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Travelling to Estonia - foreigners

How do I get to Estonia


Will there be restrictions because of the state of emergency on foreigners who are temporarily in the country either with a visa or visa-free?

From 17 March, foreigners who work in Estonia on a C or D-visa or visa-free will not be able to return to Estonia. If they are already in Estonia, they will be able to remain in the country or to leave it if they wish.

A foreigner who has been lawfully staying in Estonia as of 12 March 2020 and who has been prevented from returning to his / her country of residence may legally stay in Estonia on a temporary basis. He does not have to contact the Police and Border Guard to extend his stay. He can stay in Estonia for up to 10 days after the end of the emergency situation. Such a regulation was provided by a general order of the Director General of the Police and Border Guard Board.

People arriving in Estonia from 13 March 2020 will not be subject to this general arrangement, as they came to Estonia at the time of the declared emergency and had to take into account the risks involved. If their existing visa is due to expire during the emergency period, they must apply for a visa at the Police and Border Guard Service or leave the Schengen area before the visa expires. Applying for a visa gives the right to stay in Estonia until a decision has been made to grant or refuse a visa. The visa application cannot be submitted by post, the person is identified at the service centre and fingerprints are taken. The fingerprints given in the photo box cannot be used in the visa procedure.

If I get infected with the coronavirus will my residence permit get revoked?

No, it won't.

Can a foreign national come to fetch his yacht from winter quarters in Estonia by sea and without going through a border control?

He cannot, Estonia reinstituted border controls from March 17, 2020 and due to this all persons have to go through a border control, even if they enter Estonia through a sea border crossing point (e.g. a small-craft harbour).

As there are currently restrictions in place for entering Estonia, foreign nationals need to submit a prior application for a special permit to cross the border to fetch their yacht.

I'm a foreign citizen. Can I travel to Estonia, do I have to stay in isolation?

No, you will not be let in. Estonia is only letting in Estonian citizens or residents of Estonia with a residence permit or right of residence, including holders of the so-called grey passport (stateless persons).

Are there any people crossing the border who are not subjected to restrictions on movement?

The following persons entering Estonia and who have no symptoms are not subject to the 14-day restriction on freedom of movement:

  • employees of diplomatic representations in Estonia and their family members;

  • foreign nationals arriving in Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation;

  • persons involved in the transport of goods or raw materials;

  • persons involved in the international carriage of goods and passengers, including crew members of public transport;

  • persons providing services to tour groups and providers of passenger transport services;

  • healthcare professionals or providers of other essential services;

  • persons who are in transit through Estonia to their country of residence;

  • persons who have been issued a special permit for entry into Estonia by the Police and Border Guard Board;

  • Finnish citizens or persons who have a residence permit or a right of residence or whose permanent place of residence is in Finland according to the population register, and who are coming to Estonia to work or to fulfil other contractual duties, are studying in an educational institution registered in Estonia, or are arriving to Estonia for unavoidable family obligations, mainly to meet close relatives, attend a funeral or a wedding, or travel due to a medical incident;

  • Latvian or Lithuanian citizens or persons who have a residence permit or a right of residence in those countries, or whose permanent place of residence is in Latvia or Lithuania according to the population register.

  • Estonian citizen who works in Finland.


To the family in Estonia


I read that Estonia no longer issues visas but we have to go to a funeral. Can our relatives from a neighbouring country travel to Estonia?

For humanitarian reasons (illness of a close relative, a funeral) it is still possible submit a visa application. Please contact the Estonian embassy in the country concerned. In the case of humanitarian reasons, if it was not possible to apply for the visa at the embassy, it is also possible to extraordinarily issue a visa at the border point (e.g. for coming to a funeral).

Can a foreigner come to Estonia to be with his life partner who is in the last months of her pregnancy? The persons are not married. Who is considered to be a family member (for instance, is a life partner, an unborn child, stepchildren/parents etc. a fam

If this foreigner has a right of residency in Estonia, i.e. as an EU citizen he has registered his Estonian place of residency in the Estonian population register and he has an ID card, there should be no problem with his entry into Estonia. The requirement to stay at home for 14 days still applies.

As an exception, the Police and Border Guard Board may allow entry into Estonia to a foreigner who is not symptomatic and:

  • whose direct descendant or ascendant relative or spouse is an Estonian citizen, has an Estonian residence permit or right of residency in Estonia.
  • is exceptionally permitted to enter the country for a substantiated reason, i.e. a mother and child with a visa are in different countries.

You should fill out an application for an authorization to cross the border in exceptional circumstances and send it to ppa[at]politsei[dot]ee :

Can I enter Estonia if I am a citizen of a EU and I have children with an Estonian citizen or a person who has the residence permit or right of residence in Estonia (we are not married), but I do not have the right of residence in Estonia

Yes, you are allowed to enter.


Can I enter Estonia if I am a citizen of a European Union Member State whose partner is an Estonian citizen or has Estonian residence permit? I do not have the right of residence in Estonia.

The answer is no.

I am Latvian but my son lives with his mother in Estonia. Will I be able to visit him?

children, grandchildren or a spouse if this person is an Estonian citizen or a foreigner with a right of residence in Estonia. Visitors must remember though that when they arrive in Estonia they will be told to go to their home or their permanent place of stay and they will not be allowed to leave it for 14 days. People who are subject to isolation must remain alone as much as is possible. If this is not possible, people living with or coming into contact with the person subject to isolation should try to keep contact with the person to a minimum while using their common sense. Similarly, the loved ones should also minimise their contact with those outside the household/close circle of the person subject to isolation.

A Russian citizen who resides in Estonia under a residence permit is coming home. Can he return to Russia if necessary?

Anybody who enters Estonia is subject to a restriction of movement for 14 days, and the person is prohibited from leaving their place of residence or permanent stay within 14 days of arrival in Estonia. During the established 14-day movement restriction, the person cannot also leave the country.

It is important to remember that commuting across the border is not allowed.


Working and studying in Estonia


I'm a business owner and I have foreign citizens working for me who are currently not in Estonia. How can they return?

Estonian citizens and residents of Estonia who have an Estonian residence permit or right of residence, including holders of a so-called grey passport, are admitted to Estonia as well as foreign citizens and foreigners whose family member lives in Estonia. Foreigners arriving in Estonia in the framework of international military cooperation also can enter the country.

Foreigners who do not show any signs of illness and whose close relative is an Estonian citizen or a person with the right of residence are admitted with the special permit of the police. Transport by international freight is available. In addition, vital service providers, such as fuel suppliers are permitted to enter.

Foreigners can travel through the country to transit to their home country if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

The temporary restriction on the crossing of the border shall remain in force until the order is amended; its necessity shall be assessed at least every two weeks. Other persons are denied entry to Estonia and are returned from the border.

A foreign student of an Estonian University went to Finland and cannot return to Estonia as a foreign national. But as a student in Estonia they have the residence permit and they are registred in the Civil Registry. What can they do?

As a student at a University in Estonia they have the residence permit, and right to return to Estonia.

Can I enter Estonia as a citizen of a European Union Member State when I have a company registered in Estonia but I do not have the right of residence in Estonia?

The answer is no. If you have a permanent place of residence in Estonia, and therefore the right of residence in Estonia, then in this case you are allowed to enter the country.


If a Latvian or an Estonian citizen works in Estonia or Latvia, respectively, can she cross the border several times a day?

Yes, starting from May 15, the freedom of movement between Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania has been restored to the citizens and residents of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Could a person of Russian nationality working in Estonia but living in Russia (incl. people of Estonian and Russian dual citizenship), exceptionally, be able to cross the Estonian-Russian border for work purposes?

There are no derogations for crossing the Estonian-Russian border and persons crossing the border must take into account the 14-day movement restriction in both Estonia and Russia. It is not possible to commute to work and back across the border.

Exceptionally, could an Estonian citizen / resident with a job in Russian territory cross the border for work?

No, the Russian Government does not provide for such a distinction.

Is there a specific authority in Russia that businesses can turn to for requests for border crossing exemptions?

No. The order of the Russian Government does not provide for any exceptions of the admission requirements and consequently there is no specific authority to apply for.

If a person comes back to Estonia from abroad, but lives with an elderly relative, who is in the risk group , where will this returning person be isolated?

A person coming from abroad should definitely not go into isolation to where their grandparent lives. This person should find a place to stay at a hotel or find a place with the help of friends and family in Estonia to stay for 14 days, if possible. Currently no private-sector accommodation establishments have expressed their willingness to accommodate people obliged to stay in isolation (either for free, or for a charge).


Transit through Estonia



Can Estonia be used for transit, for example if an aeroplane arriving from Egypt has Latvian citizens on board who want to go through Tallinn to Latvia?

Foreigners can use Estonia as a transport corridor to get to their home country if they have shown no signs of being infected with coronavirus.

People who are showing signs of illness should get help in the country where they are at that moment.

How to interpret that return is prevented?

It means both the lack of transport options and the closure of national borders for transit.

Can a Latvian citizen, coming from Cyprus travel to Latvia via Estonia?

Yes. Foreigners can travel through the country to transit to their home country if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. They are obliged to do so immediately.


Last updated: 19 May 2020