The first non-EU entrepreneurs have completed the application process and are about to establish their businesses in Lithuania, within the government’s Startup Visa programme. The Startup Visa legislation, which was approved in 2016 and is now fully operational, makes it easier for non-EU nationals to get a temporary residence permit, provided they operate in an innovative field and have enough financial resources to achieve their goals for one year.
“We are happy to see the first fruits of the Startup Visa Lithuania programme,” says Mindaugas Sinkevičius, Lithuanian minister of economy. “If in the past there were strict rules and regulations, now Lithuania is much more accessible for innovative business. We want to further encourage this trend and continue to increase the number of start-ups and talents in Lithuania.”
The four companies which are taking part in the programme are considered high-impact, operating in new technology fields that will spread innovative ideas and at the same time create new jobs in the country. All of them point out the high level of the education system and its strategic position are the key factors that made them choose Lithuania.
“Lithuania has made a considerable progress in the area of innovation — the European Commission has pointed out Lithuania’s progress in promoting innovation and improving the innovation ecosystem. These are not only encouraging results but also a big responsibility to continue choosing and implementing the appropriate measures to maintain and increase the growth of innovation,” minister Sinkevičius adds.
In the European Innovation Scoreboard 2017 Lithuania ranks 16th among the 28 EU member states, eight notches higher than in 2016, and ahead of Poland, Latvia, Spain, Malta, Italy, Slovakia, Greece, Hungary and Cyprus.
Photo: Lithuania’ pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan.