Surprising Facts About Estonian Digital Nomad Visa and Its Comparison With
e-Residency

Jul 13, 2021 · 4 min read

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In mid-2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Estonia became one of the first countries in the world to settle a new kind of visa for remote workers — Digital Nomad Visa (DNV). While DNV has almost no similarities with e-Residency and is suited for different purposes, there still might be a place for confusion in this regard.

In this article, we will tell you everything you might want to know about DNV, and will help you avoid confusion with e-Residency.

What is the Digital Nomad Visa?

Firstly, let's clear up who the digital nomad is. A digital nomad is a location-independent person who works remotely for the company operating in one country but physically lives in another.

So, the Estonian DNV is a visa with a duration of up to one year that allows you to work remotely from Estonia for a foreign company or as a freelancer. DNV allows you to reside in Estonia for one year. But please notice that Digital Nomad Visa gives you no benefits to obtain permanent Estonian citizenship. But actually, it can become the starting place for your future permanent residence because it gives you all opportunities to explore Estonian real-life and become local-like.

Let's dive deeper into some subtitles regarding this visa. According to officials, a DNV-holder staying in Estonia for more than 183 days is considered an Estonian tax resident and should declare and pay taxes here. DNV-holder's family members should apply for visas on the same conditions if they want to live in Estonia too. Digital Nomad Visa also can't be prolonged, you just can apply for the second one. However, due to special European restrictions about visas, your next DNV can last only up to six months. After that, you'll be required to leave Estonia :(
There are two options for DNV: C-visa (short-term stay; up to 90 days; the fee is €80) and D-visa (long-term stay; up to 12 months; the fee is €100). Note that your application will be observed as carefully as a common visa — no simplifications here.

Earlier it was a challenge for digital nomads and freelancers to travel all over the world and work online legally. There were problems with obtaining visas and their duration was rather short. But more and more modern countries, as well as Estonia, are launching programs like this one to simplify digital nomads' life, even regardless of the COVID-19 situation.

Estonian Digital Nomad Visa: Application Process and Requirements

Several requirements must be met to apply for DNV. Firstly, you must be able to work fully remotely and perform your duties using technologies. Secondly, you must have a contract with a foreign company or work as a freelancer mostly with non-Estonian clients. Note that your employer might be any kind of entity — there are no restrictions. Thirdly, you should provide authorities with evidence that your monthly income meets the current threshold of €3504 for six months before applying for DNV.
Keep in mind that there are no requirements to have special skills, level of education, or work in a specific sector. Estonian officials also don't care about your country of origin. The main criteria are income level and approval of your digital "nomadness" — this measure allows Estonia to attract strictly well-paid talented workers and minimize an unsavory migration.

Matching these criteria, feel free to fill in the DNV application form online on the governmental website. After that, you need to print and sign the application, collect all required documents, and visit the nearest Estonian embassy or consulate personally to provide them with all the necessary information and papers. You can find the list of documents here (item 9). When your application is successful and your visa is ready, you will be notified by an embassy. During the second visit to the embassy, you'll verify your identity and freely pick your visa up. Also, remember that you can apply for DNV right in Estonia at a local Police and Border Guard office. So if you have no Estonian embassy in your country or it's complicated to visit one, you can apply for DNV from Estonia, using a common tourist visa.

Note that e-Residency is not connected with DNV and if you have e-Residency, you are given no privilege with obtaining a Digital Nomad Visa — the rules and procedures stay the same. To tell the truth, DNV is more a kind of program that complements e-Residency and opens Estonia for more and more different people. So now let's briefly observe the e-Residency program.

What e-Residency Is?

Estonian e-Residency is a government-issued digital identity that enables you to run your company remotely using all Estonian e-governance services, avoiding a lot of bureaucratic issues. E-Residency was launched in 2014 and became a highly successful government program. Up to that moment, it was used by more than 82.000 people from all around the world.

The main disadvantage is that e-Residency can't be used for traveling to Estonia. It also doesn't give you any benefits while obtaining a visa. Again, e-Residency is just a digital ID that lets you run your own online business without challenging bureaucracy.

You can apply for e-Residency online but to collect an e-Residency kit, you should visit the closest pick-up location personally. The list of pick-up locations is available here.

The Comparison Between Digital Nomad Visa and e-Residency

How Estonia and Enty Are Making Your Business Life Better

As you may see, Estonian authorities are constantly working on the development of the country's economic area. Firstly, a mind-blowing e-Residency program that lets thousands of people open their companies in Estonia. After that, the creation of startup visas, e-governance services, patronage of investment programs, etc. And now this great Digital Nomad Visa attracts thousands of skilled employees to the country and lets its financial sector elaborate. What a cool support, huh?

Indeed, it's not a big deal to get a Digital Nomad Visa. Enty can help you incorporate a company with or even without e-Residency. Visit our website to find more information about our other tools and services. You can also subscribe on the main page to our newsletter to keep in touch with Enty.

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