The Digital Nomad Visa of Estonia was approved by the Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament) on June 10, 2019. This event opened new opportunities for entrepreneurs, digital nomads and even tourists across the world to do business and work in Estonia, without being Estonian residents.
What is this and why does it matter?
Some of the biggest advantages of having an Estonian company are freedom, possibility to run a company online and access to the European Single Market. Estonia is a country that really understands digital nomads, freelancers, independent consultants. It is also a country that gives an access to the Estonian ecosystem for those who prefer location independent lifestyle. And yes, you don’t have to live or visit Estonia to run your own company or work for an Estonian company.
The Digital Nomad Visa (DNV) is an important step forward. It is no secret that physical borders shouldn’t create barriers or block businesses from thriving. The future where borders will lose significance is now — Estonia is one of the first countries with that kind of visa. Entrepreneurs, freelancers and employees are able to work without residing in Estonia. However, the DNV gives remote workers the right to stay, work and live in Estonia for up to 1 year — it is a temporary stay, not a residence permit.
It is a perfect solution for those who perform their work location-independently. For example, employees using telecommunications services working for a foreign employer, or for their company registered abroad. It is also ok for freelancers who work for clients that are mostly abroad.
It is worth to to add that the Digital Nomad Visa gives no right to obtain a permanent residency or Estonian citizenship.
Eligibility and application
You must also prove that you can work location-independently using telecommunications technologies — this will be the proof that you are the digital nomad. But that’s not all. You will need to fit under one of these categories:
- Work on a contract-basis for an employer registered abroad — it means you must have a signed contract with your employer.
- Conduct a business activity for a company registered in a foreign country. In this case, you need to be a shareholder or partner.
- Offer contract-ased consulting or freelance services to clients mostly abroad. These clients need to have permanent establishments in foreign countries. You must have signed contracts with your clients.
There is also another requirement. It is the income threshold you need to be aware of, and it is evidence that you can support yourself during your time in Estonia. It is important to know that the applicant needs to submit evidence of their income during the six months preceding application. The monthly threshold is 3,504 euro (gross of tax).
The process of application is simple. First, the applicant should review and check eligibility criteria. Then, the applicant needs to fill in the application form, print it and sign it after completion.
There are two types of visas:
- Type C for short stay — with state fee: 80 euro.
- Type D for long stay — with state fee: 100 euro.
After signing the application, the applicant needs to make an appointment at the nearest Estonian Embassy or Consulate to submit the application with all required supporting documents. The application will be reviewed withing 30 days.
The fact that Estonia offers the Digital Nomad Visa is important and amazing. Most digital nomads and freelancers faced dimness when working while travelling. The possibility for remote workers to legally live and work in Estonia for an employer or their own companies makes everything much simpler and straightforward.