Interior minister endorses distribution of 2021 immigration quota

PPA migration service center in Tallinn.
PPA migration service center in Tallinn. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The Minister of the Interior Alar Laneman (EKRE) has endorsed the 1,315 as the immigration quota for Estonia next year and the distribution of permits.

Twenty-five fixed-term residence permits have been set aside for creative workers for work at performing arts institutions in the meaning of the Performing Arts Institutions Act, 24 for athletes, coaches, referees and sports officials, and five for foreigners arriving in Estonia under an international agreement. The remaining 1,261 spots are available to foreigners arriving in Estonia for employment in other fields.

The immigration quota mainly regulates employment and business related migration from third countries.

Included in the immigration quota are temporary residence permits issued for employment, entrepreneurship and on the basis of an international agreement.

"The purpose of the immigration quota is primarily to protect the Estonian labor market. By distributing the immigration quota in its turn according to the grounds for the application and the basis for the issue of a residence permit, we can make sure that the immigration quota is not filled fully on a random basis and only a portion of the quota is kept for free distribution," Laneman said.

The minister said the purpose of the distribution is to set aside a certain number of residence permits issued under the quota for professional activity in fields that are important for Estonia. 

Not included in the immigration quota are citizens of member states of the European Union (EU) and their family members, as well as citizens of the United States and Japan, as well as people seeking international protection. The quota also does not include foreigners moving to Estonia to live with a spouse or close relative, or to study, work as a lecturer or do research in the country. Also not included in immigration quota are people who are issued residence permits for permanent residence in Estonia, major investors, startup entrepreneurs and information and communications technology (ICT) employees and top specialists.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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