Information for those returning to Estonia

First and foremost, welcome home!

The Integration Foundation advises those looking to return to Estonia and also provides social and financial support to help with the cost of returning. Applications for this support can be lodged by anyone with Estonian citizenship or ethnic Estonians with an Estonian residence permit who:

  • in general emigrated from Estonia at least 10 years previously or were born in another country; and
  • require support to return to Estonia due to their financial or social status.

Anyone below the age of 30 who has acquired both a Master’s degree and a doctorate abroad does not need to have lived in another country for at least 10 years.

Returning to Estonia will go more smoothly if you’ve considered all of the aspects in advance and made it clear to yourself what you’ll have to do once you’re back in the country.

Registering your place of residence

The first thing you’ll need to do is have your place of residence listed in the population register. If you don’t, you won’t be able to do other things like find kindergarten and school places for your kids or obtain social support. The majority of public services are provided by the local authority and the basis of providing the services is the data in the population register about the applicant’s place of residence. The local authority checks whether the applicant is a resident of Estonia according to the population register and lives within the local authority area whose services they’re applying for. You can add to or update your details in the population register quickly and easily via Eesti.ee.

For more information on submitting notifications about your place of residence, take a look at the state portal article ‘Registering your place of residence’.

Health insurance and GP services

Where health insurance and GP services are concerned it’s important that you’re listed in the population register, but it’s even more important to bear in mind that getting yourself added to a GP’s list of patients can take time. As such, this is something you should start dealing with straight away rather than waiting until you get sick. Information about choosing and registering with a GP can be found online at http://www.terviseamet.ee/en/information.html.

Education

Your local authority can provide support in finding kindergarten and school places for your kids. You should contact your municipal or city government regarding these issues. According to Estonian law, local authorities must guarantee kindergarten places and school places close to home for all of the children residing in the country. If you’d rather enrol your child in another school, this can be done if places are available. Local authorities are also charged with the task of organising hobby activities in their areas. Taking part in such activities will help those who’ve returned to Estonia to settle in much more quickly.

Work and business

If you need advice on looking for work and your career choices, contact the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (https://www.tootukassa.ee/).

The business consultants in county development centres offer free advice on getting started and continuing in business and can also support and guide you in developing business plans and achieving your goals. See https://www.eas.ee/service/noustamine-maakondlikes-arenduskeskustes-eng/?lang=en.

Driver’s licences and registering your car

If you bring a car back with you when you return to the country and it was registered in another country, you’ll need to get it registered locally with the Estonian Road Administration (ERA). More detailed information and contact points can be found online at

https://www.mnt.ee/eng/vehicle/registration/vehicle-registration.

If your driver’s licence was issued abroad, you’ll also need to check out the requirements on the ERA website (https://www.mnt.ee/eng/driver/driving-licence/foreign-driving-licence) so that you can continue to drive legally and renew your licence in good time, if needed.

More information can be found online at:

https://www.eesti.ee/en/citizenship-and-documents/return-to-estonia/