E-Residency is expanding!

Now you can pick up your e-Residency kit in São Paulo, Bangkok, Johannesburg or Singapore

E-Residency is expanding. And we want to help you expand your business too.

If you apply to become an e-resident now, you can choose one of our new pickup points in São Paulo, Bangkok, Johannesburg, or Singapore on your online application form!

We’ve partnered with BLS International to issue E-Residency cards in these new cities. BLS is a trusted global tech-enabled services firm, providing visa, passport, consular, citizen, e-governance, attestation, biometric, e-visa and retail services to over 46 governments worldwide.

Thanks to BLS, e-Residency is entering new regions and making Estonian e-services accessible to more entrepreneurs around the world.

Why are we expanding?

First and foremost, because our community told us to! We’ve heard you ask for these new locations in support, webinar Q&As, and social media — and we’ve listened.

Secondly, because such a step is consistent with e-Residency values of inclusion and entrepreneurship. We’re making Estonia’s digital services even more accessible by making e-Residency available in new regions including Latin America, South-East Asia, and Southern Africa. This means more people around the world can join an advanced digital nation, register an EU-based company, and grow it remotely with minimal administration and bureaucracy.

Thirdly, the launch of four new international pickup points across three continents accommodates the increase in digital nomads as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. And finally, they also meet rising demands from local entrepreneurs in the new locations, who are seeking to scale their businesses internationally and expand into the European market.

We’ll be publishing more content and resources for each of the four new pickup points in the coming weeks. In the meantime, take a minute now to read the key benefits of e-Residency for entrepreneurs located in the new regions.

São Paulo, Brazil

Despite not having a pickup location for several years, Brazil already boasts 700+ e-residents and 121 companies in Estonia founded by e-residents. This is perhaps unsurprising given the country’s population, ties to Europe, and the entrepreneurial potential of its burgeoning IT, eCommerce and creative industry sectors.

São Paulo is the chosen city to lead e-Residency’s expansion into Latin America. Photo by Joao Tzanno on Unsplash

Brazil holds a reputation for commercial bureaucracy and complexities that some view as a barrier to business. Brazil ranks 124 out of 190 for ease of doing business (World Bank). Contrast this with Estonia’s rank of 18 and the advantages of e-Residency for Brazilian entrepreneurs become clear. Namely, that it’s easier to start and run a business, simpler to register multi-founder companies and do business with EU partners, and is a path to lower bureaucracy.

In addition, it’s the easiest way to expand into the EU or globally. Local Brazilian SMEs can enter the EU market via Estonia. Startups can scale and grow by accessing EU capital. Brazilian freelancers or solopreneurs can better access a wider EU or global audience for their service-based offerings, creative endeavours, or eCommerce ventures.

Ian is an e-resident from São Paulo, Brazil. He co-founded global digital marketing consulting company Mansiontech OÜ with his Austrian business partner and fellow e-resident Georg in Estonia. And it really is global: Ian is based in Brazil, Georg in Austria, and their company is registered in Estonia. Their business is the perfect example of how e-Residency can support remote entrepreneurs working across borders.

Read more in this blog post:

Bangkok, Thailand and Singapore

Asia is home to over 4.5 billion people, more than half the world’s population. Up until now, e-Residency have only had permanent pickup points in Beijing, New Delhi, and more recently in Seoul and Tokyo. That’s less than one pickup location per 1 billion people! By opening up two more pickup points in Singapore and Thailand, we’re going some way to redress this imbalance.

Bangkok and Singapore are two of the world’s most busiest international airports, welcoming travellers and business-people arriving from and transiting between Europe, Oceania, and the Americas. The cities are business hubs not only regionally, but for the whole Asian continent and beyond.

South East Asia is home to hundreds of thousands of foreign immigrants and specialist workers. Coworking and coliving hubs for digital nomads, remote workers and mobile freelancers are proliferating in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Yet, despite offering the perfect climate and lifestyle for foreign entrepreneurs to settle, there are administrative and cost barriers for foreigners wanting to open a company in Thailand. So, e-Residency can step in and enable them to launch and run a location-independent and low bureaucracy business registered in Estonia while they live and work next to white sand beaches in Koh Phangan or in coliving communities in Chiang Mai. Local eCommerce entrepreneurs can expand into the EU market. Startup founders can discover Estonia’s vibrant startup ecosystem.

Like Estonia, Singapore is itself an advanced digital nation with a friendly and streamlined business environment. In this way, e-Residency provides something familiar to digitally-minded Singaporeans and foreign residents wanting to enter the EU market — an advanced digital economy, high levels of trust and security, and low bureaucracy. Investors based in the region can use e-Residency to expand into the EU, invest in Estonia, or easily co-manage an EU-based business across borders with partners from around the world.

A new pickup point in Singapore helps make e-Residency more accessible in SE Asia. Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

Johannesburg, South Africa

Until now, e-Residency has only had one pickup location on the entire continent of Africa — in Cairo, Egypt. Johannesburg is a hub for travel between Southern Africa and the rest of the world, therefore making it a good location for a pickup location to serve this region. There are already just over 250 e-residents from South Africa who have started 50 Estonian companies. A promising start, which will only grow with the new pickup point!

E-Residency promises benefits for both South African entrepreneurs working in the IT sector who seek to cater to EU or international clientele, and those who trade in goods with Europe. South Africa is also much lower on the ease of doing business index than Estonia — so the lack of bureaucracy and simple company creation and administration makes e-Residency an attractive solu
tion. It also holds the advantage of doing business in Euros, a much more stable currency than the South African rand, and better access to EU-based fintech and payment service providers. English is a dominant language in South Africa, meaning that entrepreneurs will be able to navigate Estonia’s business environment comfortably.

E-resident Christelle is based in South Africa, from where she runs her Estonian company Easy Assistant & Co OÜ.

E-Residency has provided Christelle with a remote business solution and access to the European market enabling her to focus on client satisfaction and revenue growth:

“I was looking for a country where I can run things remotely to save time, money and contribute to a worthwhile digital initiative. Since most of my clients are from France, Switzerland, UK, Canada, and the USA, it was also convenient to set up my business in Europe.”

Up until now, it has been difficult or expensive for people in large parts of the world to access e-Residency. With the addition of pick-up points in São Paulo, Bangkok, Singapore and Johannesburg, e-Residency cards are now available for collection at 50 locations worldwide. It opens up opportunities for more entrepreneurs in Africa, Latin America, and South-East Asia to join our community of 80,000 e-residents.

Today’s announcement also demonstrates Estonia’s continued commitment to empowering freelancers, entrepreneurs, business owners and location-independent workers from around the world.

We’re expanding.

Join e-Residency today and expand with us.

Read more about e-Residency on our website and apply today:

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