HomepageLiving and Working in Estonia
Official name: Republic of EstoniaArea: 45,227 km²Population: 1, 34 million (2014)Capital: TallinnForm of government: parliamentary democracyOfficial language: Estonian, however English and Russian are also widely spoken.Currency: EUR Internet .eeEstonia is in the East European time zone (GMT/BST + 2:00)Estonian`s country code is +372. To place an International call start by dialling 00The Republic of Estonia is a member of the European Union, Schengen area and NATO.
The Republic of Estonia is divided into 15 counties, 30 towns and 185 rural municipalities. Each municipality is a unit of self-government with its representative and executive bodies. The municipalities in Estonia cover the entire territory of the country.
More information available here: http://estonia.eu/, www.visitestonia.com, www.eesti.ee/eng/topics AN INTRODUCTION TO ESTONIA
HOW TO GET TO ESTONIA
MINIFACTS ABOUT ESTONIA 2015
The unemployment rate in Estonia is relatively low, compared to other European Union countries. The decrease in unemployment continued at the end of last year. In the 4th quarter of 2014, the unemployment rate was 6.3%. The youth unemployment rate (i.e. the share of unemployed persons aged 15–24 among the labour force of the same age) was 15.0% in 2014. The numbers of working-age population as well as youth entering the labour market are continuously decreasing. Employment grew primarily in services, which increased the dominance of the tertiary sector compared to other sectors. There is a growing demand for high-skilled labour in Estonia. In view of the occupational forecasts, the most intensive labour demand is expected to affect the following areas: motor vehicle drivers, specialists in technical and life sciences, specialists in business and management, managers in various fields, sales personnel, metal and machinery operators and skilled personnel, education professionals, health professionals, construction workers and personal service specialists. Above average demand is forecast for ICT, electricity and electronics and personal care specialists as well as for various types of unskilled labour.
The unemployment rate in Estonia is relatively low, compared to other European Union countries. The decrease in unemployment continued at the end of last year. In the 4th quarter of 2014, the unemployment rate was 6.3%. The youth unemployment rate (i.e. the share of unemployed persons aged 15–24 among the labour force of the same age) was 15.0% in 2014. The numbers of working-age population as well as youth entering the labour market are continuously decreasing. Employment grew primarily in services, which increased the dominance of the tertiary sector compared to other sectors. There is a growing demand for high-skilled labour in Estonia.
According to Statistics Estonia, in the 4th quarter of 2014. there were 7,200 job vacancies in the enterprises, institutions and organisations in Estonia. The number of job vacancies decreased by 15.9% compared to the previous quarter.
More information available here: Eesti Pank observation on the labour market Labour Review 2014EU Skills Panorama (2015) Estonia
Statistics Estonia Labour Market
Common ways to find a job in Estonia are internet portals, newspaper advertisements, recruitment companies and the public employment service: the Estonian unemployment insurance fund and its labour offices.All vacancies advertised by the public employment services are available on the European Job Mobility Portal eures.europa.eu. An EU flag marker denotes vacancies from employers who will consider applications from elsewhere in Europe. In the Estonia most recruitment advertising is done through the internet, national and local press, company websites, private and public employment agencies and at careers and jobs fairs.The best-known Estonian job search portals include: CV-Online and CV Market .The guide to living and working in Estonia www.workinestonia.com.
