An open market economy and progressiveness have made this Baltic country an interesting and attractive place for foreigners to live and start a career or to invest in. Estonia has the third highest start-up number per inhabitant in Europe and taking a closer look at the country, this is no surprise at all. 

Estonians don’t like bureaucracy. You can easily file your tax return online in 10 minutes and register your company in even less time. Nationals speak a high level of English and Estonian businesses usually consist of small teams where young professionals are given many opportunities to develop and lead.

Most transactions can be done by phone, free wifi is widely available and Estonia is the first country in the world that has used the Internet for political voting. Estonia is a developed country with high incomes and standard of living, yet is the least populous place of Europe. 

Not just the work environment is great; almost 50% of the country is covered in forests and Estonian air is one of the cleanest on the planet. Public transport is free for registered residents in the capital city Tallinn, which has resulted in a lot less traffic and cleaner air. 

EU, European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens can move to Estonia without needing a visa. If you want to work for a period longer than three months, registration as an Estonian resident is needed and this must be done within the first three months of stay. 

If you are from outside the EU and EEA and want to live in Estonia for a period longer than six months you have to apply for a residence permit, which allows you to work in the country as well. If you want to stay permanently you can apply for a long-term temporary residence, after which you can start the application for a permanent residency. 

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Here are some of the ways to live in Estonia:

Through investment:

  • If you invest a capital sum of €65,000 or more in an Estonian company where you have substantial control and hire or create jobs, you could gain residency in Estonia and eventually citizenship.  You need to show that your residency in Estonia is necessary and related to the business investment.

Through your Family:

  • If one or both of your spouse’s parents were citizens when he/she was born, your spouse is probably also a citizen.  You can apply for residency through your spouse.  Please note that your spouse needs to be a recognised and registered spouse or partner as per local laws.

Startup Visa:

  • Founders of startups are eligible for residency of Estonia.
  • Under the Startup Visa program, a startup is defined as a business with the goal to develop and launch an innovative and repeatable business model with great global growth potential, which also contributes significantly to the development of the business environment in Estonia.‚Äč

Youth Mobility Visa:

  • If you are an Australian, Canadian or New Zealand citizen between the ages of 18-30, you may be eligible under the Working Holiday Maker programme. 

Here are some of the ways to get citizenship in Estonia:

Through your Family:

  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Estonia, you are eligible for temporary residence.  After 5 years you can apply for residency and then after another 3 years you can apply for citizenship.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.

Through investment:

  • If you invest a capital sum of €65,000 or more in an Estonian company where you have substantial control and hire or create jobs, you could gain residency in Estonia and eventually citizenship.  You need to show that your residency in Estonia is necessary and related to the business investment.

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The passport for Estonia allows you to travel to 153 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 35.

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