Estonia is currently considered to be the most prosperous country in the Baltics. At least, the average salary level in 2024 is much higher than in neighboring Lithuania and Latvia, and slightly higher than in the Czech Republic and Croatia.

Immigration to Estonia with further citizenship gives quite a lot of advantages.

Firstly, the country is a member of the European Union, respectively, there is automatically the possibility of free movement in the Schengen area and visa-free regime with many other countries of the world.

Secondly, there is equal access to employment in Estonia and any other EU country on an equal footing with locals and Europeans, as well as simplified opening of your own Estonian company.

Thirdly, there is an opportunity to get a good education in one of the Estonian universities and a chance for a preferential admission to a prestigious European educational institution.

Citizenship of Estonia

It is possible to enumerate the advantages of the Estonian passport, as well as the advantages of moving to Estonia in principle, for an infinitely long time. The country has a modern market economy, developed information technology, favorable business climate, beautiful nature and much more. It is better to talk about the practical side of the issue, namely how to obtain Estonian citizenship for foreigners in 2024.

How to get Estonian citizenship

Today, about 85% of Estonia's population of just over 1.3 million people hold an Estonian passport. The remaining 15% are either immigrants from other countries or stateless people. Local authorities actively promote the acquisition of Estonian citizenship by foreigners, in particular, this applies to the naturalization procedure.

The process of granting Estonian citizenship is regulated by the local Citizenship Act, which has undergone quite a lot of changes in recent years in terms of simplifying the requirements for issuing an Estonian passport. The most recent amendments came into force on January 1, 2016. This refers to the guaranteed citizenship for children born in Estonia if the parents do not hold a passport of a particular country.

Over the past 5 years, about 1.5 thousand people have been granted Estonian citizenship by naturalization every year. By the way, an interesting fact is that regardless of citizenship, foreigners living on Estonian territory have the right to participate in local elections. Few countries allow such legislative norms. Another important thing to know is that it is forbidden to have dual citizenship in Estonia.

Ways of obtaining Estonian citizenship

Estonian citizenship by birth

This option applies to children born in Estonia, if at least one of the parents has an Estonian passport or both of them are not citizens of a certain country at all, but have been living on Estonian territory for at least 5 years. In addition, there is a procedure for restoration of citizenship, which concerns persons or their close relatives who had an Estonian passport before June 16, 1940.

Estonian citizenship by naturalization or application

It is considered the most appropriate and common way to apply for an Estonian passport for foreigners.

Basic requirements:

  1. Age of at least 15 years.

  2. Moving to Estonia before July 1, 1990 with subsequent permanent residence or legal residence in the country for at least 8 years, of which the last 5 have been continuous.

  3. Possession of Estonian language skills sufficient for everyday life. Persons who have been educated at an Estonian educational institution in the local language are exempted from taking the test.

  4. Passing an examination on knowledge of the main law of the country, i.e. the Constitution, as well as the main provisions of the local Citizenship Act.

  5. Providing proof of a permanent and, most importantly, legal source of income that can cover the expenses not only of the candidate, but also of family members.

  6. Proof of a registered place of residence in Estonia, i.e. owned or rented living space.

  7. It is obligatory to take an oath of allegiance to Estonia and confirm loyalty to the new country.

The naturalization procedure in Estonia is considerably simplified for candidates with disabilities and persons with disabilities. In addition, persons under the age of 15 are exempted from taking examinations on the knowledge of basic laws and Estonian language proficiency tests.

The application for citizenship is submitted to a special service – the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (EPBGB), and it must be submitted in Estonian. It can be done electronically via the official website of the EPBGB – Also on the pages of this resource there is a lot of detailed information about the requirements for obtaining Estonian citizenship and peculiarities of immigration to this country.

Documents for Estonian citizenship

  • Application form filled out in Estonian.

  • Identity document, usually a passport is required.

  • Color photo (4x5 cm).

  • A detailed biography, including marital status, information about close relatives, countries of previous residence and so on.

  • Educational diplomas and information about professional activities.

  • Proof of a legal source of income, i.e. a certificate of employment or information on business registration.

  • Certificates of successful completion of local language and law examinations (see above).

  • Certificate of payment of the compulsory state fee.

The Estonian citizenship application procedure takes at least six months. In case of a positive decision, the candidate confirms his/her willingness to renounce his/her previous citizenship and the staff of the EPBGB applies to the Estonian authorities to grant the alien an Estonian passport. This may take up to another 3 months.

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