People who have been living in Estonia on a legal basis for at least five years and wishing to apply for Estonian citizenship and who meet the main requirements set for the citizenship application procedure can sign the agreement for free Estonian language courses and for obtaining a paid study leave from work. One-off free language training shall be provided from zero level up to B1 level.
Why is the language learning contract made?
The contract provides an opportunity to learn Estonian free of charge and receiving a benefit for the unpaid study leave taken for it.
With the language learning contract, a person undertakes an obligation to pass the free language courses until achieving the B1 proficiency level and submit an application for citizenship within one year after passing the B1 Estonian proficiency exam.
With whom the language contract can be concluded?
The language learning contract is concluded with a person who wishes to obtain Estonian citizenship and:
- is at least 15 years old;
- has lived in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit or right of residence at least five years;
- has not participated in Estonian courses for the required proficiency level funded or co-funded by the state during the past two years before the conclusion of the contract;
- is not subject to a circumstance established in Section 21(1) of the Citizenship Act.
NB! A parent’s or custodian’s consent is required in order to conclude a contract with a minor who is 15–18 years old.
What level Estonian courses are offered?
The courses are meant for the persons who want to just start learning Estonian as well as for the persons who already know Estonian on the basic level, but whose proficiency is below level B1.
How is a person’s current Estonian language proficiency established?
Before concluding the language learning contract, a person’s language skills are assessed by the party who conducts the language courses.
How to apply for participating in the free Estonian language courses and how is the language learning contract concluded?
First of all, an application must be submitted. After the application has been received, the Foundation will send further instructions within 5 working days.
Where and when will the free Estonian courses take place?
That depends on the person’s preference and on the level of interest in the Estonian language courses in the same area. However, it is possible to mark in the application in which city, form and when the person would like to participate in the Estonian courses.
How long will the courses last?
That will be identified individually for each person. The duration of language learning will depend on a person’s current level of Estonian and specific need. The course for each language level will last at least 120 hours.
How is the study leave compensated for a working person who participates in the free Estonian language courses?
Persons who have concluded the language learning contract and who have taken unpaid study leave, will receive a compensation in the amount of 20 calendar days per proficiency level based on their average salary. The maximum rate for the calculation of the benefit is the Estonian annual average gross salary.
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:
IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
- The Police and Border Guard checks a person’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the language learning contract.
- With the language learning contract, a person undertakes an obligation to pass the free language courses until achieving the B1 Estonian proficiency level and to submit an application for Estonian citizenship within one year after passing the B1 level proficiency exam.
- If a person is unable to submit a citizenship application within one year because they have not lived in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit or right of residence for at least eight years before the date of the application for Estonian citizenship, of which five years permanently, with an agreement with the Integration Foundation, the application for the Estonian citizenship may be submitted within three years after the passing of the B1 level proficiency exam.
- The language learning contract is considered as fulfilled after the person has submitted an application for citizenship to the Police and Border Guard Board.
- If a person fails to fulfil the language learning contract and there are no good reasons for it, or if a person did not fulfil the requirements for concluding the contract at the time of the conclusion of the contract, the person will have to compensate the language learning costs and repay the benefit paid to them.
- The conditions and procedure for the conclusion of the language learning contract, participation in language learning, payment of the benefit, calculation of the learning costs and benefit, including the list of personal data to be submitted is established with a regulation of the Minister of the Interior.
Consultants of the Integration Foundation are pleased to assist you through the free of charge information phone 800 9999 (when calling from abroad: +372 6599025) or by email [email protected].
- Instructions and advice for the citizenship applicants..
- You are also welcomed to attend the Constitution and Citizenship Act Training. The training is open for attendance for anyone whose mother tongue is other than Estonian, who are permanent residents and new immigrants in Estonia and who are at least 18 years old. Duration of the training is 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.