Visa & TRP application process

After you have received your final acceptance letter, you will have to organise your journey to Estonia and apply for a long-stay (D) visa at an Estonian embassy of your choosing. The list of Estonian embassies handling visa applications can be found here. Please note Estonia is part of the Schengen area.

If you still have any questions after reading the information provided below and need additional help during the process, you are welcome to contact the International Admissions Office (admissions@tlu.ee; +372 6409 234).

All degree students from non-EU/EEA countries need to at one point apply for an Estonian temporary residence permit (TRP) for study. Make sure you check out the guide created by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) to help you navigate the visa and TRP application processes. 

Please read all the instructions for applying for a visa as there are certain restrictions for travelling to Estonia with it. Please note we recommend applying for your TRP only once you have arrived in Estonia. You can book your TRP application appointment up to 3 months in advance using the following websiteThe whole TRP application process can take up to 2 months – from submitting your application to receiving your residence card.

When applying for your TRP, please keep in mind the following:

  • TRP for study is issued for the nominal study period. 
  • Your health insurance contract has to be valid for the whole duration of your studies but at minimum at least one year. 
  • TRP invitation letters are issued by the International Admissions Office directly to the PBGB.

Important information for TRP holders

Registering as a resident of Tallinn

After receiving your TRP you need to register your place of residence. You can register yourself as a resident of Tallinn in one of the city district administrative offices or online. Please see here for further instructions. Please keep in mind every time you change your address in Estonia you also need to change it in the population register. Before you leave Estonia you have to sign yourself out from the population register.

Students who have not yet received their TRP cannot register as citizens of Tallinn.

Part-time studies

Only full-time students have the right to a TRP. In case the student fails to remain a full-time student, the TRP will be revoked. The university is obligated to inform the PBGB of transferring an international student to part-time studies within two weeks' time from the day the decision of transferring was taken.

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

Academic leave

The TRP will also be revoked in case the student takes academic leave. There is a possibility to maintain the TRP in case the student is factually still studying full time despite being on academic leave. Please contact your study counsellor or the International Admissions Office for further guidance. 

Exchange studies & travelling

Your TRP residence card is not a valid travel document but if you do travel outside Estonia, you need to have it with you along with your passport. 

Please make sure that your TRP in Estonia is valid during the time of your absence from Estonia (e.g. if you are planning on 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.

Expiry & extension

After its expiration date, your TRP will be automatically valid for another 270 days. This means that you are allowed to stay in Estonia to finish your studies, work, or make any further arrangements. However, the expired document does not give you the right to travel inside the Schengen area. If you wish to travel inside the Schengen area, then you need to request the PBGB to issue you a passport sticker for travelling. 

In case you need more than 270 days, you can apply for a D-visa for the rest of your studies. In order to use e-services after the expiry of your TRP, you can apply for e-Residency, which enables the safe use of public and private e-services.

If you need an additional academic year (2 full semesters) to complete your studies, then you would have to extend your TRP. You can read about the process here. Please note you need to have sufficient reasoning for the extension, e.g. studying abroad for a semester or more. To support your extension application you need to request the International Admissions Office to issue an invitation letter.  

Additional information

If you have any questions about your TRP then you can always contact the International Admissions Office (admissions@tlu.ee; +372 6409 234) or turn to PBGB’s migration consultants.  

Important information for students with visa-free entry to Estonia

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

Although 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 long-stay (D) visa prior to your travels at the nearest Estonian embassy.

If you are moving to Estonia for a degree programme you will have to stay here longer than 3 months and therefore would be advised not to enter Estonia visa-free. This is 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.

Although travel documents are not checked at internal Schengen borders, it is still necessary to carry a travel document (a passport or a national ID card) when crossing them as they can be checked at any time. We draw your attention to the fact that driving licenses, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity.

Students whose stay does not exceed one year

If you are an exchange or a joint programme student and your physical stay in Estonia does not exceed one year then you are not eligible to apply for a TRP. You need to apply for a long-stay (D) visa for the duration of your stay. You can find more information about travelling to Estonia here

However, this unfortunately means you are unable to receive a Personal Identification Code (isikukood) or an ID-card. You also cannot register as a resident of Tallinn.

If you have any questions about your status then please contact the Incoming Exchange Students Coordinator, your study counsellor, or the International Admissions Office.