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Residence permits for family members in Estonia

Moving with your family members to Estonia can be challenging. Our laws consider a spouse/registered partner and underaged children as eligible to move under the same conditions.

Parents/grandparents and children over 18 are not considered as family members that would benefit from such beneficial terms. However, under certain circumstances they could also migrate as family members.

In case of a child over 18 the requirement is that they would not be able to manage on their own due to a medical reason or disability. The only way to prove that would of course be some kind of medical documents which would have to be translated and understandable. It is the up to the Police to assess if the condition is sufficient and they also might as expert help.

In case of parents/grandparents the requirements is that would need assistance/looking after and they cannot get it in their home/residence country. This can be more tricky to prove. A good way to prov it would be to show they are already living with you, they have a medical condition and also there are no other family members that could take care of them.

There is another interesting residence permit basis in the law and it deals with a situation where the spouses get a divorce. If someone's residence permit is based on settling with a spouse then a divorce means they would lose the basis and the permit would be revoked. The law says that if leaving Estonia "would be too burdensome"they could apply for a new residence permit. Obviously the case would have to be strong but the law does not provide concrete examples what would go under this clause.

These examples illustrate the complexity of our immigration laws with so many exceptions that in theory are there but also in practice can be very hard to prove.


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