Estonia is the first country to offer e-residency to foreigners, even if you’ve never been to the country! This is perfect for business owners or adventure seekers. When my travel-loving ears heard about this, I had to see what was involved to become an e-resident of Estonia.
What is E-Residency?
E-residency opens Estonia’s borders electronically to many foreign online business opportunities. The digital ID card allows e-residents to have a digital identity and digital signature valid anywhere in the EU or any other country that uses electronic authentication. Every Estonian citizen already uses the digital ID card, which allows citizens to manage banking, register businesses, apply for benefits, pay parking tickets, check medical records, vote online, and about 4,000 other services. E-residency allows people across the world the same opportunities. The goal of e-residency is to make Estonia bigger!
How to Become an E-Resident of Estonia
E-residents can establish a company online, declare taxes online, conduct all banking online, and digitally sign documents without having to hire a local representative. The country only requires one in-person meeting at a bank to open a bank account.
The application for e-residency is completely online and only requires a picture of a valid passport and a passport-like photo (any photo where you are facing forward will do). It’s a quick 5-10 minute application. There is a marketing question asking why you want e-residency: obviously my answer was because I’m a fan of e-residency! Then, choose a foreign embassy or consulate location to pick up the physical card (there are locations all over the world in 34 countries). Finally, there is a 50€ fee to pay online. Then, voilà – you’re an e-Estonian!
Safety and Security
Estonia is one of the most advanced countries technologically in the world. In fact, Estonia created Skype! Estonia is known worldwide for advanced cybersecurity technology. The services are built on state of the art technology with 2048-bit encryption.
E-residency is about giving foreigners a digital identity to make life and business easier in every day matters; it isn’t a physical ID card, and it doesn’t entail citizenship, tax residency, residence permit, or rights of entry into Estonia or the EU. But still, how cool would it be to say you’re an e-resident of Estonia?!
Would you become an e-resident of Estonia? Can you think of any other benefits you might receive to become an e-resident of Estonia? Do you know anyone who has done this? Let me know in the comments below!
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P.S. You might also like How I Decided to Move to Spain and 10 Reasons Why Living Overseas Makes You A Better Person