Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine

General information and legal support within Estonia

  • People from Ukraine, who lived in the country before the outbreak of war on 24 February, and who have fled to Estonia, are being placed under temporary protection. This includes Ukrainian citizens, stateless people with permanent residence permits for Ukraine, and third-country citizens who are unable to return to their own countries due to life-threatening circumstances. The protection extends to the families of the refugees and can initially be obtained for one year, then extended.
  • The order of the Head of the Police and Border Guard Board (from Feb 24) allows entry into Estonia for Ukrainian citizens who hold biometric passports, as well as those who do not have a biometric passport, but do have a valid travel document (a citizen’s passport (both biometric and non-biometric), a diplomatic passport, a service passport, a non-citizens passport/a refugee’s travel document, or a seaman’s passport).
  • If Ukraine allows its citizens to leave, then a Ukrainian citizen does not need a visa to come to Estonia.  

Estonian Police and Border Guard Board

Refugee status/asylum seeker status/temporary protection status

  • To get a refugee/asylum seeker/temporary protection status, it is necessary to apply for temporary protection and an application for a residence permit. As a general rule, the decision to grant protection is taken immediately.
    Estonian Police and Border Guard Board
  • Key information points (stay in Estonia, overnight stay, everyday life):
    1247; +372 600 1247
    Migration issues (inc employment registration):
    +372 612 3500
    Community of Ukraine: +372 5650 2572
    Embassy of Ukraine: +372 601 5815
    Refugee help: 

Learn more about staying in Estonia:

Access to healthcare services

  • Ukrainian refugees who have been granted a residence permit, and an Estonian personal identification code, do not automatically receive health insurance cover in Estonia. They can apply for health insurance coverage after receiving a residence permit on equal terms with Estonian people at
  • For example, a person working based on an employment contract, valid for more than one month, or an unemployed person registered with an unemployment fund, is entitled to health insurance. Persons equated with insured persons include children, pregnant women, dependent spouses, persons with partial or no ability to work, pensioners, members of a religious association, pupils, and students. More on Estonian Health Insurance Fund.
  • All war refugees arriving from Ukraine are guaranteed emergency medical care, including emergency dental care. Emergency medical services are free of charge for Ukrainians. For other health services, they need to be registered (apply for temporary protection). Health Board.
  • Primary care centres provide primary care to all Ukrainian war refugees. They do not have to be on the family physician’s list to get medical help. Travel documents (passport) and a residence permit should be presented. See more info here.
  • Information about health care:
    Migration issues (including employment registration): / +372 612 3500
    Psychological help: +372 614 7393
    Consult a doctor: 1220 / +372 634 6630
    Emergency: 112
    List of primary care centres: 

Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go for the following healthcare services?

They must apply for temporary protection. If Ukrainians are granted temporary protection, they will have access to healthcare in the host Member State. Once they are registered and get the temporary residence permit, the host Member State will offer them access to its healthcare system.

If the public healthcare system of the host Member State considers them fully insured, they will also be entitled to receive the European Health Insurance Card that gives them the right to necessary healthcare treatment during a temporary stay in another Member State.

Acute treatment and chronic/long-term treatment

Paramedics will perform the primary health checks of all war refugees, in reception centres in Tartu and Pärnu. The purpose of health checks is to identify those among the war refugees who need immediate medical attention and/or hospitalization.

Estonia has organized additional or general health examinations for war refugees to get an overview of the state of health of war refugees, to perform infection control examinations, vaccinate, if necessary, plan further treatment and issue prescriptions.

Pharmacies are allowed to accept paper prescriptions issued in Ukraine, except for narcotics and psychotropic drugs. The pharmacist should have a clear understanding of what kind of medicine has been prescribed for the person.

See more on Estonian Health Insurance Fund

Other services

Information and advice on health issues are available in English and Russian on the family physician advisory line 1220 (when calling from a foreign number (+372 634 6630). If necessary, the person is referred to the emergency number 112.

Psychological support is available from the crisis support hotline 116 006 (+372 6147 393). In addition, you can also use the online chat at

Support is available in Estonian, English and Russian.

Primary care centres provide primary care to all Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine. You do not have to be on the family physician’s list to get medical help. The primary care centres provide medical care as needed and refer the patient to a medical specialist for further examinations or necessary procedures.

List of primary care centres:


Free general medical examinations are provided for all persons arriving in Estonia from Ukraine. The general medical examination is free of charge for those who remain here without a visa, as well as for those who apply for a temporary residence permit. Free general health check-ups are available in all regions throughout Estonia.

