We have eight passports in our kitchen drawer — one for me, one for Epp, and two for Marta, two for Anna, and two for Mannu Leenu. Uncle Sam doesn’t mind how many passports we have, but according to a 1995 Estonian law, M, A, and ML have to give up their Estonian or American passports upon turning 18. All of us with multinational children in Estonia hope that the government will at last come to its good senses and repeal this law, or at least amend it to allow children born with two nationalities to maintain them. Foreign Minister Paet is in favor of that. So are the Social Democrats and the Centrists. But the conservatives see things differently. When it comes to loving one’s country, Interior Minister “Kõva Käe” (Heavy Handed) Ken-Martti Vaher is an ardent monogamist.”A quality bond between a person and the state is only possible with one country,” says Kõva Käe Ken. “Loyalty conflicts, especially concerning public service and military service, could arise.”


12 thoughts on “dual”

  1. Untrue.

    Anyone who obtained Estonian citizenship by jus sanguinis can not have that citizenship taken away from them. It is theirs for life, if they wish.

    It's in the constitution, which is higher than the law on citizenship.

    No worries 🙂

    (So I remember my wife telling me.)


  2. I've lived in the states for past 8 years being married to an American and I'd love to have both American and Estonian citizenship to avoid having to deal with the hassles that arise from it. However getting US citizenship would require giving up my Estonian citizenship and uncle Sam would never stop taxing my income even if I moved back to Estonia. I guess for some folks it is green card renewal every 10 years until one day when I no longer live here and have to apply for a visa to visit my in-laws?:P


  3. No one is going to strip your kids of their Estonian OR US citizenships. At the moment it's the conservatives who stir the shit. It's a bit of a don't tell, don't ask policy on this issue. Like with everything that involves conservatism. Like when me and my partner registered ourselves as living together here with the council, the woman at the desk was at first like “hmm, how should I put it through?”, then she made few clicks on her computer and whispered meaningfully “aga elu peab käima ju”. And there, sorted.

    Conservatives also want us to sign up by default to join the conscript army, whereas constitution is very clear that this sould be a choice of heart and mind only.

    On so many levels, conservatives want us to lead double lives, have hypocritical beliefs and, well, outright lie.

    in the end of the day this is Estonia, not Nazi-Germany and even if Ken Martti gives an order totake away Estonian ccitizenship off the kids born of Estonian mother, I doubt very much he'll find an official to actually process the procedure plus the public outrage it will cause plus it's unconstitutional. And he wouldn't. He just wants you to keep your mouyh shut, because as a conservative he believes you should live your life the way he tells you to. Luckily they're on their last leg, and will exit Riigikogu come next general election.


  4. Nonsie brings up an interesting point … how about that double taxation? Do all expats pay thru their noses to both countries?

    In that case you either have to be ultra rich or … ultra poor.

    Or super smart and evade all taxes everywhere.

    Slip thru the cracks, so to say.


  5. Nonsie brings up an interesting point … how about that double taxation? Do all expats pay thru their noses to both countries?

    In that case you either have to be ultra rich or … ultra poor.

    Or super smart and evade all taxes everywhere.

    Slip thru the cracks, so to say.


  6. Ius sanguinis always goes above all other laws. So even if a person who falls under that category gets 70 other passports, he can never lose his/her Estonian nationality.
    Former Soviet Army officers can't live in Estonia…unless they are in the category of ius sanguinis. So some still do.


  7. No, it's a fair point. People joining an army should only be citizens of the country that owns the army. If you are in the Estonian army and Estonia goes to war against your other country, that could get awkward.

    Therefore, logically, dual citizens should be banned from active military service and any other position where the conflict of interest would be a clear problem.

    I think that's fair enough: “you can keep both passports as long as you don't join the navy or run for president.”


  8. That just shows how out of sync with real life these conservative politicians really are. instead of facts, they rely on wishful thinking.

    Law was spot on in the early 90's, nowadays it's outdated, shambles. Don't the Irish struggle with similar issues? I know thatmany have got several passports and it used to be illegal, how did they solve it?


  9. Yes, Rick, but I shouldn't have to. That's how the constitution has been designed – not obliged. The same way Giuostinos kids are not supposed to explain thrmselves to the right wing, or whatever, officials – they don't have to! Yet the lawmaker has taken some liberties and made the system work AGAINST us, the ordinary citizens. That's the problem.


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