If you wish to employ persons from outside Estonia, there may be some additional formalities to take into account.
Nationals from EU or EER countries
Persons who hold the nationality of an EU Member State, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein can freely be employed by you. There is no requirement to apply for a residence permit or a work permit.
Your employee should however register an Estonian address with the Population Register, and will be able to receive an Estonian identity card from the Police- and Border Guard Board.
Nationals from other countries
If you wish to employ citizens from outside Europe, you need to make sure that these persons hold a residence permit for employment. These can be obtained from the Police- and Border Guard Board.
Before you can employ such a worker, you are required to seek the agreement of Töötukassa. Töötukassa will check and certify that nobody on the Estonian labour market matches the specific profile you are looking for.
Agreement of Töötukassa is also necessary if you wish to employ a citizen from outside Europe holding EU Blue Card and working in Estonia for first two years.
Before you can submit an application to receive this agreement, you need to confirm that You have been looking for suitable employees within the Estonian and Europian Union.
The application can be sent to Töötukassa’s Head Office via digitally signed e-mail to email@example.com, or handed over in one of our regional offices. Together with the application, you will need to provide documents that prove that the employee is suitable for the position and could not be found within Estonia:
- Documents proving the education, qualification and work experience of the prospective employee, such as diplomas, work contracts or certifications from previous employers. Just providing a CV is not enough.
- Documents issued in a foreign country other than Ukraine and Russia must be legalised or certified by an apostil.
- Documents that are not in Estonian, Russian or English need to be accompanied by a translated version, and the translation must be certified by a sworn translator or a notary.
On the basis of your application, Töötukassa will issue a document stating its agreement. This document is valid for six months, and can in turn be used to obtain a residence permit for employment.
Persons working with you in the framework of free movement of services
You may have foreign staff working in your enterprise because they were sent to work with you by a foreign business partner in the framework of a provision of services to you (for example, to install or maintain a piece of machinery). When these workers are legally employed with the business partner, and if that business partner is situated within one of the countries of the European Economic Area, no residence permit or work permit is required.
Likewise, self-employed persons who are legally based in another country of the European Economic Area can perform activities in your enterprise without the need of a work permit or residence permit.
If you have questions that are not answered on this page, or if you need help with any of the formalities described here, please turn to the employers’ consultants of your regional office of Töötukassa.