Obtaining Estonian Citizenship
As an Estonian Citizen, you will have:
– the right to vote in Estonia,
– the right to run as a candidate in all elections and referendums in Estonia,
– the right to diplomatic protection by the state of Estonia while abroad,
– all the rights of an EU citizen, incl. visa-free travel within the EU and in many other countries,
– the right to work without permit anywhere in the EU,
– the right to conduct business anywhere in the EU.
How to become an Estonian citizen:
- First you need to become a resident of Estonia.
- Then you have to take an Estonian language exam (unless you acquired your primary, secondary or higher education in Estonian). Children under the age of 15 and adults with legal restricted-activity capacity are not required to take the exam. The exams are organised (and exemptions granted) by the Innove Foundation.
- Next, take an exam to test your knowledge of the Estonian constitution and the Citizenship Act. Children under the age of 15 and adults with restricted active legal capacity are not required to take the exam.
You can register for the citizenship exam in the state portal. Applications to take the exam can also be submitted on paper to the Innove Foundation and the Police and Border Guard Board. This exam is also organised by the Innove Foundation.
- After the exam, submit your application and other required forms to the Estonian Police and Border Guard. Once you have passed the required examinations, you need to submit an application in Estonian to become a citizen. You can fill one online or print it out and fill it in by hand. You can also complete the application at any service point of the Police and Border Guard Board with the help of their staff.
In addition, you also need to provide the Police and Border Guard Board with your:
– a proof of income,
– certified proof of education,
– proof of employment history,
– a photo.
You can send the required documents either by post, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mark ‘Application for Estonian Citizenship’ in the subject line.
- Wait for 6 months. Once you have submitted your application, it will take up to 6 months for the application to be processed.
Upon receiving a positive answer, you need to return to the Police and Border Guard Board to confirm the approval of your application. At this point you also need to submit a certificate that proves that you will be released from your previous citizenship as soon as you receive Estonian citizenship.
The Police and Border Guard Board will then, within 3 months, make a proposal to the government to grant you Estonian citizenship.
- Apply for an Estonian ID card. The Police and Border Guard Board will inform you when the Estonian government has decided to grant you citizenship. You can then apply for an Estonian passport and an Estonian ID card (read more on the benefits of the ID card here).
Questions to ask yourself before applying for Estonian citizenship:
- Do you have a long-term residence permit?
- Have you lived in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit for at least 8 years prior to the submission of an application for Estonian citizenship and permanently at least for the last 5 years?
- Have you passed the Estonian language proficiency examination?
- Have you passed the examination proving your knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and of the Citizenship Act?
- Have you got a permanent legal income?
- Has your place of residence been registered in the population register of Estonia?
- Will you be loyal to the Republic of Estonia?
Dual citizenship is not permitted under Estonian law. In order to become an Estonian citizen, you have to renounce your current citizenship. For more information, please visit the Estonian Police and Border Guard website’s Application for Estonian citizenship section.