Estonia Digital Nomad Visa

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Most countries, by the book, define a digital nomad as anyone who works remotely for a company registered in a country different from where they reside. In this case, someone under the Estonia Digital Nomad Visa will live in Estonia while they work remotely for a company outside of Estonia.
One would think a remote worker has the flexibility to work from anywhere. That's true if you remain in your home country. So, until recently, digital nomads did have it difficult to work and travel because that line of work wasn't well known and recognized in the laws of most countries.
Upon discovering that you work remotely, anytime you travel to other countries, you'll be reminded at the point of entry that you're not allowed to work while in the country.
However, the pandemic changed the narrative. It caused a surge in the number of remote workers, and many countries began to see the need for a visa that accommodates nomads within the country.
Estonia became the first of many to launch a digital nomad visa. By August 2020, the country opened its doors to nomads and began to issue digital nomad visas to the public.

Types Of Estonian Digital Nomad Visas

The Estonian Digital Nomad Visa allows you to stay in Estonia while you work for other companies abroad. You may not get any citizenship benefits, but it's a starting point to build your profile for permanent residency later in the near future.
The Estonian nomad visa is of two types. You will have to choose between the two, depending on how long you plan to stay in the country. There is the Estonian long-stay visa called the "Type D Visa", or you apply for the short-stay visa.
If you plan to stay in Estonia for less than 90 days, you need the Type C Digital Nomad Visa. For a stay period of more than 90 days, you need the Estonia D Visa.

Estonia Type C Digital Nomad Visa

Commonly referred to as the "short-stay" visa, the Type C Visa grants you a maximum o f 90 days stay in Estonia within 180 days. It's also called the Estonia Schengen visa because it is essentially an extension of the Schengen tourist visa.
So, Estonia offers the Schengen tourist visa as the new Type C Digital Nomad Visa for simplicity. You'll agree that it's easier to modify a few policies of an already existing visa than to create a new visa.
That's exactly what Estonia did with its Schengen tourist visa and why it only allows you to stay a maximum of 90 days in Estonia. So, if you are a European, it's a Schengen visa, while Non-Europeans have it as a Type C Digital Nomad Visa.

Estonia Type D Digital Nomad Visa

Generally referred to as the long-stay permit, the Type D Digital Nomad Visa is a temporary stay permit. It allows you to stay and work in Estonia for up to one year. You will also be able to travel to the other Schengen Member States for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days.
Under the Estonia D Digital Nomad Visa, the Schengen 90/180-day rule is effective. In other words, if you traveled to any of the Schengen Member States for 90 days, you will need to wait another 180 days before traveling to another.
However, the catch is that you can apply for two Estonia Type D Visas consecutively. But, you must have applied before your initial Estonia Digital Nomad visa expires.
Where it can become a little tricky is the visa policy that states that: you cannot stay more than 584 days in Estonia within 730 consecutive days. In other words, you may need to travel back to your home country during your stay in Estonia.
Another way to go around it, if you don't want to spend so much time in your home country, is to travel to the other Schengen Member States for 90 days under your first Estonia Digital Nomad Visa. Afterward, travel to your home country for one month and use your second Type D visa to visit more Schengen States.

Estonian e-Residency vs Digital Nomad Visa: What's the Difference

People often confuse the Estonian e-Residency visa program with the Estonian Digital Nomad Visa, but they are different. The e-Residency is a digital identity the government of Estonia issues that will allow you to manage your business remotely. At the same time, you take advantage of the Estonian e-government services.
With the e-Residency, you can effectively navigate bureaucratic issues. That's the main advantage of the program.
It all started back in 2014, and it quickly became a statement of commitment by the Estonian government, reiterating the country's desire to welcome business from people living beyond its borders.
But, you can't use e-Residency to travel to Estonia. You can't also get the benefits that the digital nomad visa does offer. It's only a digital ID that lets you manage your business without bureaucracy and its challenges.
However, Estonia Digital Nomad Visa and e-Residency have some similarities. First is that none of the two can confer residency or citizenship. While the Estonia Nomad Visa will allow nomads to stay in Estonia for a year, the e-Residency provides a digital identity for online verification.
The e-Residency is geared towards entrepreneurs who want access to the European Union single market, while the digital nomad visa is designed for remote workers.
Below are the clear-cut similarities and differences between the two programs:

e-Residency

  • A Digital identity for personal online verification.
  • Grants entrepreneurs remote digital access to Estonia's services such as taxes declaration and access to payments/banking.
  • Establish, run, and manage a company online.
  • Minimal or low-cost Bureaucracy alternatives.
  • Give no right to residency, citizenship, or travel to Estonia or any European state.
  • You can apply for the e-Residency online, with the processing time taking between 3 to 8 weeks.
  • Receive the kit at various pickup points worldwide after authenticating your identity.

