I didn’t think it would take 2 months to receive my  card but, nonetheless, I was excited to know it had arrived in Seoul. Luckily, I didn’t have to travel all the way to Europe to get it since I had the option of choosing a closer Embassy of Estonia. But when I read that the world’s first e-Residency center had been built in Seoul last year, I knew I had to choose it as my pick-up location (by the way, there is a 35,800 won fee).

What exactly is this?

It’s a digital card that gives me the opportunity to establish an online company regardless of where I’m living. I can also apply for EU banking, have access to Estonia’s exclusive e-services, digitally sign and send documents, declare Estonian taxes online, and much more. Even though it doesn’t grant me resident status, the services that come with it makes for a legit investment.

Why did I choose to apply for Estonia’s e-Residency card?

Last year I was working on getting a permanent residence visa in South Korea. I’ve been teaching English for several years now and I’d like to get into other ventures, legally. I spent months taking a required Korean culture course and racking up volunteer hours to get my necessary points required for the visa. Long story short, I didn’t end up getting the visa. So I decided that I would leave to go back to Texas in December this year, but I would still like to establish something that would keep me connected to South Korea. I then found out about Estonia’s new e-Residency opportunity that would allow anyone to operate a business from virtually anywhere. Starting a legit business in South Korea requires a ton of money and a Korean partner. Therefore, even if I was granted permanent resident status, that would only be the beginning of a long, daunting process of establishing a business. With Estonia’s "digital passport" (that is what I like to call it), I’ll be able to not only run a business, but the e-services that come with it will be far more beneficial and have a much bigger advantage than just having a permanent Korean visa. And I feel like Jason Bourne or 007 with this cool-looking card.

In this digital age, Estonia seems to be light years ahead in terms of transparency and technology (Skype even started there). And with the looks of the new e-residency center in Seoul, it looks South Korea is heading up that path hand-in-hand.