4.10.2 Visa requirements In addition to the citizens of the EU or EEA or any third-country national holding a residence permit of a Schengen State, there are other countries’ citizens who do not need a visa to enter Estonia for short-term stays. The list of these countries may be found at If a visa is required, generally the visa applicant must apply to the appropriate Estonian embassy or consulate in person. The application package normally includes a valid travel document, a photo, a health insurance policy valid in Schengen countries and a filled-in application form signed personally by the applicant. A state duty of between EUR 80-100, depending on the type of the visa, must also be paid. Visa types include e.g., a short-term visa for stays up to 90 days during 6 months in the Schengen area and a long-stay visa for single or multiple entries into Estonia with a period of stay up to 365 days and with a period of validity up to twelve months. A foreigner staying in Estonia based on a visa or legally visa-free is permitted to work in Estonia temporarily for up to 365 days during a 455-day period if his or her short-term employment has been successfully registered in the Police and Border Guard Board by his or her employer prior to the commencement of work. Short-term employment for participation in seasonal work can be registered for up to 270 days during a year.

4.9.3 Residence permits There are no general restrictions for foreigners to own a business in Estonia. Although a residence permit is not required to own a business, it is possible to apply for a temporary residence permit to operate a business. Such a residence permit may be issued to a foreigner who owns shares in an Estonian company if the business is necessary for the national interest of developing the Estonian economy and the foreigner has invested in a business activity in Estonia a capital sum in the amount of at least EUR 65,000. The requirement for the amount of investment does not apply in the case of a start-up company, but in this case, the start-up company must be previously evaluated by an expert committee. A foreigner (other than a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Swiss Confederation) is required to have a residence permit to reside and work in Estonia for a time longer than allowed based on visa and registration of short-term employment. As a rule, an application for a residence permit should be submitted to an Estonian embassy or consulate. The state duty for processing an application for a residence permit for employment is EUR 125 and for a temporary residence permit for business EUR 190. A bit lower rate applies in case the application may be submitted to the Police and Border Guard Board in Estonia. A decision on the issuance of the permit will be taken within two months. There are considerable restrictions due to the war in Ukraine on Russian citizens applying for visas or living permits.

ILN Corporate Group – Establishing a Business Entity Series

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