The Republic of Estonia is the first and yet the only country to offer e-residency. e-Residency of Estonia allows non-Estonians access Estonian services such as company formation, banking, payment processing, and taxation. e-Residency additionally enables secure and convenient digital services that facilitate credibility and trust online. e-Resident will get a smart card which can be used to sign documents and as an identification card. Today Estonia has more than 14 000 e-residents from 136 different countries.

Estonians have been using smart cards since 2002. There are some peculiarities between Estonians and e-residents smart cards. Estonians have their photo on a smart card, so they can use it as identification card when traveling in EU, similar to passport. e-residents don’t have their photo on the card, they still will be able to easily identify themselves and access online services across Europe, having to consider it is not a travel document. Estonians can also vote in elections online and fill their income tax return within 5 minutes, buy a car and use a smart card as a loyalty card in shops and restaurants. e-residency doesn’t give a citizenship or the right to enter or reside in Estonia. As an e-resident you can use smart card for buying prescription medicine and vote remotely in shareholder meetings if you are a shareholder of companies in the Tallinn Stock exchange.

Shortly, e-Residents can:

– digitally sign documents and contracts. Digital signatures and authentification are legally equivalent to handwritten signatures and face-to-face identification in Estonia and between partners around the world.
– verify the authenticity of signed documents
– encrypt and trasmit documents securely
– establish an Estonian company online – Big Six will help you to get physical address in Estonia, that is required to establish a company
– administer the company from anywhere in the world. Or you can let Big Six do it for you.
– conduct e-banking and remote money transfers
– access online payment service providers
– declare Estonian taxes online
– fulfillment of medical prescriptions

And there are more yet to come…

You can apply for e-Residency online. Once the application is approved, just one face-to-face meeting is required to collect the card from one of the Estonia’s foreign representations in 34 countries or the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board service points. If you apply in Estonia, the process can be completed in ten days. However, completing the process remotely takes about one month. The goal is to reduce the processing time to a mere three weeks. The Welcome pack includes a USB card reader used in combination with smart card’s chip for identity verification when you wish to undertake any actions.