The information on this page was collected from public resources and does not constitute legal advice.

General information on border crossing?

Ukrainian citizen does not need a visa to come to Estonia. The family members of Ukrainian citizens (children, parents, spouses) who are citizens of some other country and whose visa or other basis for stay has expired or is about to expire may temporarily remain in Estonia. Additionally, the Police and Border Guard Board can admit other arrivals, e.g. partners, from Ukraine to Estonia on humanitarian grounds, in order to maintain family unity.

Ukrainian citizen must have a valid travel document for crossing the border. This could be:

โ€ข citizenโ€™s passport (both biometric and non-biometric are accepted)
โ€ข service passport
โ€ข non-citizen passport/a refugeeโ€™s travel document
โ€ข seamanโ€™s passport.

If a Ukrainian citizen does not have a valid travel document and he reaches the external border of Estonia and wishes to receive protection from the state of Estonia, it is possible for him to submit an application for international protection at the border crossing point.

Border crossing points will be established between Estonia and Latvia at four locations, three in Valga and one in Ikla. During the reintroduction of border control between Estonia and Latvia, people are allowed to cross the state border between the border crossing points as usual.

The government of Estonia has organized information points in the country to help refugees from Ukraine, where you can get information about the rules of processing documents to stay in Estonia, humanitarian aid or temporary shelter. They work around the clock and are located at the following addresses:

  • Tallinn Bus Station (Lastekodu 46)
  • Joฬƒhvi (Viru 5a)
  • Narva (Peetri plats 3, open 8-22)
  • Paฬˆrnu (Pikk 18)
  • Tartu (Riia 179)

Tips for those who were deported to Russia or the so-called DPR are collected in the Telegram channel mceclip0.png.

What documents do I need to enter?

Ukrainian citizen must have a valid travel document for crossing the border. This could be:

โ€ข citizenโ€™s passport (both biometric and non-biometric are accepted)
โ€ข service passport
โ€ข non-citizen passport/a refugeeโ€™s travel document
โ€ข seamanโ€™s passport.

If a Ukrainian citizen does not have a valid travel document and he reaches the external border of Estonia and wishes to receive protection from the state of Estonia, it is possible for him to submit an application for international protection at the border crossing point.

The order of the Head of the Police and Border Guard Board (from February 24) allows visa free entry into Estonia for Ukrainian citizens who hold biometric passports or valid travel document.

For applicants for temporary protection, the Police and Border Guard Board issues a temporary residence card.

What happens after a border crossing?

Once you have arrived in Estonia, move to your destination. If you plan to stay in Estonia, please apply for temporary protection as soon as possible. You can do this at the Police and Border Guard Board. Before visiting the Police and Border Guard Board, please book an appointment. More information here mceclip0.png .

At Tallinn bus station, in Tartu, Pรคrnu and Jรตhvi, official information points are open 24 hours a day and provide you with additional information about the possibilities of staying in Estonia. If necessary, you will be provided with accommodation in simple conditions (for up to 24 hours) until you have received temporary protection or can move on from Estonia. You can also get help from an information point if you arrive in Estonia in the evening, at night, on a weekend, or on a public holiday and you do not have a temporary place of stay.

The government of Estonia has organized information points in the country to help refugees from Ukraine, where you can get information about the rules of processing documents to stay in Estonia, humanitarian aid or temporary shelter. They work around the clock and are located at the following addresses:

  • Tallinn Bus Station (Lastekodu 46)
  • Joฬƒhvi (Viru 5a)
  • Narva (Peetri plats 3, open 8-22)
  • Paฬˆrnu (Pikk 18)
  • Tartu (Riia 179)
How can I get from the border to the capital (a certain town)?

At Tallinn bus station, in Tartu, Pรคrnu and Jรตhvi, official information points are open 24 hours a day and provide you with additional information about the possibilities of staying in Estonia.

Elron and the Transport Administration in cooperation with public transport centres allow Ukrainian war refugees to travel for free in trains, as well as city and county bus lines. The right to travel for free does not extend to commercial bus lines (e.g. the Tallinn-Tartu bus lines). The right to travel for free is not automatic: war refugees need to get a relevant public transport card from the local municipality mceclip0.png or regional public transport centre in order to prove their right; the card is valid in trains, trams, trolleybuses, as well as buses all across Estonia. A train passenger must additionally be able to show an identity document.

The following public transport cards can be used to prove to the ticketing system that one has the right to travel and right to a discount: รœhiskaart of Tallinn and Harju County (the so-called green card), the Atko Kohtla-Jรคrve รœhiskaart, the GoBus รœhiskaart, the Ridango รœhiskaart, the Tartu รœhiskaart, the Pรคrnu County รœhiskaart, the Viljandi รœhiskaart, and the รœhiskaart of the Road Administration.

The public transport cards can be cross-used: i.e. a Ukrainian war refugee can use the Tallinn รœhiskaart to also travel for free in Tartu and vice versa.