Digital Nomad Visa

  • Perfectly designed for remote workers for temporary stay in Estonia for up to 1 year.
  • Available to nomads who can work independently or online.
  • For an employer or company registered abroad.
  • For a personal company registered outside Estonia, or
  • For clients mostly abroad as a Freelancer.
  • Gives no permanent residency or right of citizenship in the EU or Estonia.

You will need to apply at the nearest Estonian embassy and wait up to 30 days for processing. You will be picking up the visa at the embassy of registration.

Who Can Apply for an Estonian Digital Nomad Visa?

Estonia welcomes every foreigner looking to work remotely from its country. The government of Estonia currently issues no restrictions based on nationality. So, anyone interested in the visa can apply.
There are no criteria based on level of education, a particular skill, etc. However, there are conditions you will have to fulfill to be eligible.
Firstly, you must prove that you can complete your tasks and perform your job responsibilities independently, using telecommunications technologies. In simple terms, you must prove that you are a digital nomad.
Additionally, you will need to prove that you are of any of these categories:
  • 1. Your employer and everyone you work for had their business or company registered in a foreign country. You must be ready to show your work contract to your employer.
  • 2. If it's a personal business, you have your business (as a sole owner, partner, or shareholder) registered in a foreign country, and you can conduct the business activities remotely.
  • 3. You offer consulting or freelance services mostly to clients whose establishments are in other countries.

For category 1, you will be eligible regardless of whether your employer is a public sector agency, a not-for-profit organization, or a private company: the policy did not distinguish between these entities.
More importantly, you can work using technologies and have a contract of employment.
Another important qualification is to meet the income threshold stated by the visa policy. It says that:
An applicant must show evidence that their income for six months before the application meets the minimum monthly threshold, which is currently at €3,504 (or $3,504).
This evidence translates to your ability to support yourself during your time in Estonia.

Can Applicant's Family Members Come Too?

Your family members who want to live in Estonia with you will have to apply for the visa under the same conditions. They will apply as your dependent, and you will have to provide additional documents to prove they are your dependent.

What are the Required Documents to Apply?

As stated earlier, Estonia's digital nomad visas are of two types: the long stay visa and the short stay visa. The application process for each differs, and so do the documents required for the application.

Documents for the Type C Digital Nomad Visa:

  • 1. A valid international passport.
  • 2. 2 Recent passport photos.
  • 3. A two-way flight ticket or a return flight ticket.
  • 4. Complete the online Type C Visa application form.
  • 5. Proof of financial means.
  • 6. A cover letter.
  • 7. Proof of accommodation.
  • 8. Valid Schengen Travel Insurance.
  • 9. Proof of Civil status.
  • 10. Employment status documents.
  • 11. Covid-19 Requirements.

Documents for The Type D Digital Nomad Visa"

  • 1. A Travel document or Passport
Your passport should not be close to the expiry date before you apply. You should have at least 3 months left until the expiry date on your international passport after your initial digital nomad visa expires.
  • 2. A complete online Type D Application Form
Complete your application form online using the government's official website and ensure all correct information. Then print out the filled-out form and sign it.
  • 3. 2 Passport Photos
Ensure that the photos you choose to use are recent and of size 35 x 45mm, taken with a white background, and are in color.
  • 4. Medical or Health Insurance
You must present proof of valid health insurance that covers all your medical expenses. Though the government did not specify how much your insurance must cover, we know that it must be valid for at least 12 months.
  • 5. Documents Indicating why you're Traveling
The letter talks about your intent to travel. If you're going for remote work, it should clearly express this. Better still, a cover letter from your employer.
  • 6. Proof of Accommodation
While this may not be compulsory, you may not find it on the government website. However, proving that you have accommodation throughout your stay in Estonia will boost your chances of approval.

