Digital Nomad Visa and e-Residency: 2 more steps in Estonia’s digital world

The COVID-19 pandemic and the technological facilities for teleworking has made us rethink many of our usual work routines. Estonia, the first digital nation of the world, knows it and is ready to bet on these new dynamics.

When facing this new scenario, two attractive programs center their attention in the Baltic nation, baptized as the European Silicon Valley. Electronic residency (e-Residency), implanted since 2004, was the fore-show of the Digital Nomad Visa.

Digital Nomad Visa

At the start of June, the Estonian parliament adopted the measures necessary to create the Digital Nomad Visa. This document, focused on the so-called digital nomads, it makes travelling to the European country as a tourist possible. At the same time, they can still work legally for their employer or their own registered company overseas.

“The digital nomad visa will strengthen Estonia’s image as an electronic state and will help Estonia be more influential in the global arena. It also helps exporting Estonia’s electronic solutions, which is especially important to recover of the current economic crisis.”

Mart Helme, Ministry of Interior of Estonia.

Who can apply for the Digital Nomad Visa?

In this regard, the government foresees that approximately 1 800 people a year will apply for the digital nomad visa. However the duration of this visa is of one year. Is also important to realize, that authorities have made it clear that no one is automatically eligible for a visa. They also emphasized that records of all applicants will be verified equally.

Due to the coronavirus impact, only people from a limited group of approved countries from outside the EU can apply for the visa. Here, we are talking about the Schengen Zone or UK . To rephrase it, this document won’t allow people of other countries outside of this list to travel to Estonia. The application process has not opened yet.

On the other side, authorities have made clear that the implementation of the digital nomad visa is one of the ways of facing the world crisis that will come after the coronavirus pandemic.

Requisites to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa

  • The applicants can telework no matter their location
  • They must be working in a company outside of Estonia
  • in case of being the owner of a business, then their clients must be mainly from out of Estonia
  • they must provide evidence that their minimum monthly income in the last six months are about 3 504 euros

¿What is the e-Residency?

One of the documents that has made Estonia the reference concerning the digital identity implementation is the e-Residency. This electronic residence allows access to the digital entrepreneurial environment of the European country. It’s a secure digital identity issued by the government.

Launched in 2014, the ambitious program of the e-Residency is open to citizens of the world. It allows them to create businesses or manage taxes from that country without having to live in the Baltic nation.

Until the 29th of June of this year, according to the e-Residency’s official website’s statistics, there are 70 344 electronic residents in Estonia. They are mostly from Finland ((5 464), Russia (4 792) and Ukraine (4 375).

Advantages of the Estonian e-Residency

If you are a digital nomad, freelancer, digital entrepreneur or are thinking of a start-up you can apply for the e-Residency program. To be eligible you can’t have criminal records and to present your application you must pay a state fee of 100 euros. After, the Board of Police and the Border Guard of Estonia will verify these records and notify you via e-mail. This process lasts from 6-8 weeks approximately.

“The digital services are destined to take down barriers: give people opportunities not based on their citizenship or place of residency, but to make them global citizens. At first, we wanted to save entrepreneurs’ time and money, and discover that we could offer financial inclusion for citizens of third world countries through Estonia.”

Ott Vatter, head of the e-Residency program, in an interview to Global Government Forum.

 The e-Residency makes the citizen the bearer of a digital identity. This document allows you to sign contracts digitally, send documents in a safe way and access Estonia’s electronic services and a global community of electronic residencies.

Do you know any e-Residents? The benefits of this modality might suit your next business or project. Welcome to Estonia!

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Aline Marie Rodríguez

Journalist with my pen and my lens. Photography lover.

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