Male Estonian citizens are liable to national defence obligation. During peacetime, this means they have the duty to complete compulsory military service and to take part in reservist training. In general, citizens have the same obligations whether they live in Estonia or abroad. Still, there are a few differences. Here is a brief summary.
What’s different for Estonian citizens living abroad?
If you are listed in the Population Register as living abroad when you receive your call-up to appear before the Defence Resources Agency’s medical committee, you will be paid 70 euros compensation to cover travel expenses and meals. The condition for receiving the compensation is that you undergo the full procedures required by evaluation by the committee in the required extent.
If your health data is not found on the patient website digilugu.ee, bring with you to the committee all physician-issued documents that describe your state of health. If the documents are not in English, please submit to the committee a translation into Estonian or English.
If you have driving licences issued by a foreign country, be sure to bring these with you to your appearance before the medical committee.
You should bear in mind that foreign employers are not governed by Estonian law and employees do not have the right to cite the Estonian Employment Contracts Act provisions on compulsory military service to be exempted from performing work. We recommend that you notify your employer abroad already upon being hired that as an Estonian citizen, you are eligible to be drafted and this status means you are obliged to appear before a medical committee and to report for conscription duty at the designated time and place.
If, immediately prior to being entered into the national defence obligation register, you were listed in the Estonian Population Register as having lived abroad since birth or for at least seven years uninterrupted, certain exceptions apply to you in regard to performance of compulsory military service. In such a case, you will be required to submit a formal request to the Defence Resources Agency before you can begin conscript service. The request must be submitted within five years of being entered into the national defence obligation register. If you do not do so, you will be released from the military service obligation.
You will likewise be released from the obligation to enter conscription service in Estonia if you have done any of the following in a foreign country (such as Finland):
- completed compulsory military service
- served in the armed forces as military serviceperson for at least 12 months
- completed alternative service
Completing conscription in the Finnish Defence Forces requires Finnish citizenship; those with only Estonian citizenship cannot complete conscription service in Finland. In Finland, males who obtain Finnish citizenship before turning 30 have a national defence obligation.
The military service website
At the military service website kaitsevaeteenistus.ee, you can examine your own data entered into the national defence obligation register. You can also use the site to submit applications and choose the most suitable time and place to appear before the medical committee.
You will need a valid ID card, mobile-ID or Smart-ID to log in (see www.id.ee).
If you are unable to log in to the military service website, you can always contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.