Guidance

Living in Estonia

Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Estonia, including guidance on residency, healthcare, passports and the Withdrawal Agreement.

What you should do

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Estonian Government and your local authority. You can also read our Estonian travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

Attend a citizen outreach meeting

The British Embassy holds events across Estonia for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizens’ outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Estonia.

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Estonia at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Estonia.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Estonia. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Estonia.

Residency

If you are resident in Estonia before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.

You must register on the Estonian Population Register if you’ll be in Estonia for more than 3 months and apply for an ID card. All Estonian citizens and residents over 15 must have an ID card.

Information and updates on residency is on the Estonian Ministry of Interior’s website.

If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available.

If you plan to move to or retire in Estonia, read our guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

Healthcare

If you are living in Estonia or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Estonia as you do now, provided you remain resident.

You must register for healthcare as a resident in Estonia, as well as registering, where necessary, with a health insurer.

Find out how the health care insurance system in Estonia works. Read the Estonian health insurance fund and Estonian official state portal.

You can use your Estonian ID card or Residence Permit card to get prescriptions.

Read our guidance on who can access healthcare in Estonia and how to register.

State healthcare: S1

If you live in Estonia and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You must apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

Read our guidance on how to get an S1 form.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Estonia, you must not use your EHIC from the UK for healthcare in Estonia.

When you travel from Estonia for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.

You should also read guidance on:

You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Estonia.

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Estonia.

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.

Read travel document requirements for visitors in Estonia from the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Driving in Estonia

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you are resident in Estonia, you should exchange your UK licence for an Estonian one with the Estonian Road Administration. You can use your Estonian licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

For information on driving in Estonia, read the guidance on:

Bringing a UK registered vehicle to Estonia

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK. You must read the Estonian Road Administration information on vehicle registration in Estonia

You should read the EU’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Estonia. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

Working in Estonia

If you are registered as a resident in Estonia, you have the right to work in Estonia. Read our guidance on working in an EU country. To apply for a job you may need to provide a:

If you require a record of your employment history in Estonia contact the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs.

If you are resident in Estonia on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Estonia.

Education

If you are resident in Estonia on or before 31 December 2020, your right to study in Estonia will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Estonia.

For information on education, read studying in the European Union.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Estonia to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Estonia have not changed following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

You should read the guidance on:

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Estonia. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Estonia.

National Insurance

Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in Estonia, you can claim:

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.

Pensions after 31 December 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in Estonia by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Estonia, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Estonian pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to Estonia on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

Benefits

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Estonia. You should:

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 can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Estonian benefits

Find out about Estonian benefits and Allowances from the Estonian State Portal.

Benefits after 31 December 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Estonia, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Estonian contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to Estonia on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Voting

If you’re resident in Estonia, you can vote in local municipal elections.

You cannot vote in national elections or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Estonia, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in Estonia you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Estonia.

You may need:

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time, you must visit your vet to obtain a pet passport.

Read guidance on bringing your pet to the UK.

Emergencies

You can dial the European emergency number on 112 in Estonia. If calling from outside Estonia about an emergency in Estonia, you can dial (+372) 6000 112 to reach Estonian Response Centre

If you’re the victim of crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British Embassy Tallinn

Accommodation and buying property

Read our guidance on buying a property abroad.

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Estonian authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently. To help prove you are now living in the UK, you should deregister with your:

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

If you get healthcare in Estonia through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

Disclaimer

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.

Published 11 November 2013
Last updated 23 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  2. Brexit update: Driving section updated to reflect new transition period to exchange UK driving licences

  3. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  4. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  5. EU Exit update: added information about EEA and EFTA countries to the "Passports and travel after EU Exit" section

  6. EU Exit update: Updated information on passports and travel, pensions and returning to the UK.

  7. EU Exit update: updated information on healthcare, visas and residency, passports and travel

  8. EU Exit update: Added a link to the dedicated Brexit web page of the Estonian Ministry of Interior in the EU Exit section

  9. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  10. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  11. EU Exit update: updated information on access to healthcare

  12. EU Exit update: Added information about the next outreach event in Estonia

  13. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving

  14. EU exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section.

  15. All content has been reviewed to ensure it's accurate and up to date.

  16. Advice on UK old age state pension added under healthcare.

  17. First published.