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Recently, Estonia launched a new type of visa program for digital nomads – Digital Nomad Visa. With digital nomad visa, you can reside and work in Estonia for up to one year.

One year doesn’t sound like a long time, but if you have lived in a foreign country before, you know it’s sufficient. And as it turns out, there are a lot of applicants for the DNV. What’s more, not all applicants and entrepreneurs understand the difference between the Estonian e-Residency program and the digital nomad visa.

Additionally, there’s also a startup visa mixing the waters.

But rest assured, we’re going to explain the difference between the digital nomad visa and e-Residency.

e-Residency

E-residency has been around for about six years. Everyone can apply for e-Residency, and use the e-Residency card to register the Estonian company online. Estonian company gives an access to the EU market, can be managed 100% online and remotely, and is a cost-efficient way to build an online business.

There are around 70 000 e-residents and around 12 000 companies registered by e-residents. The e-Residency program has been a smashing success for Estonia, and we now have several countries around the globe trying to replicate what Estonia has done.

However, e-Residency also has several misconceptions. For one, some people hope it’s an actual residency and enables them to use it as a travel document. It is not a travel document. It gives you absolutely no plus points if you take it out at the European border and try to enter to the Schengen area.

E-residency is simply a digital residency to manage a business.

Digital Nomad Visa

Digital Nomad Visa is for you if you want to live and work in Estonia for up to one year. And not work in an Estonian company. There’s a different type of permit for that. But with digital nomad visa, you can actually work for a foreign company while living in Estonia.

The idea of the DNV is to enable people to choose how they work and where they work.

For example, you’re a Canadian, working remotely for a company in the UK. Now, with the digital nomad visa, you can live in Estonia, work for an UK company, all the while still being a Canadian.

That’s pretty cool.

Digital Nomad Visa Vs e-Residency

It should be pretty clear now what are the differences between the DNV and e-Residency. However, just in case, let’s wrap it up once more:

e-Residency:

  • For entrepreneurs who want to register an Estonian company
  • Digital identity, not a travel document
  • Processing time 6-8 weeks
  • Pick-up locations all around the world
  • Application is done online

Digital Nomad Visa Estonia:

  • for freelancers providing services online or operating a foreign company
  • for remote workers employed by foreign companies
  • Application done at the Estonian embassies
  • Pick-up from the Estonian embassies
  • Can stay in Estonia for up to one year
  • Processing time from 15 days and upwards

What’s right for you?

I am pretty sure you have figured out which of the two options is the right one for you. Digital nomad visa and e-Residency are two completely different things, and if you can’t decide which one you want to apply for, then it’s likely that you need to do some thinking about your future in general.

And maybe the Estonian Startup Visa is the one you want, where you come down to Estonia to build your startup.

Either way, we’re looking forward hearing from you at estonia@comistar.com!