By investment, self-employment or the "digital nomad" scheme
Advantages of obtaining a property in Estonia
Estonia boasts a powerful passport that ranks 11th in the world, granting its citizens visa-free access to 179 countries and territories, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Estonia has been a long-standing member of the Eurozone, and its business climate is known for its transparency, efficiency, and favorable tax policies. In recent years, Estonia has experienced rapid economic growth, with a strong emphasis on technology and innovation. Estonia's business landscape is strongly influenced by its Nordic neighbors, fostering a collaborative and forward-thinking environment for entrepreneurs and investors alike.
Residence permits on the grounds of owning real estate
Residence permits based on real estate ownership are available in some countries, but it's important to note that simply owning property does not guarantee a residency permit. In some cases, real estate can be considered an asset belonging to the company you set up, which may open up residency options. However, it's important to research the specific requirements and regulations of each country before pursuing this option.
Residence permits on the grounds of company formation
Estonia's residency by investment program is considered to be one of the best in the world. It offers reasonable conditions for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in existing companies, set up their own business or operate as sole proprietors. To be eligible for a residence permit through this program, the minimum investment required is 65,000 EUR. However, if you are a self-employed individual, only 16,000 EUR is sufficient. The investment amount can include fixed assets and the capital of your company, and your application will be evaluated based on a carefully prepared business plan.
Estonia also offers a digital nomad visa for those who work remotely for their own company and can prove a steady income from providing services to other companies. To be accepted to this scheme, a minimum income of around 3,500 EUR per month (in the 6-month period prior to the application) is required. This type of visa can be applied for through the embassies. Additionally, Estonia has a separate E-Residency program that allows entrepreneurs to establish and manage an EU-based company entirely online. Contact Lee & Bronski for more information on the E-Residency Program.
Taxes & Rental income tax
Estonia is known for its unique tax system that taxes worldwide income. The income tax rate is calculated on a monthly basis and is based on distributed profits. Corporate Income Tax (CIT) is generally a flat rate of 20%. Additionally, dividends are taxed at a rate of 14%.
Which residence permits offer a path to permanent residency and citizenship?
To clarify, the residence permits that offer a path to permanent residency and citizenship in Estonia are as follows:
Working: If you hold a valid work permit and reside in Estonia continuously for five years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency. After holding permanent residency for five years, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship.
Studying: If you are a student in Estonia, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary residence permit. After holding a temporary residence permit for five years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency. After holding permanent residency for five years, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship.
Marriage: If you are married to an Estonian citizen or a permanent resident of Estonia, you may be eligible to apply for a temporary residence permit. After holding a temporary residence permit for five years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency. After holding permanent residency for five years, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship.
Regarding talent residence permits, individuals who are granted a talent residence permit and fulfill certain conditions may be eligible to apply for permanent residency after just one year of residence. After holding permanent residency for five years, they may be eligible to apply for citizenship.
It's worth noting that the requirements and eligibility criteria for each type of residence permit may vary, and it's important to consult with Estonian authorities or a Lee & Bronski's professional guides for detailed information.
Restrictions & Challenges
Estonia follows a policy of not allowing dual citizenship, which means that individuals must renounce their existing citizenship upon acquiring Estonian citizenship. In order to be eligible for Estonian citizenship, applicants are required to pass a language test.
Estonia consistently ranks as a world leader in human capital, digital capability, and ease of doing business. This creates a competitive environment which allows solutions and services to be researched, developed and delivered globally. From multinational companies to high growth startups, Estonia has a two-decade track record of successful investments and innovations.Current Opportunities
Estonia is a Northern European hub for Industrial, Supply Chain and GBS activity and a world leader in IT. As IT becomes the value driver across all industries, Estonia is uniquely positioned as the scalable location of choice for knowledge and digital business.
IT / R&D / software
Estonia is the world’s most digitally enabled nation, offering a unique combination of talent, environment, and innovation. Our IT R&D ecosystem enjoys global proof of concept, being trusted by global organisations such as Kuehne+Nagel and NATO and producing unicorn startups like Wise and Bolt.
Estonia is a cashless society with over 99% of financial transactions occurring digitally. Electronic ID and Blockchain are widely used in FinTech applications. 80+ FinTechs ranging from innovative startups such as Wise to Blockchain leader Guardtime make Estonia a global centre of excellence for FinTech.
The most advanced cyber security country in Europe, Estonia has unique expertise in the research, development and management of cyber security solutions and systems. Home to NATO CCDCOE, Guardtime and Malwarebytes, Estonia is trusted to keep the digital economy safe.
Estonia developed X-Road, its proprietary decentralised, distributed system in 2001 and has utilised Blockchain since 2008. World-class technical skills supported by practical experience implementing public and permissioned Blockchain’s place Estonia at the forefront of the emerging Blockchain economy.
Swedbank has raised its forecast for Estonia's economic growth this year by 5 percentage points to 8 percent, up from 3 percent in the spring.
An economic growth of 8 percent would represent the highest growth for the past 15 years.
Swedbank said it raised its forecast for this year, as GDP growth in the first quarter of the year was stronger than previously expected.
"This sharp jump in growth provided additional momentum also for the rest of the year. This year's economic growth is going to be broad-based, driven by strong private consumption, investment and exports," Tonu Mertsina, chief economist at Swedbank Estonia, said at the presentation of the economic forecast.
Next year, however, gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to slow to 5 percent, according to Swedbank's latest Economic Outlook. In April, the bank expected growth of 4.3 percent in 2022.
The GDP growth forecast for 2023 by Swedbank is 3.2 percent.
The Swedbank Estonia chief economist said that the Estonian economy has quickly emerged from last year's recession. In particular, Estonia's GDP growth in the first quarter was one of the fastest among the countries of the European Union (EU), and the strong recovery of the economy continued in the second quarter.
Overall confidence in the economic sectors meanwhile has risen to its highest level in 14 years. The production volume of the manufacturing industry in June was close to its peak registered two years ago, and the growth in the sales volume of retail companies rose to double digits in the second quarter. Mertsina said that expectations for industrial growth and demand in the services sector are high for the near term.
After the first lockdown, many so-called real estate experts predicted a decline in housing prices. However, a year later, it became clear that not only had prices not dropped, but they had actually increased. What's more, in many EU countries, housing prices have risen faster than salaries, which is cause for concern. Over the past decade, real estate prices in Hungary have increased by 90.6%, while in Austria they've gone up by 81.4%. Yet, the European countries that have seen the highest increase in real estate prices are Luxembourg and Estonia, where they've gone up by 99.8% and 112.8%, respectively. Despite the crisis, the real estate market has remained very active, as interest in buying has been supported by wage increases in most sectors of the economy and by rapid growth in household deposits. At present, Eesti Pank doesn't see any major problems in the real estate market. However, going forward, the risks of real estate prices rising rapidly will increase as Covid-19 is brought under control and restrictions are lifted. As people become more confident, borrowing remains cheap due to central bank monetary policy, banks want to lend on good terms, and more than a billion euros will be taken out of the second pension pillar in the autumn, prices could rise rapidly due to a combination of these factors.