Estonian information society strategies present the possibility for non-resident foreigners to apply for an Estonian digital ID with a simplified process in the future. This means that foreigners who merely have business activities in Estonia can use Estonian E-State services without applying for an Estonian ID-card (E-residency). Currently no specific timeline has been announced as to when this service will be available.
The possibility to provide digital ID for non-resident foreigners would help to overcome problems with cross-border use of digital signatures – lack of mutual recognition of digital signatures between different countries. For example, the Estonian Digital Signatures Act sets more stringent requirements for digital signatures than EU Directive1999/93/EC currently in force. Therefore not all foreign digital signatures are regarded as equal to the Estonian digital signature. Certificates by some countries have been recognised in Estonia, but in practice problems may arise - mainly in Estonian courts or in communicating with state agencies. The problem should be solved in upcoming years when a new regulation will be adopted by the European Union that obliges Member States to recognise digital signatures mutually.