the road on a red light even LI WKHUH DUH QR FDUV YLVLEOH (VWRQLDQV FDQ ZDLW IRU PLQXWHV IRU WKH WUDɝF light to turn green. Estonian society is driven by a certain amount of modesty and fairness. Estonians do not boast about their achievements. Instead, they enhance their character through hard work and diligence, and show their competitiveness by letting the results speak for themselves. Modesty means that Estonians also stick to what they say. If an Estonian makes a promise, they will keep it. Estonia is small, which means that Estonians are curious about the world and how it views them. Despite its small population, almost two hundred GLHUHQW QDWLRQDOLWLHV DQG HWKQLF JURXSV DUH UHSUHVHQWHG LQ WKH FRXQWU\ Estonians will be glad to hear about your heritage and culture. And it makes Estonians so happy when you learn about their heritage, let alone start speaking the Estonian language.
MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE
Estonian culture as an identity is strong. For instance, singing is a very (VWRQLDQ DFWLYLW\ DQG HYHU\ ȴYH \HDUV (VWRQLDQV FHOHEUDWH WKH 6RQJ Festival. Estonians are also known to have sung their way to freedom during the “Singing Revolution” of 1989-91. Estonians have one of the most extensive collections of folk songs globally, with written records of WKRXVDQG IRON VRQJV +RZHYHU GR QRW H[SHFW WRR PXFK VLQJLQJ DW parties; if it happens, it happens way after midnight.
Estonians, on the whole, are quiet. They tend to speak softly and do not like to draw attention to themselves. Qualities that Estonians share and respect are being rational, calm, and not going to emotional extremes.
Estonians are very proud of their heritage, and it would be helpful to introduce yourself to the basics of Estonian history and culture. For instance, the Native language of ethnic Estonians is Estonian. The Estonian language is Finno-Ugric and not Baltic.. In Estonian society, men and women are treated equally. Any type of discrimination or inappropriate comments based on race, gender, age, appearance, etc. should be avoided. &HUWDLQ SXEOLF KROLGD\V DUH XQLTXH WR (VWRQLD )RU LQVWDQFH b)HEUXDU\ LV ΖQGHSHQGHQFH 'D\ DQG b$XJXVW LV WKH GDWH RI UHJDLQLQJ LQGHSHQGHQFH IURP WKH 6RYLHW 8QLRQ b -XQH LV 9LFWRU\ 'D\ DQG LV FHOHEUDWHG WR commemorate the crucial victory over Baltic-German forces in the War of Independence. Valentine’s Day on 14 February is also celebrated as a friendship day, when it is okay to bring gifts not only to your romantic partner, but also to your close friends. Nature is also an important part of Estonian heritage as forests FRYHU PRUH WKDQ RI WKH ODQG (VWRQLDQV ORYH WKHLU IRUHVWV DQG time in the countryside. If you have chance, please do visit some KLNLQJ WUDLOV RU MXVW VSHQG D ZHHNHQG LQ QDWXUH Ȃ LW EULQJV SHDFH RI PLQG DQG LV VR EHDXWLIXO 7KH KLNLQJ WUDLOV \RX FDQ ȴQG KHUH loodusegakoos.ee/where-to-go/hiking-route
Gifts are usually exchanged for birthdays and Christmas. In some cultures, it is okay to bring gifts to colleagues or business partners, whereas in Estonia, this is not expected (especially to public sector workers). However, small gifts to business partners that the company or the worker knows are accepted. Acceptable gifts are chocolates or sweets. If you are invited to an Estonian’s house, a decent gift is a box of chocolates RU ȵRZHUV )ORZHUV VKRXOG EH JLYHQ LQ RGG QXPEHUV 0DNH VXUH WR DUULYH on time and let the person know if you are running late. Another surprising fact for some foreigners is that Estonians do not wear shoes inside. Public DQG ZRUNLQJ VSDFHV L H RɝFHV DUH H[FHSWLRQV HYHQ WKRXJK VRPH SHRSOH KDYH D SDLU RI RɝFH VKRHV DV ZHOO Some information about table manners: they are continental, i.e. the fork is held in the left hand and the knife in the right while eating. Also, do not begin eating until everyone else. Estonians say “head isu” (“good appetite”) EHIRUH HDWLQJ ΖW PD\ EH IURZQHG XSRQ WR WDNH PRUH WKDQ \RX FDQ ȴQLVK VR WDNH VPDOOHU SRUWLRQV DQG ȴQLVK HYHU\WKLQJ RQ \RXU SODWH
SERVICE CULTURE In Estonia, tips are not included in the bill and tipping is not compulsory. +RZHYHU LW LV FXVWRPDU\ WR WLS DURXQG RI WKH ELOO LI \RX DUH VDWLVȴHG with the service. As Estonians are reserved and quiet, the customer service might not come across as the warmest; however, the situation is slowly improving and negative experiences are not encountered too often.
WHAT DEFINES OUR CULTURE
20 Here we will introduce you to the Estonian language and opportunities to learn it. Even though Estonian is not spoken by many people and might be FRQVLGHUHG GLɝFXOW WR OHDUQ LW LV D ORYHO\ ODQJXDJH RQFH \RX JHW WR NQRZ it. There are so many vowels and interesting words that learning to speak Estonian feels like an adventure. (VWRQLDQ LV WKH RɝFLDO ODQJXDJH RI WKH 5HSXEOLF RI (VWRQLD DQG LV VSRNHQ DV D 1DWLYH ODQJXDJH E\ DSSUR[LPDWHO\ PLOOLRQ SHRSOH $ERXW of them live in Estonia. The rest are in Sweden, Canada, the USA, Russia, $XVWUDOLD )LQODQG *HUPDQ\ DQG RWKHU FRXQWULHV (VWRQLDQ LV YHU\ GLHUHQW from the languages spoken in the other Baltic states. The Estonian ODQJXDJH LV FORVHO\ UHODWHG WR ȴQLVK DQG EHORQJV WR D EUDQFK RI WKH )LQQR Ugric group of languages. Estonian is a language of teaching both at school and university; it is also a language of modern science, used in the army, and the theatre – LW FRYHUV DOO ZDONV RI OLIH 7KDW LV ZK\ (VWRQLDQ LV QHHGHG IRU PDQ\ MREV DOWKRXJK \RX ZLOO OLNHO\ EH DEOH WR PDQDJH ȴQH ZLWK RQO\ (QJOLVK LQ VRPH more prominent international corporations, IT companies or start-ups. In WKRVH MREV ZKHUH D NQRZOHGJH RI (VWRQLDQ LV UHTXLUHG WKH OHYHO \RX QHHG typically depends on the amount of responsibility you have in your role. We have gathered some examples of professions and the approximate level of Estonian that you need for them (Table 1).
21 Table 1. Estonian language skills needed by profession Level of Estonian
A2 (pre-intermediate level)
Security guards and ticket controllers
B1 (intermediate level)
Sales and customer support employees, rescue workers, service providers, caregivers
B2 (upperintermediate level)
Teachers, lecturers, nurses
C1 (advanced level)
Doctors, notaries, PRVW RɝFLDOV
So, apart from advantages in the labour market, what are other reasons to learn Estonian? First of all, the Estonian language opens many hearts and doors. Communication with locals becomes so much easier, and your HRUWV ZLOO EH KLJKO\ DSSUHFLDWHG E\ HYHU\RQH DURXQG <RX FDQȇW HYHQ imagine how excited Estonians become when they hear their mother tongue spoken by foreigners! And secondly, if you decide to stay in Estonia for a longer time and would like to apply for Estonian citizenship, you will need to pass an Estonian language exam at the B1 level. In the following subsection, we would like to tell you about language learning opportunities in Estonia.
LANGUAGE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES Before we present language learning opportunities for foreigners in Estonia, we would like to note that unfortunately language-learning programmes are typically only available to foreigners who are in Estonia on the basis of a Temporary Residence Permit (TRP), i.e. who stay in the country long-term (for more than 12 months) and have an Estonian ID-card. Despite the fact that state language programmes are not available for D-visa holders, there is a lot of material to learn Estonian that can be accessed online. Here are the leading websites and apps that you can XVH HYHU\ GD\ WR EHJLQ RU FRQWLQXH \RXU (VWRQLDQ OHDUQLQJ MRXUQH\ Lingvist’s Essential Estonian – a compact FRXUVH RI HVVHQWLDO (VWRQLDQ SKUDVHV and words, merely a quick introduction. The phrases are not the most useful ones, but they are quite fun to learn, at least! lingvist.com/course/learn-estonianonline
Keeleklikk – a comprehensive Estonian course which teaches Estonian to A2 level using English or Russian as a base language, and has culture and history modules. It is perfect for picking up the basics with lots of video and picture help. However, it doesn’t work very well on Chrome, so be sure to use Firefox or Safari. There is also the related .HHOHWHH ZKLFK RHUV H FRXUVHV IRU EHJLQQHUV and advanced learners (B1). keeleklikk.ee
New Learner’s Sõnaveeb – online dictionary and learning tool. The user can currently choose between two modes of information display: Learner’s Sõnaveeb (for language learners) or Sõnaveeb (for advanced users). The Learner’s Sõnaveeb is LQWHQGHG SULPDULO\ IRU OHDUQHUV DW WKH $ Ȃ% SURȴFLHQF\ OHYHOV ΖW HQDEOHV \RX WR VHDUFK IRU ZRUG PHDQLQJV DQG WUDQVODWLRQV DQG VKRZV essential Estonian words; information is presented in a simple way: the GHȴQLWLRQV DUH VKRUW NQRZOHGJH LV RUJDQLVHG XVLQJ FRQWUROOHG YRFDEXODU\ and there is explicit information about the most frequent morphological forms, etc. sonaveeb.ee.
WalkTalk – is based on everyday situations. It is a bit clumsy to use but is nevertheless quite good for EHJLQQHUV 7KLV DSSOLFDWLRQ KHOSV \RX WR ȴQG necessary expressions and words based on GLHUHQW VLWXDWLRQV walktalk.ee/en
CoLanguage (free) – a pretty good overview of the basics and especially useful for grammar. While you have to sign up to access the whole content base, it provides a good overview of beginners’ grammar. colanguage.com
WordDive – a paid course, but it has an excellent interface and makes learning very HDV\ <RX ZLOO RQO\ OHDUQ ZRUGV WKRXJK $V context is essential for improving your vocabulary, you should probably only pay for this app once you’ve exhausted other options. worddive.com/en
Digital Dialects – Estonian language games, and you can test your pronunciation skills in the Estonian Tryouts game. Simply listen to fun words like küsimus (question) and jäääär (edge of the ice) and try to repeat them! Share your results on social media using the #visitestonia hashtag to let us know how you did. www.digitaldialects.com/language_learning_games.htm Nevertheless, despite the fact that state language learning programmes are available only to foreigners with TRP, you still should know what opportunities are available to you if you decide to stay in the country for a longer time. The main programmes for Estonian language learning which you can register for once you have a TRP (temporary residence permit) are: Settle in Estonia Programme IUHH Ȃ RHUV ODQJXDJH courses at levels A1-A2; if you have a TRP you can register IRU WKHP DW WKH VSHFLȴF WLPHV DQQRXQFHG RQ WKH ZHEVLWH settleinestonia.ee/programme/language-module. Integration Foundation IUHH Ȃ RHUV ODQJXDJHV courses at levels A1-C1; you can register for them twice a year: in August and September. More on the website: integratsioon.ee/en/estonian-language-courses-adults. Language school of your choice (reimbursed) – you pay for language courses at the language school of your choice yourself, and if you later pass the exam for your respective language level, \RX FDQ DSSO\ IRU UHLPEXUVHPHQW RI XS WR (85 <RX FDQ ȴQG more information from the language school you will choose. :H KRSH WKDW \RX ZLOO XVH VRPH RI WKH UHVRXUFHV MXVW PHQWLRQHG DQG VHH KRZ EHDXWLIXO DQG QRW GLɝFXOW (VWRQLDQ LV :H HQFRXUDJH \RX WR JLYH LW D try!
To read more about the Estonian language: Settle in Estonia handbook 1. Estonia: State, Society and Language issuu.com/settleinestonia/docs/estonian_state_society_and_ language
FINDING A JOB IN ESTONIA
MAIN BRANCHES OF THE ESTONIAN ECONOMY As we have mentioned, Estonia is a small country, and this shapes its economy and labour market. Nevertheless, it may be quite easy and quick to move up the career ladder and develop yourself despite the country’s small size. In this part of the handbook, we will tell you about the leading LQGXVWULHV LQ (VWRQLD WKH MREV ZKLFK DUH LQ KLJKHVW GHPDQG DQG SURYLGH VRPH DGYLFH RQ KRZ WR ORRN IRU D MRE LQGHSHQGHQWO\ The Estonian economy is quite diverse and no single area can be considered WKH NH\ LQGXVWU\ $ERXW D ȴIWK RI DOO HPSOR\HHV LQ (VWRQLD ZRUN LQ WKH LQGXVWULDO VHFWRU 7KH FRXQWU\ KDV D \HDU UHFRUG RI DFFRPSOLVKPHQW in high-value production, testing, and assembly for global markets in mechanical engineering. Estonia has built up an entire value chain for research and development, prototyping, and producing precision components and complex systems. As such, it is trusted by organisations such as ABB, Ericsson, and the European Space Agency. Estonia also promotes itself globally as an innovative IT country. According to the Global Innovation Index, Estonia ranks number 21 globally in LQQRYDWLRQ (VWRQLD VLJQLȴFDQWO\ H[FHOV DW LQGH[ LQGLFDWRUV VXFK DV RQOLQH government services (ranked 2nd globally) and e-participation (1st globally). The quality and extent of online services the Estonia government provides are therefore amongst the best in the world, together with the people’s willingness to communicate with the state online (for instance, RI WD[HV DUH GHFODUHG RQOLQH 7KHUH LV D JHQHUDO XQGHUVWDQGLQJ WKDW information and communication technology-related skills are needed throughout the economy and in almost every profession.
