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Startup Visa for non-EU entrepreneurs
About the Startup Visa
The "Startup Visa" is a new option that allows startup developers from non-European Union countries to reside in Lithuania and establish a startup here.
The Startup Visa gives individuals who are setting up a startup temporary permission to live and work in Lithuania for a period of 1 year. Family members are permitted to accompany them. The permits can be extended for one additional year. After that, regular immigration procedures apply.
There is no requirement to invest a particular amount of capital into the company (only enough to start and operate), nor is the company required to employ a particular number of staff.
Streamlined temporary residence and work permits for startup founders!
Who is eligible?
Companies whose shareholders are eligible to receive Startup Visas must be operating in one of the following areas:
- information technology
- laser technology
Applying for a Startup Visa
The first step in applying for a Startup Visa is obtaining confirmation from Enterprise Lithuania or Startup Lithuania that your startup meets the selection criteria.
- Fill in and submit an online application. The application form asks for personal information, team composition and professional background. Information about your startup, a 1-year action plan, financial resources and a 2-year strategy should also be detailed in the application.
- Present your idea in a short 2-5 minute video interview with a Startup Lithuania representatives. This interview will be recorded and included as part of your overall application.
- An evaluation committee consisting of representatives of startup accelerators, venture capital funds, Startup Lithuania and the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology will evaluate your application. Your startup's potential for scalability and innovation, 1-year action plan, 2-year action strategy, staff qualifications and financial resources to execute the idea will be assessed. The significance of the applicant’s role within the team will also be assessed.
In case the committee needs assistance evaluating the technical details of your application, it will be sent to specialists. In such cases, the committee will make a decision after receiving the specialists’ evaluation.
Step two is applying for a temporary residence permit in Lithuania.
- Once your idea is approved, you receive an official confirmation document from Enterprise Lithuania.
- You can then apply for your temporary residence permit ("Startup Visa"). This can be done either in person at the Migration Department (L. Sapiegos g. 1, Vilnius) or abroad at any Lithuanian Embassy. It takes about 1 month to process the application and issue a Startup Visa according to the expedited procedure or 2 months according to normal procedure.
- Once you receive your permit, your company must be established and commence operations in Lithuania within 30 days.
What happens after one year?
To extend your temporary residence permit for an additional year, a startup progress evaluation form and long-term company strategy will be required. This should be done before your temporary residency permit expires.
The evaluation committee will once again make an assessment of your startup, including progress and achievements during the first year, and make a decision regarding the extension of your residency permit.
Should you wish to live and work in Lithuania beyond the first two years of the company’s operation, you will have to comply with regular migration requirements. More information is available from the Migration Department here.