Lithuania launches Fast-track Visa Scheme For Non-EU StartUp Founders

lithuaniaLithuania has launched a new Startup Visa program designed to encourage citizens from outside the European Union (EU) to set up businesses in the small northern European Baltic state.


The Lithuanian government approved new legislation last April that sought to make it easier for “gifted and ambitious innovative startup founders from all around the world” to gain residency within Lithuania, including residency for founders’ families. That program is now open to interested applicants.


Startups eligible for Lithuania’s Startup Visa program include any that adhere to “scalable and innovative business models” across electronics, biotech, and the broader IT umbrella.


Lithuania isn’t particularly renowned on the world stage for its startups, though there are several hundred in operation. Some that are gaining traction include secondhand clothing marketplace Vinted, image-editing app Pixelmator, and mobile gaming company Game Insight. But the point of the country’s new visa program is to create something from the ground up and to build on the broader region’s track record of producing top tech talent — the likes of Skype, TransferWise, and Fortumo all emanate from neighboring Estonia.


“We see startups as an integral part of an innovative economy,” explained Mindaugas Sinkevičius, Lithuania’s minister of economy. “So we open our doors to talent that will both embrace and contribute to our 320-strong startup ecosystem.”


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