The process is fairly simple. First, go to the application page of the e-Residency program and fill in all the required information.
When you identify the type of application, choose “First e-Residency application.”
You’ll next be asked to provide personal information such as your name, surname, citizenship, etc.
Be sure to include the accurate information, especially the email and phone (as the e-Residency program may need to contact you if certain data is missing or they require you to clarify information).
When your application gets approved, they will send you an e-Residency pack (containing the digital ID card that identifies you as a member of the digital nation) to an e-Residency pick-up location. This field indicates the place you’ll need to pick up your ID card.
If you’re outside of Estonia, these places need to be Estonian embassies. If your current country doesn’t have an Estonian embassy, you’ll need to travel to the closest collection point. Before picking this e-Residency pack up, you will need to schedule an appointment with the embassy.
Next, fill in the details of your national ID (if you are European) or your passport.
The issuing authority is the official institution that issued your ID or passport. Typically, this information is displayed in the passport itself.
You will also need to upload a picture of your face and another of your ID or passport. This face picture has to follow the guidelines for most passport photos: white/neutral background, clearly visible face (e.g. no sunglasses).
Next, you’ll be asked to add some additional information like your CV, social media accounts, and/or criminal background. Some of these fields are mandatory, but if you don’t have any of these, there is an option to specify it.
You may also include current business activities you’re carrying out with other companies.
Finally, you’ll be asked about why you want to become an e-Resident. Here, you should likely choose, “Location Independent International Business”.
Possible Issues with Your Estonian e-Residency Application
The process is normally quite smooth, and – unless you have a nasty criminal record – it will likely be approved. However, sometimes we have found applicants who were required to provide new photos due to blurriness or hair covering their faces.
In these cases, applicants will receive an email within a few days indicating what they should do. As the email contains text in Estonian and Russian, it’s not uncommon to have it sent directly to the spam/junk folder, so be sure to check it regularly.
Investigation from the Estonian Police
If all goes well, you will be sent a message within a few days, informing you that the Estonian Police is reviewing your application. This is normal, it is part of the process, and the goal is to make sure you are a “good guy.”
Some weeks later, you will (hopefully) receive approval confirmation and that your e-Residency pack is on its way to your selected embassy. Next, over the next 1-2 weeks, you’ll receive a notification asking you to come and pick it up.
Picking up Your e-Residency Pack
The feeling of finally having your e-Residency ID card is amazing. Not only does it open the door of Estonian administration to you but it also provides location (and financial) independence.
The e-Resident pack contains the card, a small, folding USB card reader, and some instructions which contain your PIN1 and PIN2 codes. You’ll also have the PUK (which is just like a SIM card). Remember to keep these numbers in a safe place!
- PIN1 is used to authenticate/access sites from your bank account to the Estonian tax office website to our Companio® dashboard.
- PIN2 is used to sign documents, authorize bank payments and transactions, etc.
- The PUK is used to reset either of them.
This process may feel lengthy, but it’s the beginning of an incredible journey that allows you to become a digital nomad while managing your Estonian company completely online.
Once you have your e-Resident card, it’s time to open your business in Estonia? Companio is happy to guide you throughout the process, take care of registering your company, and manage your accountancy, bookkeeping, and taxes. We do this so you can focus on making your business grow.