estonia

Living and Working in estonia

Tallin is the capital city of EstoniaEstonia, an astounding country situated in Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. In this country there are dense woods, rich history with its uniqueness, and spans millennia. Estonia, a country with more than 1,500 islands, old grown forest, several lakes and having diverse terrain spans rocky beaches. This country has marvelous architecture, delicious delicacies and also it is well known for its capital city Tallinn. Tallinn is historical and the one of the biggest city of this country. This city is the country’s cultural hub and gives you a glimpse of the beauty of this country. This city is also known for its old town, museums and the TV Tower which has observation deck. Its landscape is filled with architectural landmarks. Exploring the city by cycle is a better option, excepting by public transport. In recent years, there is a rise in tourism and hospitality sector as a result the Digital Nomad Visa is released for the expats seeking long term stay in this country. There are many places in this nation worth visiting like the city of Tartu, Pärnu, Narva, Tallinn University, TTK University of Applied Science, and Tallinn Town Hall.

Estonia is a good place to live as it gives a quality life for foreigners. This nation attracts people and makes it easier for them to settle. Expats who want to do business but doesn’t like paperwork finds it a great place to move to. This is a peaceful country with low crime rate and infrequent public demonstrations. The only thing is, at tourist places foreigners should be always alert as pick-pocketers are known to roam in these areas. It is a good place to stay and work compared to the other European countries as a result this country is gaining popularity among many foreigners over the past few years, making it a great tourist destination for persons to enjoy a smooth life in a scenic nation. This nation has a great business environment, low taxes, big platform for innovation and technology and has a great health ratio. This is a high income country with good economy, better healthcare and education system. Estonia has good job opportunities also for expats as it has renowned companies, which gives a good take-home pay. Business culture is one of the most sought in here, and there are many foreigners interested to work here. This nation has low unemployment rate and high working and living standards.

Traveling information:

Estonia’s borders have re-opened for all the travelers, however health advice due to Covid-19 is changing continuously. To prevent outbreak of the pandemic, rules and regulations can get changed quickly. It is suggested to frequently check the rules with the authorities while traveling and transiting through this country. Bulgaria is a part of Schengen Area as a result you can enter without a visa but it also depends on your nationality. Russian border with this country are open. Public transports like buses, trains and cabs are operating in this country. It is necessary to comply with all the Estonian border rules and requirements. There are no Covid-19 testing and quarantine requirements. Entry in this country is permitted for all travel purposes. Also for entry, Proof of vaccination and Proof of testing is not required. However wearing a mark in social and healthcare institutions is required. All the shops, restaurants, bars and cafes are open as well as non-essential business and leisure facilities in Estonia are providing services. Visitors traveling from other than visa free country are required to take a valid passport, a Schengen Visa and travel insurance. 

It is suggested to contact the nearest consulate or embassy of Estonia in your country to get the details about visas, passport, currency, and customs. This nation has removed all the entry restrictions regarding Covid-19 but you still need to fulfill some standard entry requirements like having a visa and valid passport. This nation is a Schengen state, which gives free access to certain European country’s citizens. You can reach Estonia by flight or by road. Traveling by air is the most comfortable option while you are traveling internationally. 

Requirements:

  • Valid passport
  • A Visa
  • A roundtrip ticket to Estonia and back
  • Proof of accommodation (hotel reservations, etc.)
  • Sufficient financial means (Bank statements, etc.)

For more travel advice please visit: schengenvisainfo.com and smartraveller.gov.au

How to Immigrate to Estonia:

According to the Alien Act, if you are a non EU citizen then you must apply for temporary residence permit. This permit is for settling with a spouse, reunification of a close relative or family, to study, to work or if you want to do business in this country. To obtain the temporary residence permit you need the medical insurance and proof of income. The issuance of residence permits is depending on the annual immigration quota, which cannot exceed 0.1% of the Estonian permanent population in one year. Some nations are exempted from these criteria like America and Japan. Dual citizenship is not permitted in Estonia, however to become the citizenship of this country, you must renounce your current nationality. Depending on the purpose, you have to arrange documents accordingly.

Documents required are: 

  • Valid Passport
  • One passport size photo
  • Health Insurance
  • Proof of income
  • Business Plan
  • Investment Plan
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Receipt of payment fee

For more information please visit: residencies.io

People: 

Estonians or Estonian people are the natives or inhabitants of Estonia, speakers of Estonian language. Estonian people are of Finnic ethnic group native to Estonia. Estonians can be divided into subgroups with distinct identities like the Vőros, and Setos. Ethnic groups can be classified as Estonians 69.4%, Russians 23.6%, Ukrainians 2.1%, Belarusians 0.9%, 0.6% Finns, Others 3.4%. Groups of people with Estonian ancestry lives in various parts of the world, most of them are in Finland, USA, Sweden, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Ukraine, etc. These people are hardworking, and disciplined, also they have diverse heritage and unique traditions which can be experienced across the country. They are friendly, hospitable, warm, and welcoming. This nation is known as the second happiest after Denmark. Most of the population is atheist and rest follows Christianity, some are Jewish and others. Estonians are known for their love for food and their meat dishes are well known at the same time they keep themselves fit and healthy. Smoked and marinated eel, crayfish, imported crabs and shrimps are considered delicacies all over the country. One of the national dishes is räim (Baltic dwarf herring), with sprats. These people are known for bread, potatoes, pork belt and dairy products, also for the festivals, cars and their love for technology. Estonians tend to be sensible and respect one another’s privacy. These people are very much into music, literature, science, mathematics and art. Estonians appreciate talent, humor, knowledge and sensitivity. 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org  

Job offers in Estonia:

To get a job in the Estonia is quite difficult but the requirements for this are identical with other developed countries. Work permit is must especially if you are a non-EU citizen. All the expats having residence permit of Estonia are usually permitted to work in this country, unless there is a prohibiting legal reason. In case if a temporary residence permit has been given to the foreigner on their legal income basis then they are not permitted to work in this country. A family member or a spouse of an EU citizen will require their own residence permit in order to work here. However, there are various companies where well qualified staff is required all year long. Work and study at the same time and after graduation apply for the EU Blue card or work permit is possible for EEA/EU citizens. 

Websites like CV online and CV Keskus are some of the well known platforms to search for hobs. There are plenty of jobs available in tourism and Hospitality sector, IT and engineering, etc. English teachers are always in demand in this country. This nation has business environment as a result there are many expats in Estonia who have their own business. Although people in major cities speak English, it is suggested to learn Estonian if you want to expand you range of job opportunities. Jobs like Data Analyst, Transformation Data Analytics Lead, Software developers, Business Analyst, programmers, architects, IT consultants or Account managers, etc are highly in demand. Highest paying jobs in Estonia are Doctors, Pilot, and Investment Counselor. There are various websites where you can search for a suitable job and apply for it and these sites will be helpful to land a job. This nation is a business friendly country and for this you need a business permit which can be obtained from Estonian Immigration Office. 

How to get a job offer: 

  • Look online for a job
  • Prepare for an interview
  • Submit CV and required documents
  • Apply for a permanent residency permit

For more information please visit: internations.org

Unemployment rate:

According to a survey report, Estonia’s unemployment rate got lower to 5.6% in the third quarter of the year 2022 from 5.7% in the third quarter of the year 2021. The number of jobless persons went till 0.7 thousand to 40.6 thousand, while the number of employed increased by 22.5 thousand to 680.1 thousand. There were 21.2 thousand jobless men, down from 23.1 thousand a year earlier and 19.5 thousand women unemployed, up from 16.8 thousand previously. The labor force participation rate got up till 73.7% from 71.5% a year earlier, and the employment rate increased to 69.5% from 67.7%. In the second quarter of the year 2022 the unemployment rate was 5.8%.This rate shows unemployed persons among the number of employees available in the market. Estonia has a good economy after the pandemic, but even after a healthy economy unemployment occurs. In the recent survey it is observed that the recent unemployment rate in the year 2022 is approx 5.6%.The jobless rate refers to the share of working force that is unemployed but is available for work and seeking for it. The rate is was high because of the job losses in commerce, distribution, tourism and several other sectors. Inflation increased, shown in higher food, health, medicines and housing prices. At the same time the number of economically active population has risen. 

