A little bout of insomnia and I found this gem. And the brain is a rolling.
So, you can go on-line and sign up for the equivalent of an Estonian “Green Card.” (Legal resident alien card.) … This gives you the right to work in Estonia. But, since Estonia is a part of the EU and they have reciprocity, you now have the right to work anywhere in the EU. Right? They don’t touch on this in the article, but based upon what they’re saying, this is the next logical conclusion. They only requirement to keeping the “Estonian eID” is to keep a bank account over there and file your income taxes through them, and even that seems to be a workaround.
It’s not like this type of e-immigration WITHIN the EU is unheard of. Here’s a URL to a presentation from 2012. This just looks like the Estonians are widening their application pool to anyone with an Internet connection. It looks like the eIDs in this document are the same ones you can get by applying on-line (once the Estonia program goes live.)
If you’re looking to expatriate to the EU, this may just work, until the xenophobic naysayers in the EU figures this out and find a way to block it (UKIP, BNP, and similar in other locales.) Anyone with a computer, whether in China, Australia, Crimea, Sudan, Central African Republic (think of anywhere where there is crazy strife) this can get them legal residence somewhere and they only have to arrange travel.
Imagine 1000 “refugees” (not the UN definition, but a politically repressed or socially maligned population) doing this anywhere, then begging/demanding for some kind of help in physical transport to a new land. They could be a large group of dissidents in China, persecuted gays in Russia, persecuted Christians in Sudan, etc. With these examples I’m going for people with legitimate fears for safety. Ethically (and under Estonian laws and EU treaties) would evacuations of these maligned groups occur? Via government pocketbooks? Look at the current situation with North African populations trying to get into Italy. This is a crisis for Italy far worse than what we see with people making rafts in Cuba and trying to get to Florida. [Background for those unfamiliar: http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21587802-deaths-lampedusa-highlight-europes-contradictions-over-immigration-adrift-about-boat ] Except if these folks going to Italy were able to get on-line and register with Estonia first, they won’t be fined for illegal immigration to Italy.
Or, what if you’re in a place with for-profit healthcare, and you’re in a situation where even if you have insurance, you can’t get them to cover specific treatments you need. This then opens the door for medical-based immigration. You get your EU ID card, go over, get a job, and then get into the health system there to get the treatments you need. I’m thinking of specific examples of people who have insurance but can’t afford prescriptions or have insurance that won’t cover specific treatments.
This could be VERY interesting.