Moving to Estonia: All About Smooth Relocation in this Digital-first Country
Have you ever dreamed of being an integral part of a digitally advanced society? If so, relocation to Estonia will be your life-changing decision.
Along with the digital revolution, here you will embrace alluring natural beauty and picturesque medieval architecture.
Professionals at IMovingTo will assist you in enhancing your consciousness of relocation to Estonia and comprehensively guide you in becoming an Estonian expat.
What Makes Estonia Stand Out for Moving
You can anticipate living in a cutting-edge, digital-first nation with stunning woods, waterfalls, and English speakers before relocating to Estonia.
If you’re an expat looking for a lovely residence in the Baltics, Estonia is a fantastic option. The nation has fully embraced the 4th revolution, offering e-Residency for internet enterprises and 91% of government services online. Access to the internet is a legal requirement.
This nation has more than 2,000 islands and is mostly covered in forests. For expats looking for an outdoor experience with a robust Wi-Fi signal, Estonia is a great option.
Estonia is a stunning example of medieval architecture, has a tech-forward mindset, and is a wonderful place for outdoor enthusiasts. Because of its tiny population, you may simply spend a few minutes in the wilderness of a lovely forest while still being close to friends and the vibrant culture of metropolitan centers.
Visa Types & Permit Requirements in Estonia
As an EU member, Estonia has some common immigration paths with Europe. The Estonian visa application procedure is usually simple due to the country’s progressive and technologically advanced culture.
- A long-stay visa is required if you are moving to Estonia for work. To apply, you should have documentation confirming your employment in Estonia as well as a letter of approval from your host.
- Previously, freelance travelers were especially fond of the Estonian Digital Nomad Visa. It permits expats operating a remote business to work in Estonia for a maximum of 1 year.
- For startup founders, there is a program called the Estonia Startup Visa. Your company needs to make a sizable contribution to the growth of the business environment in the country, as is the case in the majority of nations that grant startup visas.
- Those coming to Estonia for a period longer than 6 months will require a temporary residency permit. The residence permit makes it possible for you to work there and makes you eligible for permanent residency. You can apply to reside permanently in Estonia after 5 years.
- You can register a business and acquire a virtual residency through the innovative Estonia e-Residency initiative. You receive an Estonian ID card as a result of this business registration, enabling you to perform things like creating bank accounts and signing documents.
Cost of Living in Estonia
Estonia is indeed one of the least expensive places to live in Europe. Without rent, the anticipated monthly expenses for a single individual are €747.
The cost of housing varies depending on the area, the standard of accommodation, and the time of year, but monthly expenses often fall between €400 and €600.
Depending on demands, each person can decide on their food budget, but on average, a pleasant lifestyle can be had on about €300 per month in food expenses. Other information on the general cost of living in Estonia is provided below for your better understanding.
- Basic bills (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for a small apartment: €254.92
- Monthly transport pass: €30
- Couples’ three-course supper at a mid-range restaurant: €50
- Cinema ticket: €8
Ways to Ship Your Household Goods in Estonia
Moving to Estonia from another country can cost between $1,000 and $10,000. The size or estimated weight of your possessions, the form of transportation, and the distance that your shipment needs to travel all have a significant impact on the typical cost.
Depending on where you are shipping from, Estonia can be reached in 3-7 business days.
There are particular taxes and fees that should be paid when moving to Estonia, and you take the chance of receiving a fine if you violate these regulations. As a result, many people seek out professional international moving companies, especially those who additionally offer international moving and packing services. Taking advantage of these moving companies will considerably ease your tension during your international relocation.
Healthcare System & Insurance Options for Expats
The nation’s universal public healthcare system is supported by taxpayers and is known as the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF). Anyone who pays taxes in Estonia can access it as a result. In Estonia, the average cost of healthcare is $2,231, which is 79% less expensive than in the USA.
Permanent residents of Estonia who have an ID card may be able to enroll in the public health insurance program. You either need to be:
- A student
- Working for minimal wages
- Registered with the Unemployment Fund
General practitioner visits, hospital stays, and physician recommendations are all covered under public healthcare. However, private health insurance is a wise choice for expats to take into account if they want to receive care from English-speaking medical professionals more quickly.
Dental and major surgery is also covered by private healthcare, and depending on the patient’s age and any previous medical issues, the price may vary.
ERGO and SALVA are the two largest private insurance providers.
Job Market & Career Opportunities for Expats in Estonia
Nowadays, Estonia has more start-ups per person than any other country in Europe. In the hospitality and IT sectors, there are growing numbers of jobs available in English. Programmers, cooks, and truck drivers will be in high demand in the Estonian labor market in the upcoming years, according to the research on labor force needs done by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF).
