Come attend a FREE language course and become an Estonian citizen!
We offer free language training for those who wish to acquire Estonian citizenship and speak Estonian at the required level (B1). For this purpose, we will conclude a language learning contract.
Why enter a language learning contract?
If you wish to apply for Estonian citizenship, the language learning contract enables you to learn Estonian for free up to level B1. Thanks to this contract, we will be able to provide you compensation if you have taken an unpaid study leave from work to learn the language.
By entering a language learning contract, you undertake to acquire Estonian at least at the B1 level. We also expect you to apply for Estonian citizenship within one year after passing the level B1 exam in Estonian.
Who is eligible to enter a language learning contract?
You are eligible to conclude the contract if you wish to become an Estonian citizen and meet these criteria:
- at least 15 years old
- lived in Estonia for at least five years on the basis of a residence permit or right of residence
- have not studied Estonian in programmes financed or co-financed by the state in the last two years
- you are not subject to circumstances that exclude the acquisition of Estonian citizenship (cited in subsection 21 (1) of the Citizenship Act)
To enter a contract with a 15–18-year-old, their parent or guardian must give consent.
What must the learner’s previous language level be?
The courses are intended for those who wish to begin learning Estonian as well as those who already know Estonian at a basic level, but whose level is below B1.
How will a person’s current level of Estonian be ascertained?
The person conducting the language course will assess the person’s language skills before entering a language learning contract.
What should I do if I am interested in free language courses and a language learning contract?
First, submit an application to the Integration Foundation. This can be done both online and at the Estonian Language Houses in Tallinn and Narva. After we receive your application, we will contact you within five business days and provide further instructions.
Where and when will the free Estonian language courses take place?
This depends on the number and location of interested parties. You can indicate in the application in which town, where, and in which form you wish to learn Estonian.
How long do the courses last?
The length of the language course depends on your current Estonian level and needs. Each language level course lasts 160 hours.
How is study leave compensated for a working person who has participated in a free Estonian language course?
A person who has entered a language learning contract and has been granted an unpaid study leave to participate in language learning will be paid 20 calendar days of compensation per language proficiency level based on their average salary. The upper limit of the calculation of compensation is the average annual gross monthly salary in Estonia.
Unpaid study leave compensation can be applied once in a month after unpaid study leave. In order to receive compensation, the student should fulfil an application form and the application must be signed by the student and their employer. Signed applications should be sent according to the terms of language training contract to the address [email protected]. Application form can be found here:
- If you submit an application to sign a language learning contract, the Police and Border Guard Board will check your data. This is like a reassuring preliminary check on your journey to becoming an Estonian citizen.
- Once the data has been checked and everything is in order, we will contact you to determine your current language level and find you a suitable course. Please note that you will be supported by the advisors of the Estonian Language House, who will communicate with you personally.
- Working people have the opportunity of taking paid study leave to focus on language learning. We encourage you to take advantage of this!
- Speaking the language is one of the pillars of becoming an Estonian citizen; the other is knowledge of the Estonian Constitution and the Citizenship Act. You can prepare for the citizenship exam by taking an 18-hour course. The order of passing the citizenship exam and the language exam is not important.
- Please submit your application for Estonian citizenship within one year after passing the B1 level language exam. With this, we will consider the language learning contract to be fulfilled.
- If you are unable to submit an application for citizenship within one year after passing the B1 level language exam, you can, in agreement with the Integration Foundation, submit your application within three years after passing the B1 level language exam. The reason for such a situation can be, for example, that you have not lived in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit or right of residence for at least eight years, of which five years permanently (specifically section 6 of the Citizenship Act).
- If you would like to find out more about the terms of the language learning contract, please refer to the regulation of the Minister of the Interior.
The advisors of the Integration Foundation will be happy to help you!
phone: +372 800 9999 (free)
- Instructions and advice for the citizenship applicants..
- You are also welcome to participate in the course on knowledge of the Constitution and the Citizenship Act. All permanent residents of Estonia as well as newcomers with a native tongue other than Estonian and who are at least 18 years of age will be able to participate. The course lasts for 18 academic hours.
This free language courses for the persons who have concluded the language learning contract are financed by the Ministry of the Interior.