On Thursday, the Lithuanian Parliament has approved the amendments to the migration law that define an easier process of acquiring rights for permanent residency for citizens of non-EU/EEA countries who wish to run innovative businesses in Lithuania. The â€œStartup Visaâ€ is expected to take into force from January 2017.
The Startup Visa amendment has been advocated by Startup Lithuania, among others. The legislation will remove much of the bureaucratic burden for startup founders and skilled employees to relocate to Lithuania. A jury of Investors, government officials, and Startup Lithuania will judge the applications based on the sustainability and scalability of the business model. If successful, candidates will be granted a 1-year residency permit with possibilities to extend it if a startup demonstrates sufficient progress and sound economic activities. Exact prerequisites and procedures will be constructed later this year.
Currently, 7 EU’s member states have (quasi) startup visa schemes implemented on the national level: the UK (since 2008), Ireland (2012), Spain (2013), Italy (2014), Denmark (2015), France (2015) and The Netherlands (2015). Also, Finland, Estonia, Slovakia, Portugal, and Lithuania have announced to implement specific schemes
We are proud that Lithuania is the first country in CEE and the Nordic region to have accepted startup visa regulations. They come with great responsibility to further develop our ecosystem so it is attractive for startups that are choosing places to relocate and to grow their businesses – Ugnius Zasimauskas, project manager at Startup Lithuania, saluted the news.