Immigration rule changes regarding short-term employment

Our Parliament passed changes to immigration laws that have sparked debate and outrage in the proceedings. It would appear that the changes finally enacted are not as far reaching as previously thought and only affect certain people working on the basis of a long-term visa (so people working on the basis of a residence permit are not affected).


Also on a related note, at the moment the processing of visas and residence permits has been suspended and no information about when they will continue.


So the changes that will come into effect are as follows:


  • Foreign nationals (citizens of third countries) can work in Estonia either as a seasonal worker for up to 9 months within a period of 12 months, under general conditions up to 12 months within a period of 15 months.

  • For the short-term employment of foreign workers currently staying in Estonia, employers can submit applications to the Police and Border Guard Board for work in any sector only in case of foreign workers whose maximum short-term employment time has not yet expired.

  • In case the maximum short-term employment time has expired, it cannot be extended.

  • Foreign workers currently staying abroad cannot come to Estonia due to the temporary travel restrictions.

  • Foreign workers whose maximum short-term employment time has expired or is about to expire and who will not continue to work in the agricultural sector must leave Estonia at the earliest possibility after the end of their employment.

  • Foreigners whose maximum short-term employment time has expired but are unable to leave Estonia due to the border crossing restrictions, are allowed to stay (but not to work) in Estonia during the emergency situation and must leave within 10 days after the end of the emergency situation.

  • The amendments do not affect foreigners who have temporary residence permits or temporary right of residence.

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