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ICT professionals, start-ups, large-scale investors now exempt from Estonian immigration quota

To work against the shortage of professionals in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector and to attract foreign talent, effective Jan. 1 certain groups of professionals are no longer part of Estonia’s annual immigration quota.

Changed legislation entered into effect on Sunday that excludes workers in the ICT sector as well as those involved in technology start-ups from Estonia’s immigration quota. The measure affects citizens of so-called third countries, i.e. countries outside the European Union.

At the same time conditions are simplified that involve start-ups in the application for visas and working as well as business permits.

Previously one of the conditions for a third-country national to get a working permit in Estonia was that their employer paid them at least 1.24 times the average salary. This was reduced to the average salary effective Jan. 1. The conditions to apply for a limited-term permit were simplified, and the duration of the term extended from a maximum of six to nine months a year.

All legal residents of Estonia can now apply for long-term visas and residence permits, and the number of necessary documents to do so has been reduced as well.

The law also creates a new category of residence permit aimed at large-scale investors. These changes will enter into effect on Jan. 17 and 18.

Consultation services by the Police and Border Guard in English to follow in March

To offer “personal and trustworthy” advice to companies planning to hire foreigners, and to foreigners already living in Estonia, the Ministry of the Interior and the Police and Border Guard are introducing a consulting service in Estonian, Russian, and English for matters concerning personal documents and immigration.

The authorities are planning to introduce this service starting Mar. 1 and making it available via phone, Skype, and e-mail as well as offering people the possibility to come in and talk to an official.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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