27 Estonia also ranks among the top countries in Europe for the number RI VWDUW XS FRPSDQLHV SHU FDSLWD FRPSDQLHV SHU WKRXVDQG inhabitants) and has a vibrant start-up ecosystem. So far, Estonia has produced seven billion-dollar unicorns. Estonia has also become a global FHQWUH RI H[FHOOHQFH IRU )LQ7HFK )LQ7HFKV UDQJLQJ IURP LQQRYDWLYH start-ups such as Wise (formerly TransferWise) to blockchain leaders Guardtime are established in Estonia. Estonia has a sizeable Advanced Industrial sector and world-class IT expertise in high-tech systems, control technologies and cybersecurity. World-leading cybersecurity companies such as CGI, Symantec and Malwarebytes use Estonia as a base to research, develop and manage consumer, enterprise and government solutions. Guardtime, the world’s largest blockchain company, trust Estonia to provide their cryptographers, developers and security architects. Estonia has one of Europe’s largest bioeconomies, including worldleading expertise in forest-based activity. Supported by high-quality natural resources, high use of IT and supportive policymaking, Estonia RHUV D UDQJH RI SURGXFWLRQ DQG LQQRYDWLRQ RSSRUWXQLWLHV (VWRQLD KDV D collaborative industrial research and development ecosystem, including academia, accelerators, and competence centres. If you decide to come to Estonia, it will welcome you with high-quality opportunities. According to the OECD Talent Attractiveness Index, Estonia is right up among the best countries in the world in that regard. This is DOVR FRQȴUPHG E\ WKH *OREDO 7DOHQW &RPSHWLWLYHQHVV ΖQGH[ ZKLFK OLVWV (VWRQLD LQ WKH WRS FRXQWULHV LQ WHUPV RI DFFHVV WR JURZWK RSSRUWXQLWLHV
JOBS IN HIGH DEMAND The latest data in Estonia show a continuously high demand for software developers. Companies are primarily looking for high-level specialists and workers to handle more straightforward IT-related tasks in the IT sector. 7KH QHHG IRU ZRUNHUV LQ WKH Ζ7 VHFWRU KDV FRQVWDQWO\ EHHQ ULVLQJ ΖQ more than 22 thousand people were working in the sector, and this is H[SHFWHG WR ULVH WR DERXW WKRXVDQG E\ $V RI QRZ QRW HQRXJK students graduate from their educational institutions to satisfy the need. There is also an ongoing lack of personnel in healthcare. The healthcare system is looking for all kinds of workers: doctors, nursing specialists, and caregivers. The same can be said about the industrial sector, which will welcome all types of skilled labour: for example, the Estonian industry lacks welders. The construction sector is also open to accepting QHZ ZRUNHUV RHULQJ MREV WR IDFDGH ZRUNHUV GHPROLWLRQ FRQWUDFWRUV VFDROGLQJ HUHFWRUV FRQFUHWHUV DQG ȴQLVKHUV RI FRQFUHWH VXUIDFHV ȵRRU builders, and tilers. The demand for executives and sales and marketing managers has recently increased. The reason for this is the rising interest in entrepreneurship. The Estonian labour market is in constant need of a workforce in horticulture, drivers of machines used in agriculture and forestry (e.g. harvester operators), and mechanics and locksmiths competent in repairing these machines. In general, any help in seasonal work is required. ΖQ UHFHQW \HDUV WKHUH ZHUH QR VSHFLȴF VHFWRUV ZLWK D ODUJH H[FHVV RI WKH ODERXU IRUFH 6WLOO ZKHQ ORRNLQJ IRU D MRE \RX QHHG WR FRQVLGHU WKDW WKH competition in some areas is higher than in others, especially for foreigners coming to Estonia. This is especially true for administrative workers such as accountants, data entry specialists, or secretaries/clerks. $OO LQ DOO KLJKO\ VNLOOHG DQG TXDOLȴHG VSHFLDOLVWV DUH QHHGHG LQ (VWRQLD ΖQ many sectors, you can start working in English or Russian without yet KDYLQJ DQ\ (VWRQLDQ ODQJXDJH VNLOOV EXW MXVW NHHS LQ PLQG WKDW LW LV PRVWO\ expected and highly appreciated when foreigners learn the Estonian language over the years. So, if you have the opportunity to do it – don’t miss it!
TYPES OF EMPLOYMENT In Estonia, there are two types of employment – short and long-term. Long-term is when you have a work contract for a period of more than 12 months and have a Temporary Residence Permit (usually, the type of such TRP is for work). With TRP and a long-term work contract, you can use all services available to Estonian citizens as you have your ID card and can use digital services. However, short-term is when your work contract lasts up to 12 months within a year.Ȋ 7KHUH LV DOVR D VSHFLȴF FDWHJRU\ RI VKRUW WHUP HPSOR\PHQW Ȃ VHDVRQDO ZRUN 6HDVRQDO ZRUN FDQ ODVW RQO\ IRU XS WR GD\V ZLWKLQ GD\V ΖI \RX KDYH ' YLVD \RX FDQ VWD\ LQ (VWRQLD IRU XS WR GD\V ZLWKLQ 12 months, so the employment that you have is short-term employment. One of the requirements for getting a D-visa is the registration of your VKRUW WHUP HPSOR\PHQW E\ WKH 3ROLFH DQG %RUGHU *XDUG %RDUG <RXU employer does it, and then the registration document is either forwarded to you electronically or can be given to you by your employer. In any case, before applying for a D-visa, ask your employer to provide you with this document. With a D-visa, you do not have an ID card but do have an ID number, which we will tell you about later. The salary for short-term employment (except seasonal work) should be at least the average annual salary in (VWRQLD ZKLFK LQ LV (85 JURVV SHU PRQWK There is also a particular subtype of short-term employment called seasonal work, which is carried out in areas such as plant and animal SURGXFWLRQ IRUHVWU\ IRRG SURGXFWLRQ DQG UHODWHG ȴHOGV )RU WKLV W\SH RI VKRUW WHUP HPSOR\PHQW \RX FDQ ZRUN XS WR GD\V ZLWKLQ D FRQVHFXWLYH GD\ SHULRG
HOW TO FIND A JOB 7KH H[SHULHQFH RI HQWHULQJ WKH MRE PDUNHW DV D IRUHLJQHU LQ (VWRQLD PLJKW be unclear and confusing, but don’t worry. In this section, we have listed WKH PDLQ VWHSV \RX FDQ PDNH DQG MRE VHHNLQJ FKDQQHOV \RX FDQ XVH <RX FDQ VWDUW E\ ORRNLQJ IRU MRE YDFDQFLHV 0DQ\ YDFDQFLHV DUH DGYHUWLVHG RSHQO\ RQ MRE ZHEVLWHV VRFLDO PHGLD RU FRPSDQ\ ZHEVLWHV 6WLOO D VLJQLȴFDQW QXPEHU RI SRVLWLRQV DUH DOVR ȴOOHG WKURXJK SHUVRQDO FRQWDFWV and acquaintances, so it is vital to increase your network so that people can recommend you too.
The Work in Estonia portal is the main gateway for foreigners interested in working in Estonia. It contains a lot of helpful information about coming to Estonia, ZRUNLQJ DQG OLYLQJ KHUH 7KH ZHEVLWH DOVR FRPSLOHV MRE RHUV WKDW KDYH EHHQ SRVWHG LQ (QJOLVK WR WKH PRVW SRSXODU MRE SRUWDOV LQ (VWRQLD 5HDG more at workinestonia.com.
The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Eesti Töötukassa) provides mediated MRE OLVWLQJV DQG FDUHHU FRXQVHOOLQJ VHUYLFHV -RE RHUV PHGLDWHG E\ SXEOLF HPSOR\PHQW VHUYLFHV DUH DYDLODEOH KHUH WRRWXNDVVD HH HQ MRERΊHUV.
CV-KESKUS Ȃ RQH RI WKH PRVW YLVLWHG MRE websites in Estonia
CV-Online Ȃ RQH RI WKH OHDGLQJ MRE SRUWDOV and recruitment partners in the Baltics. cv.ee
MeetFrank app – an Estonian hiring DSSOLFDWLRQ WKDW EULQJV WRJHWKHU MREVHHNHUV and employers with the required skills and salary expectations. meetfrank.com
Facebook – you can look at the “Expat Jobs in Tallinn” group or follow the websites of organisations that interest you – sometimes employers share their vacancies through WKHLU VRFLDO PHGLD <RX PLJKW DOVR ZDQW WR NHHS \RXU RZQ )DFHERRN SURȴOH SUHVHQWDEOH RU SULYDWH DV VRPH UHFUXLWHUV or employers might do a brief background search on you there.
Company websites – don’t forget to look at the “we’re hiring” section on the companies’ websites that interest you.
If you are coming with a D-visa to work, your employer must register your short-term employment with the Police and Border Guard Board.
TIPS ON APPLYING FOR A JOB 7KHUH DUH XVXDOO\ IRXU PDLQ FRPSRQHQWV WR ODQGLQJ D MRE LQ (VWRQLD Ȃ D &9 D FRYHU RU PRWLYDWLRQ OHWWHU D MRE LQWHUYLHZ DQG D ORFDO QHWZRUN +HUH ZH ZLOO SURYLGH \RX ZLWK VRPH WLSV RQ KRZ WR SUHSDUH IRU D VXFFHVVIXO MRE application. &9 LV WKH ȴUVW PHGLXP WKURXJK ZKLFK D SRWHQWLDO HPSOR\HU PHHWV \RX Thus, it is essential to ensure that your CV is up to date, properly prepared and nice to look at. There is no one template to use, but some of the advice listed below can help you avoid easy mistakes. 1.
In Estonia, a CV should not exceed two pages.
2. Adding a photo is not compulsory. If you do add a picture, make sure that it looks professional. Send the CV from a professional email address that consists of your full name; do not use nicknames or other random words. 4.
Display your education by starting with the most recent experiences. Save space by leaving out your primary schools. Be SUHSDUHG WR SURYH \RXU HGXFDWLRQ ZLWK RɝFLDO GRFXPHQWDWLRQ
Highlight your previous work experience by pointing out the key UHVSRQVLELOLWLHV DW WKH MRE DQG WKH PRVW LPSRUWDQW FRPSHWHQFLHV and experiences that you gained previously. If applicable, point RXW WKH VDPH VNLOOV OLVWHG LQ WKH MRE DGYHUWLVHPHQW +RZHYHU GR not exaggerate your language or other skills. 6. Use correct grammar and punctuation. Even small mistakes like this may give the impression that you are a lazy or unpunctual person and hence not the best candidate for the role. 7.
If you are already in Estonia, make sure to point it out – highlight your local address and Estonian phone number. It helps the employer to understand that despite your potentially foreignsounding name, you are in Estonia and ready to start working.
8. ΖW LV ZLVH WR DGG D K\SHUOLQN WR \RXU /LQNHGΖQ SURȴOH WR \RXU &9 7KLV will save the recruiter from an additional online search, which may EH HVSHFLDOO\ GLɝFXOW LI WKHUH DUH D QXPEHU RI SHRSOH ZLWK WKH VDPH name as yours. However, make sure that your LinkedIn account is also accurate and up to date. Having local professionals in your network helps to build trust and may even give the employer a chance to ask for references from mutual contacts. LinkedIn also allows you to display additional interests, experiences and traits WKDW GR QRW ȴW LQ D VKRUW WZR SDJH &9 %HVLGHV /LQNHGΖQ DOVR PDNH sure that you leave a trustworthy impression of yourself on other social media channels. A cover letter or a motivation letter is your chance to directly speak to the employer and explain why you are the best candidate for the role. It is a supplement to your application to present things brought out in the CV. Make sure to always prepare a unique letter for each application. Applicants who send generic cover letters starting with “To whom it may concern” and with an impersonal description of their past are automatically VHW DVLGH $YRLG JHQHUDOLVDWLRQV DQG VKRZ \RXU VXLWDELOLW\ IRU WKH VSHFLȴF position. The cover letter should be short, not longer than one page.
(DFK MRE LQWHUYLHZ LV XQLTXH DQG VKDSHG E\ WKH LQWHUYLHZHU DQG WKH candidate, but being prepared will increase your chances for success. Here are a few basic tips: 1.
Do your research on the company and the position – learn about WKH FRPSDQ\ȇV KLVWRU\ DQG YDOXHV DQG DQDO\VH ZK\ \RX ZRXOG ȴW LQ the organisation and what would be your advantages.
Be punctual and arrive a few minutes early.
'UHVV SROLWHO\ EXW GR QRW JR RYHUERDUG ZLWK PDNH XS MHZHOOHU\ RU perfume. Wearing a hat inside is considered impolite. 4.
Be ready to talk about your experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. 3URYLGH H[DPSOHV DQG GR QRW JHQHUDOLVH <RX DUH H[SHFWHG WR EH honest, and people who boast too much about how well they can do everything might not always seem sincere to the recruiter.
Be polite and to the point in communication. Keep in mind that the interviewer is not your friend but a professional. Keep small talk to a minimum and avoid discussing politics, religion, family, too much personal information, or money troubles. 6. 3D\ DWWHQWLRQ WR ZKDW WKH LQWHUYLHZHUV WHOO \RX DQG UHȵHFW RQ ZKDW you heard. If necessary, make notes. Be respectful towards the interviewers, even if they are younger than you. 7.
Show your interest in the role and company and be willing to ask for additional information about the position if a chance is given for that.
8. ΖW LV QRW UHTXLUHG WR SRVW VDODU\ LQIRUPDWLRQ ZLWKLQ D MRE OLVWLQJ but knowing what a reasonable range is could put you in a better SRVLWLRQ DW QHJRWLDWLRQV GXULQJ D MRE LQWHUYLHZ ΖQ (VWRQLD LW LV expected to leave it up to the interviewer to raise this topic. If possible, have them mention a range they are willing to pay, but be prepared to say a number too. 9. Pay attention to your language; if necessary, practice English or do a bit of “warm-up” talking before the interview. As English is not WKH ȴUVW ODQJXDJH IRU PRVW ORFDO HPSOR\HUV WU\ WR H[SUHVV \RXUVHOI FOHDUO\ DQG WU\ WR UHȵHFW WKH ODQJXDJH XVHG E\ WKH LQWHUYLHZHU %RG\ ODQJXDJH LQȵXHQFHV KRZ \RX DUH SHUFHLYHG ΖW LV QRW JRRG to lean on walls or furniture, keep your hands in your pockets or FURVVHG RQ \RXU FKHVW FKHZ JXP RU ȴGJHW RQ D FKDLU %H FRQȴGHQW smile, and look the interviewer(s) directly in the eye.
11. Thank the interviewer for their time and ask when you could expect to hear back from them. Keep in mind that online video LQWHUYLHZV DUH LQFUHDVLQJO\ FRPPRQ <RX FDQ OHDYH D EHWWHU impression if you minimise distractions, clear your background, and use a microphone and earphones. Being punctual and dressing properly applies here as well. If you want to read more about the Estonian labour market, you can use these materials: Settle in Estonia handbook 5. Estonia: Working and Labour Market issuu.com/settleinestonia/docs/working_and_labour_market
EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS :KHQ \RX ȴQG WKH MRE SODFH WKDW \RX KDYH EHHQ ORRNLQJ IRU \RX ZLOO QHHG to sign an employment contract (tööleping) or another type of working agreement. Other types of working agreements are, for example, a service agreement (käsundusleping) and a contract of employment (töövõtuleping). Remuneration, i.e. your salary, is an obligatory condition to be set out in DQ HPSOR\PHQW FRQWUDFW <RX DQG \RXU HPSOR\HU PXVW DJUHH RQ WKH ZDJH paid for your work. The employment contract must state: Main info about you and your employer: name, ID code, address, etc 7KH GXUDWLRQ RI WKH FRQWUDFW LI LW LV D ȴ[HG FRQWUDFW The date when the contract starts <RXU ZRUN SRVLWLRQ DQG WDVNV <RXU ZRUNORDG Ȃ KRZ PDQ\ KRXUV D ZHHN \RX ZLOO ZRUN DQG ZKHQ <RXU KROLGD\ HQWLWOHPHQW LI \RXU FRQWUDFW SUHVXSSRVHV RQH The salary agreed upon signing the employment contract, including any pay which is dependent on economic results and transactions (as a gross amount) The manner of calculating your salary (time-based or item-based) The method of payment (bank transfer or payment in cash) The payday (at least once per month) The taxes and contributions withheld from your salary Employer’s rights and obligations <RXU ULJKWV DQG REOLJDWLRQV Information on when, why, and how the contract can be terminated
WORKING IN ESTONIA GETTING EMPLOYED
38 This section will cover the main aspects of working life in Estonia. We will talk about salaries, provide a step-by-step guide on how to enter an honest working relationship, and describe the obligations of the employer and the rights of employees.
