Estonia invites anyone in the world to apply for e-Residency, as long as:
- You have a reasonable interest in using e-services in Estonia
- You are not an Estonian citizen or a foreigner residing in Estonia on a residence permit or with the right of residence (you already have a government-issued digital ID)
E-Residency is particularly well-suited for many freelancers, consultants, digital nomads, solo entrepreneurs and other digital entrepreneurs interested in establishing a digital services company they can manage from anywhere.
Background check: All applicants receive background checks by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board, the organization that manages the entire application process, to ensure digital identities are used by verified people with honest intentions.
Travel: Your e-Residency digital ID card is not a travel document and your e-resident status does not provide you with the legal right to enter a foreign country, including Estonia. If you are approved, you will need to travel to an official pick-up location to provide fingerprints and pick up your e-Residency kit in person.
Banking: Though e-Residency can be issued to anyone who meets the criteria, certain private-sector services, such as banking, set their own criteria and e-resident status does not guarantee access to these services. If you are a resident of a country on the FATF list of high risk and other monitored jurisdictions, you will most likely have difficulty accessing any kind of business banking service even with a company registered in Estonia. Check out this article for an overview of banking basics.
Transparency: In Estonia, a significant proportion of information about Estonian companies is publicly available. This includes basic information, such as ownership, contacts and key financial reports. The availability of this information helps Estonia to have a transparent and trusted online business environment.