Will I need an ETIAS to visit Estonia?
Estonia is a member of both the European Union and the Schengen Area. In 2021 a new system of border security is going to be introduced to all Schengen countries, called the European Travel Information and Authorization System.
ETIAS will be used to gather information, with the information obtained being shared with all security organizations involved in the scheme. Pre-authorizing travelers who at present can enter the Schengen zone with no restrictions will be an important aspect of the scheme. Enabling stricter border controls is seen as an important tool in the fight against security risk.
At present, nationals of countries allowed to visit the Schengen zone without a visa, who are not also nationals of the member countries, can travel for up to 90 days out of 180. Their travel is largely uninterrupted and not subject to any monitoring or data collection on the part of governmental organizations
With the introduction of ETIAS, Estonia will be able to identify travelers who present a threat to the safety of its own and other European citizens. Citizen safety from terrorist activity and potential health-related epidemics is becoming more and more important and Estonia, along with all other countries in the Schengen zone, are joining forces to combat it.
Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a Baltic country in Northern Europe. Bordered by Latvia and Russia, it shares maritime borders with Finland and Sweden.
With an area of 45.227 sq. km, the country has a population of 1.3 million people, making it one of the least populated member states of the European Union and Schengen Area.
The official language is Estonian, with Russian as the second language. Swedish and Finish are also spoken, with English and German gaining in popularity amongst the youth of the country.
Estonia’s currency is the euro.
As of 2011, Estonia was ranked as among the fastest growing countries in the E.U. Benefiting from an advanced high-income economy; citizens enjoy universal health care and the longest paid maternity leave in the OECD.
Free education is provided, and secondary school students have been placed 3rd in the world with only Singapore and Japan ahead of them.
Estonia has developed its Information Technology sector to such an extent that it is widely considered one of the world’s most digitally advanced societies.
In 2005, Estonia became the first country in the world to hold elections over the internet. In 2014, Estonia became the first country to provide e-residency status.
Many companies leading the way in Information Technology originate from Estonia, including Transferwise, Starship Technologies, Pipedrive, Fortumo, GrabCAD, and Skype.
Estonia at a glance
Area: 45,226 KM2
Timezone: UTC/GMT +2 hour
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Calling Code: +372
Languages: Estonian 68.5%, Russian 29.6%, Ukrainian 0.6%, Other 1.2%, Unspecified 0.1%
Travel in Estonia
The freedom to roam in Estonia is codified in law, and as forests cover over half of Estonia hiking is a popular activity. More than 40% of the forests belong to the state of Estonia and are certified as organic collection sites, with large numbers of residents and visitors taking the opportunity to pick berries, mushrooms, and herbs in season.
The longest hiking route, crossing nine counties, offers stunning scenery along its 820 km length. Vast areas of wetlands and bogs, as well as sand and shingle beaches, lie along its route.
For birdwatchers, the Ramsar list names 11 Estonian sites as internationally important bird areas. Up to 13,000 nesting couples per square kilometer can be found on the islands of Estonia, and there are more than 1,500 islands and islets.
Music and the Arts are celebrated in Estonia culture.
- Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival is one of the top 15 film festivals in the world.
- Tallinn Music Week is one of Europe’s leading city festivals, with a dedicated programme for almost every genre.
- Other music festivals include the Saaremaa Opera Festival and Jazzkaar.
- Estonia is proud to be home to the most performed living composer in the world and the world’s largest collection of folk songs.
The US and Estonia
The United States and Estonia are strong allies and partners, with the U.S a top 10 export partner for Estonia. Many Estonian high-tech companies have received investment from the U.S and opened U.S. offices.
The U.S. and Estonia enjoy good bilateral relations and are both members of the following organizations
- The United Nations
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- International Monetary Fund
- World Bank
- World Trade Organization
Estonia is also an observer to the Organization of America States.
The U.S and Estonia are partners in the U.S. – Estonia Cyber Partnership Statement. This statement signifies a commitment by both countries to deepen their cooperation on Internet freedom and sharing programmes that shape the evolution of the Internet. Both countries are regular partners in responding to cyber incidents.
There are no direct flights to Estonia from the U.S., but frequent connections can be made in various European airports.
There is a daily train to and from St Petersburg and Moscow with Estonia but no connecting train running from Western Europe to the Balkan states.
Trains going via Germany and Finland or via Copenhagen and Sweden can connect to ferries which transfer to Tallinn. Cruise ships also connect Helsinki and Tallinn.
U.S. citizens will need an ETIAS to travel to Estonia. Applications will be made online, via an online form. Once the application is received, it will be automatically subject to intense security checks and successful applicants will have their authorization electronically attached to their passport. U.S citizens enter Estonia visa-free at the moment, the ETIAS is designed to reduce waiting times at border crossings.
List of US diplomatic offices in Estonia
The Embassy of USA in Tallinn, Estonia
Address: Kentmanni 20 15099 Tallinn, Estonia
Phone: (372) 668 8100
Fax: (372) 668 8265
Facts: Elizabeth Horst – Ambassador
List of Estonian diplomatic offices in USA
The Embassy of Estonia in Washington, USA
Address: 2131 Massachusetts Av., NW Washington, D.C. 20008 USA
Phone: (1 202) 588 0101
Fax: (1 202) 588 0108
Email: [email protected]
Consulate of Estonia in Los Angeles, USA
Address: 5273 Tendilla Avenue CA 91364 Woodland Hills
Phone: +1 818 340 5766
Email: [email protected]