Changes in the Aliens Act

The change in the Aliens Act allows workers who work in the agricultural sector to work in Estonia until 31 July.

Due to the state of emergency, migration consultants of the Police and Border Guard Board have received numerous questions regarding short-term work permits from aliens staying in Estonia and from employers. On 20 April the Riigikogu approved an amendment to the Aliens Act that among other allows aliens who as of 17 March were lawfully staying in Estonia, and whose short-term working period had recently expired or was about to expire, to continue working in the agricultural sector until 31 June. The possibility to continue work does not apply to other fields of activity.

According to the Aliens Act, citizens of third states who are temporarily staying in Estonia (for example, on the basis of a visa or a visa-free regime) can work for a maximum of 12 months within a 15-month period, and in case of seasonal work for a maximum of 9 months within a 12-month period. To enable such work the employer must register short-term working of the alien with the Police and Border Guard Board, and the alien must have a legal basis for his or her stay in Estonia.

Since due to the state of emergency possibilities for entry in Estonia are limited, employers cannot recruit new workers from abroad, and therefore the Police and Border Guard Board is presently reviewing only those applications for registration of short-time working, which have been submitted by employers regarding foreigners who are presently staying in Estonia.

With regard to those aliens who have received a residence permit for the purpose of working, the same laws as before remain applicable. It means, among other, that if working under the conditions stated in the residence permit ends, the residence permit also expires, and in order to commence employment in another place the person must apply in advance for a new residence permit for work in Estonia and continuation of residence in this country.

In order to arrive in Estonia and to temporarily stay or settle here, the alien must have a legal basis (a visa or residence permit). There can be very different reasons for an alien to live or stay in Estonia. For example, people come to live in Estonia as a part of family migration, or for the purpose of study or conduct of business, or to carry out scientific work, or in order to be granted international protection. Additional information can be found on the website of the Police and Border Guard Board:

We advise all persons who have questions regarding a short-term work permit, temporary work permit, or right of residence, to contact migration consultants of the Police and Border Guard Board.

Telephone: 612 3500 (Mo-Fr 9:00-15:00)


Skype: EstonianPolice_MigrationAdvice

In addition to that we recommend to watch the Work in Estonia webinar that was conducted in order to discuss the recent changes:

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