Moving abroad as a partner of someone who is starting work there is a process that certainly warrants a separate and detailed discussion. The degree to which a couple will be comfortable in the new conditions depends to a considerable extent on how successfully the partner with the dependent visa manages to adapt.


To avoid ending up in a situation where one person in the couple leads an active social life while their partner’s world is reduced to the apartment and communication with the significant other and no one else, you should be aware of the local integration options available to the wife or husband of an ambitious expat. We will gladly help you with resolving these difficulties. Below you will find points of advice divided into several steps towards rapid adaptation in Estonia and the acquisition of both social and professional contacts, eventually allowing you to improve your life by learning a new vocation or even starting a business of your own.

NB! Please bear in mind that our advice applies only to those who have an Estonian residence permit.

Step 1

Register in the Settle in Estonia programme 

The Police and Border Guard Board sends information about the Settle in Estonia programme to foreigners who have obtained a residence permit.
This programme is free of charge and it helps foreigners who have arrived in Estonia to learn more about the country and start learning the Estonian language. The programme provides practical knowledge. For instance, the basic module discusses everyday life in Estonia, local traditions, citizenship issues, the procedure for obtaining medical insurance and so on. In a separate family module you can learn more about the education system, various benefits and compensations, as well as diverse pastime opportunities. There are also modules dealing with finding work and starting a business. The language module is in greatest demand, allowing participants to learn Estonian up to the level of A1 and A2. Detailed information about language levels is available here.
Besides handling purely practical aspects, the Settle in Estonia classes is a wonderful opportunity for making new friends and exchanging useful contacts.

Programme registration is available here


To be invited to participate in the programme, the foreigner should have resided in Estonia legally for less than five years and must have one of the following:

· temporary residence permit

· right of temporary residence

· EU citizen’s identity document.


Step 2

Register at the Unemployment Insurance Fund

You can register at the Unemployment Insurance Fund (Töötukassa) at the same time as registering to participate in the Settle in Estonia programme. The Unemployment Insurance Fund is a state institution that will assist you by offering a suitable training course to improve your existing professional skills or acquire a new vocation. Here you can usually also enrol on an Estonian language course. The Unemployment Insurance Fund consultants will have a discussion with you and compile an optimal action plan with a list of high-quality education providers that have been thoroughly vetted and are now official partners of the fund. That list actually includes courses by IT Talent, so if you are interested in a career in HR and you want to become a successful recruitment specialist, just get in touch with us and we will definitely help you!


Step 3

Register in the Re-Invent Yourself project

In the summer of 2019 the Work in Estonia organisation launched the Re-Invent Yourself project for spouses and partners of foreigners who have moved to Estonia and work here. The goal of this project is to help people find a professional niche. Many new arrivals are asking questions like “Can I work here without speaking the local language?”, “What jobs are available to me?”, “Where can I obtain professional contacts?”, “How can I register a company?” and “Where do I find volunteer work opportunities?”. The four-week Re-Invent Yourself course will provide comprehensive answers. 


NB! These study groups fill quickly, so do not postpone your registration. Here you can apply for participation in this project during 2022. Please note that as these are get-together classes, each attendee must produce a certificate of proof that they have either been vaccinated or possess COVID-19 immunity. 


What other options are available?

There are certainly plenty of them out there. For instance, the Social Initiative Centre for Integration is conducting the Learn and Work for a Better Life(„Õpi ja tööta parema elu nimel“) project until 16 August 2022. The project helps people who want to acquire a new vocation or improve their existing professional skills by refreshing their Estonian and English language knowledge so that they can better apply their experience and competencies to the labour market. 

This project is also useful for budding entrepreneurs as they learn how to start a business in Estonia. All training and services are free of charge and in Russian. You can contact the project team via e-mail: [email protected]

 If you have read up to this point, you probably already have a rough plan. Or you might have come up with an idea of how you can use your partner’s relocation to change your own life for the better and even make your most ambitious dream come true. Do you think this is unrealistic? Well, think again! If still in doubt, you should read the story of Tatiana and her cosy ceramic shop NUUNUU RUUM. We are always happy to share such stories of success and of life in general that evoke a sense of joy and delight. Estonia is also the new home of Natalia the balloon fairy and the owner of her own business, formerly the holder of a postgraduate degree in economics, auditing specialist and university lecturer.

In conclusion, we would like to remind you that you can always get in touch with us and we will gladly become your first friends in this new country! If you intend to move to Estonia and are looking for an IT job, be sure to send your CV to Julia Jolkin: [email protected].


Last updated at: 25.01.2022