What is e-Residency?
E-Residency is a government-issued digital identity that gives you the freedom to run a global, EU-company online from anywhere in the world.
As an e-Resident, you not only join a global network of entrepreneurs, but also gain access to the e-services that have helped to power the Republic of Estonia for decades.
Am I Eligible?
Estonia invites anyone in the world to join our digital nation as long as they meet the following criteria:
- You have reasonable interest in using e-services in Estonia
- You are not a foreigner residing in Estonia on a residence permit or with the right of residence
- You are not a foreigner staying in Estonia due to the International Military Cooperation Act and do not hold an identity or residency card issued by the Police and Border Guard Board
All applicants receive background checks by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board to ensure that the digital identity is used by a legitimate person with honest intentions.
What Can I Do as an e-Resident?
If you are granted e-Residency, you will receive a government-issued digital ID card that allows you access to e-services. Most e-services available for e-residents currently are business related, so entrepreneurs will benefit most from e-Residency.
Your digital ID card may only be used in an electronic environment, and is not a valid form of identification outside of the internet. Although e-residents receive government-issued digi- ID’s similar to those of citizens, e-residency does not confer citizenship, tax residency, residence, or right of entry to Estonia or to the European Union. Your e-Residency digi-ID card cannot be used as physical identification or as a travel document.
E-Residency empowers you with all of the tools you need to establish and manage a location-independent business from anywhere in the world. E-Residency grants you the ability to do the following:
- Digitally sign documents and contracts
- Verify authenticity of signed documents
- Encrypt and transmit documents securely
- Establish an Estonian company online
- Administer your company from anywhere in the world
- Apply for third party services like e-Banking and remote money transfers
- Access online payment service providers
- Declare Estonian taxes online
A list of the e-Services most often used by e-Residents can be found here
How Do I Apply?
You can join the new digital nation today by submitting an application here: https://apply.gov.ee
After you pay the €100 state fee, the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board will begin reviewing the application. It typically takes no more than 1.5-2 months for your application to be reviewed and your digital ID card to be shipped to a qualifying embassy, consulate, or office of your choice.
Coming to Estonia
Although e-Residents have access to several of the e-Services used by citizens of Estonia, your digital ID card does not serve as a residency permit and e-Residency does not grant you the right of physical residency in Estonia.
If you are interested in moving to Estonia, you can do your research and take the necessary procedures yourself or you can contact a relocation service provider. A relocation service provider can assist you with either a personalized consultation or a full service for moving to Estonia. You can find a list of relocation service providers here: https://e-resident.gov.ee/run-a-company/#Relocation_services
A temporary visit to Estonia may require a visa. Standard process for visa applications applies regardless of the e-Residency status. You can find more information about visiting Estonia and applying for a visa from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose website is located here: http://vm.ee/en/taxonomy/term/41
Tourists to Estonia can consult the comprehensive tourist guide located here: https://www.visitestonia.com/en
An Estonian residency permit grants its holder the right to live, and in most cases, work in Estonia. If you are interested in physically moving to Estonia, please visit the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board’s website to learn more about applying for a residency permit: https://www.politsei.ee/en/teenused/residence-permit/tahtajaline-elamisluba/
You can find a lot of useful information about living and working in Estonia here: http://www.workinestonia.com/working-in-estonia/
If you are the founder of a startup and are interested in taking it to Estonia, you can find information about obtaining a startup visa through Startup Estonia here: http://startupestonia.ee/visa/founder
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