Since its implementation one month ago, Estonia's startup visa program has received applications from 50 businesses, of which just over one third have been accepted.
Killu Vantsi, a Citizenship and Migration Policy Department adviser at the Ministry of the Interior, told ERR that 50 businesses have submitted applications for the startup visa to the expert committee comprised of representatives of the Estonian startup community, of which 14 have received a positive and 22 a negative response. Another 9 applications have been rejected.
The most applications have been received from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and India.
Vantsi added that three applications for short-term work permits for employment with startups have also been received, all of which received a positive response. An application for a temporary residence permit for employment with a startup is also currently being processed.
In late January, the Minister of the Interior confirmed a list of 339 Estonian startups for whom hiring foreign employees was simplified. These startups were exempt from the requirement to pay foreign experts at least Estonia's averge gross wage. They also do not have to seek permission from the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund to hire foreign experts.
Startups not currently on the list can apply for the same rights by submitting an application to the expert committee which began work on Jan. 18. The committee is tasked with determining whether a business qualifies as a startup or not.
These changes were adopted in order to attract specialists to Estonia and enrich the country's economy.
Editor: Aili Vahtla