The Cabinet moved today to streamline immigration procedures that it said would allow non-EU citizens to start legally working in certain sectors in as little as "two or three weeks."
The changes, made to a number of regulations and other legal acts, will affect specialists, researchers and faculty members as well as international students - about 300-400 people a year, officials estimated.
Interior Minister Ken-Marti Vaher cited the workforce shortage in several sectors as the reason for simplifying the process. "These sectors are above all IT, communications and various engineering areas. We are making it possible to bring brainpower to Estonia more easily to assist in wealth creation and promote local enterprise to boost economic growth as a whole," Vaher told ERR radio.
"Trustworthy employers will henceforth be able to hire a specific employee on the basis of a short-term visa. We have taken into account that two or three weeks should be enough to bring a foreign national to Estonia," he said.
Vaher said an important condition was that the hiree be paid at least two times the average salary in Estonia, and the lack of corresponding candidates in Estonia.