How to Apply for an Estonia Schengen Visa from the UK
Located in the Baltic region of Europe, Estonia is a country with a developed economy and an advanced global level. In addition to being affordable for travellers, Estonia boasts medieval cities, scenic coastlines and a fascinating history. Bordered by Russia, Latvia, the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, Estonia is also more accessible than many travellers expect. With human history in the area dating back to the end of the glacial era, Estonia is a perfect place for archaeology and history enthusiasts.
You can apply for the Estonian Schengen visa since 2007 when Estonia, as a European Union Member State, also became a member state of the Schengen Area.
Estonia Entry Restrictions in Response to Coronavirus
In early 2020, Estonia joined the rest of its Schengen country neighbours in closing its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has since partially reopened its borders, with conditions.
The entry requirements below are accurate at the time of posting, but they may change at any time and you should check on the latest news regarding restrictions, quarantine or whether a test will be required either from reliable news sources, the Estonia government website, or the UK government website one to two weeks before your trip to be aware of the latest requirements for travelling to Estonia.
Travel to Estonia from outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or the Schengen area is possible for unvaccinated travellers, including for tourism, from the following countries:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- China (subject to the condition of reciprocity)
You can check the updated list of countries subject to limitations on entry to Estonia on the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Unvaccinated travellers from a third country other than the ones listed above, you are required to undergo testing before and after entry and a self-isolate for 10 days (can be shortened after a negative test result for the second test on day 6.)
You can check on the rules that apply for minors on the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Citizens of third countries who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the last twelve months with an EMA-approved vaccine, or who have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 180 days and have been declared healthy by a doctor do not have to comply with the testing and quarantine requirement when travelling to Estonia.
All passengers arriving by plane, including minors, must fill in the traveller’s questionnaire up to three days before arriving in Estonia. Passengers arriving by ship, bus, or car are required to fill in the traveller’s questionnaire if arriving from a high-risk country.
Travellers from the UK can show their NHS proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. If you have a printed hard copy of your vaccination status, make sure it is dated from 1 November to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully. If you have the NHS app, make sure your app is fully updated. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is acceptable as proof of vaccination.
Who needs a visa to travel to Estonia from the UK?
Travelling to Estonia for EU/EEA Citizens
Estonia is a Schengen country, which allows for free movement between the 26 EU and EFTA states (Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland). A uniform Schengen visa issued by one of the Schengen states is valid for travel within the whole Schengen area.
Travelling to Estonia for UK Citizens
The rules for travelling or working in Europe will change from 1 January 2021:
- You will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism, visiting family or friends, attending business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.
- If you’re travelling to the Estonia, previous visits to the Schengen area within the 180 days before your date of travel would count against the 90-day limit.
- If you are travelling visa-free to the Estonia and to other countries in the Schengen area, make sure your whole visit is within the limit.
- To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the Estonia. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You should check with the Embassy of the Estonia what type of visa, if any, you will need.
- Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit.
At border control for Estonia, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
You should check that your passport is stamped upon entering and exiting the Schengen area through Estonia as a visitor. Border guards use passport stamps to check that you are complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.
If these entry or exit stamps are not present in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit. If this is the case, you can show proof of entering or exiting using boarding passes or tickets and ask the border guard to update this information onto your passport.
You should also check your passport is valid for travel to the Schengen Area before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave Estonia, or any other Schengen country and less than 10 years old.
Travelling to Estonia for Other Third Country Citizens
Many non-EU nationals who reside in the UK are still required to get a Schengen visa to travel to Estonia.
Citizens of the following countries residing in the UK and planning to visit Estonia are required to get an Estonia visa to be able to enter Estonia.
|Cape Verde||Central African Republic||Chad|
|Dem. Rep. Of Congo||Djibouti||Dominican Republic|
|North Korea||Northern Mariana’s||Oman|
|Pakistan||Papua New Guinea||Philippines|
|Sao Tome And Principe||Saudi Arabia||Senegal|
|Sierra Leone||Somalia||South Africa|
The main requirement is that you must have a UK residence permit valid for at least another three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Estonia/ the Schengen Area.
Before starting a visa application, or getting a flight to Estonia, make sure to check whether you need a visa to Estonia or not.
If you have a 3-month UK visa you can extend it for three more months in order to be eligible to apply for a Estonia Schengen visa from within the UK. You must apply for an extension before your visa expires and while you’re still in the UK.
Note: You can stay in the UK until the decision about the extension is taken, but only if you have applied within the visa period.
