Official information British people moving to and living in Estonia need to know, including EU Exit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.
EU Exit: what you need to know
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There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Estonia while the UK remains in the EU.
While the government continues to negotiate EU Exit, you should:
You may also read the “What you need to know with regard to Brexit ?“ section on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.
Before you go
See our travel advice for Estonia and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.
Visas and residency
See entry requirements for Estonia in our travel advice.
The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights will allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.
In the event of changes to residency rules or registration processes after 29 March 2019, we will update this page as soon as information is available.
See our travel advice for Estonia.
The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Estonia.
You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.
If you’re studying, your UK EHIC card will cover you for the duration of your course. If your course isn’t part of a UK degree (eg postgraduate studies), your EHIC is valid for 12 months. See studying abroad.
If you work or study in Estonia, health insurance is normally arranged through your employer or school. The government pays the health insurance of children under 19, pregnant women, women on maternity leave, retired and unemployed people. See health insurance.
You can use your Estonian ID card to get digital prescriptions.
S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK
You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Estonia and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.
You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pensions Centre.
Working in Estonia
Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).
Estonia and the UK have a double taxation convention to prevent income being taxed in both countries. We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Estonia.
You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances – contact the company providing your social security/health cover.
If you haven’t worked in Estonia, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.
If you have worked in Estonia, you should contact the Social Insurance Board.
If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.
Life certificates for UK state pensions
If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.
Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.
Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.
You may be eligible to claim some Estonian social security benefits – see Estonian social security benefits.
If you’ve worked in Estonia but haven’t paid enough national insurance contributions, you should get a statement of your UK National Insurance contributions.
Driving in Estonia
After 6 months, you can exchange your UK driving licence for an Estonian driving licence.
Winter tyres are compulsory from 1 December to end of March, but can be used from 15 October until end of April – see Tark Tee for road conditions and restrictions.
When driving, you should always have:
- your driving licence
- your car papers
- your insurance paper
- your MOT certificate
- your passport or ID
- a high-visibility jacket
- a red warning triangle
- first aid kit
- fire extinguisher
- wheel chock
If you’re resident in Estonia, you can vote in local municipal and European Parliamentary Elections.
See travelling with pets.
UK nationals will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a pet (cat, dog or ferret) when the UK leaves the EU, but the rules will change. See pet travel to Europe after Brexit for more information.
Estonia uses the European emergency number 112.
If you need urgent help, contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.
Accommodation and buying property
Other useful information
- English-speaking lawyers in Estonia
- Translators and interpreters in Estonia
- Notary services for Estonia
Returning to the UK
To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.
Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Estonian authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.