An intriguing EstonianWorld article reveals that overseas citizens can apply for e-residency in Estonia and, in doing so, use its advanced digital infrastructure to not only launch an Estonian business online within one day but also manage it from anywhere in the world (among other benefits, like receiving a shiny new card).
Estonia has been a surprise success since the dissolution of the USSR (I hadn’t even heard of it until the 1990s), punching well above its weight. While it might be better known as a Ryanair weekend destination through Tallinn, the small republic has given the world Skype and established the most advanced digital society anywhere. As far as national monikers go, “e-Estonia” – as the Baltic country has been dubbed – isn’t at all bad.
Launched in December 2014, the e-Residency programme has unsurprisingly sparked an increase in interest from UK citizens owing to Brexit, especially among entrepreneurs and business leaders: average monthly applications more than doubled after the Brexit referendum in 2016.
But applicants needn’t be resident in any one country. Article author Adam Rang explains how digital nomads may register and manage their business while on the move: more than 40% of e-residency applications were reportedly to launch a location-independent business. The author adds by way of an example that the founder of a travel food blog, TripGourmets, left the UK six years ago and applied for e-residency with her partner.
At a time when some states on this planet are putting up barriers and making a lot of noise, it’s refreshing that Estonia is making a positive global impact, moving forward with the times and pioneering new approaches in a transparent way.
Anyone wishing to become an e-Estonian (and frankly, I’m giving this some thought myself), can apply online in four steps: https://e-estonia.com/e-residents/apply/ The card can be picked up from any of the 38 Estonian embassies and consulates around the world (though the collection time can take up to 3 months in Singapore and San Francisco).