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Since 2019, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences will organise free Estonian language courses for people who wish to achieve B1 language level to apply for Estonian citizenship.

Hereby it is not important what the person’s mother tongue is or what other languages they speak.

For the participation in Estonian language courses free of charge, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences will sign a language instruction agreement with the learner.

The language instruction agreement is signed with a person who is:

* a foreigner wishing to become an Estonian citizen and who

1) is at least 15 years old;
2) has lived in Estonia under a residence permit or right of residence at least five years;
3) has not participated in the Estonian language instruction of the given level funded or co-funded by the state two years prior to signing the present contract;
4) does not comply with the circumstances of section 1 of § 21 of the Citizenship Act.

* the signing of the contract with a minor between the age of 15-18 requires the approval of their parent or guardian.

How is the person’s current level of Estonian language skills determined?

The person’s present Estonian language skills are established with a language test taken before signing the agreement. In case the language test results reveal that the person’s Estonian language skills are below the level B1, the person is allowed to participate in the language course free of charge.

What is the language level of the free Estonian language courses?

The free Estonian language courses start from the beginner’s level, in other words, for people who wish to start the language course from the beginning and also for people who already know the language on the beginner’s or elementary level but whose language skills are still below B1.

First, the person must submit the application.

Within 5 working days after the receipt of the application, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences will send a confirmation of the registration and further instructions.

How is the employed participant of the language course reimbursed for the study leave?

The person who has been granted unpaid study leave for participating in the language course according to the language instruction agreement will be paid a compensation for 20 working days per one language skill level pursuant to their average salary. The maximum level of the compensation calculation will be the annual average gross salary in Estonia.

Where and when do the free Estonian language courses take place?

It depends on the person’s preferences and the amount of interest in the language course participation in the given region. In the application, it is possible to mark the city where the person wishes to attend the free Estonian language courses. There will be courses in Tallinn and East Viru County starting in February. Other locations will be added, if necessary.

How long will the courses last?

It is determined individually. The length of free Estonian language courses depends on the person’s present Estonian language level. It is estimated that getting from one language skill level to the next takes about 120-160 hours of instruction (for instance, to get from A2 to B1).

Please note!:

  • A person’s compliance with the language instruction agreement requirements is checked by the Police and Border Guard Board.
  • With the language instruction agreement, the person assumes the responsibility to attend free language instruction until the achievement of the language skills level B1 and to apply for Estonian citizenship within one year after passing the Estonian language exam on level B1.
  • If the person cannot submit the application within one year as they have not lived in Estonia under a residence permit or right of residence at least eight years, of which at least five years on a permanent basis, prior to the date of application submission, the given application may be submitted in agreement with Estonian Academy of Security Sciences within three years after passing the Estonian language exam on level B1.
  • The person who has been granted unpaid study leave for participating in the language course according to the language instruction agreement will be paid a compensation for 20 working days per one language skill level pursuant to their average salary. The maximum level of the compensation calculation will be the annual average gross salary in Estonia.
  • The language instruction agreement is considered as having been executed when the person has submitted an application for Estonian citizenship to the Police and Border Guard Board.
  • In case the person does not execute the language instruction agreement or did not comply with the agreement conditions at the time of entering into the contract, Estonian Academy of Security Sciences will collect the language instruction costs and the compensation from the person.
  • Estonian Academy of Security Sciences will issue a statement note on the language instruction costs and the compensation whereby the person obliged to reimburse the language instruction costs and the compensation must repay the language instruction costs and the compensation paid to them.
  • Estonian Academy of Security Sciences may release the person from the obligation to reimburse the language instruction costs and the compensation if the agreement cannot be executed on valid grounds.
  • The conditions and procedures for entering into the language instruction contract, participation in the language instruction, the payment of the compensation, the calculation and reimbursement of the language instruction costs and the compensation as well as the list of personal data to be submitted will be established by the Regulation of the Minister of the Interior.

Further information:
Jana Kondrašova
Advisor at the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences
jana.kondrasova@sisekaitse.ee
Tel 551 1638