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Start-Up Visa FAQ

Estonia has launched an Estonian Visa Program in 2017. It has a goal to call entrepreneurs from outside of the European Union. In the first year, 325 applications have been received from 47 different countries. India, Ukraine, Pakistan, and Turkey can be given as an example of the countries that applied to this Visa Program.

1- Who is eligible for the application of Estonian Startup visa?

All startups that have an innovative and repeatable business model with important global growth possible can apply for an Estonian Startup visa.

2- How can I apply for a startup visa?

You can apply for a startup visa with your startup business plan. Your business plan gets confirmed or refused after the Estonian Startup Committee’s review. Please check the official webpage of Startup Estonia where you can deliver your business plan online.

3- How is Startup Visa different from Schengen Visa?

Startup visa is a program that makes it less difficult to apply for a Schengen Visa or a residence permit. First of all, you submit your application to the committee with your business plan and if your Startup is qualified, you are given a code. Secondly, all founders can apply for one year Schengen visa or a residence permit up to 5 years at the Estonian Embassies with this code.

4- Is it possible to get a residence permit with an Estonian Startup visa?

After your Startup visa gets approved, it is possible for you to get a residence permit up to 5 years at your first application. To apply for a residence permit, you should establish your company in Estonia as well.

5- Do I have to stay in Estonia continuously after I get a 1-year Schengen Visa?

After you get a startup visa, you have two options which we’ve explained in the previous counts. If you get a Schengen visa, you don’t have to stay in Estonia continuously because it will be a multiple entry visa and you can travel to your home country during the visa period. If you get a residence permit, still you can travel outside Estonia whenever you want.

6- Will I have a work permit in Estonia after a startup visa is granted?

If you get a long-term Schengen visa, you won’t legally have a work permit in Estonia. In case you get a residence permit, you will legally have a work permit to work in your own company. You can even work in different companies at the same time legally. Due to this cause, it might be better for you to apply for a residence permit after your startup visa is granted.

7- What is the possibility of my application’s acceptance?

In 2017, which is the first year of the program, %45 of the applications ended up positively. We expect this rate to reduce due to an increment in the applications.

8- Can I apply for the startup visa despite my startup does not have any traction yet?

Yes, you can. The traction is not very crucial criteria as most of the applicants are the early-stage startups.

9- Do all founders have to apply for a startup visa separately?

 No. While you are making your startup visa application, every founder does not have to make an application severally because an application has all the knowledge about founders. The application is made with a single business plan. The code which is given after you acquire approval can be used by all the founders and the team members that you want to bring in Estonia.

10- Do I also have a possibility to work somewhere else than my startup after I move Estonia?

After you get a residence permit, you will have legal work permission same as Estonian citizens. You will have a have a chance of working part-time or full-time in dissimilar companies. If you are a technical founder, your chances to find a job in Estonia is really elevated.


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