The introduction of a so-called digital nomad visa for e-residents of Estonia could bring at least 1,400 remote workers to the country per year, daily Eesti Päevaleht said, citing an adviser at the Ministry of the Interior.
The target group of the new kind of visa would be e-residents, ten percent, or 1,400, of whom per year could travel to Estonia with a nomad visa.
"But this is reading tea leaves," said Killu Vantsi, adviser at the Citizenship and Migration Policy Department of the Ministry of the Interior. "In reality, this number could be bigger."
While the current lack of such a special visa does not mean that there are no digital nomads in Estonia, many of them are staying in the country on a tourist visa, which means that they should not be working while residing in the country. For a longer stay, such people need to find employers.
"There are no other good options at the moment," Vantsi said.
As skilled people traveling on a nomad visa would not take up employment at Estonian companies or establish a business in the country, according to EPL, the question arises what good would such a visa be for Estonia.
Accoridng to Vantsi, digital nomads contribute indirectly to the local economy via the consumption of local goods and services.
"Of course, ideally, we would like entrepreneurial and talented people to find an employer here or set up a business and stay here," she added.
The ministry official noted that, just as with all other visas, applicants would have to undergo background checks. "Just as with a startup visa, we must check to ensure that there is no danger of illegal migration or a threat to security and public order," she said. "Such people will not be permitted into Estonia."
Editor: Aili Vahtla