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Estonia, officially known as the Republic of Estonia, is a small country located in Northern Europe. Despite its size, Estonia has a rich history, a thriving digital society, and a unique culture. Here are five important facts about Estonia:

1. Digital Pioneers: Estonia is recognized as one of the most advanced digital societies in the world. It was one of the first countries to introduce e-governance, offering a range of digital services to its citizens. Estonians can vote online, file taxes electronically, access medical records, and even establish businesses digitally. The country's commitment to digital innovation has earned it the nickname "e-Estonia."

2. E-Residency Program: Estonia offers an innovative e-residency program, allowing non-residents to establish and manage businesses online. E-residency provides entrepreneurs with access to Estonian digital services and the European Union market. It has attracted individuals from around the world who seek the benefits of a European business environment without the need for physical presence.

3. Baltic Beauty: Estonia is known for its stunning natural landscapes. From the picturesque coastline along the Baltic Sea to the pristine forests and tranquil lakes, the country offers a wealth of outdoor experiences. Lahemaa National Park, located near the capital city of Tallinn, showcases the country's diverse ecosystems, including forests, bogs, and coastal areas. Estonia is also home to several picturesque islands, such as Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, which offer a peaceful retreat for nature lovers.

4. Rich Historical Heritage: Estonia has a fascinating history that has been shaped by various influences. The country has seen the rule of Vikings, Teutonic Knights, and the Soviet Union. Tallinn, the capital city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is renowned for its well-preserved medieval Old Town. Visitors can explore ancient castles, Gothic churches, and cobblestone streets that reflect Estonia's historical past.

5. Thriving Start-up Scene: Estonia has a dynamic start-up ecosystem, often referred to as "Estonian start-up miracle." The country has produced several successful tech start-ups, including Skype, TransferWise (now Wise), and Bolt (formerly Taxify). Estonia's supportive business environment, digital infrastructure, and access to a skilled workforce have fostered an entrepreneurial spirit and attracted international attention to its start-up scene.


Immigration Details

To immigrate to Estonia, there are several pathways available, including the e-Residency program, establishing a company, work permits, studying, and obtaining citizenship or residency. Let's explore each option:

1. e-Residency Program:
- Golden Visa: Estonia does not have a specific Golden Visa program. However, it offers an e-Residency program that allows non-residents to establish and manage a business online.
- Capital requirements: There are no specific capital requirements for the e-Residency program.
- Residency permit: The e-Residency program does not grant physical residency in Estonia. It provides access to digital services and the ability to operate a business remotely.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for obtaining e-Residency can be relatively quick, usually a few weeks. The fees associated with the program include the e-Residency application fee and any additional costs related to running the business.

2. Establishing a Company:
- Capital requirements: To establish a company in Estonia, there are no specific capital requirements. The amount of capital needed will depend on the nature and scale of the business you plan to establish.
- Employing locals: As a company owner, you can employ local employees in Estonia. The employment requirements and regulations can be obtained from Estonian authorities or legal professionals.
- Residency permit: As a company owner, you may be eligible to apply for a residency permit based on entrepreneurship or investment, subject to meeting specific criteria and requirements.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for establishing a company and obtaining a residency permit can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees can include company registration costs, legal fees, visa application fees, and other administrative charges.

3. Work Permit:
- Finding a job: Securing a job offer from an Estonian employer is crucial for obtaining a work permit. The employer will need to sponsor your work permit and provide necessary documentation, including an employment contract and proof of qualifications.
- Work permit: Once you have a job offer, your employer will apply for a work permit on your behalf. The type of work permit will depend on the job category and your qualifications.
- Residency permit: Depending on the duration of your employment and circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for a residency permit based on employment.
- Timeline and fees: The processing time for work permits and residency permits can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees can include work permit application fees, legal fees, and other administrative charges.

4. Study-based Immigration:
- Obtain admission: Apply and get accepted into a recognized educational institution in Estonia.
- Student visa: Once accepted, you will need to apply for a student visa, which allows you to reside in Estonia for the duration of your studies.
- Residency permit: Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to transition from a student visa to a residency permit based on employment or other eligible categories.
- Timeline and fees: The processing time for student visas and residency permits can vary, but it generally takes several months. The fees typically include visa application fees, tuition fees, and other administrative charges.

5. Citizenship or Residency:
- Citizenship: Obtaining Estonian citizenship typically requires residing in Estonia for a specified period, demonstrating knowledge of the Estonian language, passing citizenship tests, and meeting other eligibility criteria.
- Residency permit: If you do not qualify for citizenship, you may consider applying for a temporary or permanent residency permit, which grants legal residency status in Estonia without citizenship rights.
- Timeline and fees: The timeline for obtaining citizenship or a residency permit can vary significantly, often taking several years. The fees depend on the specific process, including application fees, language test fees, legal fees

, and other administrative costs.

It's important to note that immigration regulations and requirements in Estonia can change over time. Therefore, it's advisable to consult with Estonian authorities or seek professional advice to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information based on your specific circumstances.

  • Time To Citizenship
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To be a considered a tax resident in Estonia you must have a permanent residence and/or stay in the country more than 182 days in a 12-month period.

Tax residents are subject to income tax on their worldwide income at a flat rate of 20%. Non-residents pay taxes on their income accrued in Estonia.

Capital gains are considered ordinary income and taxed at the standard income tax rate. Investment income is usually taxed at normal rates. However, a tax deferment may be available under an investment account scheme where individuals can reinvest investment income and capital gains tax-free.

Domestic dividends are exempt from taxation; dividends obtained abroad are exempt provided they were taxed on source. Interest from financial institutions of the EEA are tax-exempt. Rental income and royalties are taxed as ordinary income.

On January 3rd 2019, Estonia implemented the EU-wide Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive Measures, which include new rules on controlled foreign companies (CFCs).

The V.A.T. standard rate is 20%. Reduced rates of 9% and 0% apply to certain goods and services.

Land is subject to a property tax that ranges from 0.1% to 2.5%, except for residential land. There are no transfer, inheritance and net worth taxes in Estonia.

Regarding corporate taxation, resident entities are subject to tax on their distributed profits at a 20% tax rate. Non-resident entities are subject to tax on their income accrued within Estonia.
Undistributed profits may be retained in an Estonian entity tax-free.

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property Tax Yes
  • Transfer Tax No
  • Inheritance Tax No
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law No
  • Tax Residency Days 183
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 20%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 20%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 0%
  • Territorial Taxation No
Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Estonian Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Estonian passport holders can travel visa free to 153 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Palau
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Gambia
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Türkiye
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Eswatini

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

Where Can Estonian Citizens Go Without a Passport?

Estonian citizens can enter the following countries without a passport with only an ID card:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mayotte
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Saint Martin
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Vatican City

What Countries Issue eVisa to Estonian Citizens?

The following 14 countries issue eVisas for Estonian passport holders:

  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Myanmar
  • Pakistan
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Estonian Passport Holders?

If you are an Estonian citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 29 countries listed below:

  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Saint Helena
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Zimbabwe

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Estonian Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 30 countries with an Estonian passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cuba
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ghana
  • Guyana
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkmenistan
  • Yemen

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in Estonia. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Estonian Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Estonian citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Estonian passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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