When I first heard about e-Residency a year ago, I fell in love with the idea. My main reason was that I was and still am partially housebound. I can go out but I have limits what my nervous system can handle, my ability to handle sounds and smells isn’t limitless.
The ability to own and manage company and not having an obligation to go and meet people was appealing. It would let me to deal with things from where I wanted and thus be beneficial to my mental health but last three weeks were hell.
During that time I have found out that Estonian Police has had some problems with their e-mail servers and didn’t bother to contact me through other ways. They require telephone number on the application. There were three unsent e-mails from the police officer who handles my application.
I was able to communicate to her an alternative e-mail. However the e-mail issue on side of Estonian police remained unresolved. They had an additional question about my previous name1. I was happy to provide them with what they wanted if it was within the laws of physics.
Unfortunately sending her a copy of my old identification document requires a time machine. Czech law forbids me to keep my invalid national identification card or my old passport. I wish I could keep my passports from tween and teen years because I would have a memento to remember how many times I have visited my dad in US.
So I have sent this information to the officer the first time her e-mail came through. No answer.
Twelve days later she sent me another e-mail requesting copy of my previous identification document. This time I have sent her two e-mails explaining more broadly that what she asks me is impossible due to Czech laws. In the second one I included a document regarding my name change with a rough translation.
Two days later I didn’t hear from her back or if e-Residents helpdesk was able to confirm that she received those e-mail from me.
On Friday I contacted the police officer again and she confirmed that there is no problem with my application and within two weeks I should be able to get the document. As a person living with anxiety that last e-mail was very important for me.
So in less than two weeks I will, most likely, be officially a e-resident of Estonia. Although I disagree that it’s digital betrayal of my own country. I think it’s freedom when one’s country’s digital strategy is closer to the iron age2 than the modern times3. I probably should mention that my country and I are a bit at odds since I was 134.
Anyway I would apply for e-Residency again but I would do two things differently:
- I wouldn’t wait for the end of my gender transition.
- I waited because I didn’t want to go through the process of revealing it but then I got into a bind “what if their background checks reveal that I had a different name” and “I should reveal that my name got changed recently”. This caused the problems and delay when I applied.
- I would do it when I was in Estonia
- That was a plan when I booked my trip there but in the overall scheme it was just a plan B. So I didn’t follow through as the plan A was in motion at the time.
- Big stupid decision to disclose that fact on the application ↩
- Neurotypical people who use stone age but this is more accurate 🙂 ↩
- E-mail service which is supposed to fund state owned post service is not something which should be operated today ↩
- Czech school system isn’t friendly towards neurodivergent people. There were a lot of articles about teachers complaining that more and more students are diagnosed with learning disabilities. I think it’s a good thing because teacher can’t write them off as stupid ↩