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Working in Tallinn?

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Francis White

Living in Estonia, from the UK

"With so many business opportunities in Tallinn, you just have to find the right partners. Guess where I found them? On InterNations."

Kim Demers

Living in Estonia, from Canada

"Settling as an expat women in Tallin was really hard. But when a friend invited me to InterNations, I quickly got connected."

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Tallinn at a Glance

Working in Tallinn

Are you looking for work in Tallinn? The job market is reasonably open for expatriates. Popular roles for expats in Tallinn include teaching, information technology, and research. Learn all you need to know about the economy, job hunting and more in this article.

Jobs in general do have to be advertised for Estonians first, but with such a thriving economy, there is enough work to go around. The personal income tax is set around the 20% mark. 

Local Economy

Tallinn is the financial and business capital of Estonia and has a diverse and thriving economy. Benefiting from economic freedom and policy, the city has strengths in information technology, logistics, and tourism, and over half of the GDP of Estonia is created in Tallinn.

Due to the location of the city on the Baltic coast, the Port of Tallinn, which comprises five constituent ports, is a thriving logistics hub for cargo and passenger ferries. People arriving by ferry to this popular cruise destination add to the tourism economy of the city, which sees 1.5 million visitors a year.

Many large corporate headquarters call Tallinn their home, including the energy giant Eesti Energia, the Estonian investment bank LHV, and manufacturers BLRT Grupp. Retail is also a contributing factor and a tourist draw for Tallinn, with large retail developments.

Job Hunting in Tallinn

Expats working in Tallinn would benefit from learning Estonian or Russian, but there are some jobs available for English or other language speakers, including teaching. There are a number of websites that post job vacancies in Estonian, with a few in English.

LinkedIn is a good place to start, as there is a page for jobs in Estonia, and expats can browse key players in Tallinn. It is fine for expatriates to express their interest in a particular role or company by contacting them directly. As much as 70% of jobs are not advertised, so it is worthwhile for expats to make themselves visible to potential employers.

Work Permits for Tallinn

To be able to work in Tallinn, expats will need a right of residence. To obtain this, EU citizens must register their place of residence in the population register of Estonia. A temporary right of residence can be granted for anything up to five years, and is automatically extended if the place of residence continues to be registered. Once the right of residence has been granted, EU citizens automatically have the right to work in Estonia.

For expats outside of the EU, a residence permit is also required. A temporary residence permit can be granted to expats who are married to an Estonian, taking studies, or who are in possession of a valid visa for business or work purposes. A residence permit for business might be granted on account of an expat owning shares in, or acting as the sole proprietor of a company registered on the Estonian Commercial Register.

All non-EU citizens looking to be employed in Tallinn must have obtained the job offer through an open competition, whereby the state employment mediation service attempt to recruit Estonian, EU, or non-EU citizens with an existing residence permit.

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