Documents that Prove You're a Digital Nomad

The above-listed documents are the basic requirements for each visa. However, to convert the standard visa Type C or D visa into an Estonia Digital Nomad Visa, you need to submit documents that prove you are a digital nomad.
  • Documents attest that you use telecommunications technology to complete your work obligations irrespective of location.
  • Documents attesting that you'll continue to work for a foreign-registered employer as an employee or a freelancer under a valid contract.
  • Documents showing your income for the past six months before the date of visa application. The document must show the monthly income amount, regularity, and sources.
  • A brief description of your academic as well as professional history.

In simple terms, these documents are:
  • A letter attesting that you intend to use your visa (when given) for remote work.
  • A letter from your employer, attesting that you can complete your work remotely.
  • An employment contract.
  • A tax compliance document.
  • Your business license (if you own a business).
  • Your bank statement showing your income for at least 6 months before your visa application.
  • A letter describing your professional and academic history.

How to Apply for the Digital Nomad Visa for Estonia

How you apply for the Type C and D visas is different. First, let's look into the process for a Type C visa and then at that of Type D.

How to Apply for Type C Digital Nomad Visa

The application process for a Type C visa is in five stages:

Step 1: Collect all the needed documents

As listed above, gather all the documents you need for your Type C nomad visa. You might need to create a document checklist to ensure nothing is left behind. Put the document neatly in a flip file and make copies of each document.

Step 2: Complete the Online Application Form

We can help you with applying for Estonian ETIAS or Visa. Ensure all the information you provide is correct. In case you do not understand certain requirements, there are blue question marks on the right side of each field explaining what’s expected in that field.
When asked to enter the purpose of your trip, choose others and type in "remote work." When asked to fill in additional purposes, select the checkbox for "Tourism." You'll be asked to state which sponsors your trip, select accordingly, and choose "by the applicant himself/herself" if you are self-sponsoring.
On the page where you're asked to fill in the means of a trip sponsor, choose "others" and type in "Salary." Finally, when submitting your application, you'll be shown a list of Estonian Embassies; choose the one closest to you.

Step 3: Schedule Your Visa Appointment

You may have to call the embassy to schedule an appointment time. Note that there are limited slots, so you might not get a date that suits your needs. In that case, you will need to adapt to the appointment time the embassy gives you.

Step 4: Attend your Visa Appointment

You visit the embassy to attend an in-person interview where you'll submit your application form and other supporting documents. You'll also be asked a few questions; answer them honestly. After which you'll pay visa fees.

Step 5: Wait for Feedback

You will wait for about 15 to 3o days for the application feedback. Once a decision is made, you’ll be notified via email, mail, or phone call.
Congratulations if your application is successful.

How to Apply for Type C Digital Nomad Visa

The application process for a Type D visa is in five stages and all similar to that of a Type C visa except for a few changes as defined below:

Step 1: Collect all the needed documents

All visa applications require document gathering. Check the above for the documents you need.

Step 2: Complete the Online Application Form

Here is where the difference between the two types of visas becomes clear. You can only complete the Estonia visa application form online.
Fill out your basic information correctly. You will also be asked basic questions about your trip to Estonia, such as where you plan to stay, how long you plan to stay, etc. Answer them accordingly.
The blue question mark at the right end of each field will give you insight into what's expected to be in that field. In case you get confused, make sure to use it.
While each field seems self-explanatory, there are some exceptions you may need t o take note of. They include;
Page 8 of the form has a field tagged "Purpose of your Journey" choose the "remote work" option in that category. Then, on page 9, you're prompted to enter where you plan to stay when you arrive in Estonia. Fill in the information such that it's corresponding with what you have on your proof of accommodation document.
Lastly, page 10 is where you'll be asked about your financial support for the trip. Choose accordingly, and only choose "By another sponsor" if you're sponsored by your company, host, etc. You'll be asked to specify. Under that field is where you declare your "Means of support during your stay" as a Nomad, "salary" will be most appropriate.
Also, you'll declare your health or travel insurance. You'll only need to fill in the validity date for your insurance. Please, have a letter from your insurance company in hand, ready to tender it if asked.
Then choose the nearest Estonian embassy to you when submitting.

Step 3: Schedule an Appointment with the Embassy

Call the embassy to schedule a time for an in-person interview.

Step 4: Submit your Visa Application

When you go for your appointment, you will submit your application form, collect your biometric information, and pay your visa fee.

Step 5: Wait for Feedback

Wait for 15 to 30 days. Your decision notification will come to your email. Keep checking.

