Welcome to our digital nation, Your Holiness Pope Francis

Estonia now has e-residents across 157 countries as His Holiness becomes the first e-resident from Vatican City.

Estonia is building friendships around the world through e-Residency, a secure digital identity that can enable anyone to join our digital nation. Today demonstrates that Estonia has friends in high places!

His Holiness Pope Francis, leader of the Catholic Church and Head of State of Vatican City, has become the newest e-resident of Estonia. His Holiness was presented with his own digital ID card today in Tallinn by Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid.

Estonia has so far received more than 45,000 applications for e-Residency from 156 countries. This includes 137 Argentinians, although Pope Francis is also the first e-resident from Vatican City so our e-resident population is now spread across 157 countries.

Like other e-residents — as well as citizens and residents of Estonia — His Holiness can now use his e-Residency digital ID card to verify his identity online, digitally sign documents, and access Estonia’s public and private e-services from anywhere in the world. By providing this capability to e-residents, Estonia is making friends around the world, while helping democratise access to entrepreneurship and connecting more people across borders.

The idea of a small country building a global community that inspires connects people across borders and adds more value to their lives is, of course, something that Vatican City already understands well.

His Holiness is the first Head of State to receive e-Residency, although other Heads of Government to receive e-Residency are Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Luxembourgish Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. The primary reason at present that people around the world become e-residents however is to overcome barriers to entrepreneurship and create a trusted, location-independent company that they can establish and manage online from anywhere.

We all wish His Holiness a very warm welcome to our digital nation. It’s a huge honour that His Holiness visited Estonia for the first time and we are pleased to know that he will stay with us both in spirit and digitally long after physically leaving our country.

You can see more of his visit here:

If His Holiness — or anyone else in the world — wants to know more information about e-Residency, visit: e-resident.gov.ee.