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Estonia is waiving the visa invitation requirement

26.06.2009

Estonia is simplifying the visa application process for people travelling to Estonia. On May 7 the Estonian Parliament (Riigikogu) approved an amendment that will waive the visa invitation requirement. The amendment will enter into force on July 30. Visa invitations submitted to and approved by the Citizenship and Migration Board before July 30 will be valid in foreign missions of Estonia as documents certifying the travel purpose within 6 months following the date of the corresponding decision,Waiving the visa invitation requirement means that those applying for visas no longer have to present an invitation approved by the Citizenship and Migration Board or other form of invitation, and from now on other documents will be sufficient to prove the purpose of travel.

The waiving of the invitation requirement will make the visa application process faster and easier. All other requirements will remain as before.

The most important thing for the visa applicant is to present his or her travel plans honestly and clearly and to fill in the visa application with his or her contact information and primary address of residence in Estonia. It is also required to submit documents that certify the purpose of travel and prove the existence of sufficient resources to cover return travel, sustenance and accommodation. It would also be useful for the applicant to indicate his or her connection to Estonia (for example, documents proving marital or family status, or a letter or email written by the person being visited in Estonia describing the person’s connection to the visa applicant).

The consul still reserves the right to ask the visa applicant or relevant individual or organisation to present oral or written explanations of the need for a visa. As before, the consul may request documents that certify the applicant’s intention to leave the Schengen area upon the expiration of the visa: return tickets, sufficient means of subsistence, proof of employment, proof of real estate in the country of residence, proof of ties with the country of residence (family ties, professional status) etc.

To prove the purpose of travel, the following supplementary documents could be submitted (the list is non-exhaustive):

  • For business travel: written confirmation from the company organising the meeting, conference, etc.; invitations/tickets to a fair or seminar; documents that prove the existence of business ties or certify the applicant’s connection to or status in a company.

  • For personal travel: documents confirming accommodation (hotel reservation, a letter or email which confirms that the receiver will allow accommodation for the visa applicant); travel package; copies of travel tickets.

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