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Residence Permit for Non-EU/EEA Citizens

Temporary residence permit for Non-EU/EEA students

After you have received an accepted offer from the DreamApply system and an acceptance e-mail from the admissions office you should apply for an Estonian temporary residence permit (TRP) for studies and/or an Estonian visa to be able to travel to Estonia.

Estonia is part of the Schengen area.

Please see the information below and decide on your road to Estonia. If you need help in deciding you are welcome to contact our International Admission Specialist (admissions....at....tlu.ee)

For degree students

All degree students from Non-EU/EEA countries need to at one point apply for the Estonian Temporary residence permit for studies. It is recommended that you apply for the Estonian TRP prior to travelling to Estonia. You should, though, take into account that the process of the application will durate two months and during the busiest times even longer.

If you are applying for the temporary residence permit for study in Estonia prior to your arrival to Estonia you can do it at the nearest Estonian Embassy. Please remember that if you submit any copies of the documents required you will have to confirm the copies with your name, signature and date. Some documents need to be notarized.

If there is less than two months until your studies start, then there is a possibilty to also apply for an Estonian visa together with the TRP. This will ensure that you can arrive in Estonia by the time your studies start.

If you need to also apply for a visa together with the TRP, you should apply for a D-visa (long stay – 6 months), the application procedure is described here. 

Please make sure to read through the instructions of applying for the visa carefully as there are certain restrictions for travelling to Estonia with a visa. We recommend applying for the TRP together with the visa at the same time. Students can get their TRP in Estonia, yet the application process should be started abroad.

You can see the list of documents needed to apply for the Estonian TRP here.

Health insurance contract has to be valid in Estonia during the whole validity period of the residence permit (at least one year) and must meet these requirements.

Receiving the temporary residence permit will take up to two months, so please begin with the process as soon as possible! If you submit any copies of the documents to the Estonian representations you have to confirm the copy with your name, signature and date.

Temporary residence permit for study may be issued with a period of validity until the end of the nominal study period but for no longer than the estimated duration of studies.

If you have any specific questions about the requirements for the documents needed to apply for the TRP you are welcome to contact the Estonian Police and Boarder Guard Board (ppa....at....politsei.ee)

After receiving your temporary residence permit for study you need to register your place of residence. 

You can register as a citizen of Tallinn in the Population Register Offices in Tallinn:

  • in the city center (Pärnu Road 9), office hours: Monday 8.15-18.00; Tuesday - Thursday 8.15-17.00; Friday 8.15-13.00;
  • in Northern Tallinn (Niine Street 2), office hours: Monday 8.15-18.00; Tuesday - Thursday 8.15-17.00; Friday 8.15-16.00;
  • in Kristiine (Tulika 33b), office hours: Monday 8.15-13.00 and 14.00-18.00; Tuesday - Thursday 8.15-13.00 and 14.00-17.00; Friday 8.15-13.00;
  • in Mustamäe (A.H.Tammsaare Road 135), office hours: Monday 8.15-12.00 and 13.00-18.00; Tuesday - Thursday 8.15-12.00 and 13.00-17.00; Friday 8.15-12.00 and 13.00-16.00.

Other offices administering the city's Population Register. Please see Tallinn City Map.

You have to take with you:

  • identity document,
  • tenancy contract (from your dormitory or from private apartment).

(The TRP is issued in the format of a residence card. The residence card issued for studies in Estonia is not valid as a travel document but you need to have it along with your passport while travelling outside Estonia.)

If you change your address in Estonia, please make sure to also change it in the Population Register Office.

PS. Students who have not yet received their TRP cannot register themselves as a citizen of Tallinn.

Important information

NB! It is important to remember that only full-time students have the right to have a temporary residence permit for studies.

In case the student fails to remain a full-time student, the TRP will be revoked. Tallinn University is obligated to inform the Police and Border Guard Board of transferring an international student to part-time studies within two weeks' time from the day the decision of transferring was taken.

The TRP will also be revoked in case the student wishes to take an academic leave. There is a possibility to maintain the TRP in case the student is factually still studying despite being on an academic leave.

The difference between full-time and part-time studies here is described here.

Please make sure that your TRP in Estonia is valid during the time of your abdsence from Estonia (for example if you are planning on going for exchange studies). If you already know that your document will expire during this time, please apply for the extension well in advance to be able to receive the renewed card before you leave Estonia.

The renewed residence card can also be collected at a foreign representation of the Republic of Estonia or at the Service Office stated on the application form but this is a more time-consuming option.

After your studies

After graduation your TRP will be automatically valid for another 183 days. This means that you are allowed to stay in Estonia but the document does not give you the right to travel inside the Schengen Area. From 2017 the 183 days right can be executed as a visa sticker in your passport if you need to travel inside the Schengen within the given period.

Before you leave Estonia you have to sign yourself out from the Population Register.

Information for students with visa-free entry to Estonia

Please see a list of countries with visa-free access to Estonia here.

Although travel documents are not checked at internal Schengen borders, it is still necessary to carry a travel document (a passport or national ID card) when crossing internal Schengen borders. Competent authorities like police or immigration officials of relevant Schengen State have the right to check travel documents if needed. We draw your attention to the fact that driving licences, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity.

The citizens mentioned in the above list do not need a visa to enter a Schengen area (incl. Estonia) for stays of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

Despite that the student has the right to enter the Schengen area visa-free the study period in Tallinn University is usually more than 90 days so we recommend applying for a D-visa prior to your travels in the nearest Estonian embassy and entering Estonia with an already valid visa or temporary residence permit.

If you are moving to Estonia for a degree programme you will have to stay here longer than for three months and therefore would be advised not to enter Estonia visa free. This not in accordance with the rules and regulations of visa-free travelling and might cause problems at the border when reaching the first Schengen country.