EU Citizen’s Right of Residence

Citizens of the member states of the European Union and the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation (hereinafter “EU citizens”) have the right to stay in Estonia on the basis of a valid travel document or identity card for the period of up to 3 months. As international students stay longer, then the following 2 steps are compulsory:
1) Register the place of residence

To obtain the right of temporary residence, EU citizens must register themselves as citizens of Tartu within 3 months from the date of entering Estonia. That can be done at the Population Register Office.
Required documents for the registration:
  • identity document of an applicant;
  • tenancy contract.

Population Register Office in Tartu
Küüni St. 5
Tel: +372 736 1140
Opening hours: Mon 9–12, 15–18; Tue 9-16; Wed–Fri 9–12, 14–16.

Once you have registered yourself as a citizen of Tartu, you receive the Estonian ID code (isikukood).

2) Apply for an ID-card

Within the period of one month from the acquisition of the right of temporary residence, you must personally contact the Migration Bureau to apply for an identity card which certifies your right of temporary residence. Required documents for the identity card: Citizenship and Migration Bureau Tartu Service Point (Kodakondsus- ja Migratsioonibüroo Tartu teenindus):

Riia St. 132
Tel: +372 612 3000
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00–17.00

EU citizens must pay the state fee of 25 EUR. After registration the right of permanent residence is granted for a period of five years.

NB! Officers in the Migration Bureau mostly speak Estonian, some Russian and only few of them English. It is recommended to take your tutor or someone who speaks Estonian with you.

Other Nationals must apply for a visa to the Schengen area. Further information about the application process is available here.

Non-EU Citizen’s Residence Permits and Visas

All students, whose study period in Estonia is up to 6 months, can use D-visa to enter and study in Estonia. Students who study in Estonia for up to 6 months can apply for the long-stay (D) visa instead of the temporary residence permit (TRP) for study.

NB! It is not possible to extend D-visa. Students who stay for longer than 6 months must apply for the Estonian TRP. For more information, please see section "The list of documents to be submitted for TRP".

D-visa may be issued for single or multiple entries into Estonia. If you plan to travel during your study period, you should apply for the visa with multiple entries. D-visa enables to travel in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 6-months period.

D-visa holders do not need to register themselves in the Population Register Office in Tartu or apply for the residence permit!

D-visa can be applied in person only at the Estonian embassies.

Documents to be submitted upon application for visa:

  • valid travel document which is issued within previous 10 years, contains at least two blank pages for visa and is valid at least 3 months after the expiration date of the visa;
  • application form (provided by the embassy or from the following webpage: Ministry of Foreign Affairs);
  • one photo (size 35x45 mm);
  • an insurance policy valid for Estonia or for the Schengen area with coverage of at least 30 000 EUR for the entire duration of stay;
  • documents indicating the purpose of journey: Acceptance;
  • any information which supports the applicant's intention to leave the Schengen area before the expiry of the visa;
  • documents proving the sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the intended stay and for the return to the country of origin or residence (86 € for each day in Estonia): i.e. your scholarship proof or bank statement;
  • a visa fee 80 €
More information:

Please pay attention when filling in the application that the duration of your intended stay (counted in days) would cover your whole study period. After you have received the visa, you should check if the duration of stay (number of days you are allowed to be in Schengen area) covers your study period. If not, you will later need to apply for the temporary residence permit for study.

If you should have any problems concerning your rights as a D-visa holder, please contact the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Police and Border Guard Board immediately.

Additional information from the web-page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

After you arrival:

  1. D-visa holders are not required to have an Estonian ID code. However, it is highly recommend that you get one, as without it you will not be able to receive transportation discounts, register with a family doctor, or use a variety of other e-services.
  2. To get an ID code, you must visit Tartu City Government department on address:
Tiigi 12, room 7
office hours are 9.00-12.00 and 13.00-16.00.

  1. Please bring your Acceptance Letter or proof of studies with you (you can get this from Erasmus Coordinator).
  2. Once you get an Estonian identification code, please send it to your Erasmus Coordinator. It will then be inserted into the Study Information System. Within 4 working days, the information will be added to the national education infosystem (EHIS) and then you will be able to receive public transportation discounts and other services.