The government of Estonia issues the first certificate of virtual residency to Edward Lucas. But Lucas, a senior editor at The Economist magazine, lives in England and the certificate is part of a plan that the Estonian government hopes will attract foreigners to invest and even start businesses in the small Baltic country.
The card with an embedded microchip will allow Lucas to conduct business activity in Estonia while staying abroad.
And thanks to e-residency, Lucas and other foreigners will be able to perform secure transactions with the Estonian-based financial services and sign documents digitally from any place in the world.
– See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2014/12/01/Estonia-Offers-Electronic-Residency-Worldwide#sthash.DnIQiztZ.dpuf
Electronic residency in Estonia is open to anyone who passes a criminal background check.
“The request will be processed within 10 working days, a security check is conducted, and if the applicant is sufficiently trustworthy to receive e-residency, a digital ID card is made for him,” Margit Ratnik, head of the Identity and Status Bureau, told the Baltic Times.
“The applicant must personally go to the Police and Border Guard Board service station [in Estonia] to receive the card,” Ratnik said.
Estonian officials said that the procedure will change in 2015, with the country’s embassies and consulates abroad to start handing out e-residency cards.
The e-residency program kicked off after the Estonian Development Fund and the former CEO of Skype, Sten Tamkivi, organized a contest for the best idea to bring foreign businesses to Estonia.
The contest was won by the electronic residency project, which has advocated the introduction of 10 million e-Estonians by 2025.