Estonia, a country in Northern Europe, is known for its scenic landscapes, picturesque coastlines, and historic architecture.
A part of the European Union, Estonia also boasts a rich cultural heritage, innovative e-governance, and a bustling startup scene, making it a must-visit destination.
But to enjoy all that Estonia has to offer, international travellers from non-EU countries usually need a visa.
This guide provides an in-depth look at the visa application process for visiting Estonia.
In this article…
Who Needs a Visa?
As a member of the Schengen Area, Estonia follows the Schengen visa policy. Nationals of Schengen Area countries can travel to Estonia without a visa.
However, travellers from many non-EU countries are required to obtain a visa to visit Estonia.
It’s always wise to check your visa requirements on the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia or consult the nearest Estonian embassy or consulate.
Types of Visas for Estonia
Estonia issues different types of visas depending on the purpose of the visit:
- Schengen Visa (Type C): This short-stay visa allows you to stay in the Schengen Area, including Estonia, for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. It is suitable for tourism, visiting friends and family, business meetings, and short-term studies.
- Long-Stay Visa (Type D): This visa is for longer stays in Estonia, such as for work or study. It can be valid for up to a year.
This guide focuses on the Schengen Visa application process.
Step-by-Step Guide to the Application Process
Step 1: Determine the Right Visa Type
Identify the correct visa type based on your purpose of visit and the duration of your stay.
If you plan to tour or visit friends or family for a short duration, the Schengen Visa is the appropriate choice.
Step 2: Complete the Visa Application Form
The Schengen visa application form is standard for all Schengen countries and can be downloaded from the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.
Fill out the form with accurate and consistent information as per your travel documents.
Step 3: Assemble Your Application Documents
You will need to provide several documents, including:
- A passport valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure from the Schengen area, with at least two blank pages.
- Two recent passport-size photographs.
- Proof of travel insurance covering at least €30,000 of medical costs, including repatriation for medical reasons.
- A detailed itinerary of your trip, including proof of accommodation.
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay, such as bank statements.
- Evidence of your intent to return to your home country, such as employment or student status.
- The visa application fee payment receipt.
Please note that requirements can vary depending on your specific circumstances, so always check the most up-to-date list of required documents on the official website or with the nearest Estonian embassy or consulate.
Step 4: Schedule a Visa Appointment
After you have your application ready, schedule an appointment at the nearest Estonian embassy or consulate to submit your application.
You must apply in person, as biometric data, including fingerprints, are collected during the application process.
Step 5: Wait for the Visa Decision
The processing time for a Schengen visa to Estonia typically takes 15 calendar days but can take up to 30 days in some cases, so apply well in
advance of your intended travel date. Once your visa has been issued, you can collect your passport from the embassy or consulate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Can I extend my stay in Estonia beyond the duration granted by my visa?
In exceptional cases, you can apply for an extension of your Schengen visa while in Estonia. However, extensions are rarely granted unless there are strong grounds such as force majeure, humanitarian reasons, or serious personal reasons.
Q2: Can I work in Estonia with a Schengen visa?
No, a Schengen visa does not permit you to work in Estonia. If you intend to work in Estonia, you will need to apply for a specific work visa or permit.
Q3: What happens if I overstay my visa in Estonia?
Overstaying your visa can lead to penalties such as fines, deportation, or even a ban from re-entering the Schengen Area. Always adhere to the terms of your visa.
Q4: How much does an Estonia visit visa cost?
As of 2023, the fee for a Schengen visa is €80 for adults and €40 for children aged 6-12. Fees are waived for children under 6. However, fees can change, so always check the current fee on the official website or at the embassy or consulate.
This comprehensive guide should help make the process of applying for an Estonia visit visa smoother.
Always ensure to check the official resources for the most updated and accurate information.