When it comes to job searching, the nation’s status as a digital pioneer comes to the fore. Explore the government’s website for employment opportunities, which publishes hundreds of positions each day, as well as CV.ee, the nation’s top job site, which is conveniently available in English. Since Estonia is a small nation, networking and developing relationships are excellent ways to obtain employment.
Additional job search tools and websites include the following:
- Registering for local Facebook Expat groups
- Contact the Estonian Unemployment Fund
Getting Accommodation in Estonia
To find a temporary residence in Estonia, there are several great websites. These include City24, KV, RE Kinnisvara, and Uusmaa. Facebook Marketplace is a useful tool for finding rentals as well.
Depending on the quality, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the United States often costs between $550 and $850 a month. Typically, utilities are not included in rent pricing. Typically, leases last for 1 year with the possibility of renewal. A security deposit equal to 1 month’s rent is required upfront.
It could be beneficial to contact a broker while looking into rentals. However, there is an additional fee for the real estate agent, which is often equal to 1 month’s rent.
Investing in Estonian real estate has been a popular choice among foreign purchasers due to low transaction costs and robust property increases as a result of increased popularity. In Estonia, non-residents and international corporations may buy real estate with the approval of local authorities.
Managing Banking & Finances
In Estonia, cash transactions are uncommon; practically everything is digital. Nowadays, a large portion of the population does not carry any cash on them. Swedbank, LHV, SEB, and Luminor are the most well-known banks in Estonia. Along with the appropriate paperwork, you can open a bank account online using your ID card.
Opening a debit account in Estonia is usually very reasonable or even free for EU citizens moving there. However, there are frequent costs associated with opening a debit account for non-EU citizens. For instance, Swedbank charges foreigners a €200 account opening fee.
Keep in mind the monthly bank fees, ATM fees, and expenses for foreign transfers. Moreover, if our residence permit is valid for less than 5 years, unfortunately, the majority of banks won’t open a credit account for you.
Best Destinations for Expats to Live in Estonia
Tallinn is the place for you if you want to work in a high-tech environment where everyone is connected and common problems have digital solutions.
Wifi will follow you everywhere, whether you wander through the capital’s stunning old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or along the extensive beachside promenades that delight the city.
Tartu is the second-largest city in Estonia. The Swedish King established a university here in 1632 that now enrolls 13,000 students yearly.
One-seventh of the individuals living in the south-eastern city are students, so most of the time you’ll be in a sort of youthful utopia.
Explore the ancient Werner Cafe and stop by the former observatory for a stargazing adventure to fully experience the spirit of Tartu.
In the modest, welcoming town of Pärnu, you can relax right by the beach. Along with outstanding sand beaches and music festivals, the 40,000-person town in the southwest was established in 1251.
On your route to the majestic neoclassical structure housing the Pärnu Mud Baths, which have offered Estonians a peaceful respite from life for roughly a century, you can wander past charming mid-1800s timber mansions.
Pros & Cons of Moving to Estonia
Digitally advanced society
Estonia has long been regarded as one of the world’s most technologically advanced societies. Almost all activities, including voting, filing taxes, and signing contracts that are legally binding, can be done online.
The tech industry is flourishing and has given rise to several notable technological advancements, including Skype, Transferwise, and Starship technologies.
Considering how ecologically friendly Estonia is, living there is a delightful experience. It is not surprising that Estonia has some of the cleanest air in the world given that the majority of the nation is covered in forests and has a small population. Additionally, you might notice that people are more serious about recycling here.
Free public transportation for residents
Once you have proven your residency in Estonia, you can apply for a personalized smart card that allows for free public transportation in Tallinn.
In general, Estonian trams, trains, and buses are very reliable and comfortable, including free WiFi and charging stations. Moreover, you will be pleased to hear that public transportation is very affordable even if you don’t live in Tallinn and aren’t a resident of Estonia.
Cold and dark winter days
In the middle of the winter, Estonian temperatures have been known to drop as low as -20 degrees Celsius.
You’ll need to adjust to enjoying winter sports and/or maintaining a positive attitude because living in the northern hemisphere means the days can be very dark for several months.
Estonia has been catching up to the rest of the world since only regaining its independence in 1991. When you visit more rural locations, you may frequently observe ongoing roadworks, but this is less visible in built-up areas like Tallinn.
And when purchasing a property, you may frequently need to make arrangements with your local government for electricity, sewage, and water connections.
As you can see, Estonia is a wonderful relocation destination if you desire to experience high-tech advancement and promote yourself to enhance your professional development.
While delighting in the digitally advanced environment, you can also embrace the gorgeous natural beauty that surrounds you and lights you up.
Therefore, don’t hesitate to benefit from international relocation services at IMovingTo, and we will make sure to smoothly facilitate your move!