Our Estonian office

Inter Relocation Group
Move My Talent

Valukoja 8, 9th floor
Tallinn 11415
Estonia(Group Partner)

Contact
Laura Salu – Managing Director
Tel.: +372 56642029
Email: info@interrelo.com
Responsible for: Operations in Estonia

Estonia Relocation Guide

Key Facts

Government type: Parliamentary Democracy
Capital: Tallinn
Total Area: 45 227 km2
Population: 1,325  million (2013)

GDP Per Capita (PPP): 13,100 Eur (2014)
Official languages:
 Estonian
Religions: Since the Reformation movement in the 16th century, the Lutheran church has played the leading role in Estonia. Other larger active confessions are: Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Baptist, Methodist and Roman Catholic.
Country code: +372
Currency: EUR
Voltage: 220 V

Brief Overview

Estonia is an Eastern European country bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia. Estonia’s history, like that of its Baltic neighbours, has been one almost singly devoted to maintaining independence from its powerful neighbours, most notably Russia.

Annexed by Stalin in 1940, Estonia never entirely became the Soviet republic it might have done, retaining its language and culture far more strongly than many other members of the USSR. At the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia embraced independence enthusiastically and in less than two decades has undergone a transformation from lumbering communist society to gleaming example of forward-thinking transitional economy. Now an EU and NATO member, the future looks increasingly bright for this little-known but much-loved Baltic gem.

Culture

Estonian culture is that of a nation of a little more than one million people. Along with the language, this culture is the main vehicle for Estonian identity, hence the respect that Estonians feel for it. The culture of Estonia incorporates indigenous heritage. Due to its history and geography, Estonia’s culture has been influenced by the traditions of the adjacent area’s various Finnish, Baltic, Slavic and Germanic peoples as well as the cultural developments in the former dominant powers Sweden and Russia.

The most striking example of the culture of ancient Estonians is their regivärss, i.e. rhythmic verse, as well as the aural tradition of folk song where each line is repeated several times with variations on a theme. Estonians have one of the biggest collections of folk songs in the world, with written records of about 133,000 folk songs.

Since Estonia regained independence (1991), Estonian cultural life has evolved rapidly, largely in a similar way to that of the rest of Europe. The new media and virtual art have made their breakthrough.

The ticket to the outside world is, however, music, on account of the lack of language barriers. World-famous conductors include Neeme Järvi and Tõnu Kaljuste, while composers Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis and Erkki-Sven Tüür are well known abroad.

At an institutional level, there are many private initiatives such as small theatres, dance groups and especially publishing houses. Estonians like theatre and go to see a play at least twice a year.

A large number of cultural institutions such as theatres, museums and libraries are financed by the state, as are cultural periodicals, whose editions are very large, given the size of the population. Cultural efforts are supported financially by the Kultuurkapital fund, which derives its revenue from duty on the sale of alcohol and on gambling.

Rental Market

The rental market in the Estonia can be quite difficult for the “first arrived” assignee. Though there are very few good public online portals available where to search for a suitable property, the market is still driven by the real estate agents and unfortunately the quality of services still varies widely.

Foreign speaking customers are not always taken seriously, it is difficult to get a quick response to your emails, so calling is always a better option, which sometimes may unfortunately end up with a language barrier, so expert advice and support is highly suggested for the assignee.

The rental sector is quite demand driven, which means that there are not enough quality properties on the market and tenants compete with each other over getting the best properties. This gives the landlords a position to choose tenants and also to increase prices, especially in the very high demand periods.

This situation means that properties are being let quickly, competition from other prospective tenants is high and there is very little room for negotiation. Assignees need to be flexible, ready for compromises and able to make quick decisions.
Standard Tenancy: Minimum 1 year
Security Deposit: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent
Real Estate Commission: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent for the tenant
Utilities: Added to the monthly rental, tenants responsibility

Health Care

The Estonian health insurance system is based on solidarity – all insured people have the same rights. To receive health insurance from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF), taxes must be paid in Estonia, and an Estonian ID number is needed.

The EHIF pays for visits to doctors and hospital treatment, and covers part of the cost of some medicines. The EHIF covers the costs of medical treatment, apart from the own contribution amount for the fee for visiting medical specialists and the hospital in-patient fee. First aid in the event of emergencies is free of charge for everybody.

EU citizens are also insured as long as their European Health Insurance Card is valid on the basis of previous work or other insurance conditions in their home country. In the event of short-term work, you should check the term of validity of your health insurance and your European health insurance card. If your European health insurance card is valid, you will be granted necessary health care while staying in Estonia. If you are not insured in your home country and you are staying in Estonia for a short time without a residence permit, you should obtain private health insurance in your home country for the duration of your stay in Estonia.

