Estonia opened a pick-up point for its e-Residency ID cards in Johannesburg in May this year.

It is possible for South Africans to apply online for e-Residency ID card, after which it is possible to establish and manage EU-based companies with e-Residency 100% online.

What is e-Residency?

E-Residency is a secure digital identity issued by the Government of Estonia to people from anywhere in the world that provides digital access to the country’s trusted, transparent e-governance services and business environment. 


Why become an e-resident? 

  • Receive a unique digital identity to enable secure digital authentication 
  • Securely access all tools needed to launch your global business online  
  • Register an EU-based company within a day from anywhere in the world. An EU-based entity will add additional level of trustworthiness and enables to expand EU-customer base.
  • Digitally sign and encrypt documents and contracts in line with EU standards 
  • Access a range of business banking and payment options whilst accepting payments to Euro bank accounts
  • Declare and pay taxes online 
  • Join a global community of like-minded remote entrepreneurs and startup founders


Join Estonia’s Digital Nation 

It’s a simple and quick process to become an e-resident and normally takes 6-8 weeks: 

  1. Gather the necessary documents for your application: government-issued photo ID, passport-style digital photo, motivation statement, Visa/Mastercard 
  2. Apply online in minutes at e-resident.gov.ee and pay the state fee (€100-€120) 
  3. After a review period, you’ll receive an email confirming your kit is ready for pick up
  4. Retrieve your kit from your chosen pickup location
  5. Follow the instructions to set up and use your digital identity
  6. Start taking advantage of all that Estonia’s e-services offer!


Does e-Residency allow to move to Europe?

  • E-Residency is not a passport or residence permit. It does not allow travel to Europe.
  • However, e-Resident company owners can apply for startup status for their Estonia-based company in case their company has a highly scalable, tech related business model and their company is less than 10 years old.
  • Founders and employees of Estonia-based startup companies are eligible to relocate to Estonia under Startup Visa programme (https://startupestonia.ee/visa).

Meet the e-residents! 

Vicky Brock is a Scottish entrepreneur, who became an e-resident in 2019. Brock’s business VistalWorks develops tools to protect consumers online from criminals attempting to rob them or to sell them fake and dangerous goods. With the help of e-Residency, Brock registered VistalWorks in Estonia in parallel to her existing UK company to focus on international business development and to expand and localize tools in EU markets and beyond.  

German remote entrepreneur, Christoph Huebner uses e-Residency to run his various businesses on the road. His Estonian company is the perfect vehicle to do so: it serves as a holding company to bill consultancy deals and supports long-term growth. E-Residency also allows Huebner to seamlessly implement remote management capabilities by using Estonia’s e-services and secure signature processes. 


Latest statistics 

  • 84,000 people from over 170 countries have applied since 2014 
  • 18,000 Estonian companies registered online by e-residents 



Info for the e-Residency programme can be obtained from the below links:

  • Find out more and apply for e-Residency at https://e-resident.gov.ee/
  • If you feel you would like to get the process rolling and apply for e-Residency, here is a link to applying.
  • In case you are looking for a suitable service provider to give you virtual office, banking, tax advice or other services, please have a look at our marketplace.
  • If you would like to learn more about e-Residency, have a look at our knowledge base, blog and other resources at https://e-resident.gov.ee. On the website you can also sign up for our newsletter.
  • If you still have questions about your set up, my colleagues managing customer support will give you feedback quite fast at e-resident@gov.ee.
  • For additional information about Startup Estonia and Startup Visa see www.startupestonia.ee/visa


Info for the e-Residency Hub can be obtained from the below links: