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Short-term employment registration in Estonia - what should you know

Short-term employment registration is necessary for employing a third-country national in Estonia as the basis for applying for a long-term visa (d-visa). It is handled by the Police and Border Guard.

It is possible to register short-term employment for up to 365 days within 455 day period.

The registration confirmation will be given within 15 working days. General requirements for the registration of short-term employment as per law are as follows:

  • an alien has the requisite qualifications, education, state of health, work experience and the necessary professional skills and knowledge to assume such position;

  • an employer is registered in Estonia.

  • an employer shall pay an alien remuneration in the amount of the annual average gross monthly salary in Estonia last published at the time of the application.

As always, there are exceptions regarding different type of work so every case should be analysed separately.

From this year (2023) short-term work can also be a gateway to a residence permit for up to 2 years - we wrote about it HERE . This has resulted in the Police and Border Guard being very cautious about issuing short-term employment approvals.

In reality, if you have a totally new company with no activity yet (even if you have put money in the company bank account) then short-term employment will not be registered. Also if your company has no ties to Estonia then they will say the company is not "active in Estonia" and not issue the approval. They have taken the view that a foreign owned company has to have business partners physically in Estonia. It is also common for them to say that for carrying out management duties no short-term employment is needed (very often a single owned business owner will act as the manager as well as carry out daily business activities).

In immigration matters, the laws state general conditions which are very openly interpreted by the Police and Border Guard.


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