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Estonia likely to Exempt Foreign Workers from Immigration Quota

December 2017, 12
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Estonia has to take a decision, to exempt additional categories, of overseas workers, from the quota on immigration. This is the way out suggested by a working group after an exploration of measures to remove anomalies in the yearly quota is completed halfway during the year.

A category thought in this arrangement is the construction workers hailing from Ukraine, who are work in the country without obtaining a Residence Permit.

The Immigration Working Group has made a suggestion that the quota for immigration, which is 1,317 in the year 2017 and 1,315 for 2018, should exempt additional categories of foreign persons, like the short-term employees, construction workers, and top-level employees. It has also proposed a fresh system of, employment linked migration.

In the first stage, there would be short-term employees, who can work in the country for 9 months at a single instance in the present arrangement. They need to be recorded as employees, but will not require a Residence Permit and remain uncovered by the existing norms. Such employees have increased in Estonia currently from as low as 1,782 in the past year to 6,000 by November end.

It is proposed that the time, for such workers to work the country, would be extended, from the present 9 to the new 12 months and, provided they progress to the second tier, to make them qualified to get a permit of residence for two years which cannot be extended. They would remain out of the quota for immigration. This arrangement would facilitate a national of the third country to take up work in the country for three years. The breakup is working on a visa for one year, and on a residence permit, of a fixed-term, for two years.

Foreigners who receive one and a half times, to twice more, than the Estonian pay, are also likely to be exempted from this quota. A Permit for Residence of five years will be given to them. Persons who receive one and a half times of the average must take part in a program for adaptation and also study the language of Estonia.

The category for applying quota is the third tier, where employees who receive an average gross national wage, will get a Five Year Residence Permit. At present, there is no information with The Interior Ministry on the number of people who will fall into this category.

The Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions, who had a representative in the working group, said that it opposes the exemption to all the above-mentioned categories, in the yearly quota. Peep Peterson, Its chairman, stated that such an exemption has the effect to make the quota insignificant while comparing it to the numbers who qualify for the exemption.
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