Ever dreamed of studying in a European country that’s not too crowded with people but is full of lush green landscapes?
Otherwise known as a start-up paradise, many budding entrepreneurs fly to Estonia to transform their dreams into a reality. Labelled by the Lonely Planet as one of the best cities for millennials to start a business, it’s an ideal place for international students to study and network with go-getting individuals.
So, as the country’s popularity grows in the market of international education, how easy is it to obtain a student visa for Estonia?
As the Study in Estonia website states, “All students who are not Estonian citizens or EU citizens (including EEA countries and Switzerland) need a temporary residence permit for study. EU citizens should obtain a temporary right of residence in Estonia.”
Unlike the classic ‘student visa’ that most countries offer, Estonia grants a temporary residence pass (TRP) that lets you live and study in Estonia.
If you’re a Non-EU Citizen, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Wait for initial feedback from your chosen Estonian university. If you meet the requirements and receive the acceptance documents, it’s time to apply for the temporary residence permit.
2. As a Non-EU Citizen (third country national), you’ll need to find the nearest Estonian Embassy or Consul in your country of residence or home country.
3. Once you’ve found the closest Embassy/Consul, you must make an appointment and visit them so that you can apply for your permit. From there, the designated staff members will assist you.
4. If you can’t find an Estonian Embassy or Consul in your home country, you must contact the nearest one via phone/email.
5. On the Estonian Police and Border Guard website, you can see all the documents you’ll need to complete the process. For example:
- A colour photo of yourself with measurements of 40×50 mm
- A document providing sufficient legal income
- Data of close relatives and family members
- A contract of traineeship between yourself and your chosen university/student organisation
For more details about the requirements, check the list here.
6. Make sure to note down that the Temporary Residence Permit in Estonia is issued for the duration of nominal studies (Bachelor 3 years and Master 2 years).
7. Once your permit is complete and you’ve received approval from your selected Estonian Embassy, register your place of residence with the Local Government authority within one month of your arrival.
8. Enjoy your study experience in Estonia!
Or, if you’re an EU Citizen, here are your steps:
1. Within three months of your visit to Estonia, you must register your place of residence with the Local Government authority.
2. From the moment you obtain temporary right of residence, you must also apply for an Estonian ID-card with the Local Government authority within one month.
3. Make sure to check everything with your chosen university before proceeding with the TRP process.
4. Enjoy your study adventure in Estonia!
A final tip for both Non-EU Citizens and EU Citizens:
Free of charge, the Estonian Police and Boarder Guards supply Migration Advisors to help you settle into your new surroundings.
They work in Russian, English and Estonian and are there to tackle any issues you may be having with housing, work or studies.
With so much support available to local and international students, plus a simple visa process that grants temporary residence, it’s no surprise that learners are flocking to the picturesque shores of Estonia!