On our previous post, we I explained what is the e-Residency program and why it may be the perfect solution for you if you are small business owner, freelancer or entrepreneur. In this article, we describe how you can apply to become an e-Resident, step by step. Let do this!
How to apply for the e-Residency program
The process is fairly simple. The first thing you have to do is go to the application page of the e-Residency program and fill in all the required information.
The first question is simple, identify the type of request. Choose “First residency application” (first request).
Then they ask you some personal information such as your name, surname, citizenship…
So far so good, right? Next goes your contact information. Try to put your correct address, and especially the email and phone, as they may need to contact you if some data is missing or you need to clarify some information.
Below you will see this strange field: “Pick-up location”. 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. This field then indicates the place where you want to pick up your ID card. Outside of Estonia, these places need to be Estonian embassies. So if your country does not have a Estonian embassy, probably you will need to do a little trip to the closest collection point. Remember always to schedule an appointment with the embassy before picking up your e-Residency pack.
We are almost finished. Just 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. Most probably, that’s the police of your country, and usually, this information is displayed in the passport itself.
Also, you will 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 or neutral background, your face has to be clearly visible, no sunglasses, etc.
Next, you need to add some additional information, like your CV, social media accounts, or criminal background. Some of these fields are mandatory, but if you don’t have a CV, or any social media account or criminal background records, there is an option to specify it.
Also, optionally, you can let them know about current business activity that you may be doing with other companies.
Finally, they will ask you about your reasons for becoming an e-Resident. Here, you should probably choose, “Location Independent International Business”.
Usually the process is quite smooth, and there are usually no problems with the application. Unless you have a nasty criminal record, it will probably be approved. However, sometimes we have found applicants who have had to repeat the photo because their hair was covering their faces, or the pic was blurry…
In those cases, you will receive an email in a few days indicating what you should do. Make sure to check your spam folder regularly. As the email contains text in Estonian and Russian, it’s not uncommon to have it sent directly to the junk folder.
Investigation from the Estonian Police
If all goes well, a few days later they will send you a message 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”.
Then, some weeks later, you will hopefully receive a confirmation that your application has been approved, and that your e-Residency pack is on its way to the embassy you selected. Probably one week to ten days later, you will receive a notification asking you to come and pick it up.
Picking up your e-Residency Pack
The approval process takes a long time, but it’s worth it. The feeling of finally having your e-Residency ID card in your hands is amazing. It opens you the doors of the Estonian administration, and it’s the key to open the company that can give you location independence and, hopefully, financial independence too.
The e-Resident pack is pretty cool, and you almost feel like doing an unboxing video on Youtube. It contains the card obviously, a very small USB card reader that folds, and some instructions, containing your keys.
There are a couple of keys, PIN1 and PIN2. In addition, you have the PUK, just like a SIM card. PIN1 is used to authenticate and access sites, from your bank account web, to the Estonian tax office website, to our e-Secure dashboard. PIN2 is used to sign documents, authorize bank payments or transactions, and so on. The PUK is used to reset either of them.
Remember to keep these numbers in a safe place!
In this article we describe how to apply for the e-Residency program of Estonia. This process is the beginning of an amazing journey that will allow you to become a digital nomad and travel around the world managing your Estonian company completely online.
Once you have your e-Resident card, it’s time to open your business in Estonia! We will be happy to guide you throughout the process, take care of registering your company, doing your accountancy, bookkeeping, and preparing your taxes, so that you can focus on making your business grow.