You should apply for an Estonia visa at the appropriate Estonia Embassy/Consulate or Estonia visa application centre in the UK if:
- Estonia is the only Schengen country you plan on visiting
- Estonia is your main destination (the country you will be staying the longest in)
- Estonia is the first Schengen country you are visiting (when spending an equal amount of days in Estonia and another Schengen country)
In case you plan on staying in Estonia for more than 90 days you must apply for a residency permit, not an Estonia Schengen visa.
Please, note that if you are not a resident in the United Kingdom you should apply at the Estonia Embassy/Consulate/VAC in your home country of residence.
Steps to Applying for an Estonian Schengen Visa from the UK
Step 1: Know your visa type and validity
To apply for a Schengen visa to Estonia in the UK, you first need to know the type of visa you require and how long the visa will be valid. There are different Estonia Schengen visa types according to duration depending on your purpose of travelling from the UK to Estonia.
- Short-stay (Schengen) Visa – valid for up to 90 days (in a 180-day period) for the purposes of tourism, business, visiting family/friends, conference, EEA/EU national family member
- Residence and work permits (Long stays) – you should apply for this kind of visa if you want to live in Estonia for more than 90 days for employment, family reunification, study, research etc.
Find out how to choose to correct Schengen visa to apply for in our blog post: Schengen Visa Types – All You Should Know When Applying for a Schengen Visa.
Step 2: Identify where to make application and book an appointment
To apply for an Estonian visa, you must book an appointment with the Estonian Embassy in London. You can do this through the following:
- Book it yourself through VFS Global
- Use a service like IaM who will also make sure that your application will have the best chance of being approved
Step 3: Complete your application form
The Schengen visa application form contains questions about you including:
- Name and surname
- Date and place of birth
- Sex and marital status
- National Identity number
- Passport number
- Home address and email
- Purpose of trip
- Question regarding previous trips to Schengen, if any
- Intended date of arrival in Schengen area you are visiting, and the intended period of stay
- Cost of traveling and remaining in Schengen area you are visiting, who will cover them, etc.
Make sure your answers are correct and that they comply with the information in the rest of the documents. Complete the form, print it twice, and sign both copies at the end.
Find out more about how to complete a Schengen visa application form in this blog post.
Step 4: Prepare your documents
The following list of documents are required in order to obtain a visa to Estonia in the UK:
- A valid passport or travel document. Please make sure:
- Your passport has been issued within the previous 10 years,
- Your passport has 2 full blank pages, one for the visa stamp and an additional spare page,
- Your passport will be valid for at least three (3) months after the date you exit the Schengen Area.
- A valid UK residence permit or other form of Identity Card.
- The UK residency permit must be endorsed in the actual passport (or on a new biometric ID card)
- The UK residence permit must be valid for at least another three more months beyond the date you plan to leave Estonia.
- One Estonia Schengen visa application form filled out completely and signed by the applicant.
- One recently taken passport format photo with a blank background and where all your facial features are clear, which must be glued to the application form. Applications with stapled photographs will be rejected.
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of the visit to Estonia
- Biometric data (if you haven’t provided biometric data within the last 59 months):
- A copy of the passport bio page where the photo is included.
Note: Children under the age of 12 are exempted from providing fingerprints.
- Proof of travel arrangements:
- Round trip flight/travel reservations or other proof of intended transport
- Complete itinerary of your visit to the Estonia (if several Schengen States will be visited or if the trip covers several Schengen States and non-Schengen countries).
- Travel Insurance stating that you are covered in case of a medical emergency and repatriation not just in Estonia but in the whole Schengen zone (minimum coverage of € 30,000).
- Holders of diplomatic passports and family members of EU/EEA citizens are exempted from providing proof of travel medical insurance
- Proof of accommodation in Estonia:
- Evidence of a hotel booking or rental agreement, or
- Invitation from your Estonia host (family member, friend) with a copy of their passport
- Proof of financial subsistence showing at least 100€/day for the period of stay in Estonia:
- Original recent bank statement (covering the last 3 calendar months. The last transaction must be no more than 1 month old) to prove that you are able to support yourself during your stay
- Traveller’s Cheques
Note: Cash is not considered proof of financial subsistence.
- Certificate of criminal record of the home country– showing that candidate has no open crime case involvement
- Proof of paid Estonia visa fee.
Note: Photocopies of the original documents should also be submitted and documents should not be more than one month old.
The documents listed above are documents required in all cases, regardless of the purpose of your visit to Estonia.
Additional documents required for your visa application based on employment status
- Employment contract
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Leave permission from the employer
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form or Certificate of Income Tax deducted at the source of salary
For the self-employed:
- A copy of your business license
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Income Tax Return (ITR)
For foreign students in the UK:
- Proof of enrollment
- No-objection certificate from school or university
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months
If unemployed and married to an EU citizen:
- A recent (less than 3 months old) Confirmation of Employment letter from their spouse’s employer stating the position held within the company as well as the starting date,
- Spouse’s valid passport
- An officially translated marriage certificate. The translation must be in English or Estonia and must be certified as a true copy by the Embassy of the country where the marriage took place or by the Legalization Bureau of the Foreign Office in UK
Requirements for children under the age of 18:
Parents or an adult guardian are required to accompany their underage children to the application centre at the Embassy of Estonia in London. Also, minors who are granted an Estonia visa are not allowed to travel to Estonia by themselves. They should be accompanied by an adult during their stay in Estonia.
Apart from the general documentation required, accompanying should be other additional documents depending on the purpose of your Estonia Visa application.
Additional documents required for the most frequent purposes of Estonia visa application
Estonia Tourist/Visitor Visa:
- Invitation letter from your family or friends in the Estonia with the address and phone number – if applicable
- Bank statement of the last 6 months
- Passport copies
Estonia Visa for Business Purposes:
- Invitation letter from the Estonia company you will be visiting and their detailed address accompanied with the dates of your visit
- A certificate from your employer stating/allowing your business travel
- If there were previous trade relations between the two companies, proof of such events must be provided
- Business bank statement of the latest 6 months
- Memorandum and Article of Association in original certified copy (registered with joint stock companies) Trade License (first issued and present renewal), Proprietorship/Partnership documents
- Regarding the applicant’s expenses during stay in the Schengen zone, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.
Estonia Visa for Medical Purposes:
- A local medical report
- A medical attestation from the hospital or doctor in Estonia, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation
- Payment receipt of medical fees
Estonia Visa for Cultural, Sports, Film Crew or Religious Purposes:
- Invitation letter from the above-mentioned authorities with details upon the nature of events or activities – purpose of visit, expense coverage
- Names of the applicants (crew members)
- Duration of stay
- Travel itinerary
Estonia Visa for Members of Official Delegations:
- The official invitation copy
- Identity of applicant
- Purpose of journey (negotiations, meetings, event by intergovernmental organizations, consultations)
- Duration of stay
- Place of accommodation
Estonia Visa for Study, Training, Research, or other types of Internship Purposes:
- An enrollment certificate allowing attendance of courses
- Certificate of completion or courses attended
- Financial sustenance
Estonia Airport Transit Visa:
- Visa or another type of entry permit in the transit country
- Copy of your valid visa for your final destination
Required documents for visa application for underage children
- Birth certificate
- Estonia Schengen Visa application form should be signed by both parents.
- A family court order, in cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents
- A notarized parental authorization to travel to Estonia, signed by both parents/guardians, if the minor will be travelling alone with another person.
Required documents Estonia Digital Nomad Visa
- Documents that prove you are a “digital nomad” – i.e. that can do your job remotely (“independent of location”) and that you use telecommunications technology. For example, a letter from your employer or a confirmation written by you, stating your ability to work remotely.
- Documents that prove your work status, such as a work contract.
- Documents which prove your income from the last six months, detailing its amount, regularity, and source.
- A description of your previous academic and professional history.
All documents provided should be legalized.
Step 5: Attend your appointment
On the day of the interview, show up at the appointment centre on time (embassy or consulate). Remember that if you are late even for a few minutes, then they will probably cancel your appointment. Try wearing something a bit more official, but comfortable.
The Estonia visa interview takes around 10 minutes to complete. During this interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions about you and your intended trip. You will also be submitting the required documents throughout the meeting, to the interviewer.
After your application is verified, the information will be entered into the online system of the consulate or embassy and you will receive a printed copy of your application, which process usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes. After you get the printed form, please make sure to verify all the details are correct and sign the form.
Underage applicants must be accompanied by their mother/father/legal guardian.
Find out more about how to ace your Schengen visa interview in our article: Schengen Visa Interview Questions and Answers and How to Prepare for it
Estonia Schengen Visa Fees for UK Residents
Since Estonia is a Schengen country, the visa fees are the same as any other Schengen visa.
The fee must be paid upon submitting the Estonia visa application. After you complete this payment, you will receive a receipt, which shows that payment has been made, which must be offered amongst other documents of the application dossier. You will have to pay the Estonia Schengen visa fee in order for your application to be processed.
Find out the Schengen visa fees in our blog post: Schengen Visa Fees: How much does a Schengen visa cost?
Step 6: Receive your visa
Visa Application Processing Time in UK
You can apply for an Estonia Schengen Visa 6 months before your planned trip. Depending on the nationality of the applicant, the processing time may take at least 15 days from the day of application. In some cases when required documents are missing from the application, this process may take longer.
Therefore, to avoid unwanted complications, the Estonia Consulate General in London advises that you provide all required documents and submit your application at least 20 workdays (4 weeks) before the day you leave for Estonia.
Estonia Schengen Visa Application Decision
- Approved – Once your visa is approved, it will be stamped in your passport. Make sure to carefully check the visa sticker to make sure everything is correct and exactly how you need it.
- Rejected – if your visa has been rejected, it would have been for a specific reason and you have the right to appeal.
Common Estonia Schengen visa rejection reasons
- Marriage certificate missing – if you are applying for a visa for family reasons, you may have to prove family ties. This is why you must provide a marriage certificate
- You applied for the wrong visa – it is your responsibility to apply for the correct visa depending on how long you are going to Switzerland for and your reason for travelling there
- It is not clear that you plan to return to the UK – it must be clear that you intend to return to the UK before the visa expires. If the visa staff have doubts about this, your visa will be rejected
- The purpose of your trip cannot be established – the reason why you are planning to go to Switzerland must be made clear. You can do this by providing specific documents like a full itinerary, work contract or invitation letter, etc.
What if my Estonia Schengen visa is rejected?
If you receive a negative answer in your Estonia Schengen visa application, this does not mean you cannot ever travel to Estonia. You have two options.
- File an appeal for an Estonia Schengen visa rejection if you believe that the decision to deny you a visa is unjust. You should have a strong basis for your complaint. You can appeal this decision by writing an appeal letter for an Estonia Schengen visa rejection.
- Reapply by correcting the mistakes you did in your previous application. Or improve your situation to comply with the eligibility criteria for an Estonia Schengen Visa.
Estonia Schengen Visa Extension
A person visiting Estonia on a Schengen visa is allowed by law to extend their visa if they have legitimate reasons. This could be either personal, professional, medical, emergency, or any other. The decisions to approve a Schengen visa extension request are handled case by case.
The duration you are allowed to stay in the country is stated in your Schengen visa sticker. It is important not to overstay during your trip to Estonia or the rest of the Schengen Zone or risk facing penalties like a fine, deportation, being banned from travelling back to the Schengen Zone and having difficulties in your future Schengen applications. There are also cases when people do not get any penalties for overstaying, for example, a child or a person that cannot travel without a caretaker because of an illness or disability or an unforeseen event that prevents you from leaving the country, like COVID-19.
Find out more about overstaying in the Schengen visa in our blog post.
Estonia Schengen Visa Frequently Asked Questions
Is an Estonia Schengen visa easy to get?
Yes, it’s easy to apply for an Estonia Schengen visa! You can apply for the visa online or use immigration services like IAM to make the process even simpler for you and have a higher chance of your application being accepted.
How long does an Estonia Schengen visa take to process?
You can apply for an Estonia Schengen visa up to 180 days before your planned trip. The Estonia visa application process takes a minimum of 5 working days but can take up to 2 weeks. We advise you to make your application 3 weeks before your trip to make up for any possible delays in processing.
How can I get a multiple entry visa to Estonia?
If you want to get a multiple entry visa to Estonia or any country in the Schengen area, you need to justify through your documents and your visa interview why you should be granted such a visa, which includes proving that you have sufficient resources to support your multiple trips.
How much is a Schengen visa for Estonia?
The fee for an Estonia Schengen visa is 80€ for adults, 40€ for children between 6-12 years of age, and free for children younger than 6 years of age. Keep in mind that these fees may change depending on currency fluctuations and can be paid only in UK Pounds. Payments can be made in cash and by credit or debit card.
How can I get an Estonia Schengen visa fast?
You can get a premium Schengen visa to get your Estonia Schengen visa within 24 to 48 hours, which includes personalised advice from an expert immigration adviser.
How much money do I need to show in my bank account for an Estonia Schengen visa?
You will need 100€/day for the period of your stay in Estonia.
Are Euros used in Estonia?
Yes, the country adopted the euro as their currency on 1 January 2011.
What other countries can I travel to on an Estonia Schengen visa?
Are you ready to make your Estonia Schengen visa application? Is there anything we missed or anything you need clarification on? Comment below.
IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries
If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.
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