Working Abroad

There are many ways to find work outside Estonia. The Unemployment Insurance Fund has a long-term cooperation programme with several countries, such as Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Denmark and Germany.

In Estonia, labour market services are also provided by the European Labour Network EURES. In addition to state-offered labour exchange programmes, international labour market services are also provided by privately held companies.

Every state has its own customs and laws. This kind of information can be hard to find on one’s own, but the state’s foreign missions in Estonia (embassies) certainly have the data. When taking up work in a foreign country, the following must be considered with:

  • what is the legal basis of working in the state – is a work permit needed
  • taxation policy – tax rate
  • employment conditions have to be in agreement with the laws of the state
  • conditions of health insurance
  • subsistence opportunities when working as a foreign national.

Applying for a job abroad

If you wish to commence work in another state of the European Union or European Economic Area, on the basis of education or work experience that you have acquired in Estonia, you should first find out whether the profession is regulated in that member state. If the profession or professional activity is regulated in the receiving county, you will need to apply for recognition of your professional qualification there.

If you wish to know what is required for the recognition of your education and/or work experience in a particular country, contact the contact point of that country.

For members of the following professions is possible to apply for a European Professional Card (EPC): nurse (general care), pharmacist, physiotherapist, real estate agent, mountain guide. The application is made electronically via the European Commission’s Your Europe website.

The EPC is not a physical card. It is the electronic proof that you have passed administrative checks and your professional qualifications have been recognised by the country you want to work in (host country), or that you have met the conditions to provide services temporarily in that country.

When an application is approved, you will be able to generate an EPC certificate in pdf format. This will also include a reference number your prospective employer can use to check your EPC’s validity online.

In order to assist the free movement of professionals in the European Union and the European Economic Area, Directive 2005/36/EC has been created for the recognition of professional qualifications. In Estonia, the recognition of professional qualifications is coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Research.

Last amended: 08-03-2017 00:00 | Compiled by: Unemployment Insurance Fund, Ministry of Education and Research