Estonia receives 325 applications from non-EU nationals for startup visa
Posted on January 19, 2018
The Startup Visa of Estonia that allows non-EU nationals to come and work in the country’s startups has received 325 applications, most of them from India, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia and Pakistan
Floated by Estonia’s startup community in collaboration with Startup Estonia and the nation’s ministry of the interior in early 2017, it is said to have received applications from a total of 47 countries.
To be eligible for this visa, startups need to fill up an application specifying their business objectives and people behind it. A Startup Committee, comprising members of the startup community of Estonia, will then assess them. This committee viewed 140 applications positively, 170 negatively and is currently processing 15.
Estonia, which is considered to be one of the fastest growing economies of the EU, is a prosperous economy that is ranked very high on the human development indices of the UNDP.
Ragnar Sass, a member of Estonia’s startup committee and Pipedrive’s co-founder, was quoted by Estonian World as saying that this visa for startups is the perfect solution of the collaboration of public and private sectors. He said that these quick and effective initiatives are throwing open startup community of Estonia to people from all over the globe. According to him, this Northern European country is positioned uniquely to be the portal to the markets of Europe and the world for a lot of startups.
Each individual on the teams, which get assessed positively, they would then need to apply for a Temporary Residence Permit or a visa at their nearest Estonia embassy or at the Police and Border Guard Board if they are already in the country. Until now, about 100 founders of startups have been issued either a visa or a temporary residence permit and about 167 skilled professionals are already working or entering the country to do so.
Shaun Deanesh, a Malaysian startup founder, said that getting a visa was very easy. He added that although their company got offers from other EU countries, it took them months to issues them. Estonia, however, issued them one within 10 days.
The Republic of Estonia is said to be vying with similar visa programs that are being offered by the Netherlands, Canada and Italy. It too has received a similar number of visa applications as the others.
Rivo Riistop, Startup Estonia’s project manager, said that after realizing that foreign interest in commencing startups in Estonia was very evident, they were working to create a complete service for the nations from which interest has been most elicited and are also looking to tap new target markets which can make the most of the Estonian business environment.