Any foreigner who is loyal to the Estonian state and who meets the following conditions can apply for Estonian citizenship:
the applicant is at least 15 years of age;
the applicant lived in Estonia prior to 1 July 1990 and has a valid residence permit at the time of applying; OR
the applicant has a long-term residence permit or permanent residence rights at the time of applying;
the applicant has lived in Estonia on the basis of a residence permit or residence rights for at least 8 years, the last 5 of which on a permanent basis;
the applicant has a permanent legal income; the applicant earns a salary or receives a pension, a grant, state benefits, etc.;
the applicant has a registered place of residence in Estonia;
the applicant has passed an Estonian language examination at the B1 level as a minimum and has passed the examination of awareness of the constitution and Citizenship Act of the Republic of Estonia; and
the applicant swears the following oath: “In applying for Estonian citizenship, I promise to be loyal to the constitutional order of Estonia.”
A foreigner with a permanent residence permit is automatically classed as a foreigner with long-term residence status.
Citizenship for those up to the age of 15 can be applied for through a simplified procedure. If you have minors in your family, please contact the Citizenship and Migration Board for information on how to obtain citizenship for them.
where and how?
Before submitting your citizenship application documents to the Citizenship and Migration Board, you must take and pass two examinations: 1) an Estonian language examination at the B1 level as a minimum; and 2) the examination of awareness of the constitution and Citizenship Act of the Republic of Estonia (i.e. the citizenship examination).
The examinations can be taken at Foundation Innove (http://innove.ee/en/citizenship-exams). The Estonian language examination must be passed at the B1 level as a minimum. During the constitution examination you must answer simple questions about the organisation of the state. During the examination you are permitted to refer to the Constitution and Citizenship Act.
People who obtained basic, secondary or higher education in Estonian do not need to take the Estonian language examination.
Once you have taken and passed the examinations, you must go to an office of the Citizenship and Migration Board and submit the following documents, which are required when applying for citizenship:
a declaration of intention to apply for citizenship, written in Estonian (assistance in this is obtainable from the staff of the Citizenship and Migration Board);
1 photograph (4 x 5 cm);
identity and citizenship documents (passport or ID card);
a curriculum vitae, written in Estonian (assistance in this is obtainable from the staff of the Citizenship and Migration Board). The curriculum vitae should indicate your professional history; the date and circumstances under which you originally came to Estonia; the names of any people who came to Estonia with you at the same time; your current marital status and any changes in your marital status since you first came to Estonia; a list of all of your places of residence in Estonia since you first came to the country; information about your closest relations; and information on any connections you have with the military, espionage or security organisations of foreign countries. Applicants who were born in Estonia must also provide information about the date and circumstances under which their parent(s) originally came to Estonia;
evidence of permanent legal income;
documents evidencing the applicant’s educational and professional background;
certificates evidencing that the applicant has passed the Estonian language and citizenship examinations; and
evidence of the payment of the state fee of 200 EEK which must be paid prior to applying for citizenship. The state fee can be paid in a bank, by bank transfer or in cash or by credit card at any office of the Citizenship and Migration Board.
If the person applying for citizenship is between the ages of 15 and 18, they must also provide the written consent of their parent or guardian for their application.
Decisions on whether to accept applications for processing are made within one month of their registration.
After six months has passed since the date on which your application was accepted for processing, you have one month in which to return to the Citizenship and Migration Board to confirm, in writing, that you still wish to obtain Estonian citizenship. If you are a citizen of another country, you must also provide evidence that you have given up your former citizenship or that this process is underway. If you do not confirm your intention to obtain Estonian citizenship and provide this evidence by the deadline, the processing of your application will be halted.
Decisions in regard to approving applications for citizenship are made by the Government of the Republic. You will be informed of this decision in writing. If your application is approved, you can then organise to have an Estonian passport and ID card made for you. You will be issued with your certificate of citizenship at an official ceremony. Alternatively, the certificate can be sent to you by post. You will be contacted in order to clarify your wishes in this regard.