More than 700 people received Estonian citizenship in 2020

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773 people received Estonian citizenship this year which is 41more than last year. The majority of people previously held undetermined or Russian citizenship.

Adviser to the Department of Citizenship and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Interior Kristen Kanarik said: "Most of those who received Estonian citizenship, 497, had previously held undetermined citizenship. The second largest group consisted of former Russian citizens, of whom there were 205."

Additionally, citizens from the following countries took Estonian citizenship: Ukraine (20), Armenia (8), Pakistan (8), Lithuania (7), Belarus (5), Latvia (4), India (3), Turkey (3), Sri Lanka (2), USA (2), Kyrgyzstan (2), Finland (2), Azerbaijan (1), Egypt (1), Georgia (1), China (1), Cameroon (1).

Kanarik said a non-Estonian over the age of 15 can acquire citizenship by naturalization if they have lived in Estonia for at least eight years, have a long-term resident's residence permit or right of residence, are registered in Estonia, have a legal income and have passed the language and citizenship exam.

There are several exceptions, such as children or those over 65, who can acquire Estonian citizenship under simplified conditions.

Data from the Population Register shows, 85,085 citizens of the Russian Federation and 69,169 persons with undetermined citizenship lived in Estonia as of December 1. There next largest migrants groups were 11,385 Ukrainians, 7,488 Finns and 4,960 Latvians.

At the start of January, 71,051 people with undetermined citizenship lived in Estonia and the number of stateless persons in Estonia decreased by 2.6 percent. This is a smaller number than in 2019 when the drop was 6.7 percent.

Last year, the government granted Estonian citizenship to a total of 732 people, of whom 459 had undetermined citizenship and 221 were former Russian citizens.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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