In recent years, the number of people applying for Temporary Residence Permits (TRP) has been significantly higher than the immigration rate for that year, which the PPA set at 1,315 for 2021.
The PPA is responsible for issuing TRPs, which are issued both to those who come to Estonia to study and to work. The second of these categories is what causes the PPA’s most headache, the agency says.
Migration rate 1,315 people for 2021
The migrant quota refers to those who come to Estonia from so-called third countries. This list is loosely defined and mainly includes non-EU / EEA countries and a few other countries including the US and Japan. The upper limit is set by the national government and is also separate from the EU migration quotas set in the wake of the migration crisis from 2015.
The quotas for 2019 and 2020 were achieved within a few days of the new year.
The PPA has proposed a more comprehensive way of distributing permits under the quota to the Ministry of Interior, rather than expanding the quota to give priority to those that the Estonian state would deem useful for its needs.
PPA: The main problem is the early termination of employment contracts
The PPA also says this is reflected in the number of people whose TRP is later revoked for any reason, mainly due to the expiration of employment contracts.
The PPA wrote, “We sampled the number of people who were granted residency based on the immigration rate in 2019 and 2020 and found that a total of 433 people have had their residency revoked.”
“The main reason for this is that the employment relationship ends prematurely. This means that a significant part of this year’s and last year’s immigration limit has been divided among people who are not in Estonia,” the address continued.
Agriculture and construction two key areas
While some TRP assignments are dedicated to specific individuals, with athletes, cultural workers, or academics being granted a little less than 55, the majority of permits are not regulated in a similar way, according to the PPA.
While the Aliens Act, the most important law on immigration, sets requirements for employers of third-country nationals, the PPA does not specify a minimum duration of the employment contract.
Estonia’s migration rate is 0.1 percent of the permanent population, which is 1,315 people in 2021.
In practice, many of those who use a TRP for work rather than study are seasonal workers in the agricultural sector or work on construction sites. In both areas, employment contracts can be terminated at a different time than the scheduled time.
Ukraine is one of the largest countries of origin for migrants in these sectors. The coronavirus pandemic made the situation even more complex, and several Ukrainian farm workers were deported from Estonia over the summer after being charged with violating quarantine rules.
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