TAXES Before speaking about salaries, you need to know about Estonian taxes. The Estonian taxation system is more straightforward than in most other countries. In Estonia, taxes are automatically withheld from your gross salary by your employer each month, which means you don’t have to PDNH DGGLWLRQDO SD\PHQWV RU ȴOH PRQWKO\ WD[ UHWXUQV UHODWHG WR \RXU VDODU\ <RX ZLOO MXVW UHFHLYH WKH QHW SD\ LQ \RXU EDQN DFFRXQW :KHQ LW comes to working in Estonia, the most important taxes to be aware of are income tax, social tax, and unemployment tax. 7KH LQFRPH WD[ UDWH LQ (VWRQLD LV 7D[DEOH LQFRPH LQFOXGHV LQFRPH from employment, business income, interest, royalties, rental income, FDSLWDO JDLQV SHQVLRQV DQG VFKRODUVKLSV H[FHSW VFKRODUVKLSV ȴQDQFHG from the state budget or paid based on law). Estonia has implemented a system in which a person has a right to earn DQ RYHUDOO WD[ IUHH DPRXQW EDVLF H[HPSWLRQ RI XS WR HXURV SHU \HDU RU HXURV SHU PRQWK 7KLV H[HPSWLRQ LV DSSOLHG WR DOO W\SHV RI LQFRPH The person has a right to this exemption if their annual income is up to HXURV ΖI WKH SHUVRQȇV \HDUO\ LQFRPH LQFUHDVHV DQG IDOOV EHWZHHQ DQG HXURV WKH EDVLF H[HPSWLRQ GHFUHDVHV SURSRUWLRQDOO\ DFFRUGLQJ WR WKH IROORZLQJ IRUPXOD Ȃ ¹ LQFRPH DPRXQW Ȃ 3HRSOH ZKRVH DQQXDO LQFRPH H[FHHGV HXURV GR not have a right to the basic exemption.
39 Example of tax exemption calculation. With an annual income of 17,100 euros, a basic exemption of 4500 euros is calculated as follows: 17,100 - 14,000 = 2,700 6,000 _: 10,800 = 0.55556 0.55556 x 2,700 = 1,500 6,000 - 1,500 = 4,500€ In addition to the income tax, your employer must pay social tax amounting WR RI \RXU JURVV VDODU\ %HDU LQ PLQG WKLV LV WKH WD[ IRU WKH HPSOR\HU that is based on your actual salary; it’s not subtracted from your salary. Other than that, people working in Estonia pay an unemployment insurance premium that is shared by both the employer and the employee EXW SDLG RQO\ E\ WKH HPSOR\HU Ȃ RI WKH HPSO\HHȇV JURVV VDODU\ LV ZLWKKHOG DQG WKH HPSOR\HU SD\V In case this description was confusing, you can always use the virtual salary calculator at kalkulaator.ee/en/salary-calculator or read more about salaries in additional materials: Settle in Estonia handbook 5. Estonia: Working and Labour Market issuu.com/settleinestonia/docs/working_and_labour_market
PS! You also need to keep in mind your tax residency or, in simpler terms, where you pay your taxes. As a D visa holder, you only need to pay taxes for an income earned in Estonia. This rule also applies to every D-visa holder staying in Estonia for a period of up to 183 days in a year or a D-visa holder whose home country has a bilateral convention for the avoidance of double taxation signed with Estonia (the list of states can be found on the following link: rahandusministeerium.ee/en/tax-and-customs-policy/ overview- estonian-bilateral-conventions-avoidance-double
Unfortunately, in case your country does not have this agreement with Estonia, legally, your income earned in other states (countries) will also be taxed in Estonia.
Table 3. Estonian average gross salaries by profession
In Estonia, when salaries are discussed, generally, people mean gross (brutto VDODULHV 7KLV DOVR DSSOLHV WR WKH ZDJHV EURXJKW RXW RQ MRE OLVWLQJV when having wage negotiations or writing the salary into your employment FRQWUDFW <RX VKRXOG NHHS LQ PLQG WKDW LQFRPH WD[ DQG XQHPSOR\PHQW insurance premium are deducted from that, and the amount that will be transferred to your bank account will be the net income (netto). We have gathered some statistics about Estonian salaries for you. In the WKLUG TXDUWHU RI WKH JURVV VDODU\ LQ (VWRQLD ZDV DERXW HXURV SHU PRQWK 0HDQZKLOH WKH PHGLDQ JURVV VDODU\ HTXDOOHG DERXW HXURV &RPSDUHG WR WKH PLQLPXP ZDJH KDV ULVHQ IURP HXURV WR HXURV SHU PRQWK LQ ZKLFK DOVR PHDQV DQ H[SHFWHG ULVH LQ WKH PHDQ DQG PHGLDQ VDODU\ LQ 7KH IROORZLQJ WDEOH 7DEOH ZLOO VKRZ you how the Estonian mean net salary compares to mean net salaries in other countries of the European Union.
Average gross salary, Q3 2021 (€ per month)
Table 2. Average net salaries of several countries in the European Union Country
Average net salary (€ per month)
7DEOH ZLOO JLYH \RX DQ LGHD RI WKH VDODULHV LQ (VWRQLD E\ SURIHVVLRQ however, keep in mind that as a third-country national working in Estonia, you must receive at least the average monthly salary, which is 1548 euros gross in 2022. If you want to see other statistics about Estonian salaries, visit the website of Statistics Estonia at stat.ee/en.
WORKING CULTURE :KHQ \RX VWDUW \RXU MRE LQ (VWRQLD LW LV KHOSIXO WR NQRZ WKH ORFDO ZRUNLQJ style and habits so you can be prepared and easily blend in. Estonian working culture is generally task-oriented. Estonians are highly organised planners who complete action chains by doing one thing at a time, preferably in accordance with a linear agenda. Time is crucial to Estonians. Always be punctual or arrive a little early. Estonians disapprove of being late, and you may be considered unreliable or unprofessional if you arrive late. The same applies to deadlines – you are expected to deliver results by the time that you have promised.
42 As the country is small, the work-related structures in Estonia are less KLHUDUFKLFDO DQG PRUH ΌH[LEOH. Power distance in Estonia is usually small – interaction from subordinates to bosses to suggest changes or ideas is encouraged and common. This means that people prefer consulting, SDUWLFLSDWLRQ FROODERUDWLRQ DQG HɝFLHQF\ LQVWHDG RI EDVLQJ GHFLVLRQV DQG actions on status or preferring a strong hierarchy in management. 0DQ\ FRPSDQLHV LQ (VWRQLD DUH UXQ DQG VWDΊHG E\ \RXQJHU generations, who favour an informal, democratic, and consultative management style. This means that decisions are ideally made by gaining support through participation. Estonia has a high preference for avoiding uncertainty. Estonians maintain rigid codes of belief and behaviour and are sometimes intolerant of abnormal behaviours and ideas. Estonians are truthful rather than diplomatic and do not fear confrontation, sticking WR ORJLF UDWKHU WKDQ HPRWLRQV (ɝFLHQF\ LV SULRULWLVHG RYHU HPRWLRQV DV well. Feedback is not given very often. Feedback is expected to be honest and QRW VXJDU FRDWHG 3RVLWLYH IHHGEDFN LV TXLWH UDUH DV GRLQJ \RXU MRE ZHOO is the standard and not worth pointing out. Feedback is usually given if something is not good and needs to be improved. Negative feedback is mainly constructive and based on facts; it is common to provide it one-onone and not in front of bigger teams. Estonians value rules, regulations, structure, and stability. Estonians are law-abiding and have faith in systems to guide their conduct. They honour contracts and do not unduly delay payment for goods or services received. They are keen on punctual performance, good quality, and reliable delivery dates when doing business. Men and women or people IURP GLHUHQW JHQHUDWLRQV are treated equally in Estonia and in the ZRUNSODFH 'LVFULPLQDWLRQ LV QRW DOORZHG <RX VKRXOG WUHDW RWKHU SHRSOH respectfully and the same way you wish to be treated. So, as you can see, it is not that complicated to integrate into the working HQYLURQPHQW Ȃ MXVW GR \RXU MRE HɝFLHQWO\ EH JRRG ZLWK WLPH SD\ DWWHQWLRQ to details, make sure that the rules are followed, and all will be väga hea (“very good” in Estonian).
EMPLOYEE RIGHTS $V ZDV PHQWLRQHG EHIRUH ZKHQ \RX VWDUW D MRE LQ (VWRQLD \RXU HPSOR\HU KDV WR VLJQ D FRQWUDFW ZLWK \RX 3OHDVH GR QRW VWDUW DQ\ MRE ZLWKRXW VLJQLQJ an employment contract! <RXU RZQ DQG \RXU HPSOR\HUȇV SULPDU\ REOLJDWLRQV DQG ULJKWV VKRXOG EH listed in the contract. The employee’s rights are the following: having a salary in line with the labour law requirements, having an annual holiday, KDYLQJ VRPH VRFLDO EHQHȴWV IRU H[DPSOH SXEOLF KHDOWK LQVXUDQFH knowing how and when to terminate the contract, and having the right to sick leave. We will cover the main aspects of each right, except for the salary as it is described in detail in the previous chapter. So, we will begin with working time, sick leave and holidays. $FFRUGLQJ WR (VWRQLDQ /DERXU OHJLVODWLRQ D IXOO WLPH MRE IRU DQ HPSOR\HH PHDQV ZRUNLQJ IRU KRXUV D ZHHN ZKLFK PDNHV KRXUV D GD\ <RX have a right to have two rest days a week. And of course, you have to be paid the salary that is mentioned in the contract. If you work overtime, during night hours, or during public holidays, then these hours have to be compensated with additional free time or an increased hourly salary. <RX DOVR KDYH D ULJKW WR WDNH VLFN OHDYH LI \RX KDYH IDOOHQ LOO 7KH HPSOR\HU GRHV QRW UHLPEXUVH WKH ȴUVW GD\ EXW WKH IROORZLQJ GD\V XS WR DUH SDLG for. As for holidays, a full-time employee should have a minimum of 28 holiday days a calendar year. However, as you may work on a D-visa, and the employment is shortterm, you can have a certain number of holidays if you have worked for an employer for at least six months. In this case, you are entitled to holiday proportionate to the time worked. So, for example, if in the calendar year (12 months) you can have 28 calendar days of holiday, then after working IRU VL[ PRQWKV \RX FDQ KDYH GD\V <RX FDQ ȴQG PRUH LQIRUPDWLRQ about holidays at the Labour Inspectorate website – tooelu.ee/en/26/ types-holidays.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT
45 If you are on a short-term contract with a D-visa, \RXU VRFLDO EHQHWV DUH limited $V IRU PDQ\ VRFLDO VHUYLFHV LQ (VWRQLD \RX QHHG DQ LGHQWLȴFDWLRQ document (at least a residence permit). If you have an employment contract and are registered by your employer, you can have Public Health Insurance. This means that you can use Estonian public medical services for free. Employees are entitled to at least a minimum wage. In many cases, the PLQLPXP ZDJH WKDW FDQ EH SDLG WR D VKRUW WHUP ZRUNHU LV GLHUHQW IURP D regular minimum wage in Estonia. In most cases, the worker registered for short-term employment is obligated to receive at least an average salary from the employer. But there are exceptions, where workers’ minimum wage must be larger or lesser than the average income. For example, the minimum wage of top specialists must be equal to at least double the average gross salary in Estonia. In the case of a seasonal worker, the wage can be less than the average gross salary. To see a complete list of exceptions, visit the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board website at www2.politsei.ee/en. There are also special conditions for paying the salary. Special requirements include overtime work, night-time work and working on national holidays. ΖQ FDVH RI RYHUWLPH ZRUN HPSOR\HHV DUH HQWLWOHG WR HLWKHU WLPH R HTXDO WR WKH RYHUWLPH RU D [ PRQHWDU\ FRPSHQVDWLRQ RI WKH VDODU\ LI DJUHHG ZLWK the employee. When working at night-time, the monetary compensation PXVW EH DW OHDVW [ WKH UHJXODU ZDJH RU LI DJUHHG QLJKW WLPH ZRUN FDQ be compensated with additional rest time. Working on a national holiday must also be paid for. If agreed, it may be compensated with either the 2x remuneration or additional rest time. Other rights include the right to a safe environment for working, compensation for all reasonable expenses when performing work duties, a daily allowance in case of a business trip, and equal treatment. For more RQ VRFLDO EHQHȴWV DQG ULJKWV SOHDVH VHH &KDSWHU All the necessary information about the work environment and labour relations is available (in Estonian, English, and Russian) at the Labour Inspectorate website: tooelu.ee/en. Please visit it if you need more information.
