Estonian citizenship by descent

Article Breakdown

You can apply for Estonian citizenship by descent if one of your parents is an Estonian citizen born in Estonia, even if you were born elsewhere.

You may also be eligible for Estonian citizenship if you were born to Estonian parents who canceled your Estonian citizenship before the age of 18, and you now want to reestablish it as an adult.

One major downside to Estonian citizenship is that Estonian citizens are not allowed to have dual citizenship and the Republic of Estonia is very strict in not allowing multiple citizenships. Read more about their citizenship law here.

Estonian citizenship by descent

Estonia Passport CoverAn Estonian citizen is a person who has Estonian citizenship at the time the Estonian Citizenship Act enters into force or who obtains or recovers his or her Estonian citizenship in accordance with the Estonian Citizenship Act.

Estonian citizenship is gained by birth for:

  1. any child born after the death of his or her father who had Estonian citizenship at the time of his or her death; and
  2. any child born after the death of his or her father who held Estonian citizenship at the time of his or her death.
  3. Any child found in Estonia whose parents are unknown is determined to have gained Estonian citizenship by birth in a court procedure on the application of the child’s guardian or the guardianship authority, unless the child is demonstrated to hold the citizenship of another state.

Other ways in which people can apply to become Estonian citizens:

  1. On the written application of an adoptive parent who is an Estonian citizen, a minor alien child is deemed to have acquired Estonian citizenship by birth by decision of the governmental authority authorized by the Government of the Republic, provided that the adoptive parent was an Estonian citizen at the time of the child’s birth and that the child is not a citizen of another state or that the child will be released from the citizenship of another state.
  2. On the written application of an adoptive parent who was not an Estonian citizen at the time of the child’s birth, a minor alien child is deemed to have acquired Estonian citizenship as of the date on which Estonian citizenship was granted to the adoptive parent, provided that the child is not a citizen of another state or that the child will be released from the citizenship.

No one may be stripped of Estonian citizenship by birth.

The decision of the Estonian state granting citizenship is usually made within two months of the application’s submission. The decision is notified to the adoptive parent in writing as soon as possible.

Estonian citizenship by naturalization

Rounded Estonia Flag IconYou can apply for citizenship by naturalisation after living in the Republic of Estonia for eight years with a residence permit and having permanent residency for at least the last five years.

To get Estonian citizenship through naturalisation and obtain an Estonian passport, you must fulfill the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 15 years old.
  • You must either pass an Estonian language test or have completed a qualifying education in Estonia.
  • You must pass an exam in Estonian history.
  • You must demonstrate your ability to support yourself financially.
  • You must register your address in the Estonian population register.
  • You must be devoted to your homeland, Estonia (your new home).
  • You must demonstrate that you are no longer a citizen of your previous nation.

Estonian Citizenship by Marriage

If you are married to an Estonian citizen or a permanent resident of Estonia, you can obtain citizenship by marriage.

As the spouse of an Estonian citizen, you will be granted a five-year temporary residence permit.

Following that, you can prolong your residency for another three years before applying for citizenship by naturalisation.

Children’s Citizenship in Estonia

Even if you are a minor, you can be granted Estonian citizenship if:

  • Your legal guardian is an Estonian citizen.
  • After you were born, your parents obtained Estonian citizenship.
  • You were born to a single parent who has gained Estonian citizenship and is willing to raise you alone.
  • One of your parents, who is not an Estonian citizen, obtained citizenship after you were born and with the permission of the other parent (the parent can provide the consistent at the Service Office at the PBGB).
  • Your parents or (one of your parents with the approval of the other parent or a parent willing to raise you alone) are simultaneously seeking for Estonian citizenship.

To apply for Estonian citizenship as a minor, you must provide the following documents:

  • Application Form
  • One passport-size photograph
  • Identity documents for both parents.
  • Agreement letter from the other parent who is not an Estonian citizen. The letter must be signed by both parents.
  • Letter confirming that you are transporting the child alone (if you are a single parent planning on bringing up the child alone in Estonia).
  • A document proving you are the legal guardian.
  • A certified document that confirms the legal guardian’s rights.

Estonia Country Landscape Photo

How Do I Apply for Estonian Citizenship?

To apply for Estonian citizenship, you must complete the following steps:

  1. To start, you must make an online appointment through the Estonian government’s official website. The appointment helps you to complete the application process more quickly.
  2. Prepare the paperwork.
  3. All required documentation must be submitted in person at Estonia’s Police Border Guard Border. They are in charge of processing your citizenship application.
  4. Wait for a reply. The Police Border Guard Border will respond to your citizenship application within six months.

Advantages of Estonian Citizenship

Estonian citizenship comes with a variety of advantages, including:

  • The right to vote in Estonia
  • Estonian citizens have the right to run for office in Estonian elections.
  • Estonian citizens are free to work anywhere in the EU with your Estonian passport.
  • Estonian citizens are free to establish a business anywhere in the EU (an Estonian identity document is enough).
  • Estonian citizens have the same rights as other EU citizens when traveling without a visa.
  • The state of Estonia will defend you.
  • Estonian citizens can travel to 183 different countries without a visa.
  • Estonian citizens can work, study, and reside in any of the other 28 Schengen nations.

Dual citizenship in Estonia

Dual citizenship is not allowed in Estonia. Estonian citizens may not hold the citizenship of another country at the same time.

A person who gains citizenship of another state by birth in addition to Estonian citizenship must renounce either Estonian citizenship or citizenship of the other state within three years of reaching the age of 18.

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