In general, a network of personal contacts is essential to finding a job. If you have a connection that will help you find inside information, use it. Do you know someone who works in a company? Ask if they can help.And use social media. Become a ‘fan’ of the company you want to join on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. You’ll find information you may not have found otherwise.Job listings are also often posted in newspapers: in the Eesti Päevaleht and Äripäev on Tuesdays, in the Postimees on Mondays and Thursdays and in Eesti Ekspress on Thursdays.All of the major Estonian universities have career services, which help find jobs and internship positions for university students.Jobs or Careers Fairs are a good way to meet lots of employers in one place. The information about upcoming Job Fairs is available here www.toomess.ee
In order to apply for a job, you generally have to provide the employer with your CV and a cover letter. It is not obligatory to add a photograph (but around half of applications in Estonia include a photo on the CV). Sometimes a letter of motivation is to be attached as well.Tips for job applicationsIn Estonia, it is most common to apply for a job through an online job database. It is advisable to use an electronic application, and this should be short and specific. Any written application should be legible, grammatically correct, short and to the point. In many cases you have to go through more rounds after submitting your CV and application. These may include a language and a job-suitability test. Finally – if you are successful – you can expect an invitation to an interview.Is there a preference for handwritten applications?No, the covering letter and CV are usually typed and sent electronically.Is the Europass format CV widely used and accepted?The national CV format is preferable. CV should be printed on A4-format white paper, single-sided, in a common font such as Times New Roman, Arial, etc in font size 10–12. It is recommended that the CV fit on a maximum of two A4 pages.You may also add references – not compulsory, but may increase the candidate’s chances. Bigger companies might have their own CV form, found on the website of the relevant company.Preferable to indicate the contact details of two or three referees on your CV. These can include previous employers or contacts from school or university. They should be able to confirm the relevant contents of the CV and give professional background information about the candidate. Proof of good conduct is obligatory for public service employees. Some professions need police confirmation of a lack of a criminal record (e.g. drivers with regard to previous traffic offences).Letter of motivationThe main function of a letter of motivation is to answer the potential employer’s questions “Why are you the best candidate for this role? What three to five good characteristics could you highlight to your future employer? How do you link your previous work experience to the job on offer? Why would you like to work for this particular company?”A letter of motivation gives you the opportunity to emphasise the aspects specified in your CV that you consider so important that you want to stress them separately. A letter of motivation should not be very long, and certainly not longer than one A4 page.Making contact by phoneWhen you prepare a phone call, be sure to have the vacancy, skills list, your CV and a notebook to hand. Find the right contact person – an HR specialist. Show interest in the vacancy and ask where you should send the necessary documents. Be polite, listen, and speak slowly and clearly, giving specific answers and information about references. Be proactive.Preparing for an interviewDo sufficient preparatory work before the interview so that you can appear self-assured and focused during the meeting. Take a pen and notebook with you so that you can make notes. Do not take a seat before it is offered. Be self-confident and persuasive – and don’t forget to smile.Who will be there?Normally the official representative of the employer and personnel specialist(s) will be present, as well as other applicants if a group interview is involved. If you are taking part in a test, expect there to be 2 to 10 candidates. Tests usually take 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.Do we shake hands?A handshake is acceptable as a greeting; remember to wait for the employer to offer the handshake first. Be friendly and open, stand or sit up straight, and speak audibly and clearly, keeping eye contact.Is there a typical interview structure?At the beginning of the meeting expect a short warm-up (general questions), followed by specific questions about your personality and motivation. You then give a brief introduction about yourself. You may then be asked about your strengths and weaknesses, why you are interested specifically in this vacancy, with questions about education, training and previous employment experience, hobbies, job conditions and salary. You are expected to be frank and friendly, but not too familiar. Expect questions about duties, job conditions, future colleagues, bonuses, salary and general information about your previous job, your duties there and your reason for leaving.Candidates can usually ask for additional information about the vacancy and the company at the end of the interview. Questions about private life (e.g. information about sexual orientation, religion, pregnancy, sickness and financial circumstances) are considered to be strictly private matters.Job interviewAn employer will be impressed if you have done some research on the background of the company beforehand: read what has been written about them in newspapers. The more you know about the company and the job, the better chances you have of getting the job. Prepare some answers to questions you might be asked and prepare some questions you would like to ask the employer. Before going to an interview, prepare the documents you might need (CV, documents certifying education (copies are accepted). Present the diploma of your highest qualification only. You do not need to present a diploma older than 10 years if it is not related to the vacancy and the skills required.If your written references are on a separate sheet from the CV, don’t forget to take these as well. Sometimes you may be tested on general knowledge test or professional compatibility at the interview to determine your suitability for the job. You will usually be informed over the phone of a positive answer.Negotiating your pay and benefitsContract negotiations can involve the date you start work, salary and bonuses. The salary may be negotiable, but that depends on the position and company. Pay is generally expressed in monthly terms. Holiday pay is included in the remuneration and regulated according to Estonian law. Yearly bonuses cannot be negotiated separately.The following perks may be offered but are not common: company car, reimbursement of travel expenses, gym or pool membership. In the private sector, these extras can be negotiated. Extra benefits are negotiated with your direct superior.How long is the standard probationary period?Four months, or 6 months for some state/government positions.Will the employer cover my costs for attending an interview?No, this is not likely.When will I hear the result?Most (60 %) companies let you know the result of the application procedure sometime in the 2 weeks following the interview. The others (40 %) do not send any feedback.Getting feedback and further follow-upThe employer may expect you to follow-up yourself. You can ask after the interview when you can expect feedback. If you do not receive any feedback within the promised time, you can call the employer and ask for the results. After the interview you can send an e-mail to thank the employer for the interview – this will show that you are interested and will help the employer to remember you.How early should I arrive for the interview?Being punctual at the interview is highly recommended. Delay without a valid reason is not permissible. You should arrive a few minutes early; this will show your punctuality and interest in the vacant position.Dress-code tipsThis depends on the job function. It is advisable to dress in a conventional and comfortable style. Jewellery can be worn.Read more about job mediation services offered by public employment services www.tootukassa.ee
A citizen of the European Union, a member state of the European Union Economic Area and Swiss Confederation (hereinafter an EU citizen) has a right to stay in Estonia on the basis of a valid travel document or an identity card for the period of up to three months without registration of the right of residence. EU citizen’s right of residence in Estonia can either be temporary or permanent. Right for a permanent right of residence usually forms after having lived in Estonia for five years under a temporary right of residence. To acquire temporary right of residence, an EU citizen must register his place of residence in the rural municipality or city government of his residence not later than three months after the date of entry into Estonia. Necessary documents for submitting a residence notice available here.The family members of an EU citizen, who come from a third country, will have the right of temporary residence if the EU citizen is employed in Estonia or has sufficient legal income to ensure the subsistence of him/herself and the family. The third country family members of an EU citizen are required to follow the visa requirements for entering Estonia that have been described here. Within a month after the place of residence has been registered and the right to temporary residence has been obtained, an EU citizen must apply for an ID number and an Estonian ID card at the Police and Border Guard Board. The ID number enables you to obtain health insurance through the Estonian Health Insurance Fund when employed by an Estonian organisation. The ID card can be used as identification and for giving digital signatures, and it carries the data concerning the right of residence. ID cards can be used for a wide range of electronic services.EU citizens can work in Estonia without work permits. The same applies to the nationals of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.Further information on the right of residence in Estonia is available from the Citizenship and Migration Office of a prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board.
Employment contracts in Estonia are governed by the Employment Contracts Act. The natural person (employee) works for the other person (employer) under the employment contract in subordination to the management and supervision of the employer. The employer undertakes to remunerate the employee for such work. Pursuant to the legislation, the employer and the employee usually conclude a written employment contract.The written employment contract must include at least the following data:• details of both parties (name, personal identification code or registration code, residence or domicile);• date of conclusion of the employment contract and employee’s starting date;• in the case of a fixed-term employment contract, the duration of the contract and the basis for entry into the fixed-term contract;• official title if it is supplemented with legal effects;• job description;• place or region where the work is to be performed;• wage conditions (the remuneration agreed upon (wage), additional remuneration, the basis for calculating the remuneration, the procedure for payment and when wages are payable (pay day), the charges and taxes to be paid and withheld by the employer);• other benefits where applicable;• working hours during which the employee is to perform the duties agreed upon;• length of the employee's leave;• reference to the term(s) for advance notice concerning termination of employment contract;• rules of working order established by the employer;• reference to the collective agreement, if a collective agreement applies to the employee.
