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Estonia Citizenship by Marriage

Estonia Citizenship by Marriage

Estonian citizenship by marriage applies if you marry someone who is a citizen of Estonia or has a permanent residency in the country. You can apply to become a citizen through a process called naturalization. Our immigration lawyers in Estonia will explain these steps in detail. 

How to obtain Estonian citizenship

According to the Citizenship Act, Estonian citizenship is an agreement between a person who is a citizen of Estonia and the Estonian government. Nobody can be forced to give up his/her citizenship if he/she was born with it. Dual citizenship is not permitted in the country, with the exception of minors who come from parents with different citizenship.

You can obtain citizenship by birth or alternatively, you can obtain Estonian citizenship by marriage. 

Initially, as the spouse of an Estonian citizen, you will receive a temporary residence permit that allows you to live in Estonia for five years. After those five years, you can renew your Estonian residency for another three years. Once you have lived in the country for a total of eight years, you can apply to become a citizen through a process called naturalization. This means you will have the same rights and privileges as any other Estonian citizen.

Individuals interested in this matter and wish to know more about immigration to Estonia are encouraged to get in touch with our specialists.

Requirements for obtaining Estonian citizenship by marriage

As mentioned above, you first need to get a temporary residence permit for your spouse. This permit grants a residence card, which also serves as an ID card, as proof of permission to stay in the country. Our Estonian lawyers can help you obtain this permit for your partner. 

In the process of obtaining Estonian citizenship by marriage, you will also need to register your partner’s place of residence in the Population Register. It is also important to have a sufficient income that is at least double the subsistence level established each year by the State Budget Act, which you will need to confirm when applying. Additionally, you must have a valid medical insurance policy that meets the requirements stated in section 120 (“Insurance cover”) of the Aliens Act, which you will also need to confirm when submitting your application.   

If the marriage lasts less than 3 years, the residence permit can be granted for up to one year at a time, and it can be renewed for a maximum of three years in total.

If the marriage has been longer than 3 years, the residence permit can be granted and renewed for up to three years at a time.  

Naturalization process

The last step in the process of obtaining Estonian citizenship by marriage is naturalization. There are a few criteria that need to be taken into account when becoming a citizen via naturalization:

  1. Your spouse must have lived in Estonia for at least eight years, with the last five years having permanent residence;
  2. He/she must be familiar with the Estonian language;
  3. He/she must pass an examination on the Estonian Constitution, demonstrate a means of support, and take an oath of loyalty.

Naturalization also happens in the case of Estonian citizenship by investment. 

Individuals interested in the subject of immigration to Estonia can find the following data and statistics useful:

  • In 2022, 49,414 persons immigrated to Estonia;
  • Over 3,000 individuals were EU citizens and over 30,000 were from Ukraine.
  • A significant majority of the immigrants consisted of females within the age range of 35-39 (2,792 individuals).

If you wish to know more about the process of obtaining Estonian citizenship by marriage, please contact our law firm in Estonia.