Forum: Most Immigrants to Estonia Are Here for Work, Not for Social Benefits ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A forum on migration concluded that Estonia does not attract immigrants searching for an easy life, but workers coming here for a job.

ERR radio reported on Monday that Estonians leaving for jobs in Finland are being replaced by Russians or Ukrainians looking for jobs in Estonia, such as in construction.

University of Tartu macroeconomics professor Raul Eamets said the average immigrant is a 20- to 34-year-old male with a vocational education and is from Russia or Ukraine.

Kert Valdaru, the head of the Center for Migration Studies at the Academy of Security Sciences, said there have been no studies on the length of the stay of the average immigrant, while Eamets said the question lies in Estonians going to work in Finland and if or when they return.

He said many Estonians will work in Finland for five years to qualify for the state pension there, then return to Estonia, adding that such a trend could increase in the future.