7KLV VHFWLRQ ZLOO LQWURGXFH \RX WR VRFLDO EHQHȴWV LQ (VWRQLD WKDW \RX PLJKW want to know about. (VWRQLD LV D FRXQWU\ ZLWK VHYHUDO VRFLDO EHQHȴWV DYDLODEOH WR WKH UHVLGHQWV 6RPH EHQHȴWV DUH GLUHFWO\ UHODWHG WR \RXU SODFH RI ZRUN WKHVH DUH
6LFNQHVV EHQHȴW Carer’s allowance 0DWHUQLW\ EHQHȴW 6LFNQHVV EHQHȴW LV ȴQDQFLDO FRPSHQVDWLRQ SDLG E\ WKH HPSOR\HU DQG Estonian Health Insurance Fund to an insured person who is on temporary OHDYH IURP ZRUN LQ FDVH RI IDOOLQJ LOO ZRUN DFFLGHQW WUDɝF DFFLGHQW RU D GRPHVWLF LQMXU\ 6XSSRVH \RX IDOO LOO DQG PXVW EH DEVHQW IURP ZRUN ΖQ that case, you will need to contact your family doctor, who will issue you a document for sick leave (in Estonia, the family doctor usually issues this document electronically, which you can check yourself in the state portal eesti.ee). The compensation for sick leave will be paid based on WKDW GRFXPHQW <RX ZLOO UHFHLYH FRPSHQVDWLRQ RI RI \RXU DYHUDJH VDODU\ <RX ZLOO DOVR QHHG WR NHHS LQ PLQG WKDW \RX ZLOO QRW UHFHLYH DQ\ FRPSHQVDWLRQ IRU WKH ȴUVW GD\ RI \RXU OHDYH $ VHFRQG EHQHȴW \RX FDQ DSSO\ IRU LV D FDUHUȇV DOORZDQFH FRPSHQVDWLRQ ΖW LV D EHQHȴW SDLG WR DQ LQVXUHG SHUVRQ ZKR WDNHV FDUH RI DQ DLOLQJ FKLOG RU IDPLO\ PHPEHU 7KH UDWH IRU WKH FDUH DOORZDQFH LV RI \RXU DYHUDJH VDODU\ DQG GLHUHQW VLWXDWLRQV GHWHUPLQH WKH SHULRG OHQJWK \RX DUH HOLJLEOH IRU WKH EHQHȴW )RU H[DPSOH WKH PRVW FRPPRQ FDVH LV ZKHQ D child gets sick from a mild sickness (e.g. a seasonal virus); in this case, the allowance is paid for up to 7 days. <RX FDQ ȴQG D OLVW RI WKHVH VLWXDWLRQV RQ WKH IROORZLQJ SDJH haigekassa. ee/en/node/7/care-allowance. Just keep in mind that you cannot receive VLFNQHVV EHQHȴW IRU \RXUVHOI DQG WKH FDUH DOORZDQFH VLPXOWDQHRXVO\ $ WKLUG EHQHȴW WKDW \RX FDQ UHFHLYH LV FDOOHG PDWHUQLW\ EHQHȴW 7KLV EHQHȴW applies to you in the case of childbirth and subsequent maternity leave. As this is primarily an exceptional case for people with visas, we will not cover that thoroughly in this handbook. Instead, you can read about maternity EHQHȴWV RQ WKH IROORZLQJ SDJH haigekassa.ee/en/node/7/maternityEHQHW.
SERVICES FOR NEWCOMERS ΖQ DGGLWLRQ WR EHQHȴWV VRPH VHUYLFHV DUH VSHFLȴFDOO\ GHVLJQHG IRU newcomers. During the last decade, the Estonian government and HPSOR\HUV KDYH SXW D ORW RI HRUW LQWR GHYHORSLQJ VXSSRUW VHUYLFHV DQG information materials that help people to settle in Estonia. This section provides a brief overview of such initiatives.
Relocation services Companies that provide professional relocation services operate in Estonia, providing paid services that may make it more convenient to arrive in Estonia and easier to cope with life here. If you are moving to Estonia for work, your employer may already have a contract with such a company. Some of these companies include MoveMyTalent (movemytalent.com), Talent Mobility Management (talentmobility.ee), Expat Relocation Estonia (expatestonia.ee), and Jobbatical Relocation Services (jobbatical. com). 6HUYLFHV SURYLGHG E\ WKHP PD\ LQFOXGH IRU H[DPSOH ȴQGLQJ \RX D SODFH to live, helping you move your things, concluding rental agreements, ordering utility services, and dealing with the documents concerning your stay in Estonia. For a detailed description of the available services, please review the information on the respective companies’ websites and contact them in person.
48 International shipping companies can help you bring your belongings to Estonia. Shipping times vary depending on your country of origin. If you are moving from an EU country, there are no tax restrictions. If you move from a non-EU country, import tax might be imposed on some imported JRRGV <RX FDQ LPSRUW \RXU SHUVRQDO SURSHUW\ VXFK DV KRXVHKROG LWHPV by applying for tax exemption. Clothes and other necessities are not taxed. ΖWHPV \RX KDYH KDG IRU OHVV WKDQ VL[ PRQWKV ZLOO EH VXEMHFW WR LPSRUW GXWLHV DQG WD[HV <RX FDQ ȴQG D GHWDLOHG OLVW RI UHTXLUHG GRFXPHQWV RQ WKH Tax and Customs Board website at emta.ee.
Migration advisors Migration advisors at the Police and Border Guard Board support foreigners in settling in Estonia and partner with employers, entrepreneurs, educational institutions, and others who invite foreigners to Estonia. Advisors work in Estonian, English and Russian. The service is free of charge. Foreigners are welcome to meet with consultants to discuss how to stay in Estonia legally, the basics of employment, living, working, doing business or research, and studying in Estonia. Advisors provide counselling over the phone, by email, Skype, and face to face. For more information and to book an appointment, see the webpage of the Police and Border Guard Board at politsei.ee/en/migrationconsultants.
Integration Foundation The advisers from the Integration Foundation’s Counselling Centre and its Counselling Web (at integratsioon.ee RHU D ZLGH UDQJH RI LQIRUPDWLRQ They can refer people to other agencies and service providers where needed. The advisory services are available to anyone who has questions about living in Estonia. The advisers can introduce Estonian residents to public services they may need or be interested in and support them in dealing with state institutions and local authorities. Centres are located in Tallinn and Narva.
International House International House of Estonia (IHE) is a shared service centre in Tallinn (and International House Tartu), providing a wide range of essential information – consultations and public authority services for international
49 QHZFRPHUV DQG ORFDO HPSOR\HUV Ζ+( RHUV IUHH SHUVRQDO FRQVXOWDWLRQV for foreigners, their families, and local employers about settling in, documentation, healthcare, language programmes, etc. For more information, go to workinestonia.com/internationalhouse.
Tartu Welcome Centre Tartu Welcome Centre is a team of local advisers with the mission of supporting newcomers in the process of settling in. All services are free of charge and meant for international newcomers and their family members living in Tartu or Southern Estonia. The services provided include free consultations, registry services, cultural and networking events, and useful information. For more information, see tartuwelcomecentre.ee.
European Employment Services The purpose of EURES (European Employment Services) Estonia is designed to facilitate the free movement of workers within the EU countries plus 6ZLW]HUODQG ΖFHODQG /LHFKWHQVWHLQ DQG 1RUZD\ (85(6 RHUV D EURDG range of services – for example, information about the rules of the (VWRQLDQ ODERXU PDUNHW DQG MRE VHHNLQJ LQ (VWRQLD WKDW LV DYDLODEOH RQ the EURES portal or through a human network of more than a thousand advisers working in the EURES Member and Partner organisations. More LQIRUPDWLRQ DERXW (85(6 DQG ȴQGLQJ D MRE LQ (VWRQLD FDQ EH IRXQG RQ LWV website at eures.ee. The international community more than doubled in Estonia during the past few years. The largest groups of foreigners in Estonia are international students, people coming to work, and their accompanying families. Many civil society organisations, communities, and online groups aim to ease settling-in, establish new connections, and provide personalised advice from people with a similar background. See the Settle in Estonia handbook on networking, volunteering, and leisure WLPH IRU PRUH LQIRUPDWLRQ RQ VSHFLȴF JURXSV RUJDQLVDWLRQV RU QHWZRUNV
WHERE TO FIND HELP IN CASE OF PROBLEMS WITH YOUR EMPLOYER
WHAT TO DO IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOB
If your employer does not follow labour law or the working contract signed E\ ERWK VLGHV ZH KDYH D ULJKWV YLRODWLRQ FDVH <RX PXVW UHFHLYH WKH VDODU\ stated in the contract, have the weekly rest time and holidays (if your employment contract is for more than six months), be remunerated if you work overtime, have the right to sick leave, and the right to be reimbursed if you have been hurt during work and it wasn’t your fault, and so on.
:H UHDOO\ KRSH WKDW WKLV ZRQȇW EH WKH FDVH EXW ORVLQJ D MRE FDQ KDSSHQ because of the company’s problems, disagreement with an employer, or some other circumstances. That is why you should know what to do in such a situation.
If any of those things are not followed, WKHQ ȴUVW ZH DGYLVH \RX WR talk to the employer – there is a chance that something has simply been overlooked and the issue will be resolved once you mention it. If your employer continues to violate your rights, you can turn to the Labour Dispute Committee, which handles such cases. <RX VKRXOG VXEPLW D SHWLWLRQ LQ (VWRQLDQ WKHUH DQG LW ZLOO EH SURFHVVHG ZLWKLQ GD\V VR PDNH VXUH \RX KDYH D SHUVRQ WR KHOS \RX ZLWK LW <RX FDQ UHDG about the detailed steps on their webpage: ti.ee/en/labour-disputes-2. <RX FDQ DOVR VHH GHWDLOHG LQVWUXFWLRQV RQ KRZ WR VXEPLW DQ DSSOLFDWLRQ E\ following this link: youtu.be/BuQAVeaJZZY. Please note! If you have been the victim of physical abuse or sexual harassment, then report the matter directly to the Police and Border *XDUG %RDUG E\ ȴOLQJ D FRPSODLQW
7KH XQIRUWXQDWH WKLQJ LV WKDW ZKHQ \RX ORVH \RXU MRE \RX DOVR ORVH registration of your current employment status, and if you do not get DQRWKHU ZRUNSODFH LQ GD\V WKHQ PRVW OLNHO\ \RXU ' YLVD IRU ZRUN ZLOO EH FDQFHOOHG 7KLV LV WRXJK EXW FDQ EH PDQDJHG 7KH ȴUVW WKLQJ \RX FDQ GR LV WDON WR PLJUDWLRQ FRQVXOWDQWV WR LGHQWLI\ \RXU QH[W VWHSV <RX FDQ UHDG about contacting the migration consultants here: www.politsei.ee/en/ migration-consultants. 7KHQ WKH EHVW WKLQJ LV WR VWDUW ORRNLQJ IRU D QHZ MRE /RRN DW WKH Töötukassa website MREV VHFWLRQ Tööpakkumised (tootukassa.ee/en/MRERΊHUV) and use recruitment websites like cv.ee or cvkeskus.ee. Look through the Work in Estonia webpage (www.workinestonia.com). It can be helpful to look on social media, for example, Facebook groups for expats in general or expats of your nationality. There are both English, Russian, and Ukrainian language expat/foreigners Facebook groups in Estonia. Write a post there explaining your situation, and there might be SHRSOH ZKR KDYH D MRE RHU IRU \RX
ENTREPRENEURSHIP MADE EASY AND SIMPLE
53 tarting a company in Estonia is relatively easy and streamlined. Most of the processes can be completed online. It is most practical for a nonEstonian citizen to start a company in Estonia by becoming an e-resident. +ROGHUV RI WKH H UHVLGHQWȇV GLJLWDO LGHQWLȴFDWLRQ FDUG GLJL Ζ' FDQ VLJQ documents digitally. Digi-ID also provides access to all Estonian e-services. More information on applying for a digital identity document is available on the website of the e-residency: e-resident.gov.ee/eesti. Holders of an e-Residency card can establish a company in Estonia entirely online. If an e-Residency card is not available, a visit to a notary in Estonia is needed to verify the foundation documents. Estonia’s most common business form is a private limited company (osaühing). So, what are the next steps for establishing a company? First, you must choose a name for your company. In choosing a name for your company, you can be creative and use your imagination. However, there are some regulations and limitations for company names. These regulations include: 1.
the business name must include an indication of the company’s form of business (such as osaühing or OÜ at the beginning or end of the name)
the business name of an FIE must include the entrepreneur’s given name and surname
the business name may not include the name of a person who is not a shareholder/partner 4.
the business name may not be similar to other companies’ business names already entered into the register
the business name may not be similar to trademarks already UHJLVWHUHG XQOHVV WKH FRPSDQLHV RSHUDWH LQ GLHUHQW DFWLYLW\ DUHDV 6. the business name of the branch of a foreign company shall consist of the business name of the company and the words Eesti έOLDDO (Estonian branch). 7.
names of state or local government bodies and agencies may not be used in the business name
Besides local companies, European Community trademarks have legal protection in Estonia: 1.
a company’s business name and area of activity may not be in FRQȵLFW
the business name may not be contrary to good morals;
the business name must be clearly distinguishable. )RU WKH QH[W VWHS \RX VKRXOG HVWDEOLVK WKH ȴHOG RI DFWLYLW\ IRU \RXU FRPSDQ\ 'HWHUPLQLQJ WKH ȴHOG RI DFWLYLW\ LV EDVHG RQ WKH RɝFLDO FODVVLȴFDWLRQ Ȋ7KH (VWRQLDQ &ODVVLȴFDWLRQ RI (FRQRPLF $FWLYLWLHVȋ (07$. :KHQ HQWHULQJ D EXVLQHVV RQO\ RQH ȴHOG RI DFWLYLW\ L H WKH DFWLYLW\ WKDW LV SODQQHG WR SURGXFH WKH PRVW LQFRPH LQ WKH ȴUVW ȴQDQFLDO \HDU VKRXOG EH VHOHFWHG 'HWHUPLQLQJ WKH PDLQ ȴHOG RI DFWLYLW\ GRHV QRW PHDQ WKDW WKH FRPSDQ\ LV not permitted to be active in other areas of activity as well. The easiest way to register your company is to use electronic registration in the e-Business register. To use the e-Business register, you need an e-Residency ID-card and the digital signature software. More detailed information can be found on eesti.ee.
After you are done with founding your company, you should establish a bank account in Estonia. Depending on the company’s area of activity and size, a varying number of additional steps must be taken. 1.
ΖI WKH DFWLYLW\ DUHD LV VXEMHFW WR VSHFLDO UHTXLUHPHQWV D OLFHQFH KDV to be acquired.
For the use of e-services by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, you will have to conclude a contract to use the e-Tax/e-Customs.
Register the company as a VAT payer on the Tax and Customs Board website if needed. 4.
If your company has employees, register the employees in the Employment Register on the Tax and Customs Board website.
RELOCATING YOUR START-UP TO ESTONIA Estonia has a rich start-up environment with an inspiring and openminded business environment. If you already have a start-up and see (VWRQLD DV \RXU JUHDW QH[W EXVLQHVV DGYHQWXUH ZH UHFRPPHQG ȴUVW FRQVLGHULQJ \RXU EXVLQHVV SURȴOH DQG WKH QHHG LQ WKH PDUNHW IRU LW KHUH ΖI \RX KDYH ȴQLVKHG \RXU PDUNHW DQDO\VLV WKHQ LWȇV WLPH WR DVN IRU IHHGEDFN from the local business community. To meet the local entrepreneurship community, you can look up the events on the Start-Up Estonia and Enterprise Estonia webpages. One of the best opportunities to get direct feedback for your idea and business structure is participating in business FRPSHWLWLRQV LQFXEDWRUV RU DFFHOHUDWRUV <RX FDQ ȴQG PRUH LQIRUPDWLRQ about local business opportunities from the Start-Up Estonia webpage startupestonia.ee and the Enterprise Estonia webpage eas.ee.
