Becoming an Estonian E-Resident in 63 days

Posted: January 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

Because I do a lot of business in the EU, the (relatively) new Estonian E-residency program intrigued me so I decided to give it a shot. Really, it only takes 15 minutes or less to apply, costs EU$101, so what can it hurt if it never goes anywhere?

You apply through their website,, you give them a handful of information, a scan of your passport, some passport photos, etc, pay the fee and then wait.

You get an email from them at each step of the process, which is nice.

My application timeline went a little something like this:

  • Day 1: did application, paid fee
  • Day 20: Estonian Police review the file.
  • Day 30: Estonian Police approve the file and grant e-residency. They then send all the pertinent stuff on to your chosen embassy or consulate (you choose when you apply)
  • Day 47: Documents arrive at Estonian embassy in Washington DC. I receive a notification to contact them and make an appointment to pick up my card and paperwork.
  • Day 63: I show up at the embassy, get my stuff, all done in less than 10 minutes. They give you the chip card, a little folding USB card reader, and pin codes.
  • All done!

This is the whole package. No massive pile of papers necessary.

Instructions in the package guide you through how it works (albeit a bit vaguely) but a quick search online to see what other people experienced helps clear a lot of stuff up.

The Estonian website has a good FAQ which offers links and explanations to how to use your new e-residency to sign documents, open businesses, etc. Once you figure it out, it’s extremely easy and straightforward (perhaps they could use a revamp of their instructions). There is also an online forum for/by other e-residents.



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