Skip to main content

Living in Estonia



The government provides temporary accommodation for refugees for up to four months. Reception centres share information about accommodation. IIt may be necessary for a person to move from one accommodation to another within four months. It may also happen that the accommodation is located in different parts of Estonia.

The Estonian Refugee Council mediates accommodation, offered by kind people in Estonia, only on-site in Liivalaia 28, Tallinn. The needs of the refugee will be mapped and if appropriate accommodation is found, the queuer will be informed within 10 days.

A real estate portal Kinnisvara24 is created for refugees, from where people can independently search for accommodation.

You can also search for rental apartments on the open market via, and

It is worth announcing your wishes in the Facebook group "Friends of Ukraine in Estonia". In addition, there are several other Facebook groups where real estate ads are mediated. In most cases, you can find them by the keyword "apartment(s) for rent" and by location, e.g. "Apartments for rent without a broker".




From 10 June 2022, Ukrainian refugees who have received temporary protection will be able to apply for a rent allowance.

The rent allowance is paid on a one-off basis to those who have received temporary protection.

To apply in Tallinn, enter the e-service and submit an application. The necessary documents must be attached via the e-service:

  • housing lease agreement,
  • a copy/certificate of the decision on interim protection, and
  • details of the leased space (address, name and contact details of the landlord).
  • proof of payment

You can apply on the spot at the Tallinn Refugee Centre, Niine 2. (+372 600 0677)


Lease agreement platform mediates rental premises, offers free assistance to refugees in concluding a lease agreement. They also have leases in different languages. Information  +372 602 6818,

Lease agreement example

More information:

In the case of a lease agreement, it is important that all landlords (including co-owners) and all tenants (including children) are listed in the lease. Based on this, the local government can make an automatic check-in without having to ask the landlord for a separate permit. Enrollment provides an opportunity to receive benefits from the local government (e.g. social support for an individual pensioner, in the case of TLN, e.g. free public transport, etc.).





Temporary protection creates an automatic right to work under the same conditions as all people in Estonia, i.e. there is no minimum wage, employment protection and rights are the same as for others.

Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund contacts Unemployment Insurance Fund`s recruitment days. More information +372 634 8000


The Unemployment Insurance Fund provides help with job search.  Additional information +372 634 8000. In addition to the portal, it is recommended to contact employers directly, much depends on their responsiveness.

  • It is possible to look for a job through reliable employment agencies like Finesta Works, OnlineExpo and Manpower.
  • The counselling lawyers of the Labor Inspectorate are ready to assist if people have any questions about employment by calling 640 6000, on working days from 9 am to 4.30 pm or by writing to Counseling in Estonian, Russian and English.
  • Refugees who want to create or continue their own business in Estonia, can find more information here: Invest in Estonia.


Without applying for temporary protection, refugees have the right to work in Estonia for a short period of time, up to one year. The employer must pay 1548 euros per month to a short-term employee. For short-term employment, the employer must register the employee as a short-term employee at the Police and Border Guard Board. If the employer registers short-term employment, the person also receives an Estonian personal identification code. Short-term or seasonal employment does not entitle you to benefits and allowances such as family allowances, subsistence allowance, etc.


Registering unemployment:

  • An unemployed person can be registered in the Unemployment Insurance Fund if a decision on a residence permit has been issued on the basis of temporary protection. Upon entering the unemployment fund, an identity document (eg a Ukrainian passport) must be shown.
  • During the job search, unemployment benefit is paid if the refugee has worked for at least 180 days 12 months prior to registering as an unemployed person (including work in Ukraine), raised a child under 8, studied part-time or full-time, or engaged in other similar activities. Unemployment benefit amounts to 292 euros per month and can be received for up to 9 months. The allowance is not paid if there is other income that exceeds 292 euros per month.
  • Unemployment Insurance Fund locations


Tax residency - Ukrainian who has received temporary protection must have a Form R in the Tax and Customs Board's e-services environment, which creates the residency. The form can be digitally signed and found at

  • Select Private Client
  • Select E-resident, non-resident
  • Select Set Residency
  • And there's FORM R to fill out

If there is no possibility of digital signing, it can be done at the Tax Board on site.





War refugees who are registered in Tallinn (except for persons in transit) are issued a Tallinn`s card (green card), which can be used in the public transport of the city of Tallinn, including on Elron trains across Estonia. Cards are issued to persons aged 7 to 64. Small children and seniors can use public transport for free. In any case, the person must carry an identity document. The right to travel free of charge does not extend to commercial bus lines.

You can buy a green card at sale points for 2 euros.

Personalization of a green card - It can be done free of charge on the website and in the service office of the Tallinn City Government (Vabaduse väljak 7) and for one euro at other points of sale. The person's place of residence according to the population register is checked once a month. If a person registers at an address that is not located in Tallinn, the travel discount becomes invalid.


If you have lost your green card and want to use public transport in the future, we recommend that you purchase a new green card and personalise it. All travel discounts, travel tickets and cash balances related to the lost personalised card will be transferred to the new green card upon personalization (except for Elron tickets. To transfer Elron tickets, send an application to

To close the card, call 6118000.

In Tartu, war refugees get the right to travel by city bus for free for one year. Free travel can be requested at the reception point of Tartu (Riia 179a), Tartu City Information Centre (Raekoja plats 1a) or Tartu Foreign Service Centre (Ülikooli 17).

Those people who have registered in another local government but wish to remain in Tallinn in the future must go through the usual procedure to obtain a Tallinn card. In order to use the card free of charge (in Tallinn, including Harju County, it is necessary to register the area, which can be registered in the local government on the basis of a lease agreement).


