TALLINN - Minister of Internal Affairs Ken-Marti Vaher sent for inter-ministerial approval a proposal that would increase this year’s immigration quota by 336, reports LETA. While currently the quota for foreigners settling in Estonia is 0.075 percent of Estonia’s permanent population - i.e. 1,008 persons - according to the proposal this would increase by 0.1 percent, to 1,344. This is also the maximum level allowed by law.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs wishes to raise the immigration quota as the current quota was met faster than expected, at the end of August already.
Minister Vaher stated that this year the immigration quota has mostly been filled with members at the executive level of business enterprises who applied for temporary residence permits for working. Their number grew by more than two times in comparison to previous years. “While earlier approximately a fifth of those coming to Estonia under labor migration requested residence permits as members at company executive levels, now their share rose to 60 percent,” he explained.
Vaher noted that it was determined that in many cases companies were registered for the mere reason to provide foreigners a legal basis for settling in Estonia, or staying in the Schengen area. As this problem was discovered, the minister imposed a limitation of 580 persons for issuing residence permits on this basis.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs is also preparing for a legislative amendment that would decrease the risk of abusing residence permits during the coming years.