First and foremost, welcome home!
The Integration Foundation advises returnees who have an interest and desire to return to Estonia, as well as those who have already started a new life in Estonia. The consultant can help you to plan a smoother return to Estonia, provides some practical information as well as consultation on settling back into Estonian life.
For consultation please contact us:
By phone: +372 6599 031
By e-post: [email protected]
Visit Tallinn Estonian Language House, Rävala pst 5, 6th floor (please pre-book your appointment)
By pre-booking you can also get advice via Teams, please call or write to arrange a time.
The Integration Foundation also provides social and financial support to help with the cost of returning. Return support is aimed at facilitating the return of families with children who have stayed abroad for a long time, as the number of family members increases over the years and the cost of returning services is high. The requirement to stay abroad for a long time, i.e., seven years, does not apply to young people under 40 years of age who have completed postgraduate and doctoral studies abroad, in order to encourage the return of young people who have received education abroad and start working in Estonia.
An ethnic Estonian who has Estonian citizenship or Estonian residence permit can apply for the return support, provided that:
1) he/she emigrated from Estonia at least seven years prior or was born in a foreign country and will come back to Estonia with minor children or to his/her minor children, or
2) he/she is maximum 40 years old, emigrated from Estonia or was born in a foreign country, has completed postgraduate and doctoral studies abroad, and has returned permanently to Estonia, or
3) he/she emigrated from Estonia at least seven years prior or was born in a foreign country and is partially or fully incapacitated;
4) has returned to Estonia permanently, no later than eight months prior to the submission of the application, and has registered his/her and the children's that return with him/her place of residence in the Population Register of the Republic of Estonia;
5) due to his/her economic and social condition, is in need of support in order to return to Estonia, because his/her family has at its disposal means of daily subsistence that do not meet the threshold established in Estonia.
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 https://www.terviseamet.ee/en/healthcare/how-choose-or-change-family-physician.
Information about Health Insurance in Estonia can be found https://www.haigekassa.ee/en/people/health-insurance.
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. Contact information https://www.eesti.ee/eng/contacts/vallavalitsused_1 or https://www.eesti.ee/eng/contacts/linnavalitsused_1. 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.
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/teenus/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.
A driving licence cannot be applied for on the basis of an incorrectly compiled medical certificate, as in this case the certificate is inconsistent with legislation.
More information can be found online at:
ESTONIANS LIVING ABROAD
Our goal is that Estonians returning to Estonia adapt smoothly to society and that compatriots living abroad remain closely connected with Estonia.