Bank account

LHV serves in a lively queue only Ukrainians who have already received a residence permit. Refugees who only have a passport or other identity document can arrange a meeting to sign a client's agreement. LHV bank account is free of charge, if a person has a phone with Apple Pay or Google Pay option, they will also receive an active virtual card free of charge.

SEB Free account for up to 6 months. It is necessary to book a visit to the website in advance. More information can be found here.

SWEDBANK A travel pass is required. Account can be opened free of charge until the end of 2022. It may take up to about 10 days to open an account.

Luminor Ukrainian refugees can open a bank account for free and faster. The Debit or Black package is free for three months and also includes a free bank card.

Coop In the absence of an Estonian residence permit, an identity document is currently sufficient for Ukrainian residents to open an account. Opening an account for Ukrainian citizens is free of charge. There is a monthly maintenance fee of 5 euros and a fee for the selected service package.

Currency exchange

In Estonia, only the currency exchange of Tavid currently offers the exchange of Ukrainian hryvnias. Courses and more information can be found on Tavid's website.

In many cases, Ukrainian bank cards also work outside Ukraine, in which case paying with a bank card or withdrawing cash from an ATM is much cheaper than at a currency exchange point. More information.


Car insurance

Every vehicle must have a car insurance contract. More information is available here or by phone +372 667 1800 and by e-mail



Legal advice

The Estonian Centre for Human Rights (ECHR) offers legal advice to all those who have questions about their place of residence and status, including family reunification. Contact: +372 5194 9015 (also Viber and WhatsApp), phone: +372 644 5148, e-mail:

  1. Who were in Estonia before 24.02:
    • If the person`s work visa is still valid, we recommend that you continue working and be in the country on the same basis as you currently have. If the family came to them, the family could apply for temporary protection.
    • If the visa is no longer valid and the time allowed for employment has been exceeded, it is possible to apply for international protection (subsidiary protection).
    • If a person applies for ordinary international protection, they will not be subject to the urgent procedure and this procedure may take up to 6 months. DO NOT work during this time. If the person lives in a reception centre at the time of application, the state is responsible for him / her (the person is provided with accommodation, meals, medical care, etc.). However, if a person wishes to live outside the accommodation centre, the state is not responsible for him or her and must manage it themself.
    • NB! Before applying for international protection and with a valid right to work and engage in entrepreneurship (temporary residence permit, registration of short-term employment) may continue to work and engage in entrepreneurship as long as their residence permit or registration of short-term employment is valid.
  2. Those who are citizens of Ukraine but were residents of Russia and now came to Estonia:
    • ​​The first thing to ask is whether they are safe in Russia, if not then they can try to apply for international protection (not temporary protection, they are not entitled to it). These applications will be processed on a regular basis. It is also possible that their applications will be rejected, as the PBGB may believe that there is no immediate threat to Ukrainian citizens in Russia. - IF IT HAPPENS, the Court should be contacted, lawyers will assess the situation.
  3. Those who are not citizens of Ukraine and have no connection with Ukraine, but are afraid that the Russian Federation will persecute them, will also call. The answer to those:
    • Refugee status can be granted to an alien who is fleeing his or her country of origin for justified reasons of persecution on the grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a social group. In other words, a particular person must be targeted because of his or her actions or omissions; war in Ukraine alone does not entitle a person with Russian citizenship to asylum, even if his or her original origin is, for example, in Ukraine. 

    • NB! The Tallinn Pärnu mnt 139 department in Tallinn can only apply for international protection in the usual way. Does not apply to Ukrainian citizens who came directly from Ukraine after 24.02.

    • If a person thinks that they are threatened with persecution, they have the right to apply for asylum, but they should initially be allowed to enter the country's territory or border crossing point. A corresponding visa is required to enter the Estonian state, otherwise the Russian border guards will not allow to the Estonian side. If a person has been a subject of criminal proceedings, etc., related political activities, they may qualify as a refugee, as determined by the asylum proceedings. 

    • Some say they fear being mobilised and sent to the Ukrainian front line. Otherwise, persons who are forced by the country of origin to commit crimes against humanity and who are punished for non-compliance with the orders are generally recognized as refugees.


Estonian Human Rights Centre (EHRC)

Contact: +372 5194 9015 (also Viber and WhatsApp), phone: +372 644 5148, e-mail:


Another option for legal advice is law office. They are responsible for the general clarification of rights and national regulations; unaccompanied minors and related activities. Also, issues related to health services, education, benefits, employment - rights and obligations and legal rights (pensions, other benefits). There are several ways to contact HUGO. Pre-registration is required:

  • Via Viber, Whatsapp and Telegram +372 55510340 or by landline + 372 6880 400
  • You can register for the consultation via e-mail and send the necessary documents to.


UA.Support connects lawyers who offer help to refugees coming from Ukraine and collect legal information on the related issues that can help the refugees find their way when they arrive in a new country.

Contact can be found here.


Assistance in special cases

MTÜ Igale Lapsele Pere

Children without parents (orphans)

Contact Jane Snait, , +372 5041330 offers its competencies, also in Ukrainian:

  • trauma-conscious approach; trauma counsellors and family support staff; crisis counselling; pastoral care; permanent family support for the accommodation of children fleeing war; psychological counselling (trauma-conscious); if necessary, material and other charitable assistance

Estonian HIV-positive network

Tallinn, Narva, Jõhvi , FB EHPV, Latshin Alijev,, +37258706070



SA Autistika 

A day care for adult autistics founded on the initiative of parents. They currently offer a daycare service for autistic adults. +372 511-3934

The Estonian Chamber of Disabled People

Aims raising the quality of life, inclusion in society and opportunities for self-fulfillment of disabled people and chronically ill people through advocacy and cooperation. +372 66 166 29


Have questions or suggestions? Please fill out the contact form
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.