Euopean Union Blue Card
For highly-qualified workers, the EU Blue Card is the visa of choice. You must hold a university or college diploma from an educational programme that lasted three years or more. Alternatively you may prove your qualifications by showing at least five years of professional experience. The number of non-EU nationals who can settle in Estonia is limited to 0.1 % of the permanent population of Estonia annually. You must apply for an EU Blue Card at the Estonian embassy or consulate in your country of origin or residence.
The potential employer must contact the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund for consent. The consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund is not required for certain employment categories and in case of renewal. Your salary must be at least 1.5 of the most recent annual average monthly wage in Estonia, this published by the Statistics Estonia.You may apply for an EU Blue Card at the Citizenship and Migration Bureau if you are legally staying in Estonia or if you have a Blue Card issued by another EU country.
Where And How To Apply
You must apply for an EU Blue Card at the Estonian embassy or consulate in your country of origin or residence.You may apply for an EU Blue Card at the Citizenship and Migration Bureau if you are legally staying in Estonia or if you have a Blue Card issued by another EU country.
Your employer must contact the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund to obtain a permission and the Fund must give its consent. The consent of the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund is not needed for certain categories of workers and in case of renewal. The employer must pay you at least 1.5 of the most recent annual average monthly wage in Estonia, published by the Statistics Estonia.
For some professions the employer must pay 1.24 of this wage. These professions are
- Top and medium-level managers;
- senior experts in natural and technical science and health protection;
- experts in pedagogy, business, administration, IT and communication;
- experts in the area of law, culture and social affairs.
To obtain an EU Blue Card you must present:
An employment contract for a high qualified job with a duration of at least one year or a binding job offer for at least one year;
Documents proving your qualifications.
If the profession is regulated, you must present your qualification documents after the procedure of recognition at the EstonianENIC/NARIC.
Refusal of a Blue Card
An EU Blue Card can be refused in the following circumstances:
- Non-compliance with the requirements;
- The annual immigration quota is filled;
- Non-payment of tax by the employer;
- Sentence imposed on the employer for allowing irregular employment;
- Non-compliance by the employer with the obligation to inform about changes in the conditions of employment and the termination of a contract;
- Justified reasons to doubt the trustworthiness of the employer;
An EU Blue Card can be withdrawn or not renewed in the following circumstances:
- Unemployment for more than three months or more than once;
- Application for subsistence benefit;
- Employment with an employer who did not have permission from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (during first two years).
You must register your place of residence in the Population Register within a month of your arrival.
Duration of validity of a card
An EU Blue Card is granted for the duration of your employment contract plus three months, and for a maximum period of two years and three months, renewable for a period of four years and three months maximum.
Appeals can be brought to administrative courts against decisions to refuse an EU Blue Card within ten days from the date of notification of the decision.
Change Of Employment
You can change employment. During the first two years of the validity of your EU Blue Card, your new employer must obtain permission from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund.You must notify any change in the conditions of your employment as defined in the residence permit for employment to the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Prefecture.
Your EU Blue Card will not be revoked if you become unemployed unless the period of unemployment is longer than three months or there are several periods of unemployment during the validity of your Blue Card.
You can bring your family members to join you in Estonia. No residence requirement is necessary to reunite with spouses and close family members (including minor children).
Change of Status
You can change status and may apply for a temporary residence permit (also for grounds other than employment) at the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Prefecture.
If you hold an EU Blue Card, you can obtain permanent residence after five years of continuous temporary residence in the EU, if you have resided on a continuous basis on the territory of Estonia for the last two years.
You must submit your application to the Citizenship and Migration Bureau of the Prefecture no later than two months before expiry of your valid Blue Card and fulfil the following conditions:
- You have registered your residence in Estonia;
- You have a permanent legal income for subsistence;
- You have a health insurance;
- You comply with integration requirements i.e. pass a test of the Estonian language if you are 15-65 years old and you do not have restricted active legal capacity.