The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has granted 3,361 residence permits in the first nine months of 2015. The number already exceeds the total for 2014.
From January to September 2014, PPA granted residence permits to 2,853 people.
According to Eurostat, the vast majority of first time residence permit holders in 2014 came from Russia (28.2 percent) and Ukraine (26.5 percent). This year, Ukraine has overtaken Russia as a main country of origin. It now accounts for 34.6 percent of new residents, leaving Russia second with 26.9 percent. Follow the US (106 people; 3.2 percent), India (98; 3 percent) and Belarus (81; 2.4 percent). New residents come from altogether 73 countries, including Barbados, Bhutan, Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Panama, Surinam, and Togo.
“An increasing number of Ukrainian citizens are applying for a residence permit, mainly to come and live with close relatives, or to work or study,” said Liis Valk from the PPA. The number of study permits granted to Ukrainians, for example, has more than doubled in comparison to last year, she added.
In nine months, PPA has altogether granted 1,200 residence permits for employment, 1,076 for family, and 561 for education reasons. Most foreign students enroll either in Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Tartu or Tallinn University.
As of October 1, Estonia has altogether issued 23,757 currently valid temporary residence permits, including 8,940 to people with undetermined citizenship, 7,712 to Russian and 3,315 to Ukrainian citizens.
There are also 168,869 inhabitants with permanent residence permits, 85,656 of whom are citizens of Russia, 76,915 have undetermined citizenship, 4,122 are from Ukraine and 1,259 from Belarus.
Holders of residence cards must bear in mind that if they stay outside of Estonia for more than 183 days in a year, they must register their absence with PPA in order to keep their permit.
Request to have a residence permit extended must be submitted at least two months prior to its expiry date.
For more information visit www.politsei.ee or call 6 123 000 (08:00-19:00).
Editor: M. Oll