Already on the 2nd of January, the Police and Border Guard Board announced that over 1,300 applications for temporary residence permits for employment and business were submitted during December of 2018, a number that exceeds the 0,01% immigration quota established in the Aliens Act. While this issue presents a challenge for several employers, there are still several other options for recruiting and employing specialists from abroad, which do not fall inside that quota.
Namely, ICT specialists and start-up employees are exempted from the quota, as well as top specialists – that is those employees earning double the gross average monthly salary in Estonia. Citizens of Japan and the United States, individuals categorized as big investorsand international students (including those having graduated from an Estonian higher education institution) are also exempted from the quota and can be employed in Estonia, with little to none restrictions. You can find all exemptions from the quota here.
In addition, there is also an option to hire foreign specialists for a short-time period (up to one year) with a D-visa. As there are several options on how to hire foreign specialists, the best recommendation is to consult with the Migration Advisors from the Police and Border Guard Board, who can advise official advise free of charge to both foreigners and companies.
Number of foreign specialists in Estonia continue to increase.
Moreover, while the quota might be full, the fact remains that the number of foreign specialists has been steadily growing over the past few years, and 2019 will not be an exception. For instance, in 2018 there was a total of 2794 temporary residence permits for employment given to non-EU nationals, which is an increase big increase compared to 2017.
Estonia continues to increase its position every year as a more attractive career and working destination for foreign specialists worldwide.