56 If you feel like you are ready to bring your business to Estonia, the most important step is to register a company here. 6RPH EXVLQHVV ȴHOGV OLNH WKH IRRG DQG UHVWDXUDQW LQGXVWU\ DJULFXOWXUH and many more need a special licence to operate. Don’t hesitate to apply DQG ȴQG RXW PRUH DERXW OLFHQFHV IURP mtr.mkm.ee. When you have registered a company, hired employees, and are ready WR RHU \RXU VHUYLFH RU SURGXFW NHHS LQ PLQG WKDW \RX PXVW UHJLVWHU your workers with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and follow the legislative procedure established in Estonia. :H ZLVK \RX OXFN ZLWK \RXU EXVLQHVV MRXUQH\
Read more about salaries in additional materials: Settle in Estonia handbook 6. Business and Entrepreneurship issuu.com/settleinestonia/docs/business_and_entrepreneurship
ACCOMMODATION FINDING A PLACE TO STAY
HOW TO FIND IT :KHQ \RX FRPH WR (VWRQLD WR OLYH IRU VRPH WLPH RQH RI \RXU ȴUVW QHHGV will be accommodation. This chapter will give you some initial information RQ ZKHUH DQG KRZ WR ȴQG LW :H SURPLVH WKDW LWȇV QRW FRPSOLFDWHG 7KH (VWRQLDQ UHQWDO PDUNHW LQ PDMRU FLWLHV DQG WRZQV LV TXLWH YLEUDQW 7KH PRVW FRPPRQ ZD\ WR ȴQG D SODFH IRU UHQW RU SURSHUWLHV IRU VDOH LV WR XVH RQOLQH UHDO HVWDWH ZHEVLWHV 0DMRU ZHEVLWHV LQFOXGH city24.ee and kv.ee. The content of the advertisements on the websites is generally in Estonian. Still, you can always try contacting the owner in English or Russian, IRU H[DPSOH E\ VHQGLQJ DQ HPDLO UVW 7R ȴQG D VXLWDEOH SODFH WR OLYH XVH WKH ȴOWHUV DYDLODEOH RQ WKH ZHEVLWHV 7KH ȴOWHUV HQDEOH \RX WR FKRRVH WKH PRVW VXLWDEOH UHDO HVWDWH RHUV DFFRUGLQJ WR WKH FULWHULD QHFHVVDU\ WR you. 6RPH UHDO HVWDWH VLWHV OHW \RX ȴOWHU UHQWDO SURSHUWLHV GLUHFWO\ IURP WKH owner (otse omanikult). In these cases, there is no broker fee. Often, these properties are snatched up so quickly that they do not reach the general public. There are also local Facebook groups that list such rentals, for example ‘Üürikorterid (ilma maaklerita)’ and ‘Korterite üürimine (maakleriteta!)’. Please note! Some landlords are not inclined to rent their property to foreigners. Barriers may include language and fear (i.e. the lack of trust) of renting an apartment to someone from another country. Another problem people face when renting an apartment is the so-called ‘black’ rental market, where properties are rented informally and without paying taxes. If there is no rental agreement, the payments are settled in cash or descriptions in bank transfers are misleading, the it is most probably the case of illegal rental procedure, which should be avoided.
FEES RELATED TO RENTING The fees related to renting an apartment are divided into four groups: Rent of the apartment – this fee is agreed upon in the rental agreement. Rent is paid once a month, generally in advance. Deposit – this sum is paid once before moving in. The deposit remains in the landlord’s possession for the entire rental period. When the rental period ends and you move out of the property, the deposit is returned to you (minus any deductions for damages). Utilities – utilities include all the running costs of using an apartment, such as water, electricity, and heat. Often the tenant is responsible for paying the general costs for the building, such as cleaning, maintenance, etc. Estate agent’s fee – Most properties posted on websites are RHUHG WKURXJK HVWDWH DJHQWV 7KH HVWDWH DJHQW UHSUHVHQWV WKH SURSHUW\ RZQHU DUUDQJHV WKH ȴQGLQJ RI WHQDQWV GUDZV XS the agreements, and shows the property to interested parties. However, traditionally the estate agent’s fee is paid by the tenant. The estate agent’s fee is usually equal to one month’s rent.
RENTAL AGREEMENTS When renting, a rental agreement (üürileping) is concluded between the RZQHU DQG WKH WHQDQW 7KH DJUHHPHQW VSHFLȴHV WKH UHQWDO SHULRG WKH parties’ rights and obligations, and information related to amending the agreement. Before signing a rental agreement, it is crucial to review the terms and conditions of the agreement in detail. If the agreement is in Estonian (and usually it is) and you lack the language skills needed, you must ask the estate agent or a local to explain the agreement’s contents to you as thoroughly as possible.
BANKING & INSURANCE FINANCES
61 In Estonia, most money transactions occur through bank transfers (including salary payments and state fees). Therefore, it is strongly UHFRPPHQGHG IRU HYHU\ UHVLGHQW WR RSHQ D EDQN DFFRXQW <RX FDQ RSHQ a bank account in most commercial banks, and the terms and conditions applied to current accounts are relatively similar in all of them. Opening and maintaining a bank account is free of charge in most banks. Both residents and non-residents of Estonia may open an Estonian bank DFFRXQW 7R RSHQ D EDQN DFFRXQW LQ (VWRQLD DV D UHVLGHQW \RX ȴUVW QHHG WR ȴOO LQ DQ DSSOLFDWLRQ DQG SURYLGH WKH EDQN ZLWK VRPH QHFHVVDU\ GRFXPHQWV via the internet. After that, you will need to appear at the bank in person WR LGHQWLI\ \RXUVHOI $OO EDQN RɝFHV RSHQ EDQN DFFRXQWV Ȃ \RX GR QRW QHHG WR JR WR WKH PDLQ RɝFH <RX ZLOO ȴUVW QHHG WR ȴOO LQ DQ DSSOLFDWLRQ WKDW \RX FDQ ȴQG RQ WKH EDQN ZHEVLWH ΖQ WKH DSSOLFDWLRQ \RX ZLOO EH DVNHG IRU \RXU SHUVRQDO GHWDLOV OLNH SHUVRQDO LGHQWLȴFDWLRQ FRGH GDWH RI ELUWK HWF The bank will also ask you for a document that proves your connection to Estonia. One of the following documents is therefore required: A signed rental agreement A signed employment contract Proof of studying in an educational institution (provided by the educational institution) Proof of connection with entrepreneurship
/DVWO\ \RX ZLOO QHHG D FRS\ RI \RXU LGHQWLȴFDWLRQ GRFXPHQW H J SDVVSRUW All these documents will be sent to the bank beforehand and reviewed. <RX ZLOO UHFHLYH DQ DQVZHU DV VRRQ DV \RXU DSSOLFDWLRQ LV UHYLHZHG DQG if there are no issues with your application, you will be called to a bank RɝFH WR LGHQWLI\ \RXUVHOI DQG VLJQ WKH DJUHHPHQW ZLWK WKH EDQN After that, you are good to go and can start making bank transfers on the LQWHUQHW DQG RUGHU \RXUVHOI D GHELW RU FUHGLW FDUG <RX FDQ ȴQG DGGLWLRQDO information by using the following sources: The website of the bank where you want to open an account. The most popular banks for personal banking are: Swedbank swedbank.ee/private SEB seb.ee/en LHV lhv.ee/en Coop Pank cooppank.ee/en 6HWWOH LQ (VWRQLD KDQGERRN 3XEOLF DQG 3ULYDWH 6HUYLFHV
INSURANCE The most important type of insurance in Estonia is health insurance. Health insurance is also one requirement when applying for a visa, and you will need to present it while applying for the visa. Health insurance is necessary to cover your medical expenses in case of an accident. Health insurance can also sometimes be called travel insurance by some insurance companies. In that case, health insurance can be part of the WUDYHO LQVXUDQFH EXW EH VXUH WR FRQȴUP WKDW EHIRUH DSSO\LQJ IRU WKH YLVD <RX ZLOO DOVR QHHG WR YHULI\ WKDW D UHOLDEOH LQVXUDQFH FRPSDQ\ SURYLGHV your health insurance and that the insurance is accepted in all countries that belong to the Schengen Area. With most reliable companies, it is likely WKH FDVH DV WKH\ GRQȇW JHQHUDOO\ RHU LQVXUDQFH IRU D VWD\ LQ D VSHFLȴF country. Please make sure that insurance covers the whole duration of your stay in Estonia.
Other types of insurance that might be useful in Estonia are connected to the property, for example, if you own a car or real estate. <RX FDQ ȴQG DGGLWLRQDO LQIRUPDWLRQ E\ XVLQJ WKH IROORZLQJ VRXUFHV The websites of private insurance companies that provide insurance for the Schengen Area. The most popular among foreigners in Estonia are: ERGO ergo.ee Swisscare swisscare.com/en/home PZU pzu.ee/en Settle in Estonia handbook 3. Public and Private Services issuu.com/settleinestonia/docs/private_and_public_services
HEALTHCARE MEDICINE IN ESTONIA
65 We would also like to provide you with information on the Estonian medical system. Health is important at every point of your life, and it is especially helpful to know how the Estonian medical system functions while you are here as a foreigner. (VWRQLD KDV XQLȴHG QDWLRQDO KHDOWK LQVXUDQFH ZKLFK SURYLGHV TXDOLW\ medical care for every insured person. Every permanent resident of Estonia and everybody who stays here on the basis of a temporary residence permit or right of residence has the right to health insurance if the necessary social tax has been paid for them. Health insurance is DYDLODEOH IRU DOO RɝFLDOO\ ZRUNLQJ SHUVRQV ZKRVH HPSOR\PHQW KDV EHHQ registered by the employer at the Tax and Customs Board. The employer is responsible for paying social tax. The working person must receive at least the Estonian minimum salary to be eligible for the coverage. In Estonia, medicine is free of charge for people with state insurance, and a visit to a family doctor is also free. Unfortunately, it is not possible for those entering with a D-visa to register in the practice list of family physicians at the moment. However, if you have private insurance, you have an equal right to use medical services.
MEDICAL EXPENSES The fee for using medical services will depend on your insurance contract, so you should ask for those details from the company itself. Usually, SULYDWH LQVXUDQFH FRPSDQLHV H J (5*2 KDYH DJUHHPHQWV ZLWK VSHFLȴF hospitals, so make sure to ask them about this as well. 0HGLFDO VHUYLFHV DUH RHUHG HLWKHU
in medical institutions that are partners with the Health Insurance Fund (state hospitals), i.e. provide free services to
in private clinics
IF YOU NEED MEDICAL SERVICES If at some point during your stay in Estonia you need help with a medical issue, then regardless of whether you have public or private insurance, you should contact a general practitioner, who are at the same time, family doctors. Still, as people with a D-visa cannot be registered with a family doctor, i.e. cannot be included to the list of patients the family doctor is UHVSRQVLEOH IRU WKHQ \RX VKRXOG MXVW FRQWDFW DQ\ RQH RI WKHP Not all family doctors may be able to speak English or Russian. To make LW HDVLHU WR ȴQG D VXLWDEOH GRFWRU WKH +HDOWK %RDUG KDV FUHDWHG D SDJH ZKHUH \RX FDQ ȴQG D OLVW RI IDPLO\ GRFWRUV ZKR DOVR SURYLGH VHUYLFHV LQ D ODQJXDJH GLHUHQW IURP (VWRQLDQ terviseamet.ee/en/healthcare/information-patients/what-familyphysician-care/family-doctors-readiness-accept-new. After examining you, the general practitioner will refer you if you need a particular specialist. However, a referral is not required for such doctors as gynaecologists, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, pulmonologists (lung doctors), psychiatrists, psychologists, and dentists; you can contact the doctor directly. Also, general practitioners prescribe drugs and issue sick leaves to those who need them. Alternatively, you can use the services of private clinics if you need help with a medical issue. To go there, you do not need to contact a general practitioner. All you should do is book the appointment at the clinic of your choice. The fees for medical services are listed on the websites of private clinics, and usually, they are more expensive than the ones that DUH RHUHG DW WKH VWDWH FOLQLFV We would like to emphasise that if you have state insurance, then the cost of medical services is free in general – there can be some fees for visits to VSHFLDOLVW GRFWRUV DQG WKH VHUYLFHV WKH\ RHU If you have private insurance, then the reimbursement conditions and WKH SURFHGXUH IRU JHWWLQJ WKH PHGLFDO VHUYLFH \RX QHHG LV GHȴQHG E\ the insurance company itself. We advise you to ask them for detailed information. And of course, if you need urgent help, the emergency departments (called EMO – erakorralise meditsiini osakond - in Estonian) at hospitals are open 24/7. <RX GR QRW QHHG WR FRQWDFW D JHQHUDO SUDFWLWLRQHU WR JR there.
67 In case of an emergency, call 112 - the service is available in Estonian, Russian and English. If you are not sure whether your situation is an emergency or not, do not hesitate to call. A rescue coordinator who has completed relevant training will answer your call and determine the severity of the situation. If it is determined that the help of ambulance, police, or rescue workers is not necessary, the rescue coordinator will provide you with further instructions or forward your call to the appropriate line. If you want to read more about the medical system and services in Estonia, you can use these materials:
Settle in Estonia handbook 3. Private and public services
Health Board website haigekassa.ee/inimesele/arsti-ja-oendusabi/perearstiabi
Family doctor helpline 1220 (24/7, free, by phone)
Availability of family doctors by language terviseamet.ee/en/healthcare/information-patients/ what-fahaigekassa.ee/inimesele/arsti-ja-oendusabi/ perearstiabimily-physician-care/family-doctors-readinessaccept-new
EMERGENCY WHERE TO GET HELP
69 Estonia is relatively safe in terms of both natural and human factors. There are no earthquakes, tornados, or other natural disasters. The forests do not contain any dangerous animals (except for bears) )or insects. Estonians usually pick berries or mushrooms during the harvest season, but you need to know what types are edible. Water in Estonia is drinkable in all of the cities. The only thing to keep in mind and be careful of is winters when EOL]]DUGV ZLWK VQRZVWRUPV DUH OLNHO\ DQG WHPSHUDWXUHV FDQ IDOO WR r& RU VRPHWLPHV HYHQ ORZHU r& 7KH URDGV DQG HYHQ KLJKZD\V PD\ become slippery – this usually happens when the temperature changes EDFN DQG IRUWK DURXQG r& ZLWK VQRZ PHOWLQJ DQG WKHQ IUHH]LQJ DJDLQ RU with newly fallen snow on the roads. Also, as the wintertime is dark, it is necessary – and compulsory, along the main roads outside the city – to ZHDU D UHȵHFWRU WR PDNH \RX YLVLEOH WR WKH FDU GULYHUV ZKHQ \RX FURVV WKH street. The crime rate in Estonia is relatively low as well, but, nevertheless, crimes happen. And for you to be fully prepared in case something unfortunate happens, you need to know what institutions there are in Estonia that manage threats.
OVERVIEW OF INSTITUTIONS AND SERVICES THAT MANAGE THREATS IN ESTONIA Ambulance In Estonia and elsewhere in the European Union (as well as in Iceland and Georgia), there is one emergency phone number (112) to call the ambulance, police and rescue workers.