If an employee and employer agree that the employee is to work in a foreign state for a period longer than one month, the legislation of which state does not apply to the employment contract, the employer must inform the employee of the following before they leave: duration of the employment in a foreign state; currency to be used for the payment of remuneration, additional benefits attendant on the employment abroad; and conditions of the employee’s return from abroad.An employment contract is entered into in duplicate original copies, one of which is retained by the employee and one by the employer. An oral employment contract may be entered into only for employment lasting less than two weeks. An employment contract is considered to have been entered into when an employee starts work; work is considered to be performed only when it may be assumed that it is paid work, and this may depend on the precise circumstances. An employment contract may be amended only by the agreement of the parties.
Amendments to the terms of an employment contract are formalised in writing in the employment contract. If a dispute should arise between the employer and the employee, both parties have the right to turn to a labour dispute committee or court.
In Estonia, the ENIC/NARIC Centre deals with the assessment of foreign states’ educational documents with the purpose of recognition; this covers both academic recognition and professional recognition.
The main functions of the ENIC/NARIC are:• evaluating foreign qualifications (diplomas, certificates, academic reports, etc.) • determining the correspondence of education qualifications (academic degrees, titles, diplomas) certified by documentation to the Estonian education system and making recognition proposals • providing information about foreign higher education systems • providing foreign countries with information about the Estonian higher education system Detailed information is available at: www.archimedes.ee/enic/. More information about applying for evaluation available here.
Useful links: enic-naric.net - Gateway to recognition of academic and professional qualificationsEAR HEI Manual (European Area of Recognition – a Manual for the Higher Education Institutions) Your Europe - recognition of academic diplomasEAR Manual (European Area of Recognition Project) EURYDICE - Information on education systems and policies in Europe European Higher Education Area (EHEA) Recognition of foreign professional qualification in Estonia
Establishing a companyAll enterprises are required to be entered in the Commercial Register. The Commercial Register is a public register, which means that everyone is entitled to examine the register and the business files and to obtain copies of registry cards and documents in the business files. More information available here: www.investinestonia.com; www.eesti.ee
Activity as a self-employed person
In Estonia, any person can be self-employed who provides goods or services for charge under his own name and the sale of goods or provision of services is his permanent activity. In order to begin his activity as a self-employed person, one must register in the Tax and Customs Board’s Regional Tax Centre as a self-employed person. When the self-employed person has registered himself as a person liable to value added tax in the Tax and Customs Board, he is also liable to register in the commercial register. Additional information on operating as a self-employed person is available in Enterprise Estonia website.
Social security is funded through mandatory taxes or payments or through voluntary payments. In Estonia, the social security system is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Social Insurance Board. The main task of the Social Insurance Board is to manage and coordinate the national social insurance system.
Social insurance covers different fields: pensions, family benefits, health insurance, unemployment insurance, funeral benefits, benefits for disabled people and benefits for the victims of crime. Your social security rights in Estonia It is the local government’s task to provide and organise social services and emergency social care. In addition to state benefits, local governments can pay additional support and grant different benefits, such as travel fare concessions for school children and pensioners, as well as special land-tax rates. If an EU citizen works in Estonia and pays local social insurance, he or she is guaranteed all the same social benefits as any citizen of Estonia. Social insurance is a financial obligation which is imposed on taxpayers to obtain revenue required for pension insurance and state health insurance. Social insurance is paid by employers on wages and other remuneration paid to employees in money and on wages and other remuneration paid to public servants. The population register is a single database of the main personal data of Estonian citizens and aliens who have Estonian residence permits; it is administered and developed by the Ministry of the Interior and was established pursuant to the Population Register Act. The data it contains are used for the performance of public duties assigned to state and local government institutions and natural and legal persons. The data enable the state to plan investments and to steer development processes more accurately. The existence of precise data also ensures that any business a member of the public has with the authorities can be conducted more smoothly. The income tax paid by individuals accrues to local authorities on the basis of the residential data entered in the population register. The data contained in the population register are constantly updated when events occur which affect a person’s details or when documents are issued to individuals by a state or local government institution. The data are entered or amended on the basis of the notices of residence submitted by members of the public. The notice of residence is submitted to a department or an official who deals with population records (registrar) at a rural municipality or city authority (city district authority in Tallinn). Further information on the social security system of Estonia is available from the Ministry of Social Affairs www.sm.ee and the Social Insurance Board www.ensib.ee.
