The path to business immigration, or how to get a start-up visa to Estonia

Estonia is rightfully considered the northern Silicon Valley of Europe. This is a country of unlimited possibilities and continuous development. The speed of development of advanced technologies in the country, as well as the state contribution to technological progress makes Estonia a European country with a very favorable investment climate.

The development of the digital economy is facilitated by business investments in Estonia, as well as by foreign innovators. Start-up visas to Estonia are to attract active and entrepreneurial businessmen. An innovator visa not only helps to realize your start-up, but also provides a residence permit with subsequent citizenship.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Estonia produces more start-ups per capita than any other country in Europe. 3 years after the introduction of a start-up visa, more than 700 start-up companies immigrated to Estonia. This indicates a high level of investment policy and ease of business entry into the country. A start-up visa to Estonia is an ideal option for founders who are not EU members, but want to come and become a part of one of the smallest, but most active and developed start-up ecosystems in Europe.

Start-up visa applicants in fields such as biotechnology, IT, nanotechnology and electronics, together with a visa to Estonia, receive a residence permit for a period of one to five years. However, a prerequisite for a start-up visa is the existence of a registered local business. If not, the entrepreneur receives a visa for a stay of 3 to 12 months to establish a company and receive an Estonian start-up visa.

Thus, if you do not yet have a company that is registered in Estonia, you can apply for a start-up visa. If you already have an enterprise registered in Estonia, you can apply for a visa under the simplified program and obtain a residence permit to develop your start-up.

The main condition for obtaining a residence permit in Estonia under the start-up program is verification in the Ministry of Economy of Estonia. For approval by the commission, it is necessary:
  • to apply in English or Estonian;
  • to prepare a convincing start-up presentation;
  • to prescribe a strategy for 5 years.
An application for status is considered within 10 days. After approval and obtaining the status of a start-up, an entrepreneur and his family can obtain a residence permit. To obtain permanent residence under the start-up visa program in Estonia, the following steps must be taken:
  • Apply in Estonian or English
  • Get a unique code
  • Confirm the minimum income for living in Estonia (€ 140 per month – € 1680 per year).
  • Have a technological, innovative business with great growth potential
  • Get approval from the Start-up Committee and have the appropriate status
  • Confirm the paid state duty for residence permit (160 euros if documents are submitted in Estonia and 180 euros if in another country).

Thus, a start-up visa to Estonia not only helps enterprising business immigrants to realize their business in the EU country and join the start-up ecosystem. It is also a chance to provide yourself and your family with living in an advanced country with e-government and developed infrastructure and obtain citizenship there. There are also venture capital funds ready to help start-ups with advice and information.

So, Estonia has reached a new level of investment immigration. Developed online services, improved conditions for doing business and high quality of life at a reasonable price are far from a complete list of advantages when opening a start-up in Estonia.

As in Estonia, when applying for a start-up visa in Canada, an applicant can obtain permanent residence, and then Canadian citizenship. However, when applying for a start-up visa in Canada, there is no need to invest personal capital. It is enough to attract state or investor co-financing for your Canadian start-up. At the same time, in Canada, unlike Estonia, applying for a residence permit is already possible at the stage of drawing up an idea for a start-up.

Do you have an interesting innovative idea and understanding of the ways of its implementation? Make it the most profitable and productive business for you and your family. Participate in the Start-up Visa Program to Estonia!