71 The emergency number 112 is dialled the same way on mobile and landline telephones, and calls to this number are free.
Rescue Board The Estonian Rescue Board is a government agency that develops and maintains a secure environment in Estonia, anticipates threats, and promptly and professionally assists people in the event of an accident. The mission of the Rescue Board is to prevent accidents, and save lives, property, and the environment.
Call the Emergency Response Centre if you need help – if your or someone else’s life, health, property or environment is in danger or there is reason to believe that something dangerous is about to happen.
The emergency number for the Rescue Board is 112. The website is www. rescue.ee/
The emergency phone number 112 is always accessible and free of charge. Be sure to teach children how to call this number and encourage them to use it if necessary. It is possible to call 112 even if there is no SIM card on the phone or no network signal.
State helpline 1247
Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) The PPA is responsible for law enforcement and internal security in the Republic of Estonia. The organization’s main tasks are to protect the Estonian state, handle documentation, preserve law and civil order within the country’s borders, and detect and prevent crime. The emergency phone number for the Police and Border Guard Board is 112. Call the emergency number 112 if you need urgent assistance from WKH SROLFH DQG ZLVK WR UHSRUW D GLVWXUEDQFH FULPH RU WUDɝF DFFLGHQW If anyone’s life or property is in danger, assistance will be dispatched while you are still on the line.
The state helpline 1247 is an information phone number operating next to the emergency number 112 ZKLFK RHUV LQIRUPDWLRQ DQG DGYLFH in Estonian, Russian and English 24/7 in situations where life, health, and property are not endangered. The senior specialists of the state helpline provide and collect information related to the environment, roads, rescue ȴHOG DQG FXUUHQWO\ DOVR WKH FRURQDYLUXV One of the most important goals of the service is to reduce the burden on the 112 emergency number by helping people with non-emergency calls. Safety information and instructions for behaviour are also provided to prevent accidents. The emergency response centre can use emergency DQG LQIRUPDWLRQ QXPEHUV GXULQJ DQ HPHUJHQF\ RU D PDMRU DFFLGHQW DV D crisis helpline, through which recommendations and instructions on how to behave are distributed to the population. The state helpline 1247 is free of charge when calling from all Estonian networks. :KHQ FDOOLQJ IURP DEURDG GLDO
If the situation changes, be sure to tell the dispatcher and keep your line open so that you can be called back.
If you prefer, you can also send information to the email address email@example.com.
All calls to the emergency number are recorded. Explain to children when 112 must/may be called.
All calls made to the state helpline are recorded.
72 Victim support 9LFWLP VXSSRUW LV QHHGHG QRW RQO\ ZKHQ UHSRUWLQJ D FULPH DHFWLQJ ourselves – but you can also turn to victim support if you have seen how someone else has been mistreated or there has been an accident and you don’t know who to get help from. The victim support service provides mental support, information about opportunities to receive help, and, if necessary, can communicate with other essential institutions. Through a victim support worker, you can receive psychological counselling, apply for compensation if you have been a victim of crime, and receive support in case of domestic violence. In addition, victim support workers help to carry out a conciliation service. It happens when the victim and the person accused are reconciled, and agreements are made to compensate for the damage caused to you in the crime. If you have a concern related to your working environment, such as late salary payments or poor working conditions, the Labour Inspectorate’s DGYLVRU\ VHUYLFH RQ ZLOO EH DEOH WR KHOS \RX
How to get victim support The victim support crisis hotline 116 006 RHUV KRXU FULVLV FRXQVHOOLQJ and information will be provided to those who have fallen a victim. If necessary, you will be directed to more detailed assistance. In addition, you will be guaranteed that the information received reaches the relevant assistance specialists. The victim support crisis hotline is intended for \RX LI \RX DUH WKH YLFWLP RI DQ RHQFH IRU H[DPSOH DQ DWWDFN WKHIW RI belongings or a car, fraud, etc.; you have been the victim of negligence or ill-treatment, which includes, for example, bullying at work; or you have been the victim of physical, mental, sexual or economic violence, for example if your partner controls the use of your money. The hotline can also be used if you want to report someone else falling victim. Calling the 116 006 number is free of charge, and you can remain anonymous if you wish. There is also an online chat option. You will be advised in Estonian, Russian, or English. The website of the victim support - palunabi.ee
BUYING, REGISTERING AND OPERATING VEHICLE
VEHICLE This chapter will explain how to register a vehicle (for example, a car) in Estonia. The chapter consists of two parts, which cover two situations. Firstly, we will explain what you should do when buying a vehicle in Estonia and secondly, what to do when purchasing a vehicle in another country. Please note! A vehicle can only be registered by an Estonian citizen or a person who has a permanent living permit in Estonia. If you do not have a permanent permit, you can register the vehicle in another person’s or company’s name who meets these requirements.
REGULATIONS FOR FOREIGN DRIVING LICENCES IN ESTONIA Driving licences issued by countries belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) are valid in Estonia until their expiration date. Estonia also accepts all driving licences issued by countries that have VLJQHG WKH *HQHYD &RQYHQWLRQ FRQFHUQLQJ WUDɝF ODZV DQG VLJQDWRU\ FRXQWULHV RI WKH 9LHQQD &RQYHQWLRQ RQ 5RDG 7UDɝF 0RUH information about countries belonging to either of these conventions can HDVLO\ EH IRXQG RQOLQH 'LHUHQW UHJXODWLRQV DSSO\ RQFH D SHUVRQ EHFRPHV a resident of Estonia. Licence entries must be in Latin characters. The licence must include the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive. The description must include the maximum authorised mass of the vehicle and the passenger capacity in the case of buses. Licences not meeting these requirements are only valid with an international driving permit. A licence with a translation is only valid if the translated licence includes the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive. <RX FDQ ȴQG DGGLWLRQDO LQIRUPDWLRQ KHUH Foreign driving licence | Transpordiamet transpordiamet.ee/en/foreign-driving-licence
BUYING A VEHICLE IN ESTONIA Before purchasing a vehicle in Estonia, we recommend you do a EDFNJURXQG FKHFN RQ LW EHIRUHKDQG <RX FDQ GR WKLV WKURXJK WKH (VWRQLDQ Motor Insurance Bureau (Eesti Liikluskindlustuse Fond or LKF) or the Estonian Transport Administration’s (Maanteeamet or MNT) webpages: lkf. ee/en and mnt.ee. Also, be sure to check the seller’s background, whether it is a physical person or a company that is selling the vehicle. 7KHUH DUH VRPH GHȴQLWH ȊUHG ȵDJVȋ WR ZDWFK RXW IRU ΖI LW LV D FRPSDQ\ selling the car, be sure to check out the credit information on that company, which can be done through Creditinfo (e-Krediidiinfo) or the e-Business Register (e-Äriregister) on the following webpages: creditinfo. ee/en/ and ariregister.rik.ee/eng. Sometimes companies that sell used cars get blacklisted by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (Tarbijakaitse ja Tehnilise Järelvalve Amet) for selling broken or damaged vehicles. Note that if the car has been on sale for a long period of time, there is probably a good reason for that. If the person trying to sell the car says that the vehicle already has another buyer and you should make your decision quickly, it is better to exercise caution. Buying a used car should never be done in a rush. Also, note the location and time when the vehicle LV EHLQJ VROG ΖW LV DQRWKHU UHG ȵDJ LI D YHKLFOH LV EHLQJ VROG DW D UDQGRP roadside location or a distant parking lot during the late hours of the day. Always sign an on-paper agreement with the seller of the vehicle. Readymade forms for this can be found online. This is your protection against getting scammed or deceived by the seller, which, if needed, you can take to court at a later date. Always make two copies of the sales agreement. If you are paying for the purchase via bank transfer, be sure to check that the person receiving the transaction is the same as the person listed on the agreement. The sales agreement should hold all the necessary information about the vehicle (person selling/purchasing the vehicle, vehicle details, condition, price, etc.).
After a purchase has been made, you will need the signed sales agreement DQG WKH JUHHQ VOLS WKDW FRPHV ZLWK WKH YHKLFOH )RU WKH ȴUVW VHYHQ GD\V after the purchase, your car will have free insurance. After the purchase, you should make your way over to the Transport Administration (Maanteeamet), where you must present the required documents. In Estonia, it is mandatory to have MTPLI or Motor Third Party Liability Insurance (liikluskindlustus RQ \RXU YHKLFOH LI LW LV EHLQJ XVHG LQ WUDɝF Getting insurance for your vehicle shouldn’t take more than a few minutes because it is mainly done online. The most popular websites for vehicle insurance are if.ee and lkf.ee. PS! If you don’t own an Estonian driving licence, you should always keep your driving licence with you while driving. If you do hold an Estonian GULYLQJ OLFHQFH LW LV DOVR VXɝFLHQW RQO\ WR FDUU\ \RXU LGHQWLȴFDWLRQ FDUG If you are bringing a vehicle purchased in another EU country to Estonia, be sure to check all the legal requirements on the Transport Administration’s webpage mnt.ee.
OPERATING A VEHICLE In case you will be operating a vehicle in Estonia, there are a handful of general rules you might want to know. Main facts you need to know about:
:H KDYH D ULJKW KDQG WUDɝF <RX QHHG WR KDYH \RXU GULYHUȇV OLFHQVH DQG WKH FDU UHJLVWUDWLRQ GRFXPHQW ZLWK \RX DQ\WLPH \RX DUH GULYLQJ $OZD\V GULYH VREHU GULQNLQJ DQG GULYLQJ LV QRW WROHUDWHG DW DOO $OZD\V OHW SHGHVWULDQV RYHU WKH URDG LI WKH\ DUH XVLQJ WKH SHGHVWULDQ FURVVLQJ 1HYHU GR DQ\WKLQJ WKDW GLVWXUEV \RXU DWWHQWLRQ ZKLOH GULYLQJ H J XVH \RXU SKRQH
SCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN OPPORTUNITIES
f you are coming to Estonia with your family and have children, it will be useful to know what options there are to start or continue their education. In this chapter, we will talk about the educational system in Estonia, key information about kindergartens and schools, how to approach them, and what to keep in mind. In Estonia, education has been valued for generations. The country has one of the highest quality education systems in the world, where students VKRZ WKH EHVW UHVXOWV $FFRUGLQJ WR WKH 3Ζ6$ LQWHUQDWLRQDO HGXFDWLRQ ranking, Estonian students ranked 1st in Europe.
The system has four levels, which are: Pre-school education (early childhood education including kindergartens) Basic education (primary schools) Secondary education (high schools) Higher education (universities).
Here we will be talking only about pre-school, basic and secondary education.
D-VISA AND KINDERGARTEN/ SCHOOL PLACES Unfortunately, if you are in Estonia on a D-visa, putting your child into school or kindergarten might be complicated. The issue has been dealt with for years and is still not resolved. There has been an ongoing debate about parents with D-visas and schools/kindergartens. The question is whether they have to take a child who does not have a residence permit (TRP).
For now, there has been no decision. Generally speaking, both kindergartens and schools will accept a child only if they have a residence permit. Therefore, if you are in Estonia with a D-visa, try public schools and kindergartens but be prepared that you may be limited to private ones. ΖI \RX KDYH WURXEOH ȴQGLQJ D SODFH IRU \RXU FKLOG \RX FDQ FRQWDFW WKH 0LQLVWU\ RI (GXFDWLRQ DQG 5HVHDUFK :H DUH QRW VDWLVȴHG ZLWK WKH VLWXDWLRQ and sincerely hope that the question will soon be resolved and there will EH QR SUREOHPV ZLWK ȴQGLQJ D VFKRRO RU NLQGHUJDUWHQ
PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION (KINDERGARTENS) In Estonia, pre-school education is called kindergarten (in Estonian: lasteaed). It is for children between 1.5 years (18 months) and seven years old and is not mandatory. There are two types of kindergartens in Estonia – public DQG private 7KH ODQJXDJH RI LQVWUXFWLRQ LQ PRVW NLQGHUJDUWHQV LV (VWRQLDQ EXW there are also Russian ones. English-speaking kindergartens in Estonia are private. Parents can choose either a public or private kindergarten.
Functioning of kindergartens In Estonia, parents pay a fee for kindergartens, which may not be ODUJHU WKDQ RI WKH (VWRQLDQ PLQLPXP ZDJH LQ WKH FDVH RI SXEOLF kindergartens. Additionally you also have to cover the catering fee, which FRPHV GRZQ WR HXURV D GD\ /RFDO JRYHUQPHQWV HVWDEOLVK WKH exact sum and private kindergartens set their own fees. For example in 7DOOLQQ D VSRW LQ WKH SXEOLF NLQGHUJDUWHQ FRVWV DURXQG HXURV LQ WRWDO .LQGHUJDUWHQV DUH XVXDOO\ RSHQ EHWZHHQ DQG RQ ZRUNGD\V Kindergartens have a daily schedule. The typical day of a child includes three meals, playtime, some study activities, and about a 2-hour rest in the middle of the day. <RX PLJKW EH ZRQGHULQJ ZKDW WKLQJV \RXU FKLOG ZLOO QHHG DW NLQGHUJDUWHQ The main things that a child should have are S\MDPDV IRU QDSWLPH D SDLU of shoes to walk inside, rain/snow pants, etc. We suggest you ask the kindergarten for a list of things that will be needed to help you prepare! .LQGHUJDUWHQV DUH FORVHG RQ QDWLRQDO KROLGD\V DQG IRU PRQWKV during summer. Ask more about opening times at the kindergarten that your child will attend.
Children are usually divided into groups according to age: nursery group XVXDOO\ \HDUV ROG DQG D JURXS IRU ROGHU NLGV \HDUV ROG 8VXDOO\ there is one adult (teacher) per 7 children in nursery groups and one adult SHU FKLOGUHQ LQ NLQGHUJDUWHQ JURXSV 0RVW NLQGHUJDUWHQV KDYH RQH teacher (in Estonian õpetaja, or sometimes kasvataja) and one assistant teacher at work at a time.
All Estonian kindergartens teach the following standard subjects: Me and the environment Language development Estonian as a second language Mathematics Arts Music Physical development and movement
Usually, the teaching is in Estonian. Children whose home language is something other than Estonian start to learn it as a second language IURP WKH DJH RI WKUHH $IWHU ȴQLVKLQJ NLQGHUJDUWHQ FKLOGUHQ JHW D school readiness card with their results and information about their development. It is used when applying for a schools.
