Government to revoke 10 citizenships acquired illegally

Estonian flags at citizenship receival ceremony.
Estonian flags at citizenship receival ceremony. Source: PPA

The government will revoke Estonian citizenship from 10 people who have presented false data when applying for citizenship. Taking away Estonian citizenship will also affect the people who acquired it during the naturalization.

In 2015, the Police and Border Guard Board discovered during an investigation that during the years of 2013-2015, a widespread fraud has been committed by a criminal group.

People had been given the possibility to acquire Estonian citizenship without meeting the necessary conditions. The participants of the fraud didn't pass the required exams and provided state institutions with false data.

Minister of the Interior Mart Helme (EKRE) said: "Different institutions are working daily to discover fraud schemes. Individuals that have cheated or acquired citizenship in an illegal way will be discovered sooner or later and they need to take responsibility for their actions. Having Estonian citizenship is a matter of honor and a fraudster should not have it."

According to the government's decision, citizenship will be revoked from 10 individuals who acquired citizenship during naturalization. For the rest, collecting evidence will continue.

"Citizenship is not revoked lightly. First, they are given the chance to pass the required exams in a reasonable time and extend the time if needed. When the person doesn't pass the exams in the foreseen time and present the necessary documents, the Ministry of the Interior has made a proposal to take away citizenship from these people," Helme explained.

These 10 people can apply for a living permit.

The legal basis for the deprivation of Estonian citizenship arises from §28 first point 4 of the Citizenship Act, which establishes that Estonian citizenship is revoked by a government order from a person wh concealed circumstances that would have excluded giving him citizenship far, Estonian citizenship has been revoked by a government decision only once, in 2016.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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