Russians Studying in Estonia Can Extend Residence Permits For One Year

Estonia Russia Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Aug 15, 2022

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Students from Russia who are already studying in Estonia will be exempted from the Schengen visa ban, following a change in the sanction imposed on Russian students, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.

In a statement, the ministry said that Russian students who haven’t completed their studies in Estonia yet will be able to extend their residence permits for one year, Erudera.com reports.

Students can extend their residence permits by submitting their applications to the Police and Border Guard Board.

“Students from Russia who did not manage to finish their studies in the nominal time can exceptionally apply to extend their residence permit by one year so that they can finish their studies here. For this purpose, an application for the extension of the residence permit must be submitted to the Police and Border Guard Board,” the ministry notes in its statement.

On August 11, the Estonian government approved a sanction that limits the number of visas issued to Russian citizens and those intending to enter the country from the external border. Russians with Estonian visas who want to visit the country for tourism, sports, business or culture, are also not allowed to enter the country under the sanctions.

Nevertheless, the ministry said that Russian citizens who have been issued a visa by another Schengen member state or who are already staying in a Schengen country are permitted to enter Estonia.

Commenting the decision to allow Russian students extend residence permits for one year, the Interior Ministger Lauri Läänemets, said that these students have been facing an unexpected situation due to sanctions that the county has introduced during spring. According to him, for many of these students, it is not safe to return to their home country due to the situation there.

"For many of these young people, it may be dangerous to return home in today's situation, because they have spoken out in defense of Ukraine and criticized Russian aggression and the regime. This is punishable under criminal law in Russia, and therefore it was necessary to exceptionally extend the residence permits of these students by one year so that they could finish their studies here," Läänemets stated.

The ministry announced that the sanction will enter into force as of August 18.

Earlier this month, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Estonia would not issue student visas or residence permits to Russians, adding that Russians, as well as people from Belarus, can register for short-term employment only if they have a valid Estonian visa.

image source: Leo Roomets | Unsplash

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