The first level of the health care system in Estonia is Family Physicians. Everyone has the right to choose their own family doctor. You can register yourself as a patient of your family physician right in his or her office. Family Physicians send their patients to medical specialists if and when necessary. Family doctors also write prescriptions for prescription-medicines.
Prescriptions that have been issued in other EU member countries are not valid in Estonia. So in the event that you need to buy any prescription medicines, you need to contact a doctor here.

For visits to medical specialists, a visit fee of up to 5.00 Euros is charged. No referral is needed to visit a psychiatrist, gynecologist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, dentist, pulmonologist (for tuberculosis treatment), infectious diseases specialist (for HIV/AIDS treatment), surgeon or orthopedist (for trauma).

Visits to family physicians are free of charge if you have valid Estonian health insurance or a European Health Insurance Card.

Schools

Estonia’s well-developed day care system provides opportunities for families in which both spouses work. There are day-care facilities for children under the age of 3, which are called crèches. Between the ages of 3 and 7 children can attend nursery school, where they already learn some social and elementary skills and have lessons like music or drawing.

School is obligatory from the age of 7 to the age of 17 or until the acquisition of basic education. Municipal schools are prevalent; some schools belong to the state and a few are privately-owned. At municipal and state-owned schools there is no tuition fee, and parents must only buy school supplies

Parents may freely choose a school for a child if there are vacant places in the selected school. A school is required to ensure educational opportunities for each child who resides in the school’s catchment area. Some schools do not have a catchment area and may accept pupils on the basis of admission tests or other requirements.

A child should be registered at a school by the 1st of June, for schools with admission tests earlier, and for that parents should submit to the school an application for admission together with a copy of the child’s personal identification document or birth certificate. In the event that your child has already attended school, documents certifying education obtained abroad or in another school in Estonia must also be presented.

Admission to upper secondary school takes place on the basis of admission tests and results from basic school. In most schools, admission tests to upper secondary level take place in March or April; the local education board can give you the exact dates.

The academic year usually lasts from 1 September until June of the following year. It consists of a study period, examination period, and holidays, which include one week in the autumn, two weeks at Christmas and one week in the spring. The maximum number of lessons per week varies from 20 lessons (grade 1) to 34 lessons (grade 9). At upper secondary school the number of lessons may be 35 or even more.

Key Facts

Government type: Parliamentary Democracy
Capital: Tallinn
Total Area: 45 227 km2
Population: 1,325  million (2013)

GDP Per Capita (PPP): 13,100 Eur (2014)
Official languages:
 Estonian
Religions: Since the Reformation movement in the 16th century, the Lutheran church has played the leading role in Estonia. Other larger active confessions are: Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Baptist, Methodist and Roman Catholic.
Country code: +372
Currency: EUR
Voltage: 220 V

Brief Overview

Estonia is an Eastern European country bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, between Latvia and Russia. Estonia’s history, like that of its Baltic neighbours, has been one almost singly devoted to maintaining independence from its powerful neighbours, most notably Russia.

Annexed by Stalin in 1940, Estonia never entirely became the Soviet republic it might have done, retaining its language and culture far more strongly than many other members of the USSR. At the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Estonia embraced independence enthusiastically and in less than two decades has undergone a transformation from lumbering communist society to gleaming example of forward-thinking transitional economy. Now an EU and NATO member, the future looks increasingly bright for this little-known but much-loved Baltic gem.

Culture

Estonian culture is that of a nation of a little more than one million people. Along with the language, this culture is the main vehicle for Estonian identity, hence the respect that Estonians feel for it. The culture of Estonia incorporates indigenous heritage. Due to its history and geography, Estonia’s culture has been influenced by the traditions of the adjacent area’s various Finnish, Baltic, Slavic and Germanic peoples as well as the cultural developments in the former dominant powers Sweden and Russia.

The most striking example of the culture of ancient Estonians is their regivärss, i.e. rhythmic verse, as well as the aural tradition of folk song where each line is repeated several times with variations on a theme. Estonians have one of the biggest collections of folk songs in the world, with written records of about 133,000 folk songs.

Since Estonia regained independence (1991), Estonian cultural life has evolved rapidly, largely in a similar way to that of the rest of Europe. The new media and virtual art have made their breakthrough.

The ticket to the outside world is, however, music, on account of the lack of language barriers. World-famous conductors include Neeme Järvi and Tõnu Kaljuste, while composers Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis and Erkki-Sven Tüür are well known abroad.

