Visa and residence permit



All students who are not Estonian citizens or EU citizens (including EEA countries and Switzerland) need a temporary residence permit to study on a full degree programme. EU citizens should obtain a temporary right of residence in Estonia.

The visa and residence permit application process will usually begin after student has been accepted to study on chosen programme and after university has forwarded required acceptance documents to the student.

EU citizens

In order to obtain temporary right of residence, a student should register his/her place of residence in the Local Government authority of the place of residence within 3 months from the day of entry to Estonia. In addition, a student has to apply for an Estonian ID-card within 1 month from obtaining the temporary right of residence. More information can be found on the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board web page.

Non-EU citizens

Students who are third country nationals (not EU citizens) need to contact their nearest foreign representation of the Republic of Estonia and make a reservation for submitting a long-term visa (D-type) application. The list of foreign representations which are handling visa applications can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Processing of the visa application at a foreign representation may take 10-30 calendar days. You may start making your travel arrangements after the visa is issued. 

After you have arrived in Estonia you can start your studies! If your studies should last longer than a year, you will need to apply for a temporary residence permit for studying. In order to submit your application, you need to book an appointment with one of the Police and Border Guard Board service offices in Estonia. Prepare your documents (application, proof of sufficient income, health insurance) and head over to your previously booked appointment. 

After submitting the documents at the service office, the granting or refusal of temporary residence permit shall be decided within 2 months from the acceptance of the application, or elimination of any deficiencies, that is if the application was submitted with any.

Within a month after the residence permit is granted you are obliged to register your place of residence at the population register.

Settling with spouse/family

Your child may apply for a temporary residence permit, if you are coming to Estonia for studies and own a residence permit. The spouse can apply for temporary residence permit in case you have lived in Estonia based on temporary residence permit at least 2 years. For more information and required documents, please visit Estonian Police and Border Guard Board`s website.

Immigration advisors

Migration advisors work in the Estonian Police and Boarder Guard Board, with aim help foreigners to settle in Estonia. Personal advisors give legal advice about different legal grounds to live in Estonia and the necessary documentation for people coming to study and work here but also to employers and educational institutions who invite foreigners. The counselling service specializes in residence and temporary stay, but also documents and citizenship issues.

Advisors work in Estonian, English and Russian. This service is free of charge. 


Contact information and working hours:
They advise via phone, email, Skype call or by appointment. Make a reservation in order to meet with the advisor or to make a Skype call. 

Phone: +372 612 3500 (Mon-Fri 9.00-15.00)
Skype: EstonianPolice_MigrationAdvice

By previous reservation, it is possible to meet with advisors in Estonia in the following cities:

  • Tallinn
  • Tartu
  • Jõhvi
  • Pärnu

Important contacts:

Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

Phone: +372 612 3000


Ministry of Foreign Affairs


Travel and consular issues: (+372) 6 377 44

Don't forget: All the institutions that provide international study programmes are experienced in advising international applicants. International offices are always there for you – do not hesitate to ask their help when you have questions about temporary residence permit for studying!

The Police and Border Guard has compiled a useful Student Guide for step-by-step instructions on visa and residence permit application!