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Publication Title | E Residency 2

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e-residency 2.0
intrOductiOn
to citizens of other countries who do not have residency in Estonia. these people were known as e-residents and received e-Residency digital id cards, which are not to be confused with citizenship documents, travel documents or residence permits, but can be used by e-residents
to authenticate themselves online and sign documents digitally.
By taking this step, the Estonian government turned citizens of countries all over the world into potential ‘users’ of Estonia’s services. the next step was to consider which Estonian services were most valuable and relevant to these e-residents, as well as how their use by e-residents could bring value to Estonia.
in the first four years, foreign nationals from 165 countries joined the programme. Early applicants had
to travel to Estonia or visit an Estonian embassy abroad, prove their identity, give their fingerprints to the Estonian state and pay a state fee of €100 (previously €50 for the first year) – and they became e-residents.
the number of companies founded by e-residents has grown at a faster clip every year, even though opening bank accounts has been complicated, there was no English-language support for many of the services at
the outset, and conducting international business has remained complicated on key issues, such as taxation, for all companies no matter where they are registered.
at first, Estonia sought entrepreneurial people around the world who were interested in living and working with more freedom globally and could give Estonia an idea of what e-residents would most need developed for them next. in partnership with organisations across the public and private sector, services were developed and amendments to legislation were proposed. companies dedicated to providing services to e-residents soon emerged, and a number of payment service providers allowed e-residents to set up business accounts.
89
50 000
e-residents
40 000
30 000
20 000
10 000
0
1. 12. 2014
30. 11. 2018
Figure 1. cumulative growth in the number of e-residents over four years (december 2014 to 30 november 2018)

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