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Obtain Citizenship in Estonia - The General Procedure

Obtain Citizenship in Estonia

Updated on Wednesday 27th September 2023

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Foreign nationals can obtain citizenship in Estonia through the process called naturalization, after they have resided in the country for a minimum period. In addition to the residency condition, the applicant will also need to meet a set of other mandatory criteria.
 
Becoming an Estonian citizen is also possible for children, and it is a status that can also be reinstated in the case of individuals who have lost this right while they were minors.
 
Dual citizenship is not permitted in Estonia, therefore, if you are ready to take this important step, you may discuss how the criteria applies in your case with our team  of lawyers in Estonia and start the application process accordingly.
 

What are the ways in which you can obtain citizenship in Estonia?

 
Acquiring Estonian citizenship entitles the holder of this status both to rights and to obligations towards the Estonian state. The ways in which a foreign national can acquire citizenship in Estonia are the following:
 
  • at birth, if at least one parent is an Estonian national;
  • through naturalization, after sufficient time in the country (please see below);
  • reinstated when this status was lost as a minor.
 
The parents can submit the citizenship application in the case of children younger than 15 years of age. This status can also be applied for by the legal guardian (in the case of individuals who are under guardianship).
 
Dual citizenship is not permitted in Estonia, however, a child is allowed to have dual citizenship if the parents have different citizenships. However, after 18 years of age, the said child will need to give up one of the citizenships within three years.
 
Are you interested in remaining in Estonia, but only for a limited time? The country has a digital nomad visa which will allow you to work remotely from Tallin or another city.
 

What are the conditions for Estonian citizenship through naturalization?

 
One of the most common ways in which a foreign national can obtain citizenship in Estonia is through naturalization. Our immigration lawyers in Estonia list the conditions for applicants:
 
  • have a valid long-term residence permit (or the right of permanent residence);
  • have lived in Estonia for at least 8 years with a valid residence permit, out of which at least the last 5 years were under a permanent residence basis;
  • have sufficient Estonian language knowledge (verified through an exam); not applicable for those who have completed their basic/secondary/higher education in Estonian;
  • pass an examination concerning the country’s constitution and relevant laws;
  • have permanent legal income and a place of residence (registered with the population register in the country);
  • be loyal to the Estonian state;
  • pay the EUR 13 application fee.
 
If you are a foreign investor who has been living in Estonia, our team can give you details on how you can acquire citizenship through investment.
 

What are the needed documents?

 
Each application to obtain citizenship in Estonia is submitted with a mandatory set of documents.
Our Estonian lawyers list the main documents applicants need to take into account when submitting their application:
 
  • the filled-in application form;
  • proof of legal income;
  • proof of state fee payment;
  • photograph;
  • proof of release from the citizenship of another state;
  • proof of passing the mandatory naturalization examinations (special conditions can apply to those applicants who were unable to pass these due to health conditions; our team can give you more details about the partial or complete exemptions from this criteria based on health issues).
The documents are submitted in person at the Police Service Office located in the applicant’s area of residence.
 
If you are a foreign national already living in the country, our team can help you submit the application that will allow you to obtain citizenship in Estonia.
 
The experts at our law firm in Estonia offer a wide range of legal services to both individuals and companies in the country. You can contact us if you have questions about immigration and citizenship, as well as for many other legal issues.