Number of foreigners in short-term employment more than doubles in 2018

The construction field in Estonia is a particular magnet for short-term employment.
The construction field in Estonia is a particular magnet for short-term employment. Source: Rene Suurkaev/ERR

The number of foreigners registered for short-term employment in Estonia in 2018 surged more than 2.6-fold on year to nearly 20,000 people, nearly 80% of whom were Ukrainian nationals.

 A total of 19,858 people were registered for short-term employment in Estonia last year, compared to just 7,510 in 2017 and 1,762 in 2016, figures published by the Police and Border Guard (PPA) indicate.

15,524 of these were Ukrainians, accounting for 78.2% of the total. Similarly, Ukrainian nationals accounted for 74.4% and 68.8% of short-term employees in 2017 and 2016, respectively.

"Migration statistics for last year were characterised by a significant increase in work-related migration and a very large number of people in short-term employment," Liis Valk, adviser-expert at the PPA's Identity and Status Bureau, told BNS on Friday. "For the PPA, this means an even greater service and procedural burden, resulting in longer queues and procedural timelines for people."

According to Ms Valk, the increase in short-term employment has been fed primarily by the construction sector, and no reduction in employment-related migration is predicted.

In order to help alleviate this burden on its offices, the PPA's IT partner is working on further developing the e-service used to apply for electronic ID cards.

"Due to the high volume of applications, it is essential that the submission of applications for the registration of short-term employment, which is currently done primarily via email, is possible via the e-service as well," Ms Valk said. "We also hope to transfer invitations issued by educational institutions and employers for the issuance of residence permits to the e-service this year as well."

Registration of a foreign national for short-term employment is generally the easiest and fastest option for an employer to hire a foreigner in Estonia. Under this arrangement, a foreigner can work in Estonia for a period of up to 12 months.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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