This blog post was written by Atanu, a Software Development And Entrepreneurship student at Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences.
Applying for a residence permit in a foreign country can often feel like navigating through a maze. The anxiety of missing a crucial step or fear of making an error is quite real, especially when you're about to start a new chapter of your life. We have all been there.
But thankfully, the process is extremely simple and straightforward when it comes to Estonia.
In the first part of this blog, I will show you how to book an appointment for Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) for studies. In the second part, I will tell you a few tricks that will save you from a lot of avoidable difficulties.
So, stay tuned!
This blog will also be helpful for those who are applying for the Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) for work. The process is quite the same.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to apply for the permit.
If you've secured your D-visa to come to Estonia, congratulations!
The next step is obtaining your Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) for studies. As you have already know by now, to apply for temporary residence permit, you have to first come to Estonia with D-visa.
I will not go deep into the documents required for the residence permit. But you can find that information from Police and Border Guard Board webpage.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to write to email@example.com
If you have received the D-visa, please book an appointment as soon as possible.
Step 1: Go To Police and Border Guard Booking Website
You will need to physically attend the PPA office to apply for the permit. You can do it here.
The page would look something like this.
You need to book an appointment to one of the centers. There are 5 centers in Estonia and they are at Tammsaare (Tallinn), Pinna (Tallinn), Tartu, Pärnu, Narva and Jõhvi.
Step 2: Select A Service
This is a page for a variety of reasons including extending your D-visa, converting your study permit to work permit etc. The process for all of them is the same.
Choose option no 4, Applying for residence Permit (also Extension)
Then click “Continue”
Step 3: Selecting An Office
Depending on your location, choose an office. You need to book appointments in multiple locations to get an early appointment. But we will talk about that later.
You can select only one office location at a time. But most probably, you will choose either Tallinn or Tartu location. Since, most of the students and expats live here, there are many English-speaking officials who can help you in English.
The click "continue"
Step 4: Selecting A Free Time and Date
You will be prompted to select a date and time from the calendar.
As you can see, there are no available times for this month. So, you have to click “next month”.
Select a date and time of your convenient from the open dates.
Then press “Continue”
Please note that Estonian university will mainly have one intake per year. So, finding a suitable time for applying becomes extremely difficult.
Most of the times, you have to go back 2 months to find an open date.
I will give you a tip on how to get the booking early. So, stay tuned.
Step 5: Enter Your Personal Details
After filling out the form, click “Confirm”.
Step 6: Confirmation
You will receive an email automatically, confirming the appointment.
In the email, there will be a pdf file which contrails the QR code.
You will need to scan the QR code in the office to confirm your appointment.
Step 6: Confirming Your Appointment
You can go to the Appointment Home Page and click on “Review your appointment confirmation” to confirm your appointment.
Enter your details and press “Confirm”.
This will display your confirmation.
Cancelling Your Appointment
You can cancel your appointment by pressing “Cancel Appointment”.
Enter your details and press “Confirm”.
Your appointment will be cancelled. But there will be no email confirming the cancellation.
It’s very good practice to cancel your appointment if you are not able to attend. Imagine someone who cannot get a suitable appointment, might just get your time.
The decision will be made in no less than 2 months, and it will take another month to print the permit.
Since the D-visa is given usually for 6 months, you might need to apply for visa extension if your TRP is not approved in that. This is why it's so important to apply for the TRP as soon as you arrive in Estonia.
But remember, if the decision is positive, even if your D-visa expires, you don’t need to apply for additional D-visa.
Best Tips For applying
I'll share valuable tips and tricks that I've gathered – some through personal experience and others from fellow students who've successfully navigated this path. I hope these tips will shield you from common troubles and streamline your application process.
- You can actually book a maximum of two appointments. I recommend you to book an appointment at the nearest available date. Keep the other appointment at hand. Often, appointments are being cancelled and the time becomes available automatically on the website.
You can apply for these slots.
But remember, these slots are being filled very quickly. So, it's better if you check in once or twice a day.
- You can also choose different offices in Estonia. Pärnu, Narva and Jõhvi offices usually have a lot of free slots and there are no restrictions on applying from different locations. In doing so, you will get the chance explore the beautiful countryside. One thing to note here is that there might be difficulties in finding officials who speaks English in these locations. So, if possible, please take a translator with you.
- If you feel that you are not yet comfortable enough to travel, I suggest you apply for the different offices and keep an eye on the website. As soon as you find a suitable spot, cancel one of the appointments and book the open slot. There is no maximum limit on cancelling appointments.
- If in any reason you arrive late in Estonia and you feel that you your D-visa will expire before the decision of the TRP (i.e., 2 months), you can directly go to the office without any prior appointment. They will only take your application if they think that that’s an emergency and there will not be adequate time if they wait for you to get an appointment
- If you have any questions or doubts, I highly recommend you contacting Migrations Advisors. They speak Estonian Russian and English and they would be very happy to take a quick call with you. Also, you can book a consultation session with them at the International House of Estonia. If you are outside of Estonia, you can choose a Skype session with them.
While paperwork and processes can seem daunting. But you're not alone. The authorities and Migration Advisors are here to help you. So, don’t feel hesitant to reach out to them with a phone call or an email whenever you need guidance.
Welcome to Estonia!
I also suggest you to read my blog "Unlocking the Secrets of a Smooth Transition: International House of Estonia"
Find out which international degree programmes are available for you in Estonia.
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