According to Statistics Estonia in the 4th quarter of 2014, the average monthly gross wages and salaries were 1039 euros. The average monthly gross wages and salaries increased in all economic activities in the 4th quarter of 2014. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the average gross monthly wages and salaries grew the most in financial and insurance activities (12.5%) and the least in information and communication (0.5%). In the 4th quarter of 2014, the average gross hourly wages and salaries increased the most in financial and insurance activities (13.1%) and fell only in information and communication (0.2%).
Average monthly gross wages and salaries per employee, 4th quarter 2014Financial and insurance activities: 1760 EURInformation and communication: 1 621 EURElectricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply: 1416 EURMining and quarrying: 1 337 EURPublic administration and defence; compulsory social security: 1 308 EURProfessional, scientific and technical activities: 1 260 EURConstruction: 1 102 EURHuman health and social work activities: 1 086 EURWater supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities: 1 074 EURTransportation and storage: 1 051 EURManufacturing: 1 002 EURWholesale and retail trade: 946 EUREducation: 937 EURAdministrative and support service activities: 909 EURAgriculture, forestry and fishing: 904 EURArts, entertainment and recreation: 797 EURReal estate activities: 722 EURAccommodation and food service activities: 629 EUROther service activities: 576 EUR
TAX SYSTEM The tax system of Estonia consists of state taxes provided for by relevant taxation acts and local taxes imposed by a rural municipality or city council in its administrative territory pursuant to law.The following are state taxes in Estonia: income tax, social insurance, land tax, gambling tax, value added tax, customs duty, excise duties, heavy goods vehicle tax, unemployment insurance contributions and contributions to mandatory funded pension. The following are local taxes: sales tax, boat tax, advertisement tax, road and street closure tax, motor vehicle tax, animal tax, entertainment tax, and parking charges.The following taxes are of most importance to an employee: income tax, social insurance, unemployment insurance contributions and contributions to mandatory funded pension.
The first thing to find out before coming to Estonia for work is whether Estonia has a valid bilateral taxation agreement with their home country. If this is the case and they stay in Estonia less than 183 days during any 12-month period and get paid from outside Estonia by an employer who is not permanently established in Estonia, then they pay taxes on their income in their own home country and Estonia has no grounds for taxation. However, if just one of the above conditions is not met, Estonia has the right to tax their income. If there is no bilateral taxation agreement and foreign workers stay in Estonia less than 183 days in any 12-month period and are paid by the state of Estonia, a local government entity or a residential or non-residential company operating in Estonia which has a registered permanent establishment in Estonia, then Estonia has the right to tax the income earned in Estonia. If the stay in Estonia exceeds 183 days in any 12-month period, the person concerned becomes resident in Estonia for tax purposes under Estonian law and is required to declare in Estonia all income earned during a tax year (income from both Estonia and abroad).
