FAQs about the online application process to become an Estonian e-resident
This post contains detailed information about the e-Residency application process. In general, the process is online and usually takes around 30 minutes to complete, if you have all of your documents ready. This article will not cover the process beyond submitting your online application form and how it is processed – i.e. it will not cover what happens next or how to pick up your card. These topics I will cover in a future article.
The article also doesn’t cover why you should apply for e-Residency or whether it will suit your particular situation. For this information, I encourage you to read the article Is e-Residency for me?
Before reading on, it is important to know that the e-Residency application environment is administered by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB). The E-Residency team does not have an overview of submitted applications. If you need help submitting your e-Residency application, contact the PBGB at email@example.com.
Preparing to apply for e-Residency
Which documents must be submitted with the application?
- Digital photo: The image file you upload must be a passport-style photo of your face in colour no older than six months. A photo must be a minimum of 1MB but cannot exceed 5MB. Minimum pixels must be 1300 x 1600. The file type for the photo must also be in .jpg or .jpeg format.
- Copy of your travel document: The image file type must be in .jpg, .jpeg, .png or .bmp format and it cannot exceed 1.3MB.
- Motivation statement: In your motivation statement, write about why you are applying for e-Residency. We encourage you to mention anything notable about your past business experience as well as your future business plans. Apart from that, there are no requirements for the structure or content of your motivation statement.
- CV: Provide information about your education and work experience.
- Choosing your pickup location: you must specify in your application form where you wish to pick up your e-Residency digital ID card – currently there are 45 pickup points located around the world. Make sure your choice is in a place where you can legally travel to. Picking up your e-Residency digital ID card is not a valid reason to be issued a visa to travel to Estonia or any other country.
- Credit card: To complete the online application, a state fee needs to be paid with a MasterCard or VISA credit card or a MasterCard or VISA debit card that has the credit card function.
Read more about the application process on our Knowledge Base.
Which identification document can I use to apply for e-Residency?
You will need to submit a copy of your travel document issued by your country of citizenship. The identification documents accepted by the PBGB are passports or European Union identity cards.
How much does it cost to apply for an e-Residency?
The e-Residency digital ID application requires a state fee to be paid upon submission of the application. The amount depends on the pick-up location you will choose:
- In Estonia (Service Point of the PBGB): 100 euros;
- Estonian embassy: 120 euros (100 euros for the application and 20 euros for the courier are collected together when submitting the application);
- Collection centre: 100 euros plus a service fee paid at collection of your eID (cost depends on the pickup location).
The state fee is paid for the processing of the application according to the State Fees Act § 272 (8). The full text of the Act is available here.
The e-Residency digital ID card is valid for 5 years and there are no annual fees, but in order to maintain access to Estonian e-services, you will need to apply to renew your digital ID card every 5 years and pay the state fee again when renewing it.
Submitting your e-Residency application
How to start my application for e-Residency?
The application for the e-Residency digital ID card can be submitted online in the PBGB application environment. You will need to create an account with your email. A magic link is sent to the email that enables you to activate and log in to your account. The link will be active for 60 minutes. Your personal account also allows you to check the status of your submitted application once the application has been submitted.
What is the National Identification Number?
A national identification number, national identity number, or national insurance number is used by the governments of many countries as a means of tracking their citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents for the purposes of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other governmentally-related functions. The number is typically displayed on identity documents.
If your country does not have such a number, please choose “Not applicable in my country of citizenship” on the application form.
Why can’t I submit the application?
Common reasons behind not being able to submit the application are problems related to the files that you are required to upload. Be sure the image files you upload are a minimum of 1MB but do not exceed 5MB. The file type must also be .jpg or .jpeg format. File types .pdf, .png and .tiff are only accepted for the copy of your passport or ID card.
What are the alternative payment options?
Unfortunately, there are no alternatives. The state fee must be paid when submitting the application. It is not possible to pay the state fee later as the application will not be processed without the payment.
If you do not have a MasterCard credit card or VISA debit card that has the credit card function, you may ask someone else to make the payment for you. The receipt of the payment will be later sent to your email.
What to do if the payment fails?
The payment will fail if you use a credit card other than a VISA or MasterCard credit or debit card. Only VISA and MasterCard cards are supported.
Please check if:
- Your card is valid for e-commerce transactions;
- Your card is enrolled for 3DS transactions;
- There are sufficient funds on your account;
- You have not exceeded the limit on the card;
- Your card is valid;
- You enter the right numbers for the 3DS password, CVC and expiry date;
- Your bank authorised the payment. If not, please contact your bank directly;
- Your Internet connection is sufficient and/or your browser settings are not blocking the payment.
Can I get an invoice?
The amount paid for the e-Residency digital ID card is a State fee. There are no invoices or other receipts available other than the receipt you have already received from the Police and Border Guard Board.
If you wish to receive the receipt of payment again, please contact the Police and Border Guard Board directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. ln your email please include the name of the cardholder, card number, and date when the payment was done.
A state fee is a sum payable in the cases provided by law in an amount established by the State Fees Act for the performance of an act for which a state fee is charged. The state fee is paid for the processing of the application according to the State Fees Act § 272 (8).
How can I change my application?
Contact PBGB directly at email@example.com and they will forward your request to the issuing officer. Please also provide your full name and date of birth or the application number when contacting them.
How can I cancel my submitted application?
In order to cancel your current e-Residency application, please contact the issuing authority at the first possibility. They will be able to cancel the process if you provide them with your full name and date of birth. Please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you cancel before proceedings have commenced on your application, there is a possibility to get the state fee refunded. You need to fill in an application and send it to the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board. You can find the refund application form and contacts at the Police and Border Guard Board website.
Processing of your e-Residency application
What is the timeframe for processing the application?
The PBGB will review your application within 30 days of submission. It is possible they will need to extend the review period if they choose to request more information from you. In such a case, you will receive an email from the issuing officer requesting additional information or documents. Please make sure to check your inbox periodically so you will not miss emails sent by the PBGB.
Is it possible to expedite the processing of my application?
Unfortunately, there is no option available for the expedited process. The issuing authority will notify you by email once the decision is made.
What is the status of my application?
You can view and track the status of your application by logging into the application environment.
This article was written by Heidi Havam, Customer Support and Quality Manager at e-Residency. If you have ever written to our support team, it’s likely that Heidi has assisted with your queries!
Find more in-depth, support-focused content on the e-Residency Knowledge Base.