Are you planning to apply for Estonian citizenship? If so, read on!
What does it mean to be an Estonian citizen? What does it give me, and what does it require of me?
The best way of thinking about it is that being a citizen is first and foremost your opportunity to have your say on and make decisions about life in Estonia – the country you call home.
Citizenship isn’t an obligation, but an opportunity to create lasting ties with Estonia and to make your own contribution to the country’s future. Moreover, as a citizen of Estonia you’re also a citizen of the European Union, with its population of 450 million. This makes it possible for you to travel visa-free anywhere in the Schengen zone as well as to the United States and many other countries. You gain the right to live, work and do business in all 27 Member States of the European Union and to find affordable and appropriate learning opportunities. There are also a number of programmes for EU citizens, such as Erasmus+, the world’s most successful student exchange programme.
Most people obtain Estonian citizenship by birth, which is to say that at the time they’re born, one or both of their parents is an Estonian citizen. However, you can also apply for Estonian citizenship if you’re a citizen of another country by birth or if you have undefined citizenship. Obtaining citizenship by any means other than birth is known as ‘naturalisation’.
There are six steps to becoming an Estonian citizen:
Step 1 – Take up residence in Estonia and apply for a residence permit
Step 2 – Take the Estonian language exam
Step 3 – Take the citizenship exam
Step 4 – Rescind any other citizenship you have
Step 5 – Submit your application
Step 6 – Apply for Estonian citizen’s ID
Guidelines and advice can be found in the ‘6 Steps to Becoming an Estonian Citizen’ brochure:
Language Learning Contract: free language training to apply for Estonian citizenship: www.integratsioon.ee/en/language-training-apply-estonian-citizenship
Estonian constitution and citizenship training: integratsioon.ee/en/estonian-constitution-and-citizenship-training
State portal: www.eesti.ee
Residence permits – www2.politsei.ee/en/teenused/residence-permit/
Language testing site – web.meis.ee/testest/
Language exam: www.harno.ee/en/examinations-tests-and-studies/examinations-tests-and-certificates/estonian-language-proficiency
Citizenship exam: www.harno.ee/en/citizenship-examinations
Applying for Estonian citizenship: www2.politsei.ee/en/teenused/eesti-kodakondsus/taiskasvanule/
Citizenship application form: www2.politsei.ee/dotAsset/528141.pdf
Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) service points: www2.politsei.ee/en/kontakt/kmb/index.dot
Welcome to the Estonian family!