The "Friends of Mariupol" organization helps those evacuating through the territory of the Russian Federation with the construction of a route and transport after crossing the border with Estonia. To contact: send a request to the Telegram bot mceclip0.png or visit the site mceclip0.png or Facebook mceclip0.png. Volunteers of the organization can be found in Narva at the refugee volunteer center (Vaksali 19) and in Tallinn at the bus station (Lastekodu 46).

How can I travel to another (specific) country?

You can travel by airplane, bus, car or train to different countries. The largest airports in Estonia are located in the following cities: Tallinn, Pรคrnu, Kuressaare, Kรคrdla.

How long can I stay?

As of 9 March 2022, Ukrainian citizens and their family members who have come to Estonia because of the war will be able to apply for temporary protection from the Police and Border Guard Board of Estonia. With the temporary protection you are allowed to stay for one year.

Where can an unaccompanied minor get help?

Unaccompanied minors have to have a legal representative, i.e. a guardian, appointed in Estonia, who will take care of the welfare of the child and represent him in necessary procedures (e.g. applying for benefits, applying for a bank card, making medical decisions etc.). Until a guardian has been appointed, the role of a guardian is taken up by the local municipality where the child has been registered (if there is no registration to residence, the local municipality on whose administrative territory the child resides). A guardian is appointed by the court. For this, it is necessary to submit an application to the court.

As the language of the court proceedings and administration is Estonian, the specialists of the local municipality will assist in applying for the guardianship. If the guardianship is applied for as a provisional measure, the court will usually make its decision about appointing a guardian within up to five days. After receiving the court order, the guardian will be able to officially represent the child. The person that has been appointed a guardian is fully responsible for the child, including raising him, making decisions regarding him, taking care of his person and property, and representing him.

The guardian can apply for family benefits for the child, e.g. the child allowance and the guardianship allowance:
- the size of the child allowance is โ‚ฌ60 for the first and the second child in the family, and โ‚ฌ100 for the third and each following child in the family;
- starting from the third child, the family is also paid the allowance for a family with many children, which is โ‚ฌ300 a month, starting from the seventh child โ‚ฌ400 a month;
- in addition to the child allowance, a benefit of โ‚ฌ240 a month is paid for each child under guardianship.

Are there any Covid-related requirements and if yes, what are they?

The border crossing restrictions enacted to stop the spread of COVID, including the obligation to present a COVID certificate, do not apply to Ukrainian citizens and their direct descendants (children, grandchildren) and ascendants (parents, grandparents).

Where do I register for temporary protection?

You can apply for temporary protection in Tallinn at Police and Border Guard Board service offices at A. H. Tammsaare tee 47 and P.Pinna 4. For details, see mceclip0.png . To submit an application, you must book an appointment here mceclip0.png . The client support 612 3000 can also help you make a reservation.

The Police and Border Guard Board is also planning to establish pop-up processing points in accommodation facilities where refugees from Ukraine are staying. Information on this can be obtained onsite at the accommodation facilities.

One adult with any minor children may use a single appointment for applying. If there are more adults in the family, you will need to book more than one appointment.
If you submit your application at another time before your appointment (e.g. at a service point set up in an accommodation facility), cancel your appointment so that others can use it. Cancel your appointment here mceclip0.png .

In order to apply for temporary protection, you will need to bring your identity documents or other documents, such as a birth certificate. If you do not have any documents, you should contact the Embassy of Ukraine, which will issue identity certificates to Ukrainian citizens. Then you will be able to apply for temporary protection.

Who will get temporary protection in Estonia?

  • those Ukrainian citizens and their family members who arrived in Estonia starting from February 24, 2022;
  • those stateless persons and third country citizens who lived in Ukraine before February 24, 2022 and arrived in Estonia starting from February 24, 2022, as who had international protection in Ukraine, as well as their family members.

Renewal of residence permits granted under temporary protection

If your residence permit is about to expire, you can renew it in the self-service environment of the Police and Border Guard Board. Submit the application for extending your residence permit one to three months before the expiry date of your residence permit.

To submit the application in the self-service environment, you need:

  • internet connection
  • personal identification number and the details of your residence card.

Please note! To submit an application, you must go to a service office of the Police and Border Guard Board if:

  • you receive such instructions from the self-service environment;
  • your residence permit has expired by the time you apply for extension.

You will receive an extended residence card from a service office of the Police and Border Guard Board of your choice.

What are my rights while I wait to get temporary protection?

Temporary protection grants Ukrainian citizens and their family members rights similar to those of Estonian residents. For instance, access to social services and the right to work and education. It also entails the right of free movement within the European Union. Additionally, the recipients of protection have a right to state support in renting housing, learning Estonian, and using translation services.

What documents will I receive once I get temporary protection?

In order to apply for temporary protection, you will need to bring your identity documents or other documents, such as a birth certificate. If you do not have any documents, you should contact the Embassy of Ukraine, which will issue identity certificates to Ukrainian citizens. Then you will be able to apply for temporary protection.

