Family unification and education in Estonia


If you want to unite a family in Estonia, then you need to know the whole process thoroughly. Children’s education should also be taken care of.

If a foreigner applies for a residence permit as a family member of a migrant worker who is in Estonia, the migrant worker must have a legal source of income to support the family in Estonia or the family members must have a permanent source of income, which together is sufficient to support the family in Estonia. The family must have a registered and actual place of residence in Estonia. Foreign citizens must have an insurance policy that covers the costs of treatment of diseases or injuries during the period of validity of the residence permit.

An application for a residence permit with a spouse who is a foreign citizen and resides in Estonia will be considered unfounded if they cannot prove that they cannot reside in the country of common citizenship.

A migrant worker may invite family members to live with him/her in Estonia after two years of stay in the country.

Such relatives of a migrant worker may apply for the right to join a family:

  1. Husband/wife
  2. Minor children
  3. Other close relatives under special circumstances


If you plan to study in Estonia, you need to obtain a special residence permit for the purpose of the study. To apply for such permission you need to the Embassy of Estonia. In some cases, you can apply directly to the regional office of the Department of Citizenship and Migration for a permit.

A residence permit for the purpose of study may be issued for a period of up to 1 year, but its validity may not exceed the period of study. If you continue your education at the same University, the residence permit can be extended annually, but not more than 6 years in total.

More information about the residence permit for the purpose of the study can be found on the website of the Department of Citizenship and Migration (in Estonian, English, and Russian).

Educational opportunities in Estonia cover such types of education levels and programs:

  • Primary school, secondary school, gymnasium, vocational school, Institute of higher education or University.
  • Preparatory courses that are offered listed educational institutions.
  • Research at a University or Institute of higher education.
  • Practical training with the mediation of international student organizations.

Can students work while studying in Estonia?

Holders of residence permits for the purpose of education do not require a work permit to participate in the internship if it is provided by the curriculum. In other cases, it is possible to work only on the condition of obtaining a work permit and only if such work will not distract from studying.

To obtain a work permit you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Written consent of the educational institution to work as a foreign student in his / her free time.
  • A written explanation of the foreigner why he wants to work.
  • Data concerning the place of work.
  • Job description.
  • Work arrangement.

Detailed information on work permits is available on the website of the Department of Citizenship and Migration.

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