Return to Estonia

Returning to Estonia will be easier if you have thought it through before and understood what you need to do upon returning to your home country.

Registering your place of residence in the Population Register

First, you will need to register your place of residence in the Population Register. This is a crucial step before other actions, such as finding places in schools or kindergartens, applying for social benefits, etc.

Local governments provide the majority of public services and a person’s place of residence according to the Population Register is the basis for providing these services. Therefore, local governments verify that the person lives in Estonia and the municipality in which they wish to be provided these services.

You can submit a notice of residence at the seat of the local government or in the State Portal via the ‘Registering a place of residence’ e-service.

You can read more about registering a place of residence from the State Portal’s article ‘Registering residence’.

Return support and other benefits

The Integration Foundation provides return support to alleviate the costs of returning to Estonia. The maximum amount of the return support is 2,000 euros per adult.

The return support can be applied for by an ethnic Estonian holding Estonian citizenship or an Estonian residence permit who:

  • has emigrated from Estonia at least 10 years prior or has been born in a foreign country;
  • is in need of financial support in order to return to Estonia due to their economic and social situation.

Young people under 30 years of age who have completed their Master’s degree and doctorate studies abroad do not need to have lived abroad for ten years.

The support can be applied for immediately after registering your place of residence in the Estonian Population Register, but no later than six months after actually returning to Estonia.

The list of documents needed to apply for the return support can be found on the website of the Integration Foundation.

You can get an overview of other allowances and pensions available in Estonia, as well as information about applying for them from the State Portal under ‘Pensions and allowances’.

You can get information about allowances paid to families with children from the State Portal, under ‘State Monetary Assistance for Families with Children’ in the “Family” section. You can also find lists of documents needed to apply for various benefits, as well as e-services if the application can be submitted electronically.

People of retirement age who are returning to Estonia, who lack the length of employment in Estonia needed to be assigned an old-age pension, and who are not guaranteed a monthly income in the amount of the national pension of 175.94 per month (i.e. pension from a foreign country or pension paid on the basis of a contract), can apply for a benefit from the Social Insurance Board. More information about applying for the benefit and the documents necessary to do so can be found on the website of the Social Insurance Board (currently only in Estonian). If you have any questions, call the helpline of the Social Insurance Board at 16106 or (+372) 612 1360, or send an e-mail to

Health insurance and family doctor services

An entry in the Population Register is important with regard to health insurance and family doctor services. You should also take into account that it takes time to be entered into a family doctor’s practice list.

You can find information about the possibilities of obtaining health insurance on the website of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund.

Information about choosing and signing up with a family doctor can be found on the website of the Health Board and in the State Portal under ‘Medical Care’.


The local government will support people in finding a place in a kindergarten or a school. These issues should be addressed at the local rural municipality government or city government.

Pursuant to Estonian legislation, the local government shall ensure a place in a kindergarten and in a school near their home to all children living in Estonia. If you wish to enrol your child in another school, this is possible if there are vacancies in the desired school.

Organising local recreational activities is also in the competence of the local government. Participating in recreational activities helps people who have returned to Estonia adapt and integrate faster.


The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund will help you in finding a job and making job-related decisions. You can also get an overview of topics related to looking for a job from the State Portal under ‘Unemployment and job-seeker’.

If you wish to start a business in Estonia, you can find information from the ‘Entrepreneur’ section of the State Portal.

Driver’s licence and registering a car

If you take your personal vehicle with you upon returning and it has the registration marks of another country, you will need to re-register the vehicle in Estonia at the Road Administration.

Detailed information about the requirements and the contact details can be found on the website of the Road Administration.

Returning people whose driver’s licence was issued in a foreign country should also review the requirements on the website of the Road Administration to retain their right to drive and, if necessary, update their driver’s licence on time.

Last amended: 02-10-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Integration Foundation