The Estonian Government approved and forwarded a bill to the Riigikogu which, among other changes meant to facilitate the increased recruitment of foreign workers and specialists, will require employers to pay foreign employees the average Estonian salary at minimum, a decrease from current wage requirements.
The government agreed that the current minimum pay requirement of 1.24 times the average Estonian salary is preventing the recruitment of needed foreign labor and hindering the country’s economic development.
According to the proposed changes to Estonia’s Aliens Act, in cases of short-term employment or being granted residence permits for work purposes, employers must pay foreign employees the average Estonian salary at minimum.
ICT-field employees excepted from immigration quotas
The Estonian Government also approved of other changes that will contribute to the development of the country’s economic environment. For example, employees in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) will be excepted from annual immigration quotas. Estonia’s immigration quota for 2016 is 1,317 people, which is 0.1 percent of Estonia’s permanent population.
Minister of the Interior Hanno Pevkur noted that demand for labor clearly exceeds supply in the ICT sector. “We want to facilitate the relocation of ICT specialists and their families to Estonia, both for the growth of existing businesses as well as the attraction of promising new businesses to Estonia,” said the minister.
In order to help attract foreign investments, another change provides for the granting of temporary residence permits to major investors who have made an investment of at least one million dollars in Estonia.
Foreigners who have received residence permits for the purposes of employment will also be excepted from Estonia’s immigration quotas. Residence permits’ periods of validity will also be extended, generally to ten years.
Editor: Editor: Aili Sarapik