Estonia’s income tax rate in 2015 is 20 %. The same rate of income tax applies to everybody in Estonia, which means that a flat-rate tax applies to all taxable units regardless of the amount of income. The threshold of basic exemption is EUR 154 per monthand EUR 1 848 per year. A resident natural person is required to submit to the regional tax office of the Tax and Customs Board an income tax return for income earned during a tax period by no later than 31 March of the year following the tax period. An e-service provided by the Tax and Customs Board enables you to submit your tax return as early as 15 February of the year following the tax year. A non‑resident is required to submit to the Tax and Customs Board an income tax return for all taxable earnings during a calendar year by no later than 31March of the following year. If a non-resident transfers (sells) an immovable asset, a structure or an apartment as a movable asset, he or she has to submit an income tax return within a month after the transaction has taken place. Income tax returns are submitted to a regional tax centre of the Tax and Customs Board.SOCIAL INSURANCESocial insurance is a financial obligation imposed on taxpayers to obtain the revenue required for pension insurance and state health insurance. Social insurance contributions are paid by employers and self-employed persons on their business income and, in special circumstances, by the state for persons who are enumerated in the Social Insurance Act. The rate of social insurance in Estonia is 33% of the taxable amount. There is always a minimum obligation for social tax to be paid, in 2015, it is 117,15 EUR monthly, even if there were no payments for salaried work for each employee who is entitled to 1/12 of the basic exemption with this particular employer. The portion of social insurance which is transferred to the state pension insurance funds is 20% and the portion of social insurance which is transferred to the health insurance funds is 13%.
Unemployment insurance contributionsUnemployment insurance is a type of compulsory insurance for those working in Estonia, the purpose of which is to pay benefits to employees upon unemployment, collective redundancy, and insolvency of employers. The benefits are funded from the monies received from payments of unemployment insurance contributions. In 2015, the employee's unemployment insurance contribution is 1,6% of salary and other remunerations. The employer’s contribution is 0,8% of the salary fund. The rate of the unemployment insurance contribution is established by the Supervisory Board of the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The following persons are exempt from paying unemployment insurance contributions: workers who have reached the age of entitlement to old-age pension; workers who have been granted early-retirement pension; sole proprietors; self-employed legal persons; members of the Riigikogu, the President of the Republic, members of the Government of the Republic, members of local government councils, the Chancellor of Justice and judges.Contribution to a mandatory pension fundPeople paying into a funded pension can be divided into two groups: those who have the obligation to join and those who join voluntarily. The contribution rate for the mandatory funded pension is 2% or 3% of taxable income. The obligation to make contributions arises on 1January of the year following the year during which a person reaches the age of 18 − this applies to people for whom joining is mandatory. Persons who were born before 1 January 1983 have the right and obligation to pay the contribution if they have chosen to apply to join the funded pension scheme. The contribution is withheld by all employers operating in Estonia.The Tax and Customs Board can provide further information on other state taxes.
If you come to Estonia to look for work and are entitled to unemployment benefits in the country you have worked earlier you may be able to have your benefit transferred and paid out in Estonia for a period of three months. In order to arrange this, you first must contact the local employment office in the country where this right exists and discuss your intention to go look for work abroad. The authorities there will issue you with the necessary forms and instructions. When you arrive in Estonia, you must then register as soon as possible with the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (Eesti Töötukassa) in order to make sure you do not lose benefits. Please note that the benefits will be paid to you by the country where you received an unemployment benefit earlier. Töötukassa job mediation services will then assist you in your job search and will also explain to you the procedures that apply and the conditions you will need to adhere to. These procedures and conditions are designed to ensure that you are actively looking for employment and that you are ready to start working when a job is offered.
If you become unemployed in Estonia, previous employment in other countries may be taken into account when your right to a benefit in Estonia is determined. To that end, you will need to obtain documents that prove your record from the countries you have worked in before. For more information concerning unemployment benefits, job meditation rules and conditions and your rights when moving throughout the EU and the European Economic Area, consult the information provided on www.tootukassa.ee, or call the unemployment insurance help line on the number 15501 (or +372 669 6513 when calling from outside Estonia).Read more about receiving unemployment insurance benefits in Estonia here.