Estonia has national health insurance, which ensures equal quality medical care for all insured persons. If their health insurance covers, then no co-payment is needed. 

Interpretation services

Estonian Refugee Council’s counselling

Counselling centre: Liivalaia 28, Tallinn (Monday to Friday at 10-17) 

Phone: +372 5881 1311 (every day at 10-17) 


State-run information phone: 1247

Services for People Living with HIV


  • HIV related health services will be provided free of charge on the same basis as to other Estonian residents. 
  • Contacts details of quick-access health check facilities for Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine and centres providing free of charge HIV testing, are in the link below.
  • Minors can get HIV testing on the same basis and facilities as adults. 

Antiretroviral treatment (ART)

  • A person can bring their medication, but it is not a pre-condition. ART treatment is free of charge. The same applies to minors.
  • Treatment protocol is individual and is based on the medical evaluation of the person. The exact treatment regime (what medicine in what doses) is prescribed based on medical evaluation which also includes laboratory tests. What tests are needed is decided on individually and is also based on the medical history/records the person has with them. 


    West Tallinn Central Hospital,
    Paldiski mnt. 62

    Information and registration by phone: +372 659 8594

    Mon to Fri 8:00-15:00


    University of Tartu Hospital,
    Puusepa 8a

    Information and registration by phone: +372 73 18608

    Mon to Fri 8:00-16:00


    Ida-Viru Central Hospital,
    Ravi 10C

    Information and registration by phone: +372 5681 9343

    Mon to Fri 8:00-16:00


    Narva Hospital,
    Haigla 1

    Information and registration by phone: +372 35 42039

    Mon to Fri 8:00-16:00


    Pärnu Hospital,
    Ristiku 1

    Information and registration by phone: +372 44 73300

    Mon to Fri 7:30-18:00

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis is available for people at high risk of HIV infection and treatment is prescribed by an infectious disease doctor. The doctor’s visit is free of charge but there is cost-sharing of the cost of the medication. The cost-sharing for medication that is applied, is the same as for Estonian residents. The exact price at the pharmacy depends on the drug and therefore a concrete sum cannot be provided.
  • Preventive treatment courses can be prescribed in 5 centres in different regions. The duration of the preventive treatments are decided based on the individual case. There is no official minimum age for receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis as prescription depends on the indication and medication.
Get more information on PrEP in Estonia

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

  • Post-exposure prophylaxis is recommended after high-risk exposure and should be started within 72 hours of the exposure. The course of post-exposure preventive treatment is 28 days. There is no minimum age for receiving post-exposure prophylaxis.
  • The doctor’s visit is free of charge but cost-sharing for the medicine may apply in some cases. Free of charge medication is available in case of occupational hazards (such as health care professionals, police, and rescue workers, etc.) and sexual abuse cases. The cost-sharing for medicine that is applied is the same as that for Estonian residents. The exact price at the pharmacy depends on the drug, therefore a concrete sum cannot be provided.
  • To get HIV post-exposure prophylaxis, it is necessary to visit an infectious disease doctor. 
Get more information on PEP in Estonia

Services for People Living with Hepatitis B or C

Hepatitis B or C testing, hepatitis B vaccination, and hepatitis B or C treatment availability

  • Free of charge testing for Hepatitis B/C is possible as part of the health check for refugees, both adults as well as children.
  • Vaccination is free of charge for children, as part of the childhood vaccination programme.
  • Treatment is available on the same basis, and at the same health care providers as to Estonian residents. Testing is available for all refugees. In case of diagnosis, treatment is available for all.
  • Testing is based on risk assessment and clinical symptoms during the medical examination/health check-up. Indications and contraindications for testing, vaccination, and treatment are already a clinical consideration.
  • The treatment and monitoring will follow the regular clinical guidelines in use in Estonia. The course of treatment or monitoring will be discussed with the patient during visits to an infectious disease doctor. Specific treatment and monitoring steps will be agreed upon during the patient’s visit to a doctor. 

Contacts who conduct general health checks and provide other health services: 

Family doctor’s centres provide general medical care to all Ukrainians who are fleeing the war. One does not have to be on the family doctor’s list to get help. Family physician centres provide medical care if necessary and refer the patient to a specialist for additional examinations or necessary procedures. The list of family doctor’s centres that provide assistance to military refugees can be found HERE

Treatment options available for hepatitis related liver diseases

Treatment is available, following the regular clinical guidelines in use in Estonia.

