Immigration limit could be reached before end of year

Estonian and EU flags in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Postimees/Scanpix)
11/29/2016 8:17 AM
Category: News

According to the Police and Border Guard (PPA), this year’s immigration quota, set at 1,317 people, could be reached before the end of the year.

As daily Postimees wrote on Tuesday, Estonia’s immigration quota has been fixed at 0.1% of its total number of permanent residents and citizens, which in 2016 is 1,317. But as of last week, 1,218 residence permits had been issued already, Harry Kattai, citizenship and migration policy adviser at PPA, told the paper.

“The limit is likely going to be reached a few weeks before the end of the year,” Kattai said. “If the application for a residence permit has already been made, but the applicant doesn’t fit in anymore, then it makes sense to extend the deadline of the process and grant them the permit in January.”

PPA estimated the number of people who may have to wait until next year to be around a hundred, Postimees wrote.

While in previous years the limit included all citizens of all foreign countries, the quota now regulates immigration from so-called third countries, which is mostly connected with business or work.

Every year more than 6,500 people move to Estonia that are not affected by the quota. Citizens of European Union member states, the European Economic Area, or Swiss citizens are free to move here, as well as U.S. and Japanese citizens, and foreigners following a spouse or close family member.

The quota also does not include students and researchers, teachers, and asylum seekers.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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