HousingThe cost of housing varies greatly according to location and size of the place. Houses and apartments – both for rent and for sale – are typically advertised through real estate companies and through informal networks. The best way to find out what is on offer is to visit real estate websites such as www.kv.ee or www.city24.ee, which group offers from different brokers. Offers are also advertised in local newspapers. Rent levels vary from one city to the next, depending on the size of the rental unit, the level of furnishing, location and general condition. When renting a dwelling, you should consider that a deposit is generally required (one or two months’ rent), and often a one-month prepayment. If you rent through a real estate agency, expect to pay a broker’s fee of one-half to a full month’s rent.When you rent accommodation, be sure to sign a written lease that describes in detail the condition of the premises (amount of furnishing, list of equipment and other significant aspects), sets forth the procedure for paying rent, the term of the lease and procedure for extending it, the terms and conditions of amending the lease, the notice period for termination (generally one month) and other relevant aspects. In general, the lease is signed for at least one year.
When considering the cost of housing, keep in mind that winters in Estonia are long and can get quite cold which has an impact on electricity and heating costs. Before you buy or rent, asks the owner to see some utility bills of the past months (including some winter months). These will give you a better idea of what to plan for.
Day-to-day prices Consumer prices are slightly different according to where you live and where you shop. In general, cities and other places regularly visited by tourists are slightly more expensive. The following are sample prices of day-to-day items, purchased in March 2015:milk 1l - 0,57 EURpotatoes 1 kg - 0,24 EURpork 1kg - 5,04 EURchicken 1kg - 2,53 EURbutter 1kg - 6,80 EURbread 1kg - 1,29 EUReggs (10 pieces) - 1,22 EURdomestic beer 0,5 l - 0,89 EUR cheese 1kg - 7,66 EUR
In Estonia, a child must attend school if he or she has attained 7 years of age by 1 October of the year in question. At the request of the parents, a child who has attained 6 years of age by 30 April of the year in question can attend school as well. The length of an academic year is at least 175 schooldays (35 weeks); there are four school holidays.
Children of foreign citizens and stateless persons who reside in Estonia, excluding children of representatives of foreign states, must attend school. Obligatory school attendance can also be postponed due to medical reasons and fulfilled by way of home schooling. No pupil will be excused from the fulfilment of the given obligation due to a disability or lack of abilities. Basic education can also be attained on a basis of simplified curricula, depending on special needs and abilities.
A student must attend school until such time as he or she has acquired basic education (9 grades) or attained 17 years of age. Estonia’s educational system allows you to choose a school by preferred language of instruction. In general education schools, teaching is usually delivered in Estonian or in Russian, but there are also schools where some subjects are taught in English, German or Swedish. Parents of a child who must attend school are free to choose any school, provided there are places available. All general education schools in Estonia have a service catchment area. The local government is required to provide a place at a school for all children living in the given area. You may experience difficulties if you send your child to a school in another catchment area if there are more children in that area than the school can accept (e.g. the service area is a whole town). Your child can attend a school in another area, if there are places available.
Information about choosing a school is available on school websites, local governments and the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research and Gateway to eEstonia.
The following driving licences are valid in Estonia:• a driving licence issued in a member state of the European Economic Area and in the Swiss Confederacy;• a driving licence issued in a member state of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic that follows the convention;• a driving licence issued in a member state of the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic with an international driving licence;• a driving licence issued in a foreign state that has a mutual driving licence recognition international treaty with Estonia. It is only valid on the condition that the person's right to drive has not been suspended, removed or invalidated in the state that has issued the driving licence.By clicking on the link of the country concerned you will obtain an overview of the length of time and terms and conditions for the expiry of a driving license, issued in the country concerned, and how you should proceed to exchange your driving license for a driving license of the Republic of Estonia.
