Instead, e-residency gives secure access to Estonia’s digital services and an opportunity to give digital signatures in an electronic environment. Such digital identification and signing is legally fully equal to face - to-face identification and handwritten signatures in the European Union.

The card is not a physical ID - card or even a travel document because it has no photo on it, but it does have a microchip with security certificates. These enable the card to be used with a small piece of software installed and a reader attached via USB to a computer. It works on two-factor authentication. To get access to a service or sign digitally, you need to enter secure PINs which only you will know.

  • Why should you want it?
As an e-resident you can use and enjoy the same great digital services that allow Estonians to do anything and everything digitally – sign all documents, launch and manage companies, do the banking, encrypt files, etc. For the closer look on how the digital way of life goes in Estonia: http://e-estonia.com/.

It is especially useful for the entrepreneurs and others who already have some relationship to Estonia: who business, work, study or visit here but have not become a resident. However, e-residency is also launched as a platform to offer digital services to a global audience with no prior Estonia affiliation – for anybody who wants to run their business and life in the most convenient aka digital way.

  • How can you get it?
• Government Office will start issuing the cards by the end of 2014.
• To apply for one, you need to make visit a Police and Border Guard office in Estonia – there you need to submit an application and provide biometrical data (your facial image and fingerprints) for background check. Nearest service point to the airport is the Vilmsi Service Point at J.Vilmsi 59, Tallinn, Estonia. Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9.00-18.00 (closed on the last Friday of every month).
• The decision will be made in max. 2 weeks and if all is OK, the card will be issued to the applicant in – person at the Police and Border Guard office.
• The one - time state fee for the card is 50 euros, other fees will depend on service providers – public digital services will be offered mostly free-of-charge, just like to ‘real’ residents.
• Government Office is working to add capacity to our embassies to process e-residency applications and issue cards abroad by the end of 2015 so that you would not necessarily need to travel to Estonia to join us as an e –resident.

  • Apply for e-Residency! What you need is:
  1. Travel document or physical identification document from your native country;
  2. Document photo, taken at the location;
  3. Application form, filled out at the location;
  4. Present your biometrics at the location (iris and fingerprints);
  5. Pay the state fee of 50 euros (cash and cards accepted).

For more information please visit: http://e-estonia.com/e-residents.