E-Residency programs, similar to E-Visa services, are a digital leap in global business management. Offered by countries like Estonia, Azerbaijan, and more, they allow you to run your business online from anywhere. Perfect for digital nomads and freelancers, these programs are your passport to global business freedom.
E-residency is a digital innovation that lets you run a business online from anywhere. Countries like Estonia, Azerbaijan, and Brazil offer e-residency programs with various benefits and services. E-residency is ideal for digital nomads, freelancers, and entrepreneurs who want to work globally.
They offer numerous benefits such as access to a stable business environment, the ability to operate a business within the EU, and access to global payment providers. As of 2023, several countries offer e-residency programs. These include Estonia, Azerbaijan, Liberland, Portugal, Lithuania, Ukraine, South Africa, Georgia, and Brazil. Each program offers unique benefits and services.
E-residency programs are particularly attractive to knowledge workers, freelancers, and digital nomads operating in the global digital economy. They offer numerous benefits such as access to a stable business environment, the ability to operate a business within the EU, and access to global payment providers.
It provides the flexibility and freedom of managing one’s business remotely.
You can register and operate a company in the country offering the program, with access to a broader market, a stable legal framework, and a well-regulated economy and currency.
You can access a country’s digital services, such as online banking, tax filing, document signing, and invoicing, making it easier to manage your business remotely.
You can use international payment gateways, such as PayPal and Stripe, to send and receive payments worldwide.
In addition,e-residency allows access to a simplified tax management, with an opportunity to declare and pay taxes online in many locations
You can join a network of over 100,000 e-residents from around the world, who share a global perspective on borderless business and can offer support and collaboration opportunities. By networking a sense of belonging evolves.
Some e-residency programs in certain countries offer access to various events and resources for e-residents, for instance the Estonian e-Residency program that cuts across the world- check https://www.visitestonia.com/en/tallinn-music-week-2
You can enhance your reputation with clients and customers by having a business registered in a reputable jurisdiction thus creating a credible business.
Flexibility is enhanced as you can travel or live abroad without worrying about the logistical challenges of managing a business, or moving that business from one place to another.
As of the year 2023, these are the countries doing the e-residency program;
Estonia(which was the first to begin the program back in 2014)-with its aim being to make it a global hub for digital nomads and entrepreneurs-Azerbaijan, Liberland, Portugal, Lithuania, Ukraine, South Africa, Georgia and Brazil. Some of the mentioned countries are in the process of launching the program fully.
Estonia’s e-Residency program is a digital game-changer, offering global entrepreneurs the ability to run a business online, anytime, anywhere. It provides access to the country’s advanced digital infrastructure, allowing an ease in setting up a company and its operation, with access to online banking, global payment providers, digital document signing and an online tax filing system.
A bonus is Estonia’s attractive tax system and EU membership that makes it an ideal place for starting a business.
Azerbaijan’s e-Residency and m-Residency(Mobile Residency) programs are a digital breakthrough, offering global entrepreneurs the freedom to start and manage a business online from anywhere. These programs grant access to Azerbaijan’s digital trade hub, making it a top choice for digital nomads worldwide.
The key difference between the two is that e-residents receive a chip-enabled ID card, while m-residents get a special mobile ID SIM card. Both serve the same purpose of authentication and electronic signatures. With these programs, Azerbaijan has become the second country after Estonia to offer e-Residency and the first to offer m-Residency.
Lithuania launched its e-residency program in January 2021, and had application streaming in June the same year. The program resembles the Estonian e-residency program. A valid e-residency permit lasts for 3 years.
Lithuania’s e-Residency program is a digital passport for entrepreneurs looking to bypass red tape and paperwork. Known as a burgeoning fintech hub, Lithuania is globally recognized, being ranked 11th globally.
However, the program does require applicants to travel for the application process and card collection, which can be both inconvenient and expensive.
Despite being relatively new, the program offers access to the government’s e-services portal, making it an appealing option for entrepreneurs.
Ukraine’s e-Residency program, launched in 2020, enables foreign citizens to establish and manage a business in Ukraine without being physically present. It offers a simplified tax regime with a flat 5% income tax for private entrepreneurs. The program provides various tools for easy registration and management, including pre-filled tax reports and a personal manager.
Despite the ongoing conflict with Russia, the program continues to attract IT professionals and freelancers worldwide. However, language barriers may exist as English is not widely spoken in Ukraine.
Georgia’s e-Residency program is a digital platform that allows global entrepreneurs to establish and manage businesses in Georgia from anywhere in the world. The program, launched in 2018, provides access to a wide range of services in Georgia, including tax filings and company management. One of the key benefits is the ability to open bank accounts in Georgia, providing a secure and reliable banking system for international entrepreneurs.
