Estonia is a well-developed country and one of the fastest growing nations in the European Union, with advanced infrastructures, a stable political environment and a high degree of use of advanced technologies. The country is recognized as extremely business-friendly, with a focus on IT and technology companies, making it perfect for creating innovative start-ups. Estonian residency permit holders can enjoy freedom of movement within the Schengen area, of which Estonia is a part.
There are 2 ways to apply for a residence permit through investment in Estonia: 1) as a major investor with a direct investment in local companies or into investment funds that invest primarly in Estonian business, 2) as a business owner or sole proprietor by investing in business activity in Estonia.
Once the residence permit has been obtained, the holder and his family will be able to live and work in the country without restrictions and, after 8 years of residence, they will be entitled to Estonian citizenship and a passport.
The first permit is issued for a duration equal to that of the investment and can subsequently be issued for 10 years. On average the time required for the approval of the application is 2 months.
To apply as a major investor you will need to make a direct investment of at least EUR 1 million in local companies or investment funds that invest primarily in Estonian assets.
Otherwise, if you want to proceed as an business owner or sole proprietor, you will have to invest in entrepreneurial activities in Estonia at least 65,000 EUR of capital (in the case of a self-employed person the investment required will be EUR 16,000).
You will have to certify that you have substantial control of the company and it may also be required to create new jobs with your company. Furthermore, it will be necessary to prove that one's residence in Estonia is necessary and connected to the investment.