For more information please visit: tradingeconomics.com

Economy:

Estonia has a high-income advanced economy and is the member of the European Union as well as Eurozone.  It is a sovereign state that provides quality life, developed economy, and advanced technological infrastructure related to the other less industrialized nations. It is noteworthy that the performance is well across a number of well-being dimensions relative to other countries in the Better Life Index. Estonia outperforms the average in education, environmental quality, social connections and quality. The economy here is mostly influenced by developments in the Finnish and Swedish economies. Economy is majorly supported by the service sector which contributes 68.1% (GDP), Industry sector 29.2% (GDP) and agriculture 2.8% (GDP).

It is one of the largest economies in Europe. Estonia is a member of the OECD with humungous development index and a skilled labor force. The main industries are engineering, electronics, wood and article of wood, textiles, information technology, and telecommunication. Estonia exports products like electrical equipments, wood and wood articles, mineral products,

Renting and buying of real estates for foreigners:

Renting:

Renting a property at first, rather than buying it will be a good decision, if you are planning to move to the Estonia. There is no term as ‘minimum’ for a rental in this country. Some properties even advertise for daily rent in Estonia. A lease is fixed or unspecified term. Fixed term leases are generally negotiable when the term has finished. You must give three months notice if you want to leave the property earlier. Unspecified leases let you leave at any time, with agreed notice period. Prices for renting or buying apartments, detached or semi-detached homes, etc may vary. The rising of cost is also depends on the lifestyle of the residents. It is most notable in the cities like Tallinn, Tartu, and Pärnu, where demand is far greater. People earning an average salary will usually have to turn to more rural areas. 

Documents: 

  • Passport
  • National Identity Card
  • Documents issued by the Estonian Government
  • Work permit/Bank Statement

Buying

Owning a property in Estonia is possible for foreigners as there are no restrictions on expats buying it in this country (except certain areas). Foreign nationals can buy property with the permission of the local authorities in this nation. However, Estonia’s four largest Islands (Muhu, Hiiumaa, Saaremaa and Vormsi, having border with the Baltic Sea) and some listed territories adjacent to the Russian border are off limits to non-EU citizens for the purposes of purchasing property. After obtaining the approval, property search begins. Property prices may vary due to various aspects. For instance, the property is in the city centre or is in outskirts, its size, or in the middle of the country, etc. Apart from the house price you will also need to pay the agency/brokers fees, notary and lawyer’s fee, acquisition fee, registration fee and the title insurance, payments for water and electricity. If you are relying on the mortgage from abroad, your lender may be accustomed to more layers of bureaucracy than the Estonian system provides. 

Documents

  • Passport
  • Agreement with the payment
  • Purchase or Sale Agreement
  • Title transfer papers
  • Correspondence Taxes Slips

For more information please visit: expatfocus.com

Climate:

Estonia has Baltic climate, i.e. slightly continental with cold winters and mild moderately rainy summers. The climate is quite uniform but the western coastal areas, west of Tallinn, are a bit milder because they get a greater maritime influence. Precipitation in Estonia follows a pattern similar to the other Baltic countries. The wettest seasons are summer and autumn, the driest is spring. 

Spring, in this season the days get longer and the temperature rises slowly. This season starts from the month of April and ends in the end of May. 

Autumn are dull and rainy. In the month of September the temperature are still enjoyable. It becomes colder so much in October so that the first snowfall is possible. This season starts from the month of September and ends in the month of November. 

Winters are extremely cold here. This season starts from the month of December and ends in the month of February. The temperature during winter goes down till -40˚C. 

Summers here are known as the pleasant season. Also there are outdoor activities during this period. In spite of this, summers are fairly rainy, on an average it rains one day out of three. There are also thunderstorms in the afternoon. This starts from the month of June and lasts till August. The temperature goes till 30-35˚C. 