For applicants for temporary protection, the Police and Border Guard Board issues a temporary residence card.

May I temporarily return to Ukraine? What will happen to my protection status?

Beneficiaries of international protection (asylum) cannot return to their country of origin while they are considered a refuge.
If you have received temporary protection, you can return to Ukraine for a short period of time without any negative consequences. Before leaving the country that has given you temporary protection, we recommend that you notify the state social security authorities.
For repatriation assistance, you should contact the embassy/consulate of your country of origin in the EU country where you are currently staying. The national authorities in this country can also help you to contact your embassy/consulate in case you encounter problems and may offer assistance for your repatriation.
If you want to return to Ukraine, then most likely you will have to buy a train or bus ticket with your own money.

Can I move around the country and the European Union freely while under temporary protection?

A Ukrainian citizen who has been granted temporary protection has the same status as any other third-country national holding a residence permit in Estonia. A third-country national holding an Estonian residence permit is allowed to stay in another Schengen Member State for 90 days within a period of 180 days (note that not all EU countries are part of the Schengen zone).

If a Ukrainian national enjoying protection wishes to stay longer in the Member State of his or her choice, he or she must apply for a long-stay visa or residence permit in that country.

Can I apply for asylum while under temporary protection? What is the difference?

Foreign nationals, including Ukrainian citizens and residents, who fear persecution in their home country on account of race, nationality, religion, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, may apply for international protection. This also applies to people who consider that their return to Ukraine could lead to serious danger. Refugees are granted a residence permit for 3 years. The period of validity of the residence permit shall be extended every 3 years.
Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection are granted a residence permit for 1 year. The validity of the residence permit under subsidiary protection shall be extended every 2 years.

The PBGB may extend the residence permit granted to a refugee for a period of three years, provided that the circumstances which led to the granting of the residence permit have not ceased to exist and there are no grounds for revoking the residence permit.
The PBGB may extend the residence permit granted to a beneficiary of subsidiary protection for a period of two years, provided that the circumstances which led to the granting of the residence permit have not ceased to exist and there are no grounds for revoking the residence permit. he application will be examined as soon as possible, but no later than six months after its receipt. In exceptional cases, the time limit may be extended.

Applications from Ukrainian citizens will be dealt with under an accelerated procedure, with the aim of giving a reply within one month.

An applicant for international protection whose only legal basis for stay in Estonia is the status of an applicant for international protection is not allowed to work in Estonia as long as no decision has been taken on his or her application within 6 months. If the applicant stayed legally in Estonia before submitting the application and was allowed to work, his or her right to work continues during the period of application for protection. In order to apply for international protection, please contact:
Pรคrnu mnt 139, Tallinn
A.H.Tammsaare pst 61, Pรคrnu
Rahu tn 38, Jรตhvi
Riia tee 132, Tartu

For a refugee or a beneficiary of subsidiary protection, the processing of an asylum application could take up to six months.

For more information on applying for international protection, please contact asylum.counsel@counsel.ee mceclip0.png

How and where can I apply for the residency?

In order to apply for temporary protection, you will need to bring your identity documents or other documents, such as a birth certificate. If you do not have any documents, you should contact the Embassy of Ukraine, which will issue identity certificates to Ukrainian citizens. Then you will be able to apply for temporary protection.

Applying for temporary protection is a separate service. In order to apply for temporary protection, war refugees and their relatives arriving from Ukraine need to book an appointment at this website mceclip0.png . Booking an appointment ensures that the service offices will not receive too many applicants at once. In order to make applying for temporary protection as smooth as possible, the PBGB is also planning to set up mobile service points in the accommodation facilities of war refugees, where they can conveniently submit their applications for temporary protection.

How long I need to wait to get the residency?

The application is considered as soon as possible.

What if I don't have the international passport?

In order to apply for temporary protection, you will need to bring your identity documents or other documents, such as a birth certificate. If you do not have any documents, you should contact the Embassy of Ukraine, which will issue identity certificates to Ukrainian citizens. Then you will be able to apply for temporary protection. Having a international passport is not a prerequisite.

Where can I take a photo for my documents?

Photos can be taken at a photo booth of a service office of the Police or photographer.

You may also take a photo yourself. There are also many shops that offer such services. Look for printer shops and copy centers on Google Maps.

Where can I translate my documents?

You can use online translation services here mceclip0.png and here mceclip0.png .

You can translate your documents at any translation agency in your city. Search for ยซdokumentide tรตlkimineยป on Google.

How do I get Mobile phone/internet services?

A new SIM card can be obtained on the border crossing or refugee center. Estonian operators offers free calls to Ukraine, distribute Sims to refugees. More information here mceclip0.png after registration.

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Please write to us so we can provide you with legal support. Our pro-bono legal partners will try to respond to your legal request to the best of their ability and knowledge. Please note that due to a high volume of requests, you will receive an answer in a few days after submitting the request at the earliest. Thank you for your patience.