Written by Alyssa Walker

This May, the Estonian government is expected to ease restrictions on students and researchers traveling between EU member states.

In an effort to expand residency and work visas, the Estonian government will institute a new policy that will allow researchers, students, and teaching staff from the Schengen Area to remain in Estonia up to 270 days after their residency permits expire.

The Schengen Area comprises 26 European states that have abolished passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The area, named for the Schengen Agreement, has a common visa policy and functions as one jurisdiction.

Current Estonia law requires individuals who have residence permits or visas from another Schengen state can live in Estonia for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. After that, researchers can stay in Estonia through their visa expiration from another member state and students can study at Estonian institutions of higher education for up to 360 days.

The hope? Making it easier for researchers to go to Estonia will encourage more of them to do it. 

About a third of international students in Estonia attend Tallinn University of Technology. They're hopeful that more students will be drawn to the university. 

In an Estonian news article, Margus Haidak, director of the Higher Education Department of the Ministry of Education and Research, said that it will be easier to attract researchers to Estonia.

He said, "When a researcher comes to our country under an agreement, their family can come along under the same agreement without having to apply for a separate residence permit. This may simplify researchers' decision to come to Estonia to work for a short time."

Learn more about studying in Estonia.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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