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How can e-residency be used to apply for Estonian residency

The Estonian e-residency programme is not meant to give people any rights regarding physical residency and the e-residency card is not a valid travel document. There are however several ways how e-residency can be used to pursue actual temporary residency of Estonia - whether based on employment or business.

When it comes to applying for a temporary residence permit based on employment, you could do it by being employed by your own company. There are 2 options - as a regular employee carrying out specific duties (i.e front-end developer) or as a management board member for your company. For the first option, the Unemployment Fund of Estonia needs to give their approval (not very difficult). For the second, your company needs to be at least 5 months old and has to be proven to have real business. Also, in both cases you need to meet the salary obligation meaning you need to pay the average salary of Estonia which at the moment of writing this article is 1433 euros gross which will be assessed in the residence permit application proceedings.

The other option is to use your business as something to invest in - whether it is a loan, share capital or something similar. The minimum amount is 64 000 euros and your are required to present a business plan. If you invest at least 1 000 000 euros, you will not be considered in the immigration quota, otherwise you would be making the window for applications quite small.

As most e-residents work in the IT-sector, they could take advantage of the fact that employment in the IT sector does not fall under the immigration quota. Also, as you have given your fingerprints in the e-residency proceedings, you do not have to have a physical meeting for application and can apply online.

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