Applying to a kindergarten So, how do you apply for a kindergarten place? The city or village council is responsible for the placement of kids three and older in kindergartens. The best thing to do is to contact your municipality and ask what you need WR GR WR JHW D SODFH IRU \RXU FKLOG <RX FDQ FKRRVH WKH NLQGHUJDUWHQ EXW only if there are vacant places. If there are no places, you will be put on the waiting list and it might happen that you will not get a place. So be sure to apply for a place as early as possible. As a foreigner, it might be useful to read some background information about kindergartens on the Ministry of Education website and through more informal channels like social media groups. For instance, on Facebook, several communities in English and Russian connect expat/ foreign parents in Estonia:
Foreigners and expats in Estonia www.facebook.com/groups/650733614961733 Expats in Tallinn/Estonia www.facebook.com/groups/166477880066544 ƵǉǕǗǠǓǑ Ǒ ǑǞ ƯǑǐǖǥ www.facebook.com/groups/Mamochi.estonia ƵǉǕǤ ƻǉǙǛǜ www.facebook.com/groups/308121865978202
Starting kindergarten in a new language 6WDUWLQJ NLQGHUJDUWHQ LQ D QHZ FRXQWU\ PLJKW EH GLɝFXOW IRU ERWK SDUHQW DQG FKLOG VR ZH KDYH SUHSDUHG D IHZ WLSV IRU \RX WR KHOS \RXU FKLOG DGMXVW to the new environment: Most children need some time to adapt. Start with shorter times at the kindergarten, and gradually increase them until
the child is comfortable
Ask about the kindergarten routine and explain it in a simple way to your child
Ask teachers about the main rules so you can explain them to your child
Ask the teacher to teach your child a few keywords in Estonian and then repeat them in your language.
If you have questions or doubts, please do discuss them with the kindergarten!
Private kindergartens It may happen that due to being in Estonia with D-visa you will be limited to private kindergartnes, so it is important to know key information about them, In general, the daily schedule and activities at the private kindergartens GR QRW GUDVWLFDOO\ GLHU IURP WKH SXEOLF RQHV 7KHUH PD\ EH PRUH HPSKDVLV RQ VRPH VXEMHFWV IRU H[DPSOH ODQJXDJHV RU DUWV RU WKHUH PLJKW EH PRUH ȵH[LEOH KRXUV VR LW LV EHWWHU WR DVN DERXW WKH GHWDLOV IURP WKH NLQGHUJDUWHQ directly.
To apply for the private kindergarten, you do not need to go to the local government, you should apply directly to the kindergarten of your choice. As for the attendance fee in the private kindergarten, then compared to WKH SXEOLF RQHV WKH\ FRVW PRUH ΖW LV GLɝFXOW WR QDPH WKH DYHUDJH SULFH DV WKH\ ODUJHO\ GLHU IURP PXQLFLSDOLW\ WR PXQLFLSDOLW\ EXW MXVW WR SURYLGH you with an example, in Tartu the private kindergarten place would cost DURXQG HXURV LQ 7DOOLQQ WKH SULFHV IRU SULYDWH NLQGHUJDUWHQV DUH JHQHUDOO\ KLJKHU $VN IRU WKH VSHFLȴF IHH IURP WKH NLQGHUJDUWHQ GLUHFWO\ ΖI your child is registered to live in Estonia, your local government will also pay a small subsidy for your child every month. The subsidy varies across FRXQWU\ EXW LWȇV XVXDOO\ RYHU HXURV <RX FDQ ORRN IRU WKH OLVW RI SULYDWH NLQGHUJDUWHQV RQ WKH ZHEVLWH RI \RXU local government. We have listed some of them below: Tallinn private kindergartens tallinn.ee/eng/haridus/Admission-to-preschool-2 Tartu private kindergartens tartu.ee/et/eralasteaiad Pärnu private kindergartens parnu.ee/linnakodanikule/haridus/haridusasutused/ lasteaiad/1323-eralasteaiad-hoiud
Other options apart from the kindergarten Even though kindergarten is where most parents put their kids, there is also an alternative option – childcare institutions. These are usually smaller than kindergartens – babysitters often provide the service in their KRPHV RU VSHFLȴFDOO\ DGDSWHG SODFHV &KLOGUHQ FDQ EH SXW WKHUH EHIRUH WKH\ WXUQ \HDUV ROG The parent usually pays for childcare services. However, your local government may have resources to support your child’s childcare, HVSHFLDOO\ LI WKHUH LV D VKRUWDJH RI NLQGHUJDUWHQ SODFHV 7R ȴQG RXW DERXW any such opportunities, contact your local government and ask who is responsible for kindergartens and childcare.
SCHOOL EDUCATION Estonia has both public (municipal) and private schools. Public schools in Estonia are free, whereas there is a tuition fee for private institutions. There are schools where the main language of instruction is Estonian, and some schools with Russian or English as the main language of instruction. ΖQ 5XVVLDQ VFKRROV FKLOGUHQ VWXG\ VRPH VXEMHFWV LQ 5XVVLDQ DQG VRPH LQ (VWRQLDQ 7KH QXPEHU RI (VWRQLDQ WDXJKW VXEMHFWV LQFUHDVHV ZLWK HYHU\ JUDGH WKH FKLOG DWWHQGV 7KHUH DUH VFKRROV LQ (VWRQLD LQ WRWDO DPRQJ which there are primary schools and secondary ones (high schools). In Estonia, every child has to start primary school at the age of 7. In primary school FKLOGUHQ VWXG\ IRU QLQH \HDUV DQG DIWHU ȴQLVKLQJ it, they can either: a) go to a secondary school (high school), after which they can enter university; b) get vocational education In high school or secondary school, teenager study for three years (grade 9-12). They can enter it based on the results from primary school. Every school also has their own additional admission rules, ZKLFK \RX FDQ ȴQG RXW GLUHFWO\ IURP WKHLU ZHEVLWH )RU H[DPSOH schools may carry out tests to allocate the available places. The school year begins on 1 September and usually ends at the beginning of June. There are school holidays in the autumn (one week), around Christmas (usually two weeks), and in the spring (one week). ΖQ (VWRQLD DW VFKRRO VWXGHQWV JHW PDUNV IURP WR ZKHUH LV ȊYHU\ JRRGȋ LV ȊJRRGȋ LV ȊVDWLVIDFWRU\ȋ LV ȊSRRUȋ DQG LV ȊZHDNȋ %XW IRU WKH ȴUVW grade, there are no marks, and parents can track their child’s progress from the feedback provided by the teacher. Most Estonian schools use online web platforms where all information about grades, homework, attendance, important messages for parents and students, and so on are put. Usually, the web platform used is either E-Kool (www.ekool.eu) or Stuudium (stuudium.com).
84 Looking for a school So how do you get a school place? It might look challenging, but we will let you know the essential steps you need to take. We will be speaking only about public schools here. In Estonia, every child of school age has the right to a school place in a nearby public school. Unfortunately, however, a D-visa might be an REVWDFOH WR DGPLVVLRQ 7R ȴQG RXW ZKDW VFKRROV PD\ KDYH D SODFH IRU \RXU FKLOG ZH DGYLVH \RX WR FRQWDFW \RXU FLW\ FRXQFLO <RXU FKRLFH RI VFKRRO ZLOO be considered, but it depends on the availability of places. It might also help to read some background information about schools on the Ministry of Education website, get acquainted with the school you are interested in by visiting its website, or look for feedback about a particular school through more informal channels such as social media groups. For instance, on Facebook several communities in English and Russian connect expat parents in Estonia (Foreigners and expats in Estonia, Expats LQ 7DOOLQQ (VWRQLD ƶǊǖǘǡǔǒ ǒ ǒǟ ưǒǑǗǦ ƶǊǖǥ ƼǊǚǜǝ HWF
85 Don’t worry about your child either – schools have experience with children’s language immersion and should provide children with extra Estonian classes. Usually, children who enter the 1st grade are accepted without any tests; however, some schools may have interviews or practical tasks to understand how much each child knows. Also, many schools have a so-called open-doors day (avatud uste päev). We recommend you attend these to get the feeling of the schools and ask questions! The more you know in advance, the easier it will be to start schooling. As for documentation, schools usually ask for your and your child’s identity documents. Some schools may ask you for reports from previous schools, KHDOWK FHUWLȴFDWHV DQG YDFFLQDWLRQ LQIRUPDWLRQ HWF 2XU DGYLFH LV WR DVN the school any questions that interest you: what the curriculum is, the lesson schedule, what items the child might need, learning the Estonian language, and so on.
Final preparations 2QFH WKH VFKRRO SODFH LV VHFXUHG LW LV WLPH WR PDNH VRPH ȴQDO SUHSDUDWLRQV
The next big step – the application process We encourage you to call the school, or even better, visit the school yourself, get the feel of it, and talk to the school administration in person. However, sending an email with an inquiry can also be an option. If you are worried about the language barrier when communicating with schools, we can assure you that it is highly likely that the administration can speak Russian or English. Some schools even invite people who can translate GXULQJ WKH ȴUVW PHHWLQJV
(QVXUH WKDW \RXU FKLOG KDV HYHU\WKLQJ QHHGHG IRU WKH ȴUVW VFKRRO day; ask the teacher if anything special is needed 7U\ WR PHQWDOO\ SUHSDUH \RXU FKLOG IRU WKH ȴUVW GD\ DW WKH QHZ school; ask the school how the integration of the child will be organised Don’t worry about education in Estonian (if your child is in an Estonian-speaking school) – usually schools provide extra Estonian lessons if needed. Ask about these!
School services Schools have to provide meals to students at the basic education level, but you have to pay a small fee. Many schools have so-called “long day groups” (pikapäevarühm), where the child can stay after lessons to have free-time activities and get help with homework. Choosing a pikapäevarühm for your child can involve a small payment.
If your child has problems at school If your child has problems adapting to the new school, it is crucial to KHOS WKHP 7KH ȴUVW VWHS FRXOG EH FRQWDFWLQJ WKH FODVV WHDFKHU DVNLQJ LI WKH\ DOVR VHH DQ\ LVVXHV ZLWK WKH FKLOG <RX FRXOG DOVR VHH D SV\FKRORJLVW special education teacher or other support teachers your child’s school might have and discuss your worries with them. If you have tried to speak with the school and your worries continue, you can, DV WKH QH[W VWHS WXUQ WR VSHFLDO FRXQVHOOLQJ FHQWUHV FDOOHG 5DMDOHLGMD FHQWUHV innove.ee/en/about-innove/contact-details-rajaleidja-centres/
If you want to read more about schools and kindergartens in Estonia, you can use these materials: Settle in Estonia handbook 8. Kindergartens and schools issuu.com/settleinestonia/docs/kindergarten_and_schools Find out more about education in Estonia hm.ee/en/activities/pre-school-basic-and-secondaryeducation
LEGAL AID FINDING HELP
LEGAL ASSISTANCE (VWRQLD LV VDIH VPDOO DQG FRV\ EXW DQ\WKLQJ PD\ KDSSHQ VR ZH ȴQG LW important to speak about possible legal aid and how to receive it as a foreigner. We hope, of course, that you will not need these services. /HJDO DVVLVWDQFH LV SURYLGHG E\ OHJDO DGYLFH VHUYLFHV ODZ RɝFHV DQG notaries. In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, HUGO.legal provides legal aid for free and at a discounted price. All people living in Estonia ZKRVH DYHUDJH JURVV LQFRPH GRHV QRW H[FHHG HXURV SHU PRQWK DUH eligible for legal aid. Find out more at the website hugo.legal. There are other institutions which provide free legal assistance as well. These include the following: /HJDO 6HUYLFHV 2ɝFH SA Õigusteenuste Büroo) provides free legal assistance for underprivileged people and people with special needs in Tallinn, Tartu, Jõhvi, and several other Estonian cities. Find out more at otb.ee. Senior people are given free legal assistance in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Rakvere, Jõgeva, and Jõhvi and several other Estonian cities by the Estonian Association of Pensioners’ Societies. Find out more at eakad.ee. Legal assistance in family matters is given via the Union for Child Welfare. Find out more at lastekaitseliit.ee. The Estonian Chamber of Disabled People provides free legal assistance for disabled people. Find out more at epikoda.ee. (HVWL 1DLVWH 9DUMXSDLNDGH /LLW SURYLGHV IUHH OHJDO DVVLVWDQFH IRU victims of sexual violence. Find out more at naisteliin.ee. )UHH OHJDO DVVLVWDQFH LQ 7DOOLQQ LV DOVR RHUHG E\ VWXGHQWV LQ WKH 7DOOLQQ FLW\ RɝFH b 9DEDGXVH Y¦OMDN 7KH VHUYLFH LV SURYLGHG LQ both Estonian and Russian. )UHH OHJDO DVVLVWDQFH LQ 7DUWX LV DOVR SHULRGLFDOO\ RHUHG E\ WKH ODZ RɝFH UXQ E\ WKH VWXGHQWV RI WKH 8QLYHUVLW\ RI 7DUWX ZKHUH WKH advisors are students who have not yet fully obtained their law degree. Further information can be found on the web page of the School of Law at oigus.ut.ee.
Legal assistance and information in connection with public services can DOVR EH REWDLQHG IURP WKH UHOHYDQW SXEOLF DXWKRULWLHV <RX FDQ WXUQ WR ORFDO FRXQFLOV DV ZHOO ZKHUH RɝFLDOV ZLWK OHJDO NQRZOHGJH PLJKW SURYLGH legal advice.
VISA, CITIZENSHIP OR TEMPORARY RESIDENCY
91 This section will give you a brief overview of the right of residence or permit types that you as a foreigner in Estonia can have if you decide to stay in the country for a longer time. It should be noted, however, that the information given here is presented in a generalised manner. To ȴQG RXW GHWDLOHG LQIRUPDWLRQ D OLVW RI DSSOLFDWLRQ GRFXPHQWV DQG ZD\V WR apply, we recommend you visit the respective section of the Police and Border Guard Board website.
LONG-STAY (D) VISA This is a document that entitles you to work in Estonia on a short-term basis for up to 12 months )URP WKH ȴUVW GD\ RI \RXU ZRUN \RX PXVW KDYH D GRFXPHQW FRQȴUPLQJ WKH UHJLVWUDWLRQ RI \RXU HPSOR\PHQW DQG PXVW also provide this to the Police and Border Guard Board when applying IRU D ' YLVD <RX VKRXOG DVN IRU WKLV GRFXPHQW IURP \RXU HPSOR\HU 5HJLVWUDWLRQ RI HPSOR\PHQW FDQ EH XVHG IRU XS WR GD\V LQ GD\V <RX FDQ DSSO\ IRU D ' YLVD DW WKH (VWRQLDQ HPEDVV\ LQ \RXU FRXQWU\ ΖI \RX are legally in Estonia, you can apply for a long-stay visa from any Estonian Police and Border Guard Board service point. Find out more: politsei.ee/en/instructions/visa-and-extendingperiod-of-stay/long-term-visa
TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT (TRP) This is a document that allows you to stay in Estonia on a long-term basis. $ 753 FDQ EH LVVXHG IRU GLHUHQW WLPH SHULRGV YLVLW WKH ZHE SDJH EHORZ WR ȴQG RXW PRUH DERXW WKHP :KHQ \RX KDYH D 753 \RX JHW LVVXHG DQ identity card (ID-card), which enables you to access the digital services RHUHG LQ (VWRQLD Ȃ WKHQ \RX FDQ UHJLVWHU IRU D IDPLO\ GRFWRU GLJLWDOO\ VLJQ documents, and use internet banking. Find out more: politsei.ee/en/teenused/residence-permit/ tahtajaline-elamisluba/
<RX FDQ EHFRPH DQ (VWRQLDQ FLWL]HQ DIWHU OLYLQJ LQ WKH FRXQWU\ IRU HLJKW consecutive years, having a long-term residence permit, meeting additional requirements like passing an Estonian language exam at B1 level and a FLWL]HQVKLS H[DP ȴOOLQJ RXW DQ DSSOLFDWLRQ IRUP DQG RWKHU HVVHQWLDO VWHSV For detailed information about getting Estonian citizenship, follow the link provided.
