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Applying for Estonian e-Residency: A Step-by-Step Guide

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

Estonian e-Residency offers a simple and efficient way to obtain a digital ID card, allowing you to access a world of online business opportunities. In this guide, we'll take you through the steps to apply for Estonian e-Residency, from preparing your documents to picking up your e-Residency kit.


cover Applying for Estonian e-Residency


Step #1: Preparing Documents to Apply for e-Residency


Before you dive into the application process, make sure you have the following documents ready:


  • Digital Photo: You'll need a recent passport-style color photo of your face, no older than six months. The photo should be in .jpg or .jpeg format, with a minimum size of 1MB and dimensions of at least 1300 x 1600 pixels.

  • Copy of Your Travel Document: Ensure you have a copy of your travel document (passport or EU identity card) in .jpg, .jpeg, .png, or .bmp format, not exceeding 1.3MB.

  • Motivation Statement: Write a motivation statement explaining why you are applying for e-Residency. Feel free to include details about your past business experience and future plans. There are no specific requirements for the content or structure of this statement.

  • CV: Provide information about your education and work experience.

  • Choosing Pickup Location: During the application, select your preferred pickup location from the available options worldwide. Ensure it's in a place where you can legally travel. Remember that picking up your e-Residency card doesn't constitute a valid reason for obtaining a visa to Estonia or any other country.

  • Credit Card: You'll need a MasterCard or VISA credit card, or a MasterCard or VISA debit card with a credit card function to pay the state fee.


Step #2: Submitting Your e-Residency Application


To start your e-Residency application:


  • Visit the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB) application environment online.

  • Create an account using your email address. You'll receive a magic link via email to activate and log in to your account, which will be active for 60 minutes.

  • Your personal account allows you to check your application's status once it's submitted.

Note: If your country of citizenship doesn't issue a national identification number, select "Not applicable in my country of citizenship" on the application form.



Step #3: Paying the State Fee


The e-Residency application requires a state fee, the amount of which depends on your chosen pickup location:


  • In Estonia (Service Point of the PBGB): 100 euros.

  • Estonian embassy: 120 euros (including a 20 euro courier fee).

  • Collection centre: 100 euros, plus a service fee upon collection (cost varies by location).

The state fee covers the processing of your application, as per the State Fees Act § 272 (8). Your e-Residency digital ID card is valid for 5 years, with no annual fees. However, you'll need to renew it every 5 years and pay the state fee again for continued access to Estonian e-services.



Step #4: Application Processing


The PBGB will review your application within 30 days of submission. In some cases, they may request additional information or documents, which they'll communicate via email. Regularly check your inbox to avoid missing any communication from the PBGB.


Unfortunately, there's no option to expedite the application process, and the issuing authority will notify you via email once a decision is made.


Note: The e-Residency application environment is administered by the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (PBGB), and the e-Residency team does not have visibility into submitted applications. For application assistance, contact PBGB at ppa@politsei.ee.


With your application submitted and processing underway, you're on your way to becoming an Estonian e-resident, gaining access to a wide range of online business possibilities. Keep an eye out for future articles that will cover what happens next and how to pick up your e-Residency card.


Before applying, consider whether e-Residency is the right fit for your needs. Some businesses may benefit more from e-Residency than others, so it's essential to evaluate your specific situation.



Step #5: Picking up your e-Residency Kit


Digital ID Icon

After patiently waiting for your e-Residency kit to be processed and delivered, the exciting moment has arrived. Once your kit is ready for pickup, you will receive an email notification with detailed instructions or an invitation to schedule a suitable time to collect it.

Here's what you should do next:


  1. Check Your Email: Keep an eye on your email inbox, as this is where you'll receive instructions and notifications regarding the pickup process. Make sure to check your spam folder, too, in case any important messages get filtered there.

  2. Follow the Instructions: The email you receive will provide clear guidance on how and where to pick up your e-Residency kit. It will include essential details such as the address of the pickup location, operating hours, and any additional requirements.

  3. Schedule a Pickup Time (if necessary): Depending on the pickup location and their policies, you may need to schedule a specific time for collection. If this is the case, use the provided instructions to select a suitable time slot.

  4. Prepare for Pickup: When heading to the pickup location, ensure you have the following ready:

  • Your original identification document (e.g., passport or EU identity card).

  • Any additional documents or information as specified in the email instructions.

  1. Collect Your e-Residency Kit: Visit the designated pickup location at the scheduled time, if applicable, and follow the procedures outlined in the email. Present your identification document and follow any further steps required for verification.

  2. Verify the Contents: Upon receiving your e-Residency kit, take a moment to verify that all the components are included. Typically, your kit will contain your e-Residency card and any additional materials or instructions.

  3. Activation and Setup: Your e-Residency card will be automatically activated within 24 hours after pickup. Additionally, your kit should include instructions on how to install the necessary ID software, such as DigiDoc, to begin using your new digital ID.

Congratulations! You've successfully picked up your e-Residency kit and are now equipped with a powerful digital identity that enables you to access Estonian e-services, including the ability to start and manage a business online.



Need Support? #6: Start with PowerPlan


If you find the Estonian e-Residency application process overwhelming or require expert assistance right from Step 1, we've got you covered. Consider subscribing to the eFinance PowerPlan.


With the PowerPlan, you can access tailored support and guidance throughout your e-Residency journey. PowerPlan's expertise and resources can help streamline the process, making it even easier for you to start, run, and grow your Estonian business. Don't hesitate to explore this valuable resource and elevate your e-Residency experience.


Subscribe today and unlock the full potential of Estonian e-Residency!


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