For more information please visit: climatestotravel.com

Languages:

Estonian is the official and mostly spoken language of Estonia. It is also spoken in other parts of the neighboring countries like Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Russia and Austria. Among the population 99% speak, read and understands this language. Many of them speak it as their first language and rest use it as second language. Citizens of Estonia are bilingual and multilingual. There are different languages used by the residents and non residents like German, English, Russian, French, Finnish and Italian. Estonian Sign Language and Russian Sign Language used in this country by the deaf and mute population respectively. Office work is mostly done in Estonian, so understanding and speaking the language is must in this country, for education and work also. People here speak and understand English and Russian too. There are other languages spoken by the minority which are Vőro, Seto, Swedish, etc.

There are plenty of straightforward rules through which learning the language is not that tough as many people may think, as Estonian and Finnic stem from the same language. You might be surprised when you pick up the language without even trying and most important, it is a useful one to survive in this country as many signboards and notices are written in Estonian

For more information please visit: wikipedia.org  

Traffic:

Expats living in this nation can drive with their foreign license. Also if the driver is carrying an identity document, it is not mandatory to carry a driving license issued in Estonia or a registration certificate of a power driven vehicle registered in Estonia or its trailer within this country. Headlights of the vehicles must be on at all times, also during daytime hours. Winter tyres must be fitted from December to March. Also the dates can change according to the weather. Do not drink and drive as the laws are very strict and also there is fine and possible imprisonment for this. Estonia has the dense road networks but the traffic is considered safe here. Driving a vehicle in this country has a few differences from some countries in the world. The driver and all the passengers must use seatbelts and children too small to be secured in seatbelts must use child car seats. You must carefully comply with posted speed limits. Do not use cell phones while driving without the hands-free device. Taking right turn on a red light is prohibited unless otherwise it is showing a green light. Traffic runs on the right hand side of the road. Speed limit is 52km/h in urban areas, 90 km/h on single carriageway, 110 km/h on speed road, and 110 on express road.

Tallinn has an efficient and low cost public transport. Travelling by bus, metro, trolleybus, tram, and boat services are convenient and fast to reach at your destination. 

For more information visit: eesti.ee,  gov.uk and accudriver.io/rules

Currency:

Currency used in Estonia is Euro (€). Since the year 2011, Estonians no longer use Kroon. Kroon notes and coins can be exchanged for Euros at the Federal Bank locations in Estonia. This is the official currency of Estonia and 18 other countries out of the 27, member states of the European Union (EU). This group of states is known as the Eurozone or euro area. The euro has one of the highest combined values of banknotes and coins used in the world. Euro is sub divided into hundred cents (c). A euro note comes in denominations like €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500, etc. and coins in €1, €2, 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, and 50c cents. Banknotes of €200, €500 are rarely used these days; however, these are legal and still in circulation these days. The currency is minted by the Eurosystem Central Bank. Much used banknotes, which have become damaged and shabby and no longer fit for use, are taken back. The Kroon was used as the official currency of Estonia for two periods 1928-1940 and 1922-2011. From 1st January 2011 to 14th January 2011, the currency kroon was circulating together with the euro, after which the euro became the only legal tender in this country.

Payment Transaction:

In Estonia payments can be done by cash, cheque, debit or credit card or through online transaction depends on the situation and is a personal choice. Population using credit card is 31%, prepaid cards is 1%, mobile transactions 48%, bank transfers 10%, and E-Wallets 8%. This is one of the fragmented markets when it comes to the payment methods. Non-credit card payment methods like, Mobiano, Mint are the widely used methods for the online transactions. If you’ve come from a European country and want to make payments here, you can easily use these apps. It is useful as this makes transactions easy and feels no difference between other currency payment and a euro payment from or to the other European Country. Other forms of payments are SEPA, Bank Transfer, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, etc. 

