New amendments to the Estonian Law on Citizenship


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From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 17:57:17 +0200 (EET)
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Subject: New amendments to the Estonian Law on Citizenship

From: MINELRES moderator <minelres@mailbox.riga.lv>

Original sender: Andrei Arjupin <andrew@lichr.ee>

New amendments to the Estonian Law on Citizenship


Estonia has made one more step on the way to democratic state that
respects and observes human rights
 
On 14 June 2000 the Estonian Parliament unanimously adopted new
amendments to the Law on Citizenship, which made acquisition of
Estonian citizenship by naturalization easier for disabled persons.
This question has been discussed during few last years. According to
the new amendments, disabled persons now have opportunity to apply for
Estonian citizenship submitting minimum of documents. The most
important of them is medical expertise certificate. They are not
obliged to pass exam on language knowledge and knowledge of
Constitution of the Estonian Republic. These amendments have made
easier the process of naturalization not only for invalids with grave
handicaps, but also for persons with medium handicaps, whose state of
health does not allow them to take the exams. Persons who are
recognized by court injunction as not capable to exercise, will be
exempted from examination too.
 
Adoption of these amendments raises Estonia's prestige on the
international arena, what is important for fruitful accession
negotiations with the EU. Firstly, the issue, regulated by amendments,
concerns the rights of disabled people, who need especial state
support. Secondly, problems resulting from statelessness, namely
freedom of movement, family reunification and so on, are solved in
human way for this category of residents.
 
On 30 June 2000 the Government adopted the new rules of passing exams
of Estonian language knowledge, Constitution and Law on Citizenship.
On the one hand, possibility to pass both exams in one day is
cancelled. Before adoption of these rules, the Citizenship and
Migration Board (CMB) was in charge of organizing the exams. Now these
functions are divided between the CMB and the State Exam Centre, which
organizes language exam. Applications for passing both exams are
applying to appropriate establishment. On the other hand, the fee is
reduced. Earlier it was obligatory to pay 40% of minimal monthly wage
for two exams (580 EEK). Now he/she has to pay only for language exam
(50 EEK) and for issuing a certificate (50 EEK).
 
In the opinion of an MP, one of the amendments' authors, about 30.000
disabled persons will be able to enjoy this right.

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