Estonia is one of the most tech savvy countries in europe with advanced infrastructure, stable political climate with Europe. Estonia is a well developed and fastest growing country in the EU
Estonia offers a golden visa scheme for major investors in IT and other sectors in the country. Estonia does not have any citizenship by investment program, the only way for foreigners become estonian citizen is to naturalize after eight years of legally living.
Why invest in Estonia?
- Estonia is on the cross-roads of east and west of Europe
- Access to full EU market being Estonia is a full EU member state and participates in Schengen area
- Estonia’s competitive economy supports multinational companies to high growth startups.
- Northern European hub for global business services and world leader in IT.
- Fast company incorporations within 15min and superb business climate
- Estonia over the years has attracted startups and entrepreneurs through the infamous e-residency scheme providing the best business incorporation climate through digital platforms and efficient e-banking system.
Estonia requires a major investment of EUR 1 million in companies or into an investment fund.
The regulation for major investors, which entered into force on 18 January 2017 defines a major investor as an alien who has made a direct investment in the amount of at least EUR 1,000,000 euros into a company, registered in the Estonian Commercial Register, substantially investing in the Estonian economy, or has made an investment into an investment fund, which, pursuant to its investment policy, invests the resources of the fund primarily into the companies entered into the Estonian Commercial register.
An investment of EUR 1 million was determined on the basis of the assessment provided by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, which is supported by the feedback of the market participants and general market practice.
NO annual immigration quota that applies to major investors and for start-up investors. Also, citizens of USA and Japan are exempt from the quota
Under the major investors’ scheme, the application for a residence permit may be refused if:
- the applicant has not made the investment or the investment is not lasting during the period of validity of the temporary residence permit;
- the activity of the company or investment fund does not contribute to the purpose of the issue of a temporary residence permit issued to a large investor for enterprise;
- the investment is not in the public interest;
- the applicant does not provide evidence of the trustworthiness of the financial source of investment or of the business partner; or
- the applicant has not fulfilled the obligation related to the temporary stay, residence or employment in Estonia
The first residence permit can be issued depending on the length of the investment, later it can be issued for 10 years. The decisions on applications can be taken within 2 months on average.
The residence permit issued for major investors entitles the beneficiary and his or her dependents to settle, reside and work in Estonia. There are no limitations set for them for working in Estonia, i.e. they do not need a separate work permit in case they want to work, including in their company. Beneficiaries of the resident permit for enterprise can move freely in the Schengen area, without a visa according for up to a total of 90 calendar days within the period of 180 days.
All third-country nationals who hold a valid residence permit in Estonia have access to social and employment (in case they also work/ed) services and benefits.
Major Investors are not given special or fast track naturalization in Estonia. They can naturalize for estonian citizenship by meeting the following conditions:
- to be at least 15 years of age;
- to hold a long-term residence permit
- prior to the date on which s/he submits the application for Estonian citizenship, to have lived in Estonia for at least eight years on the grounds of a residence permit or by right of residence, of which at least five years on a permanent basis;
- to have a registered place of residence in Estonia;
- to be proficient in the Estonian language in level B-1
- to know the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia and the Citizenship Act
- to have a permanent legal income;
- to be loyal to the Estonian state;
- to take an oath.
Estonia has one of the powerful EU passports in the world with visa free access to US, Canada, UK and full rights to live, work and study in EU-28 states as a citizen.
As of 2019, estonian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Estonian passport 11th in the world according to the Henley Passport Index.