At an institutional level, there are many private initiatives such as small theatres, dance groups and especially publishing houses. Estonians like theatre and go to see a play at least twice a year.

A large number of cultural institutions such as theatres, museums and libraries are financed by the state, as are cultural periodicals, whose editions are very large, given the size of the population. Cultural efforts are supported financially by the Kultuurkapital fund, which derives its revenue from duty on the sale of alcohol and on gambling.

Rental Market

The rental market in the Estonia can be quite difficult for the “first arrived” assignee.Though there are few quite good public online portals available where to search for a suitable property, the market is quite driven by the real estate agents and unfortunately quality of the services still varies hugely.

Foreign speaking customers are not always taken seriously, it is difficult to get a quick response to your emails, so calling is always a better option, which sometimes may unfortunately end up with a language barrier, so expert advice and support is highly suggested for the assignee.

The rental sector is quite demand driven, which means that there are not enough quality properties on the market and tenants compete with each other over getting the best properties. This gives the landlords a position to choose tenants and also to increase prices, especially in the very high demand periods.

This situation means that properties are being let quickly, competition from other prospective tenants is high and there is very little room for negotiation. Assignees need to be flexible, ready for compromises and able to make quick decisions.
Standard Tenancy: Minimum 1 year
Security Deposit: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent
Real Estate Commission: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent for the tenant
Utilities: Added to the monthly rental, tenants responsibility

Health Care

The Estonian health insurance system is based on solidarity – all insured people have the same rights. To receive health insurance from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund (EHIF), taxes must be paid in Estonia, and an Estonian ID number is needed.

The EHIF pays for visits to doctors and hospital treatment, and covers part of the cost of some medicines. The EHIF covers the costs of medical treatment, apart from the own contribution amount for the fee for visiting medical specialists and the hospital in-patient fee. First aid in the event of emergencies is free of charge for everybody.

EU citizens are also insured as long as their European Health Insurance Card is valid on the basis of previous work or other insurance conditions in their home country. In the event of short-term work, you should check the term of validity of your health insurance and your European health insurance card. If your European health insurance card is valid, you will be granted necessary health care while staying in Estonia. If you are not insured in your home country and you are staying in Estonia for a short time without a residence permit, you should obtain private health insurance in your home country for the duration of your stay in Estonia.

The first level of the health care system in Estonia is Family Physicians. Everyone has the right to choose their own family doctor. You can register yourself as a patient of your family physician right in his or her office. Family Physicians send their patients to medical specialists if and when necessary. Family doctors also write prescriptions for prescription-medicines.
Prescriptions that have been issued in other EU member countries are not valid in Estonia. So in the event that you need to buy any prescription medicines, you need to contact a doctor here.

For visits to medical specialists, a visit fee of up to 5.00 Euros is charged. No referral is needed to visit a psychiatrist, gynecologist, dermatologist, ophthalmologist, dentist, pulmonologist (for tuberculosis treatment), infectious diseases specialist (for HIV/AIDS treatment), surgeon or orthopedist (for trauma).

Visits to family physicians are free of charge if you have valid Estonian health insurance or a European Health Insurance Card.

Schools

Estonia’s well-developed day care system provides opportunities for families in which both spouses work. There are day-care facilities for children under the age of 3, which are called crèches. Between the ages of 3 and 7 children can attend nursery school, where they already learn some social and elementary skills and have lessons like music or drawing.

School is obligatory from the age of 7 to the age of 17 or until the acquisition of basic education. Municipal schools are prevalent; some schools belong to the state and a few are privately-owned. At municipal and state-owned schools there is no tuition fee, and parents must only buy school supplies

Parents may freely choose a school for a child if there are vacant places in the selected school. A school is required to ensure educational opportunities for each child who resides in the school’s catchment area. Some schools do not have a catchment area and may accept pupils on the basis of admission tests or other requirements.

A child should be registered at a school by the 1st of June, for schools with admission tests earlier, and for that parents should submit to the school an application for admission together with a copy of the child’s personal identification document or birth certificate. In the event that your child has already attended school, documents certifying education obtained abroad or in another school in Estonia must also be presented.

Admission to upper secondary school takes place on the basis of admission tests and results from basic school. In most schools, admission tests to upper secondary level take place in March or April; the local education board can give you the exact dates.

The academic year usually lasts from 1 September until June of the following year. It consists of a study period, examination period, and holidays, which include one week in the autumn, two weeks at Christmas and one week in the spring. The maximum number of lessons per week varies from 20 lessons (grade 1) to 34 lessons (grade 9). At upper secondary school the number of lessons may be 35 or even more.

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