Since December 2014 the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) has issued a total of 20,657 digital IDs to citizens of 138 foreign countries.
The biggest number of Estonia’s e-residents comes from Finland, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and the United Kingdom. At the same time citizens of more distant countries have also showed interest in the program, for example citizens of Ethiopia, Ghana, and Costa Rica.
“Foreign citizens have expressed interest in Estonia’s e-services, and the e-resident’s digital ID allows them to be a part of that. E-residents mainly use their digital IDs to set up an enterprise in Estonia and to manage it by carrying out all necessary tasks online,” chief specialist at PPA’s identity and status bureau, Mai Selke, said.
“Foreign citizens are not used to the fact that in Estonia it is possible to set up a company online and that it won’t take months, but probably a few days. In addition, it is possible to digitally sign documents related to the management of a company,” Selke added.
According to her, e-residents have already set up more than 2,500 companies, and there are more who are planning to do that.
“Among the digital ID holders there are also those who travel to Estonia often, or who are otherwise connected to our country and need the possibility to use e-services. It has to be pointed out that not everybody is issued a digital ID. When issuing the document, PPA checks thoroughly who the applicant is, and why the person needs a digital ID.”
In the first six months of 2017, PPA issued 5,272 digital IDs for e-residents.
Editor: Dario Cavegn