Work while studying in Estonia
Foreign students with a temporary residence permit can work while studying without an additional permit. There are no strict restrictions on the number of work hours — the main requirement is that there are no serious problems with academic performance and the timely passing of exams. According to statistics, almost 50% of foreign students in Estonia combine study and work. To find a permanent job in Estonia, it is advisable to know the national language, therefore, the choice of positions for students of English-language programs is usually limited. However, in large cities like Tallinn and Tartu there are many opportunities for side jobs in tourism and services, where knowledge of English and other languages will be useful. The average salary in the country is 9 USD per hour or 1,387 USD per month. However, students often work part-time or in low-ranking positions, so the rate may vary.
Opportunity to stay and immigration to Estonia
All foreign students without EU citizenship can stay in Estonia for another 9 months (270 days) from the date of expiry of the TRP. You do not need to carry out any additional procedures with documents for this. During this time, you can find a job, conclude a contract, and apply for a new work TRP. This document is issued for the period specified in the contract with the employer, but not more than 2 years. In the future, it can be extended for up to 5 years.
After 5 years of continuous residence in Estonia, a foreigner can obtain a long-term residence permit. To do this, you need to have a permanent official job, registration at the place of residence, insurance, and also pass an exam for knowledge of the Estonian language (at least B1). More information about the immigration process can be found on the website of the police department.
In Estonia, there are many young developing companies, especially in the IT sector. Newly graduated professionals can find jobs in them if they only speak English. However, it should be kept in mind that the Estonian government is very concerned about the problem of migrants, which compete with local residents for jobs. Most of them are from Ukraine and Russia. HR in a large company is more likely to hire a citizen of the European Union. Nevertheless, the number of foreign students who get a job immediately after graduating from a university in Estonia is constantly growing: in 2018, almost 60% of graduates of master's and doctoral studies were employed in the country. In order to increase their chances, visitors should definitely learn Estonian.
In Europe, diplomas from Estonian universities are recognized on an equal basis with others, so graduates can find work in any country of the European Union.
It is much easier to build an academic career at an Estonian university with knowledge of the Estonian language, but you can try yourself in numerous English-language programs. Students can start teaching while pursuing a PhD, and research positions are available already at the master's cycle.
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