Find out more: workinestonia.com/living-in-estonia/obtainingcitizenship
International House of Estonia provides free personal consultations for foreigners, their families and local employers about settling in, documentation, healthcare, language programmes, etc. They are located DW 9DOXNRMD 7DOOLQQ Find out more: workinestonia.com/internationalhouse/ consultation-sessions/?role foreigner
The war in Ukraine and the atrocities that the people of Ukraine are going WKURXJK DUH GLɝFXOW WR FRPSUHKHQG (VWRQLD LV WU\LQJ WR SURYLGH DV PXFK help as possible to the country and those Ukrainians who are coming here WR ȴQG VDIHW\ DQG SURWHFWLRQ :H LQ RXU WXUQ KDYH JDWKHUHG WKH SULPDU\ information about where and how to seek help when coming to Estonia, ZKDW WR GR ȴUVW DQG ZKDW VXSSRUW LV SURYLGHG :H DUH YHU\ VRUU\ DQG saddened that some of our readers need to use this chapter. We hope that there will be peace restored in Ukraine soon.
TEMPORARY PROTECTION AND HOW TO APPLY FOR IT First, we would like to explain what temporary protection status means; then, step by step, we will tell you how to get it and provide some additional information. We also list the most useful websites where you can read about various related topics in detail. Temporary protection gives a residence permit in Estonia for one year. Along with applying for temporary protection, an Estonian personal LGHQWLȴFDWLRQ FRGH ZLOO EH SURYLGHG HQDEOLQJ DFFHVV WR PRVW (VWRQLDQ citizens’ services. With the temporary protection, you receive the right to work, and children are guaranteed access to pre-school and primary education. Public health insurance is available on the same basis as others OLYLQJ LQ (VWRQLD 7KHUH DUH DOVR VRFLDO EHQHȴWV SURYLGHG VXFK DV help with getting employment, being registered as unemployed, EHQHȴWV IRU FKLOGUHQ SUHJQDQW ZRPHQ HWF $OVR FRYHUHG DUH VXEVLVWHQFH EHQHȴWV DSSO\ WR WKH ORFDO JRYHUQPHQW DQG WKH ULJKW WR UHFHLYH RWKHU ȴQDQFLDO EHQHȴWV VXFK DV IDPLO\ EHQHȴWV DSSO\ WR WKH 6RFLDO ΖQVXUDQFH %RDUG $OO WKRVH in need of assistance can receive emergency social assistance provided by their local council. <RX FDQ DOVR WDNH SDUW LQ IUHH ODQJXDJH WUDLQLQJ DQG DGDSWDWLRQ programs provided by the Integration Foundation (integratsioon. ee/en/estonian-language-studies).
7HPSRUDU\ SURWHFWLRQ FDQ EH DSSOLHG IRU DW WKH VHUYLFH RFHV RI WKH Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, Rakvere, or Jõhvi. It is necessary to book an appointment online DWbbroneering.politsei. ee/b LQ RUGHU WR VXEPLW DQ DSSOLFDWLRQ IRU WHPSRUDU\ SURWHFWLRQ DW D service office. When you have an appointment, you should bring identity GRFXPHQWV RU RWKHU GRFXPHQWVb H J D ELUWK FHUWLȴFDWH DORQJ ZLWK \RX WR WKH VHUYLFH RɝFH ΖI \RX GR QRW KDYH DQ\ GRFXPHQWV WXUQ WR WKH 8NUDLQLDQ Embassy (estonia.mfa.gov.ua) before applying for temporary protection VR WKDW WKH\ FDQ LVVXH \RX D FHUWLȴFDWH WKDW SURYHV \RXU LGHQWLW\ You will get your residence permit card within 30 days of applying IURP WKH VDPH VHUYLFH RFH RI WKH 3ROLFH DQG %RUGHU *XDUG %RDUG where you submitted the application.
ARRIVAL IN ESTONIA AND RECEPTION CENTRES At the Estonian border, the Police and Border Guard Board registers all war refugees arriving from Ukraine, requests personal data and available documents, and, if necessary, sends them to the nearest reception point. Many Ukrainian war refugees go to their relatives or friends in Estonia. If this is not possible, the next place is the RFLDO UHFHSWLRQ FHQWUH. These are open in four regions – Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, and Rakvere. People arriving at the reception centres are registered and their needs DUH LGHQWLȴHG WKHUH 7KH 6RFLDO ΖQVXUDQFH %RDUG SURYLGHV SHRSOH ZLWK SV\FKRVRFLDO FULVLV DVVLVWDQFH DQG SV\FKRORJLFDO ȴUVW DLG DW WKH UHFHSWLRQ point.
Other help you can get at the reception centre: information about the process of obtaining temporary protection accommodation for a short stay (up to one month) information on access to health care, including additional health monitoring to prevent the spread of infectious diseases LQLWLDO SV\FKRORJLFDO KHOS LI QHFHVVDU\ ȴUVW DLG DQG KHDOWK DGYLFH rapid testing for Covid-19 assistance with clothing is also provided if necessary.
Short-term accommodation is initially provided for one month by selected accommodation partners (hotels, guest houses) and local councils. If QHFHVVDU\ ORFDO FRXQFLOV ZLOO KHOS ȴQG D SODFH RI UHVLGHQFH IRU D ORQJHU period.
HEALTH All health care providers provide emergency care to war refugees, including prescription drugs. Health consultations are available in English and Russian by calling the IDPLO\ SK\VLFLDQVȇ DGYLVRU\ OLQH IURP D IRUHLJQ number). If necessary, the person will be redirected to the emergency number 112. In case of health problems (prescription renewal, chronic diseases, or other unforeseen health problems), you can contact the centre of on-duty family doctors. The closest call centre can be found on the website of the Health Insurance Fund (haigekassa.ee/en). Estonia has organised additional general health monitoring for war refugees, the purpose of which is to obtain an overview of the health status of refugees, carry out infection control testing, vaccinate, if necessary, plan further treatment, and issue prescriptions for medicines. Information about additional health checks can be obtained by calling 1247. Information can also be found on the website of the Health Insurance Fund. Psychosocial support in crisis situations is provided by trained employees of the Social Insurance Agency and volunteers at reception and accommodation points. Emotional support is available in English, Russian and Estonian 24 hours a GD\ RQ WKH 9LFWLP 6XSSRUW +HOSOLQH
From the reception centre, people are sent to a suitable place of accommodation. In some cases, the accommodation facility may be the same as the reception centre. Close to all accommodation facilities, WKHUH DUH JRRG WUDQVSRUW OLQNV WR PDMRU FHQWUHV DQG WKHUH DUH IDFLOLWLHV for cooking, or, alternatively, catering is provided. Psychosocial and crisis counselling is available on site.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT After receiving temporary protection, every Ukrainian war refugee is entitled to receive a subsistence allowance on the same basis as other persons permanently or temporarily residing in Estonia. 7KH VXEVLVWHQFH DOORZDQFH LV FDOFXODWHG DV IROORZV WKH ȴUVW PHPEHU RI WKH IDPLO\ LV SDLG RQH VXEVLVWHQFH PLQLPXP HXURV WKH VHFRQG DGXOW Ȃ VXEVLVWHQFH PLQLPXP HXURV FKLOGUHQ XQGHU \ R Ȃ VXEVLVWHQFH PLQLPXP HXURV ΖI WKHUH LV KRXVLQJ IRU ZKLFK \RX GR QRW KDYH WR SD\ \RX FDQ UHFHLYH euros per month from the living allowance scheme to buy food and basic necessities. If you need to pay housing costs (living in a place where you do not need to pay rent, but you need to pay utility bills), then in addition to the application, you must submit an agreement between the landlord and you allowing you to live in the property, as well as any utility bills. Family allowances are paid on the same basis to both permanent residents and temporary residents. This means that Ukrainian war refugees who have received temporary protection have the right to apply IRU DQG UHFHLYH IDPLO\ EHQHȴWV 7KH DPRXQW RI WKH FKLOG DOORZDQFH WKLV \HDU LV HXURV SHU PRQWK IRU WKH ȴUVW DQG VHFRQG FKLOG LQ WKH IDPLO\ DQG HXURV IRU WKH third and each subsequent child. More information about family EHQHȴWV FDQ EH IRXQG RQ WKH ZHEVLWH RI WKH Social Insurance Board: sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee/en/deti-semi/hodataystvuyushchemu-osemeynyh-posobiyah If a child is born in a family or the family contains a child under one and a half years of age, one of the parents is entitled to the parental allowance. As it is assumed that this parent did not work in Estonia during the previous FDOHQGDU \HDU LQ WKH SDUHQWDO DOORZDQFH ZLOO EH SDLG DW WKH PLQLPXP UDWH RI HXURV SHU PRQWK ΖI WKH SDUHQW KDV DOUHDG\ ZRUNHG LQ (VWRQLD the parental allowance is calculated according to the usual rules. If the family receives a subsistence allowance, then family allowances and parental allowance are considered family income and the amount of the subsistence allowance is reduced accordingly.
99 2WKHU EHQHWV Persons of working age are paid, if necessary, unemployment EHQHȴWV HXURV SHU PRQWK Ukraine pays a pension to Ukrainian pensioner refugees who have received temporary protection. Those whose pension is ORZHU WKDQ WKH VWDWH QDWLRQDO SHQVLRQ HXURV ZLOO EH DEOH WR DSSO\ IRU FRPSHQVDWLRQ IRU WKLV GLHUHQFH 7R GR WKLV FRQWDFW the Social Insurance Department. If Ukraine cannot pay pensions, then Estonia will ensure the payment of pensions in the amount of the national pension. Ukrainian war refugees can use trains and buses for free with a special public transport card, valid for both trains and city and intercity buses. The card can be obtained from the local council or the regional public transport centre. The right to free travel does not apply to commercial bus routes (e.g. Tallinn-Tartu). The Society of Veterinarians provides free medical care to refugee DQLPDOV &RQWDFW b RU 9DUMXSDLNDGH MTÜ).
LOOKING FOR A JOB 7KH (VWRQLDQ 8QHPSOR\PHQW ΖQVXUDQFH )XQG KHOSV SHRSOH WR ȴQG MREV in Estonia. There is also information about employers who are ready to KLUH SHRSOH ZKR FRPH IURP 8NUDLQH RQ LWV ZHEVLWH <RX FDQ FRQWDFW WKHVH employers directly or ask someone in Estonia to do it on your behalf. Ukrainians who have received temporary protection can start working LPPHGLDWHO\ DIWHU UHFHLYLQJ SURWHFWLRQ <RX KDYH WKH ULJKW WR UHJLVWHU DV XQHPSOR\HG DQG UHFHLYH ODERXU PDUNHW VHUYLFHV DQG EHQHȴWV RQ WKH VDPH basis as other permanent residents of Estonia. The salary requirement for temporary protection does not apply. Like a local worker, you must be paid at least the minimum wage, which in LV HXURV SHU PRQWK 'XULQJ WKH DGDSWDWLRQ SKDVH LW LV LPSRUWDQW to refer to the various information and consulting services that will help you understand the situation in the Estonian labour market and your RSSRUWXQLWLHV <RX FDQ DOVR UHFHLYH (VWRQLDQ ODQJXDJH WUDLQLQJ WKURXJK the Unemployment Insurance Fund if necessary.
Detailed information on the topics that interest you can be found here: General information for Ukrainian war refugees in Estonia kriis.ee/en/security-situation-europe/ukrainian-warrefugees Ministry of Health: information for Ukrainian war refugees terviseamet.ee/et/ukraina Ministry of Education: education for Ukrainian children hm.ee/ru/ukraina 0LQLVWU\ RI 6RFLDO $DLUV IRU WKRVH DUULYLQJ IURP 8NUDLQH sm.ee/ru/dlya-teh-kto-priehal-iz-ukrainy
AFTERWORD This is where our crash-course to living in Estonia ends We hope that no matter where you are on the path towards coming to live in Estonia, the information provided in the book has been useful and will help to smoothen the process of settling in your new country. But as we tried to keep the information here concise, we encourage you to use WKH DGGLWLRQDO OLQNV SURYLGHG LQ WKH ERRN WR ȴQG RXW WKH PRVW GHWDLOHG DQG up-to-date information.
Estonian Health Insurance Fund: information for Ukrainian war refugees haigekassa.ee/ru/informaciya-dlya-voennykh-bezhencev-izukrainy
We would also like to ask you for feedback on our work. We would be so happy to hear what you liked and did not like about this handbook as this will help ust o improve the handbook even further! We will also draw [ (85 JLIW FDUGV DPRQJ WKRVH ZKR SURYLGHG IHHGEDFN DV D WKDQN \RX JLIW IRU SDUWLFLSDWLRQ $OO ZLQQHUV ZLOO EH FRQWDFWHG LQ 'HFHPEHU
Unemployment Fund: onlineexpo.com/ru/rabota-dlia-ukraintcev-v-estonii
<RX FDQ OHDYH \RXU IHHGEDFN E\ XVLQJ WKLV OLQN ibs.ee/feedback
Refugee centre in Tallinn tallinn.ee/rus/ukraina/Tsentr-bezhentsev-v-Tallinne
Also, if you would like to contact our team with any suggestions or questions you can write an email to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information for Ukrainian war refugees in Tartu tartu.ee/ru/informaciya-dlya-ukrainskikh-bezhencev-ivozmozhnosti-pozhertvovaniy
Thank you so much for reading the book! And see you somewhere in Estonia!
-RE RHUV IRU 8NUDLQLDQV cvkeskus.ee/rabota-v-estonii
The Institute of Baltic Studies & EXPAT Relocation Estonia team
Further reading Dig deeper into our knowledge
Estonia: State, Society and Language
8 and Private Public Services
My Rights and Responsibilities
Residence and Citizenship
Higher Education and Research
Kindergarten and Schools
Networking, Volunteering and Leisure Time
Family and Children
Working and Labour Market
Contracting companies: Expat Relocation Estonia OÜ Design and layout: Richard Kaarna, richardkaarna.com Printing: Printed at Librix Print powered by wabrix.ee Responsible publisher: Siseministeerium New in Estonia website: www.newinestonia.ee Project AMIF2021-11 is co-funded by the European Union Asylum, Integration and Migration Fund and the Ministry of the Interior Handbook version: May 2022