Estonia E-Residency: How To Become A Citizen

This article is written by Milambo Kabeleka, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

The Republic of Estonia has created a digital society for global citizens and has opened it to the world. E-Residency is a global digital identity that anyone in the world can apply to obtain access to a system that allows people to run their companies remotely. Residents get to enjoy the freedom of managing their company from anywhere, using public e-services and also a chance to be part of a global community of entrepreneurs.

Word of the Estonian e-Residency nation has spread and a lot of entrepreneurs would like to be a part of this digital nation.  This is how you can be part of this growing e-nation.

Applying for citizenship in Estonia is done in a few easy steps:

  • Firstly, you will have to gather your documents and make sure you have your ID ready. You will need a copy of your government issued ID, a passport-style digital photo, motivation statement and a Visa or Mastercard.
  • Fill out an online application form, pay a €100 state fee and await approval. After the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board conduct a background check, a confirmation email is sent. This process takes 6 to 8 weeks. When granted, you will have to pick up your state ID from the Estonian consulate and embassy or other service points selected in your application. 
  • Choose a virtual office provider and register your company online. The state fee is  €190, after that, you are free to register for banking and payment processing.
  • Run your business remotely, from wherever you are. Choose from a list of trusted providers to help run your office from virtual assistants to run your office. This takes about 1 month.

Estonia intends on working with startups to incorporate sectors to the list of public e-services  such as Health care, crypto currency and coins. It is at this point that the government can step in to make sure this digital nation provides the best services for its residents.

In 10years, nations will be scaling just  as startups are scaling.

Benefits of e-Residency

E-Residency has a lot of benefits for entrepreneurs. Some of these include:

  • The freedom to work from anywhere. With e-Residency, business owners are location independent. They are able to start companies online from anywhere in the world, and manage them remotely. There is no need to re-establish it every time you move to a new place.
  • Access to financial institutions such as banks, investors and money transfer facilities like PayPal. These services not only make running a business grow by making international money transfer easy. Startups are also met with opportunities to scale as they can network with some of the biggest investors on the EU market.
  • Growing a business remotely is made easy by the feature that allows you to sign, authenticate, encrypt and send documents online.
  • Networking. One cannot underestimate the impact of networking on both the entrepreneur and the company. E-Residents can network with other residents from over a 150 countries. They can also connect with other entrepreneurs providing services in a growing marketplace.

In a digital world, e-Residency is the solution to global growth of companies and a way of breaking borders to allow entrepreneurs to reach their full potential.

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