How Much Does an Estonia Digital Nomad Visa Cost?

The government-approved fee for a Type C visa is €80 (or $80), while it's €100 ($100) for a Type D visa. Make sure you have this amount prepared before you go to the embassy's appointment.

Can DNV Get Renewed or Extended, and for How Long?

Yes, but only the long stay (Type D) visa can be renewed or extended. You can apply for an extension before your initial Type D visa expires. However, if you qualify, you can only get 6 months extra stay with the extension. But remember that the policy states that you can only be in Estonia for 584 days within 730 days.
If you do the math, you'll have to leave Estonia at some point and for some days while you hold the Type D Digital Nomad Visa. You may travel to your home country or any Schengen country during this period.
You can reapply for a Type C Visa, though it can't be renewed or extended. However, you cannot spend more than 90 days within 180 days in Estonia or any European country.

Do You Have to Pay Taxes if You Hold Estonia Digital Nomad Visa?

You are not obligated to pay tax if you work and live consecutively in Estonia under the Estonia Digital Nomad Visa for 183 days or less. However, if you live consecutively in the country for more than 183 days in a 12-month period, you will begin to pay taxes.

Living in Estonia as a Digital Nomad: The Essentials

Brands such as Skype, Transferwise, Playtech, and Bolt have something in common: they are all startup companies from Estonia. The country is a hub for digital nomads due to its tech-forward, modern, and organized disposition towards businesses.
Estonia has several places of attraction where you can relax and visit for vacation. Tallinn's Old Town, Pärnu, and Kuressaare Episcopal Castle are a few of the beautiful places you'll find in Estonia. Soomaa National Park is where you can relax and spot a lot of wildlife.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Estonia is not something to worry about. The country is relatively cost-friendly and affordable. However, the closer you are to the city, the more expensive things become. Even at that, with as little as $1,105 per month, you can get a big apartment in top cities with less in the outskirts.
The amount of $8 to $10 will get you a decent meal, and less than $5 for daily transportation (one-day public transport ticket). Everything seems to be designed for comfort in Estonia.

Digital Nomad Hotspots in Estonia

Looking for where in Estonia is best to live as a digital nomad? Tallinn is a strong recommendation. With a lot of bustling activities, you can find everything you need. The city also has a bug nomad community. So, you'll find people of like mind.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

FAQs about Estonia's Digital Nomad Visa

  • How can I get a nomad visa in Estonia?

    Simply apply following the application process we described above. You will need some documents for the application. We have the documents listed above. Check them out. Also, you can only submit your application in person at the border guard office or at an embassy.
  • Do digital nomads pay tax in Estonia?

    Yes, when you live more than 183 days consecutively in Estonia. See the "Do You Have to Pay Taxes if You Hold Estonia Digital Nomad Visa?” section above for further details.
  • Is an Estonian visa easy to get?

    It's quite easy to get if you follow the due process. In 15 to 30 days, you will get feedback. Read through this guide to understand the process.
  • Can I travel to Estonia with an e-Residency?

    No! We explained why it is so above. Check it out.
  • Can I work with my digital nomad visa for an Estonian company/employer?

    The Estonia digital nomad visa only permits you to work for a company registered outside of Estonia. Therefore, you can't work for an Estonia-registered company.
  • Do US citizens need a short-stay digital nomad visa?

    If you stay outside the Schengen member state, you will need a Type C digital nomad visa to live and work in Estonia.
  • Does the digital nomad visa lead to permanent residency in Estonia?

    It's a starting point to build your profile for permanent residency later in the near future. But, you will not get any citizen benefit while on a digital nomad visa.
  • Am I allowed to visit other Schengen countries with an Estonian digital

    nomad visa, and for how long?
    Yes, you can visit other Schengen countries. However, not for more than 90 days in 180 days.
  • Are there any restrictions on eligibility based on my country of origin or

    the sector in which I work?
    No, there are currently no restrictions based on skills or country of origin.
  • Is there a limit to how many DNVs will be issued?

    No, it’s open for all regardless of how many applicants, everyone will get a shot and can get the visa if they qualify.
  • There is no Estonian Embassy in the country where I am located. How do I apply?

    You will need to travel to the nearest Estonia Embassy for them to handle your application.
  • Can you email the Estonian Digital Nomad Visa application form?

    No, the application must be submitted in person at the border guard board office or the embassy.

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