A driver’s licence issued within the EU/EEA ranks alongside a Estonian driver’s licence and gives you the right to drive in Estonia as long as the driver’s licence is valid. By general rule, a driver’s licence acquired within the EU/EEA can be exchanged to an equivalent Estonian driver’s licence without taking a driving test; however, you must keep the following on mind:- if a person, settling permanently in Estonia, fails to exchange a driving license, issued for a period longer than 10 years, within the period of 24 months, successful passing of a theory test and practical driving test will be required to acquire a driving licence.- successful passing of a theory test and practical driving test will be required to exchange a driving license, which expired more than 5 years ago.Read more about driver’s licences and registration of vehicles on the Estonian Road Administration website www.mnt.eeDirect contact address and phone numbers of each regional center can be found on this link: www.mnt.ee/?id=10648
Estonian Wide Web www.ee/en/Estonian Official State Web Center (information and e-solutions for citizens, entrepreneurs and officials) www.eesti.eeInteractive map of Estonia, includes address search www.regio.eeOfficial Tourists Information www.visitestonia.comEstonian Tourism Portal www.turismiweb.eeBus lines in Estonia www.tpilet.eeWeather www.weather.ee
About Tallinn:Official Homepage of Tallinn www.tallinn.eeInteractive Tallinn City Map www.tourism.tallinn.ee/mapPublic Transport Schedules soiduplaan.tallinn.eeLennart Meri Tallinn Airport www.tallinn-airport.ee
International Bus Lines www.luxexpress.eu
Baltic and Estonian News in English www.baltictimes.com
AuthoritiesMinistry of Foreign Affairs (consular and travel information) www.vm.ee, firstname.lastname@example.orgMinistry of Economic Affairs and Communications www.mkm.eeMinistry of Social Affairs www.sm.eeEstonian Tax and Customs Board www.emta.eeBank of Estonia www.eestipank.info Statistical Office of Estonia www.stat.ee Enterprise Estonia www.eas.eeInvestment and Trade Agency www.investinestonia.com
Unemployment Insurance Fund (job offers, labour market services, unemployment insurance benefits) www.tootukassa.ee, Help Line 15501 (calling from abroad + 372 614 8500) Skype: tootukassa, Facebook: Eesti Tootukassa, email@example.com Health Insurance Fund (health services, medical insurance) www.haigekassa.ee, Information Line 16363, (calling from abroad +372 669 6630)Social Insurance Board (pension, family benefits, parental benefits, A1 forms) www.sotsiaalkindlustusamet.ee, Information Line 16106 (calling from abroad +372 612 13 60), firstname.lastname@example.orgLabour Inspectorate (enforcement of the employment laws) www.ti.ee Legal helpline + 372 640 6000 (M-Fr 10-15), email@example.com Police and Border Guard Board (entry conditions and residence permits) www.politsei.ee Client information telephone +372 612 3000 (M-Fr 8.00-18.00)Registering residence www.eesti.ee
About working in Estonia:Working in Estonia www.politsei.ee/en/teenused/working-in-estonia/Work in Estonia www.workinestonia.comEuropean Job Mobility Portal eures.europa.eu
Job search portals: Eesti Töötukassa (public employment services) www.tootukassa.eeJob portals: www.cvkeskus.ee www.cv.eeOther recruitment companies contacts available here: www.neti.ee/cgi-bin/teema/ARI/Too_ja_Personal/
About studying in Estonia:Study in Estonia www.studyinestonia.ee
Ploteus (learning opportunities and qualifications in Europe) ec.europa.eu/ploteusEstonian ENIC/NARIC Centre (recognation of professional qualification and education documents) www2.archimedes.ee, firstname.lastname@example.org
EUROPASS Centre in Estonia (CV examples, Language Passport, Europass Mobility, Certificate and Diploma supplements) www.europassikeskus.eeEuropean EUROPASS website europass.cedefop.europa.eu
General information about Estonian cultureMinistry of Culture www.kul.eeEstonian Cultural events www.culture.eeEstonian Institute www.estinst.eeCreative Estonia www.looveesti.ee
On-line Estonian language courses Keeleklikk - On-line Estonian English-based e-course for beginners (0-A2) www.keeleklikk.eeEstonian language examinations www.innove.eeBasic Estonian English-based on-line course www.oneness.vu.lt/Pangloss (computer-based course "Estonian Language and Mind") www.panglosskool.euBasic vocabulary for beginners els.leveranse.com Advice for independent language learning www.everydaylanguagelearner.comGuidelines for Estonian independent language learning Dictionaries www.keeleveeb.ee
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