E-residency rapidly gaining popularity

Almost double the initial estimated amount of people have signed up to become e-residents of Estonia since the programme’s launch at the end of 2014.

According to figures released by Ministry of Economic Affairs, as of July, 3,816 applications have been submitted by people wishing to claim e-residency in the country. This is almost double the initial target of 2,000 officials hoped would sign up before the end of 2015.
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“This is a new and important market for our businesses,” Kristen Michal, the minister of economic affairs, said. “For example, if we get 30,000 e-residents, it could bring an estimated €60 million.”
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“This is the Estonian e-government’s best investment opportunity that must not be missed,” he added.
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So far people from Finland, Russia and Ukraine have submitted the most applications.
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E-residency is a virtual residency close to the status of permanent resident status, which may be acquired by persons who don’t reside in the country.
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They will gain access to a government-issued secure digital identity that gives foreigners the opportunity to use e-services, which traditionally have been open only to local residents.
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Well-known e-residents of Estonia, who have already signed up, include British journalist Edward Lucas, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the head of Swedbank, Michael Wolf.

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About the author: Helen Wright

Helen Wright is a freelance journalist, currently based in Tartu, Estonia. She has written for Estonian World, ERR News, The Baltic Times, and Deep Baltic. Previously she worked at local newspapers in the UK.