Estonia opens new e-resident ID-card collection points in four countries

The Estonian e-residency programme is opening ID-card collection points in Brazil, South Africa, Singapore and Thailand to accommodate for the increase in the e-residency applicants.

According to the e-residency programme, the new locations are meeting rising demands from local entrepreneurs that are seeking to scale their businesses internationally and expand into the European market.

“With the addition of pick-up points in São Paulo, Bangkok, Singapore and Johannesburg, e-residency cards are now available for collection at nearly 50 locations worldwide,” the programme said.

According to the programme, Brazil has the highest number of e-residency applicants in South America and makes it into the list of top 50 application countries alongside South Africa and Singapore.

“The cities of São Paulo, Bangkok, Singapore and Johannesburg also met the criteria set out by e-residency which identified the regions as remote working ‘hotspots’; havens for start-up founders and borderless professionals that have emerged with increasing speed since the pandemic. Job uncertainty created by COVID-19 has also inspired more individuals to start out on their own, making e-residency a brilliant option for scaling businesses,” the programme said.

São Paulo cityscape. Photo by Wylkon Cardoso on Unsplash.

Estonia welcomes more e-residents

“Although the global pandemic has limited our ability to travel, work and do business across borders, it has also accelerated digital transformation among governments, businesses and freelancers alike. As more people choose to live and work without remaining tied to one place, there is increasing need for a location-free digital toolbox to support them,” the Estonian president, Kersti Kaljulaid said, according to the e-residency programme’s statement.

“As the world’s first digitally transformed state, Estonia is pleased to be welcoming even more freelancers, entrepreneurs, business owners and location-independent workers from around the world to join our e-residency programme.”

The e-residency programme was created in 2014 with the aim of providing foreign citizens with secure access to the digital services of the Estonian state. With their digital identity card, e-residents can digitally sign documents and log into portals and information systems that recognise the Estonian ID card. E-residency does not grant citizenship, tax residence or a residence or entry permit to Estonia or the European Union. The country has now over 80,000 e-residents.

Cover: An Estonian e-residency card. Photo by the e-residency programme.

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