Estonian citizenship

Estonian citizenship is a legal covenant between the Estonian citizen and the Estonian state that entails rights and obligations for both parties. No one may be deprived of citizenship by birth.

Estonian citizenship:

  • is acquired by birth if at least one parent has Estonian citizenship
  • is obtained through naturalization
  • is reinstated in the case of persons who lost Estonian citizenship as minors
  • is lost by way of release of Estonian citizenship, depriving one of citizenship or by accepting the citizenship of another country.

An Estonian citizen may not simultaneously hold the citizenship of any other country. Estonian citizenship is lost by accepting the citizenship of another country. A child may hold more than one citizenship if his or her parents have different citizenships. But upon reaching 18 years of age, a child must within three years give up either his or her Estonian citizenship or that of the other country.

You can apply for Estonian citizenship, if:

  • you have a long-term residence permit or the right of permanent residence or residence permit (who has settled in Estonia or was born in Estonia before 1 July 1990)
  • you have lived in Estonia, prior submitting an application, for at least eight years on the ground of a residence permit or by right of residence, of which at least the last five years on a permanent basis
  • you have passed the Estonian language proficiency examination (this exam is not required, if you have acquired the basic, secondary or higher education in the Estonian language)
  • you have passed the examination of knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the Citizenship Act
  • you have a permanent legal income
  • your place of residence has been registered in the population register of Estonia
  • you are loyal to the Estonian state.

For applying for citizenship, please address in person a Service Office of Police and Border Guard Board, or apply by post or by e-mail.

For submitting the application in the Service Office you need to make a reservation.

Documents requested for application

  • application form (pdf, 1,1 MB), to be filled in on screen and printed out (instructions for filling the application)
  • a document certifying legal income;
  • 1 colour photo with measures 40x50 mm. An application form shall be filled up when applying by post and by e-mail Minimal measurements of a digital colour photo being submitted by e-mail are 480x600 pixels (the format is JPG);
  • a document certifying the payment of the state fee;
  • a document proving that the applicant has been released from citizenship of another state or will be released from such citizenship in relation to the acquisition of Estonian citizenship or that he or she has been declared a person with undetermined citizenship, but this document does not have to be submitted by a person who is under 18 years of age and a person who has been granted international protection in case the situation in his or her country of origin has not changed. In case of a person 15-18 years of age, a consent by a parent or guardian shall be submitted;
  • a certificate on passing the Estonian language examination or a document proving that the applicant has acquired the basic, secondary or higher education in the Estonian language;
  • a certificate on passing the examination on the knowledge of the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the Citizenship Act;
  • if an applicant, due to his or her health reasons, is unable to take the examinations, a decision by the expert committee releasing him or her either in part or in full from taking the examinations.

The documents need not be submitted if the data is included in national databases.

Additional documents:

  • in case if you are unable to pass the examinations due to your state of health, please enclose a decision of an expert committee that will release you either partially or fully from taking the exams;
  • in case if you have acquired the basic, secondary or higher education in the Estonian language, please submit a document certifying that you have acquired the basic, secondary or higher education in the Estonian language.

After the submission of an application, the documents will be transmitted within 6 months to the Government of the Republic for taking a decision on the grant of Estonian citizenship.

In case of granting the citizenship the certificate on citizenship shall be handed over at a festive ceremony or shall be delivered by post.

After the citizenship has been granted to you, you can apply for the ID-card and/or passport of the Estonian citizen.

Simultaneously with an application for Estonian citizenship you can also submit an application for an ID-card and/or Estonian citizen’s passport.

At the homepage of Police and Border Guard Board can you read, how to apply for Estonian citizenship for a child or for a person under guardianship. You also can find information about examinations for applying for the citizenship.

Last amended: 27-02-2018 00:00 | Compiled by: Police and Border Guard Board