In January 2009 the Integration Foundation – the forerunner to the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People – introduced a new opportunity for language-learners: they would now be able to apply to have a set amount of their language-learning fees reimbursed upon passing their A2, B1, B2 or C1 exams. By the end of 2010 a total of 2264 people had had their fees reimbursed in this way.
Anyone who passes an Estonian language examination at the levels indicated above has the right to have their language-learning fees reimbursed, with the exception of those applying for Estonian citizenship or those required to take the language examination by the Language Inspectorate. The fees are reimbursed within a period of two months. The initiative is being financed through the European Social Fund.
Applying to have your fees reimbursed is simple. Applications can be submitted at any time within three months of receiving notification that you have passed your examination. You also need to fill in an anonymous questionnaire with statistical information. Applications are processed by the Foundation Innove. Application forms are available from the Foundation Innove (Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn), from the foundation's website (www.innove.ee) and from regional examination points.
The ‘Language Studies Development 2011-2013’ programme financed through the European Social Fund comes into effect 2011. Applications for reimbursement can be submitted to the Foundation Innove, while the fees are reimbursed by the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People .
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF REIMBURSEMENT OF LANGUAGE-LEARNING FEES
People who cannot apply to have their fees covered from state budget resources are eligible to apply to have them reimbursed. The costs incurred by those applying for citizenship of the Republic of Estonia and those required to take Estonian language examinations by the Language Inspectorate are covered from state budget resources.
Applications for reimbursement do not depend on the citizenship of the applicant – everyone has the right to apply, whatever their citizenship.
Natural persons only may apply to have their language-learning fees reimbursed. Companies cannot apply to have the cost of training their employees covered as part of this programme.
Applications can be submitted by adults (18 years of age or older), 17-year-old persons who have not obtained basic education and persons between the ages of 15 and 17 who have obtained basic education but who are not enrolled in a higher level of education i.e. general education, vocational education or tertiary education. Those applying for reimbursement must fulfil the age conditions during the period of their language studies.
Those who have passed an Estonian language examination at the A2, B1, B2 or C1 level are eligible to apply to have their fees reimbursed. Examinations must be taken and passed in order of difficulty from lowest to highest i.e. once a higher-level examination has been taken and passed and the language-learning fees incurred prior to it reimbursed, no further reimbursement of fees will take place if lower-level examinations are taken thereafter. Reimbursements received in 2009 and 2010 are also taken into account.
The studies for which the applicant is applying to have the costs reimbursed must have been completed by the time the application is submitted. Costs incurred up to 2 years prior to the examination may be reimbursed.
The institute which conducted the Estonian language studies must have the relevant training licence issued by the Ministry of Education and Research or be registered as required in the Estonian Education Information System (www.ehis.ee). The database of institutions that have been issued with an education licence can be found on the website of the Ministry of Education and Research (www.hm.ee).
Applications for the reimbursement of language-learning fees may be submitted within three months of the applicant being informed that they have passed their examination. This period shall begin from the seventh day following the issuing to the applicant of the notification of their having passed the examination.
Applications may be submitted until 30 September 2013.
The costs incurred in studying Estonian shall be reimbursed once, to a maximum of 320 euros, for each level passed. This means that if an individual passes the examinations at every level (A2, B1, B2 and C1) having undertaken Estonian language studies prior to each, they can submit applications for the reimbursement of their language-learning fees for each level once.
Income tax is not deducted from the amount reimbursed i.e. the amount, to a maximum of 320 euros, is paid out in full. In accordance with § 26 subsection 2 of the Income Tax Act, language-learning fees to the value of the amount reimbursed cannot be deducted from income. Information regarding the reimbursement of language-learning fees is forwarded to the Tax and Customs Board.
Applicants must complete an anonymous questionnaire with statistical information and submit this with their application.
The amount due to be reimbursed is transferred to the bank account indicated on the application form within two months of the application being submitted.
In the event of the submission of incorrect data, the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People has the right to demand that the amount reimbursed be returned.
The Integration and Migration Foundation Our People has the right to request the presentation of additional documents to ensure that an application meets the requirements for having language-learning fees reimbursed.
APPLICATION FORM AND OTHER REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
In order to have their study costs reimbursed, applicants must provide the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People with a written application (translation) and complete an anonymous questionnaire (translation) with statistical information. Application forms can be submitted to the Foundation Innove by post or delivered in person to Lõõtsa 4, 11415 Tallinn.
Application forms and questionnaires are available on the website of the Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (www.meis.ee), on the website of the Foundation Innove (www.innove.ee), from the foundation's office at Lõõtsa 4, Tallinn and from the following regional examination centres:
Jõhvi – Kersti Võlu Training Centre, Kooli 7 / Open M-F 8:00-17:00 / Telephone: +372 335 2137
Narva – Narva College of the University of Tartu (room 118), Kerese 14 / Open M-T 8:00-12.00, 13.00-17:00, F 8:00-12.00, 13.00-16:30 / Telephone: +372 356 1985
Tartu – University of Tartu Language Centre (room 110), Näituse 2 / Open M-F 9:00-16:00 / Telephone: +372 737 5358
A copy of a personal identification document (identity card, Estonian citizen’s passport or foreigner’s passport) must be attached to the application. Copies can be made at the National Examination and Qualification Centre if necessary.
The original of a document evidencing payment of the language-learning fees must also be submitted with the application. A receipt for payment in cash, a bank payment order, an account statement certified by a bank or a card payment receipt are acceptable. Documents evidencing payment must meet the requirements set out in § 7 of the Accounting Act.
The document evidencing payment of language-learning fees must indicate the services for which the fees were paid. Fees can only be reimbursed on the basis of documents which clearly indicate that they were incurred for Estonian language studies. If another person paid the fees for the individual submitting the application, the document evidencing payment of the fees must indicate the name of the person who undertook the language studies (the recipient of the amount to be reimbursed) and that the fees were paid for Estonian language studies.
An invoice or confirmation issued by the training institute of the applicant’s studies by the training institute and an account statement certified by a bank must also be submitted with a card payment receipt.
Confirmation issued by the training institute and an account statement certified by a bank must also be submitted with a card payment receipt. This confirmation must indicate the period of studies, the total cost of the course and the details of the transfer to the institute’s bank account of the amounts paid. The dates and amounts of these transfers must be indicated. If another person paid the fees for the individual submitting the application, this must also be indicated on the certification issued by the training institute.
All documents evidencing the payment of language-learning fees must be originals or duplicates certified by the issuing institution. Uncertified copies will not be accepted.
Information about applications and assistance in completing application forms is available from the Foundation Innove at Lõõtsa 4 in Tallinn and from regional examination centres.