However, the program does have some limitations, including the lack of comprehensive information about all its features and benefits. Additionally, while Georgia’s EU application has been accepted, the accession remains deferred, so e-residents would not have access to that marketplace presently.
Liberland, a micronation between Croatia and Serbia, offers an e-Residency program that has attracted over 500,000 applicants since its inception in 2015. The program provides a digital identity that allows individuals to start and manage a business in Liberland.
However, it’s worth noting that Liberland is not recognized by the EU or other organisations, unlike Estonia’s e-Residency program.
Palau, an island nation in the Pacific, has introduced a digital residency program known as the Root Name System (RNS). This blockchain-based initiative aims to provide access to Palau’s growing digital economy.
The RNS, a recognized digital ID, is being developed to diversify Palau’s economy. One of its key features is the ability to integrate Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) clearances.
However, there have been concerns about the potential misuse of the program for illicit activities.
Próspera’s e-Residency program, priced at $130 annually, offers a comprehensive range of business services and access to the Próspera Governance Platform. As an e-Resident, you have the privilege to buy, sell, lease, and own property within Prospera ZEDE. Additionally, you are granted physical access to Prospera ZEDE for up to 180 days per year. The program includes no tax withholdings and up to a 60% discount on rates from the Prospera Arbitration Center.
Several countries are set to follow in the steps of Estonia and Lithuania and launch the e-residency programs with benefits to the respective countries. Below are the countries;
On March 9th 2020, the government of Portugal announced that it would launch the 2.0 e-residency program. The program was announced as part of the National Entrepreneurship Strategy that was created to make Portugal a global hub for professional and business activities.
The program provides access to online Portuguese public services, enabling non-resident citizens or companies to register a company and open a bank account remotely.
South Africa, known for its diverse wildlife and strong economy, is preparing to introduce an e-residency program to draw in international investors and entrepreneurs. This initiative is designed to stimulate innovation and business expansion by offering a supportive environment and perks such as efficient administrative procedures, market insights, and networking opportunities.
However, the program is still in its developmental phase, and the exact features and benefits are yet to be announced.
Brazil is ranked as the world’s 6th largest economy and the 5th largest country, it presents as a wealth of opportunities for investors.
Brazil, a major economy and digital nomad hotspot, is expected to launch an e-Residency program. This program will offer unique opportunities for global investors and entrepreneurs, allowing them to conduct business operations remotely.
However, the specifics of the Brazilian e-Residency program are not yet officially announced. Once it’s launched, it’s anticipated to provide a significant boost to Brazil’s digital economy and offer a gateway to this emerging market.
Dubai has initiated a new residency scheme tailored for foreign professionals working remotely. For a fee of $287, plus the cost of UAE-approved medical insurance and a processing charge, individuals can become part of this program.
The requirements include proof of employment, a minimum monthly salary of $5,000, a payslip, a 3-month bank statement, and health insurance.
Once established in Dubai, participants will have access to local amenities such as telecoms, utilities, and even educational facilities for their children, similar to resident benefits.
E-residency programs, a growing trend in the digital age, are redefining the concept of citizenship and business operations. These programs offer a digital identity and a platform for conducting business remotely, opening up a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and freelancers.
While Estonia pioneered the concept of e-residency in 2014, more countries are now recognizing its potential benefits and are expected to launch similar programs soon.
Other countries set to launch the e-residency permits or programs are: Japan, Singapore and the U.S.
These are commonly asked questions on e-Residency;
What is e-residency?
E-residency is a government-issued digital identity that gives global entrepreneurs remote access to a country’s digital infrastructure.
How can I apply for e-residency?
The application process differs by country but all involve submitting an online application and waiting for an approval. On approval, applicants can pick up their e-Residency kit which includes a personal digital ID card.
Can I start a business with e-residency?
E-residency allows you to start a business in the issuing country and manage it remotely.
Can I open a bank account with e-residency?
Yes, e-residency often includes the ability to open a bank account in the issuing country.
Can I access public services with e-residency?
Yes, e-residents often have access to certain public services in the issuing country.
Can I travel freely with e-residency?
E-residency does not typically confer visa-free travel. It is primarily for digital access to services.
Can I become a tax resident with e-residency?
E-residency does not automatically make you a tax resident in the issuing country. Tax residency usually depends on where you live and work
Is my data secure with e-residency?
E-residency programs prioritise data security, but it’s always important to use secure internet connections and follow best practices for data safety.
Step1: Apply on-line Provide the information from your passport to visa application.
Step2: Make an online payment Payment Methods: Credit Card
Step3: Check your e-mail address If your payment is confirmed, your visa will be sent to your e-mail