Support systems (harm reduction/safer use, social support, or psycho-social support) available for the Ukrainians undergoing therapy for hepatitis C or related liver diseases

In case of need, there are harm reduction, social support, and psychosocial support services available. Contacts can be found on the link:

Tuberculosis services

If the person has TB symptoms:

  • The government has set up quick-access facilities for health checks for refugees, where screening for TB can be undertaken. TB screening is voluntary and indicated based on risk assessment.
  • A person with a cough, fever, and weight loss should go to a health centre, or the facility set up for refugee health checks for screening and diagnosis. These centres are spread out and easily accessible all over Estonia. If TB is diagnosed, the person will be referred to a TB treatment facility. If the symptoms are related to some other illness, the person will be referred respectively.

Info also available via the general crisis hotline:  1247

If TB was already diagnosed in Ukraine and the person needs to continue treatment:
  • The treatment will be continued in 3 hospitals in different regions in Estonia; Tallinn, Tartu, Narva. The same applies to treatment for multidrug-resistant TB and Directly Observed Treatment (DOT). The implementation of Directly Observed Video Treatment (VDOT) will be decided at an initial face-to-face consultation. VDOT is only available after initial visits.
  • Tallinn
    TB Treatment Unit of the Pulmonology Centre of the North Estonia Medical Centre at Hiiu, Hiiu 39Information and registration by phone: +372 617 2929, Mon to Fri 8:00-14:00
  • Tartu
    University of Tartu Hospital, Riia mnt 167Information and registration by phone: +372 731 8949, Mon to Fri 8:00-14:00
  • Narva
    Vestervalli Outpatient Clinic, Vestervalli 15. Information and registration by phone: +372 357 2779

Additional information is also available via the National Institute for Health Development

Non-medical support

The hospitals providing the TB treatment also advise on available non-medical support programmes.

Learn more here:
If a person has a Ukrainian prescription for TB treatment medication…

The Ukrainian prescriptions are valid in Estonia, but TB medicines may not be available in pharmacies on regular basis. Free of charge treatment is available through Estonian hospitals.

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination for children

The government has set up easy-access health check facilities for refugees. 

In addition, there are health centers, contacts available online. In these places one can have their child vaccinated with BCG.

Info also available via the general crisis hotline:  1247

Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Services

Medication rules

  • Persons can enter the country with medicinal products for their personal use. Depending on the quantity, an advance notification to the Medicine Agency may be required. It would be advisable to have supporting medical documents available, if possible. Persons can bring their prescription to facilitate information and for the continuation of treatment, but it is not essential. 
  • If one is transporting narcotics and/or psychotropic drugs, and travels outside the Schengen area during the trip, or comes into Estonia from a country outside the Schengen area, the need for a permit from the Medicines Board depends on the quantity of the narcotic and/or psychotropic drug that one has during the trip (click to download the info sheet): Without the appropriate permission from the Department of Medicines, one can take with them up to 1 package of a narcotic or psychotropic drug, the volume of which does not exceed 30 units (tablets, capsules, ampoules, etc.) or 25 ml of a liquid dosage form. NB! When travelling with medicines, a doctor’s note stating the need for the medicine or have a copy of the prescription (for example, a printout from the Patient Portal or a copy of a paper prescription) is required.
    • If one is travelling with more than 1 pack of a narcotic or psychotropic drug that is larger than 30 units or 25 ml, approval from the Department of Medicines is needed.
    • For OAT prescription, a person must have a document for identification. It is recommended that persons bring their medical documentation. If this is not possible, a medical professional at the treatment site will conduct an evaluation to determine the treatment need and (re)initiate treatment based on the clinical guideline.
    • The treatment regime follows the same criteria as that of other Estonian residents. The possibility for take-home dosages will be evaluated at the centres individually.  

Short-term stationary detoxification

Hospital S.A. Viljandi

    524 4024

    434 2293

    Jämejala village, Viljandi Parish, 71024 Viljandi County

Short-term stationary detoxification

Hospital S.A. Viljandi

Useful link –

What are OAT drugs available in the country?

Methadone, buprenorphine, and buprenorphine/naloxone are available in the country. However, only methadone is provided free of charge in state funded OAT programs.

OAT treatment fees

The OAT will be prescribed by a medical professional working at the centre.
OAT is available free of charge.  

The centres and contacts are available online.

Aid to the war refugees

Minimum age for people who use drugs to receive OAT

The minimum age is 18 years, with exceptions for lower age possible in individual cases.


General requirements and access to healthcare


Hepatitis B/C