e-Residency applications from the UK are arriving twice as fast post-referendum
The UK government has triggered Article 50 and formally began the process of leaving the EU, but more than 1,000 Brits have already applied to remain — at least digitally.
E-Residency of Estonia enables entrepreneurs to conduct business online within the EU from anywhere in the world. Understandably then, it was a hot topic of discussion in the British media following the Brexit referendum.
The Guardian reported that the programme is “as easy as it is popular”, while the Independent said that it offered “salvation” to British entrepreneurs. The e-Residency programme even set up a special website to help British startups, established businesses and freelancers called howtostayin.eu.
So what’s been the response by entrepreneurs in the UK since then?
The latest statistics reveal that there’s been sharp rise in applications from the UK since the referendum and the 1,000th application arrived less than a week after Article 50 was triggered.
Following a massive spike immediately after the referendum (from 3 to 51 applications per week), British applications are now steadily coming in twice as frequently as before. More than half of all applications from the UK, 534 to be exact, have arrived since the vote, while 231 were received in the same period beforehand.
As Article 50 drew nearer, there was also a 75% increase in UK web traffic last month compared to the previous month.
People often tell us they want to sign up because they’re fans of e-Residency and the idea of building a digital nation without borders. Anecdotally, we know that accounted for some of the British applications immediately after the referendum, yet a far larger proportion are now coming from people who want to use the programme to build more globally competitive businesses.
British e-residents are currently using the programme for an enormous range of business interests from developing video games and blockchain applications to providing consulting services to clients across Europe and the world. You can read more about British e-residents here:
E-Residency provides them with access to Estonia’s advanced digital infrastructure and public e-services so they can establish and manage an EU company and enjoy the same rights in business as Estonians.
In a recent speech, President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid spoke to Estonians about the need to support the nation’s e-residents and commented as an example that “the English entrepreneur afraid of Brexit can find shelter from the storm here”.
It’s important to note however that e-Residency does not provide citizenship, physical residency or tax residency so most Brits signing up plan to continue living (and then certainly paying taxes) in the UK.
Kaspar Korjus, Managing Director of the e-Residency programme, says: “The UK may have chosen to leave the EU, but its entrepreneurs can still choose to remain inside the EU’s business environment. The UK is a great friend to Estonia so we’re proud to help businesses there succeed with this smart and transparent solution.”
“There will be plenty of discussions about national boundaries in the years ahead, but the internet is already transforming the very concept of nationhood. E-Residency can reunite entrepreneurs between the UK and the rest of Europe, at least digitally.”
If you want to join our 1,000 British e-residents then sign up at apply.gov.ee.