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Restoration of Estonian citizenship by descent

We provide advice and assistance in searching for and preparing documents required for restoration of the Estonian citizenship by birth. Analysis of your situation and assessment of your chances of obtaining citizenship is free of charge.

"A person who was born or resided (or whose parents or grandparents were born or resided) in the Republic of Estonia in the period from 24 February 1918 to 14 June 1940 is entitled to obtain an Estonian citizen's passport by birth."

 

Principles of obtaining citizenship by blood and kinship

Obtaining the Estonian citizenship by birth is based on the so-called "right of blood" known by its Latin name ius sanguinis. This principle grants the right to obtain citizenship to persons who have racial, linguistic, cultural and historic characteristics of a particular ethnicity.
In accordance with the above-mentioned principle, a person acquires the citizenship of his or her ancestors by birth. The person's place of birth, the language which the person speaks and considers to be his or her mother tongue and even the citizenship of the country of his or her residence are of absolutely no importance. An ancestor in this context is a (great)-(grand)parent to whom the descendant is linked by ties of kinship and blood. Thus, for example, if your parents, grandparents, etc. resided in Estonia in the period of first independence (1918 – 1940) or held the citizenship of the Republic of Estonia (RE), then you have Estonian roots and the right to get the Estonian passport. To acquire the Estonian citizenship by birth, it is sufficient that at least one of your ancestors was a citizen of the Republic of Estonia at the time of his or her birth.

The above leads to the second principle of obtaining citizenship by kinship: the principle of legal succession of Estonian statehood. In the normal sense of the word, succession refers to the transfer of rights from one person to another, i.e. inheritance. Thus, on 20 August 1991 the of the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic made the decision to restore the independence of Estonia on the basis of the principle of historical continuity of Estonian statehood. Estonia, who managed to restore its independence, is a legal successor to the independent Estonia founded in 1918. The Estonia of 1991 is not a new state but merely a successor. Because in Estonia the people is the holder of supreme power, the principle of succession and continuity applies to citizenship as well.

Consequently, any descendant of a person who resided in independent Estonia in the period from 1918 to 1940 may be deemed to be a citizen of the Republic of Estonia. Because under the Tartu Peace Treaty concluded in 1920 the territory of Estonia included also the Pechorsky region of the Pskov Oblast, descendants of those people who lived in that region are also deemed to be legal successors to citizenship. Estonian citizenship has also been inherited by children and grandchildren of Estonians who lived in Russia and held the Estonian citizenship by choice under the provisions of the Tartu Peace Treaty.

 

Example from real life

The former president of Estonia, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, used one of the principles of obtaining citizenship by birth described above. He was born in Sweden, not Estonia and lived in the United States and Canada for a long time, holding the citizenship of the United States. Taking the opportunity to obtain citizenship under the principle of legal succession, i.e. by relying on his roots, Mr Ilves became the citizen of Estonia. After that Toomas Hendrik Ilves stood as a candidate in the presidential election and became the president of Estonia in 2006. 

P.S. Please contact us only if you have serious intentions and real documents. Having examined your situation and documentation, we will try our best to help you acquire the Estonian citizenship.