Residence permit for settling permanently in Estonia
Residence permit for settling permanently in Estonia (not to be confused with long-term residence permit) could be the next step after you have lived in Estonia based on a temporary residence permit and it is time for applying for an extension.
Residence permit for settling permanently offers some more beneficial terms, mainly that there is no income requirement anymore that is tied to the Estonian average salary. But let us look at the other conditions as well. You can apply for this type of residence permit if:
you have settled in Estonia based on a temporary residence permit and your permanent settling in Estonia is in compliance with public interests;
you’ve been given a temporary or permanent right of residence in Estonia; you have held a long-term residence permit; you have previously been an Estonian citizen;
you have resided permanently in Estonia at least 3 years within the 5 consecutive years (except if you have obtained higher education in Estonia in the Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral study);
you are well adapted in Estonia;
your activities so far have been in compliance with the purpose and terms for granting the residence permit to you.
Most of these conditions do not raise any issues but a it is worth noting that the calculations of 3 years within 5 years underwent some legal changes recently (in May 2022) - namely studying time is not taken into account anymore. It does not affect the permits already given but unfortunately people who were studying at the time of the changes and were maybe relying on the existing law also lose this right.
The other important conditions here is that you need to prove that you have sufficient legal income (that is not the average salary requirement but something different). Sufficient legal income is also something that can change from year to year and also depends on the number of family/household members. At the moment the legal income per month requirement is 150 euros but plans are to raise it to 200 euros per month.
It is also worth remembering that you have to show health insurance when applying for this type of residence permit.
It is possible to apply for the residence permit for settling permanently in Estonia in foreign representation of Estonia or at the Police and Border Guard Board service office – both in person.