For more information visit: paymentwall.com

Cost of living in Estonia: 

Cost of living in the Estonia is cheaper than the 55% of European countries and cost of living in the Estonia is second most expensive country in Eastern Europe. Average living cost in this nation depends upon your lifestyle or your current situation, like whether you are working or a student. Cost of living varies from city to city and also if you are staying alone or with your family. The average monthly expense for a single person is approximately       €1,460. And the monthly expense will rise if you want to move along with your family of four persons, which will be €3,068.

Monthly rent will cost more in the urban areas than the cost of rent in rural areas. Expense will also rise if you need bigger accommodation, than the smaller one. Average living cost depends upon your lifestyle or your current situation, like whether you are working or a student.

The prices of food, accommodation, bills, clothes and entertainment will cost you less than the rent. The monthly rent is the biggest expense in Estonia.  If you are staying in a city where you can go by bicycle, walking till your university or office or live in a city with a good public transport system, then your cost will be much less.

Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living: 

Product

Quantity

Amount in Euro (€)

Whole Fat Milk

1 lit

1.00

Eggs

12 (a dozen)

2.87

Tomatoes

1 Kg (2 lb.)

2.70

Chicken

500 grams (1 lb)

3.00

Dining (Lunch)

Full meal

8.00

Fast food meal

Combo

7.00

Bread

2 loaf

0.70

Internet

8 mbps (1 month)

17.00

Utilities (Heating, electricity, gas)

Per month

217.00

Cleaning help

Hourly

8.00

Gas in vehicle

1 lit

1.98

Doctor

Short visit

50.00

Movie Tickets

For 2

18.00

For more info visit: expatistan.com

Apartment Rent:

Estonia is an expensive place to rent a residential property in this country. Short term rentals are usually easier to find and long term rentals are lowest in rent, also depends on the size. Here you can also find property for per day rent. Rentals here have additional costs for maintenance and cleaning of the building. If you rent a fully furnished apartment, then these costs will be included in the monthly rent. Tenants require paying a security deposit this could be one to three months’ rent, which is used for any damages to the property or missed rent payments. Fully furnished one-bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost you approx. €710, and same apartment, outside city will cost approx. €490. A furnished studio apartment of 2 to 3 bedrooms in the city centre will cost you approx. €1,100, and outside the city it will cost you approx. €770. After visiting on the below given link you will get the ideas of the cost of monthly rent. You will find the apartments online or with the help of a local friend. Property showing websites also mentions prices below so that you can choose according to your need and comfort. Rent for downtown areas are higher, so sharing the apartment with someone will be affordable especially for a student. 

For more info visit: expatistan.com  and workinestonia.com

agriculture products, mechanical appliances. It’s export partners are Germany, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Latvia. Goods imported by this nation are electrical equipments, transport equipments, agricultural products, mineral products and mechanical appliances. 

For more information please visit: oecdbetterlifeindex.org and wikipedia.org/wiki

Taxes:  

In Estonia personal income tax rate band 20%. According to the Tax foundation, this country has the world’s best tax system. This is due to the no corporate income tax levied on reinvested and retained profits and only 14% to 20% corporate income tax rate is applied on distributed profits, which means Estonia’s corporate income tax system allows all the companies to reinvest their profits tax free. Also there is flat 20% tax applied on individual income. The tax is not subjected in the case of distributed dividends that have already been taxed with a corporate income tax. The property tax is imposed only on the value of land, instead of applying to the real property or capital. Estonia has a territorial tax system that exempts 100% of foreign profits earned by the local companies from local taxation, with some restrictions. Social security contribution that fully paid by employer is 33% of the gross payment, this is payable even if there were no payments for salaried work for each employee. Estonia is a tax heaven as it has low tax opportunities for non-resident business. This nation is considered most prosperous one among the eastern European counties after its separation from the Soviet Union. A tax year is measured as the calendar year. If you are a citizen of Estonia or an expat, you need to pay taxes if you earn money while staying and working according to the Estonian law. The tax and Customs Board, also known by MTA is the taxation authority and takes care of the tax system. The parent organization is Ministry of Finance, who has the control over MTA. Tax revenue is generated from income tax, VAT, corporation tax and by various other ways. 

