First batch of Estonian startup visa applications get a green light

Within the first month after the launch of the Estonian startup visa programme, the country received over 50 applications from more than 10 countries; out of these applications, 14 received a positive evaluation.

Under the startup visa programme, initiated by the local startup community and the country’s ministry of the interior, non-EU national are allowed to come and work for Estonian startups, relocate their existing companies or establish new ones in the country.

Within the first month since 18 January, the programme received over 50 applications from over 10 countries. Out of these applications, the startup committee gave a positive evaluation on 14, negative on 22, declined nine and is processing six applications, Startup Estonia said in a statement.

After receiving a positive evaluation, the startups can proceed to applying for a visa or a permit at an Estonian embassy or the Police and Border Guard Board.

The majority of the applicants within the first month were from the nationals of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and India.

In terms of the field of activity of the startups, a good variety is presented with businesses ranging from aviation to marketing and telemedicine to tourism, Startup Estonia said.


Cover: One of the first foreign employees to arrive was an Indian software engineer who was welcomed by the team of Shipitwise, a full-service shipping platform startup.

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor of Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain and the UK, he now resides in the United States. He loves to write and besides contributing to Estonian World and some occasional blogging, he writes for other media outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, friend him on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at