If your family moves to Estonia from outside the European Union
If your family permanently moves to Estonia from outside the European Union or EEA, the family is entitled to family allowances in Estonia. A prerequisite is that the child or children of the family lives or live in Estonia and at least one of the parents and children older than 1 year of age have Estonian citizenship, residence permit or right of residence.
It is also important that the former country of residence does not pay any longer family allowances of the same type as in Estonia.
To be eligible for Estonian family allowances the most important thing is that the family lives in Estonia. It does not matter if a parent keeps working in the former country of residence outside the EU or not.
(If a person who has settled in Estonia takes up employment in a Member State of the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland, read more about the Family benefits system in the EU.)
If a family has several places of residence – one in Estonia and another outside the European Union – the following aspects are important if you apply for family benefits in Estonia:
- In which country the child or children permanently live
- In which country the parents permanently live (to get family benefits in Estonia, at least one parent must live in Estonia)
- Whether and which allowances are paid to the family in the other country.
We review the situation of each family separately. For smooth proceedings it is vital for the family to cooperate – then the family would get the benefits faster.
Example 1. A family lived in the USA. All family members settled in Estonia on 01.10.2022. As of that date the family has the right to family benefits in Estonia.
Example 2. The father of a child lives and works in Russia. The residence of the mother of the child is registered in Estonia and the child is born in Estonia. However, the entire family actually lives in Russia. After the birth of the child the mother and the child return to the father of the child to Russia. Although the residence of the mother of the child is registered in Estonia, the family is not entitled to family allowances in Estonia because the family’s permanent place of residence is in Russia.
Example 3. The father of a child lives in Estonia. The mother of the child lives in Australia where the child is also born. They decide to move in together in Estonia. The mother of the child gets her residence permit on 10.01.2022 and comes to Estonia with the child on 15.02.2022. As of that date no family benefits are paid in Australia any longer and the family has the right to family benefits in Estonia.
In order to receive allowances in Estonia, you must submit an application. Read more about applying for family benefits.
If a family moves away from Estonia and settles outside the European Union
If a family moves away from Estonia, the right to Estonian family allowances also ceases to exist. Even if the place of residence remains registered in Estonia and family plans to return to Estonia someday.
The Social Insurance Board must be informed of the family’s departure from Estonia and an application for waiving benefits must be submitted. Read more about the suspension and termination of payment of family benefits.
Please note that the payment of family benefits is also suspended if the family leaves Estonia on a temporary basis. If, for example, a parent takes up employment or studies abroad and takes their child with them, they are not entitled to Estonian allowances during that period of time. We will resume the payment of family benefits when the family returns to Estonia.
If one parent lives in Estonia and the other one in another country outside the European Union
If one parent lives in Estonia and the other in another country outside the EU, it is decisive whether or not the child lives in Estonia. If the child does not live here but in a foreign country outside the EU, no allowances in connection with that child are paid in Estonia. One can inquire about family allowances in the country of residence of the child.
Example 4. The father of a child lives and works in Estonia. The mother of the child lives in Russia and the child goes to school in Russia. Since the child lives with their mother in Russia, the father of the child is not entitled to family allowances in Estonia.
Last updated: 27.10.2023