For more information please visit: e-estonia.com , emta.ee and taxsummaries.pwc.com  

Education:

Every year hundreds of international students come to Estonia for educational purpose. This nation welcomes students from all over the world. Estonia is becoming an enchanting and suitable destination for students; the reason is the quality and budget friendly education. Total there are more than 15 educational institutes providing higher education in this country. Also here you get education with good value, low tuition fees, low cost living and different scholarships for international students. Estonia offers discounts and special offers given especially to full time students. There is no free education system in Estonia but tuition fees for Estonian taught degree programs are free of cost for full time learners. International students do not need additional work permit to work during the study period and they are allowed to work on their conditions so that it does not affect their studies. There are certain conditions like they must gain passing grades for a full load of courses and finish their studies within the nominal time. 

For more information please visit: studyinestonia.ee

Health Insurance:

Healthcare system in Estonia is incorporating an obligatory insurance system and gives universal access to the healthcare available by the private health providers. The Ministry of Social affairs has charge of overseeing the administration of healthcare in collaboration with the public independent bodies and hospitals, private healthcare units, NGO’s and other independent bodies. The government has plays very small role in organizing and funding medical services. Still there are substantial changes related to the accessibility and quality of healthcare that has to be overcome.

The healthcare system in Estonia is a social insurance that gives healthcare to one and all. Medical treatment is provided in all the regions. The system of healthcare is quite advance. Estonia is among the first countries who took initiative in the use of electronic health records. Expats in staying in Estonia or has an Estonian employer, automatically gets access to health insurance from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). For this the only thing expat needs is the residence permit for employment and an Estonian ID number, which will get connected to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). This will provide the medical services at a lower cost.  

For more information visit: expatfinancial.com

Important addresses :

Estonian Health Insurance:
Lembitu 10, 10114 Tallinn,
Estonia
Ph: +372 620 8430

Tallinn Airport:
Tartu manatee 101,
10112 Tallinn,
Estonia
Ph: +372 605 8888

Ülenurme Airport:
Lennu 44, 61715,
Estonia
Ph: +372 730 9210

Pärnu Airport:
Eametsa, Pärnu County,
Estonia
Ph: +372 447 5000

Kärdla Airport:
Lennujaama tee 12,
11101 Tallinn,
Estonia
Ph: +372 463 1381

Tallinn Bus Station:
Lastekodu 46,
10144 Tallinn,
Estonia

Allikõnnu Bus Station:
Allikõnnu, 87604 Pärnu County,
Estonia

Kelenföld Bus Stop:
Budapest,
1115 Hungary

Embassy of India:
Tallinn, Estonia, Tornimäe 5-2nd floor,
10145 Tallinn,
Estonia
Ph: +372 664 0028

Embassy of Azerbaijan:
Pirita tee 20, 10127 Tallinn,
Estonia
Ph: +372 640 5050

Embassy of Greece:
Harju 6, 10130 Tallinn,
Estonia
Ph: +372 640 3560

Embassy of the Czech Republic:
Lahe 4, 10150 Tallinn,
Estonia
Ph: +372 627 4400

Summary:

Estonia is a beautiful, clean and high-tech country with better healthcare and one of the best educations in the world. Estonia is culturally accessible and has a great history, good food, many cultural attractions. It is a good place to live and as we all know every good thing has a price. Estonia is expensive; however you will experience a high quality life according to your lifestyle. Estonia is a happy, safe and politically stable country with a good income. People are friendly, warm and peace loving. Business culture is one of the most sought in here, and as European Union citizens do not need any permit to work in this country, there are many foreigners interested to work here. There is low unemployment rate and high working and living standards, also in the work benefits there are holidays included. It has plenty of job offers and good education system. For international students there are scholarships and various offers generated by Estonian government. Also these students does not need additional work permit to earn a living in this land. It also costs you according to the lifestyle you choose to live. Here you will find less complex laws regarding tax rate band and it is possible to live a low cost life than European Union countries. This nation has better ecosystem, quite pace of life and relaxation at the best resort. There are different websites showing accommodation with prices and according to your comfort and need.

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