In 2015, Estonia introduced the revolutionary concept of e-residency. Estonian e-residency is an online obtainable citizenship with limited rights. You can remotely open a business as e-resident, but cannot use it as a travel document. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of people decided to become Estonian e-resident. Now it might be your turn to join the crowd. We’ll show you how.
Contents of How To Become Estonian E-Resident
Why Become Estonian E-Resident
Of course everybody has his or her own reasons why they want to become e-residents in Eastern Europe. The three main reasons amongst digital nomads are:
- Support this revolutionary new concept
- Open a location independent business in Estonia
- Become an Estonian just for fun, because Estonians are awesome (and super hot!)
Whichever reason your main motivation may be to become Estonian e-resident, the process is simple, straightforward and very affordable.
And here’s your guide on how to become a digital Estonian.
Note: Please understand that your smart ID card does not double as travel document, therefore it won’t help you to obtain a Schengen visa or similar.
What You Need To Become Estonian E-Resident
Requirements to become Estonian e-resident are as straightforward as the entire process. All you need is:
- A digitized passport photo (biometric, 750x600px, 300dpi (no scan, no photo of photo); max. 6 months old)
- A copy of your passport (or the ID you are planning to apply with, in case it is a EU ID; this one can be a scan)
- 101,99 EUR (100 EUR for e-residency, 1,99 EUR as credit card processing fee)
- A little patience. While the application itself takes mere minutes, it takes about 4-12 weeks for your smart ID card and card reader to be delivered to the embassy of your choice.
How To Apply For Your Estonian E-Residency
Again, super easy. These Estonians have simply figured out how to live life light.
Step 1: Get Online
Click ‘Apply to e-Residency’ on the top right.
Step 2: Fill Out The Application
Fill out the details…
…and all your contact information.
Note regards the pick-up location: You can choose from any of the locations listed on the official e-residency website. Scroll half-way down the homepage to where it says ‘Click here for details’. Then click on the city of your choice to find out more about the corresponding embassy, such as address, contact details and opening times.
Now upload your photo and the scan of your chosen identity document.
Last question asks for your main motivation to become an e-resident in Estonia. We wanted to open a business there, and things went through without problems. So far, we haven’t heard of anyone getting an application rejected due to the motivation. (Yeah. Use your common sense, please.)
Step 3: Pay. And Be Patient.
State your motivation, click ‘proceed’, review the information you entered, submit your credit card details and pay.
Boom. Done. Now wasn’t that easy?
After successful application, you receive an email by the Estonian border police, confirming receipt of application. Please note this is only the confirmation that your application was received, no e-residency yet.
For us, it took as little as one more week to receive the confirmation that our e-residency was granted. Once you receive that email, all you need to do is pick up your new ID and the smart card reader.
Depending on your pickup location, Estonia calculates between 4-12 weeks to deliver your brand-new smart card and card reader. For us, it took 18 days after receiving confirmation from the border police that our e-residency has been granted until we learned that our smart ID card had arrived in Berlin.
Pick-up and activation are painless, and all done at the embassy within about 15 minutes. Cute: You even receive a ‘Welcome to Estonia’ email from the Estonian border police once you’re smart ID card has been activated. We like these guys.
Congratulations! You Are Now An Estonian E-Resident!
In total, that made it 25 days from the initial application to being an Estonian e-resident equipped with smart ID card and card reader, ready to do e-business. Unexpectedly even quicker than the 4 weeks minimum they had estimated upon application. But hey – who are we to complain?
Help Others To Become E-Estonians
To help fellow digital nomads obtain their Estonian e-residency, please drop us a short comment about your experiences and join our Facebook discussion on e-residency: How long did it take? Any throwbacks along the way? All support is much appreciated. Thanks!
We wish you loads of location independent success. More time to travel. And more money to spend.