Lithuanian Entrepreneur Visa


The Lithuania, officially known as Republic of Lithuania, is situated in the North Eastern part of Europe, located in the Baltic Region. It is largest, out of three Baltic states, bordered by Baltic Sea. Lithuania is surrounded by Belarus, Latvia, Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast, which is a Russian exclave. The Total land area of Lithuania is 65,300 square kilometers.

According to the census made in 2017, the total population of Lithuania is 2.8 million. It’s capital city is Vilnius, while some other major cities include Kaunas and Klaipeda. Lithuanian is the official language of the state, but along with this, there are some other recognized ethnic languages too. It’s national currency is Euro and system of government is unitary semi-presidential republic.

The Lithuania is located at the heart of Europe. Prior to the advent of worldwide financial crisis in 2007-2010, Lithuania enjoyed the best economy in the Europe. The state is also a member of the European Union, since 2004, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Council of Europe (since 14th March, 1993). It joined the Schengen Agreement on 21st December, 2007.

Lithuania – from the perspective of residence

Lithuania is a place where foreigners can come and settle easily without facing any major problem. It’s because the country offers some outstanding benefits and perks for its dwellers. Some of the benefits are listed below:

  • According to the Mercer Cost of Living Index in 2015, Vilnius (The capital of Lithuania) was considered to be one of the least expensive European cities for expats to live in.
  • Lithuania offers world class health care. The number of Physicians per capita is greater than anywhere in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), and most of them are well-experienced and multilingual which helps people from different regions to communicate their problems to them effectively.
  • As depicted earlier, Lithuania is located at the center of Europe, so it is easy to approach all major destinations in Europe. Moreover, Vilnius and Kaunas provide quick access because of their International Airports, which provide regular flights to other European Countries.
  • Three largest cities of Lithuania, provide vast range of International Cultural Events every year, making it attractive for the tourists and other people to visit.
  • Lithuanians live a healthy life. The country secured 1st position in Central and Eastern European Region, under the Green City Index. It also offers ecologic and organic choices for daily consumable products, beauty products and some organic medicines too.
  • In addition to that, Vilnius has considered a hip and well-managed place to stay by the New York Times.

Education System

The most appreciable fact about Lithuanian Education System is that education is free of charge. In addition to that, according to the National Law on Education, getting educated is mandatory from 6 or 7 years to 16 years of age. Students go through primary and basic education.

Children go through pre-schooling until the age of 5 or 6 years. Then they are promoted to pre-primary level for a period of one year, between the age of 5-7 years. After that, primary education takes four years to complete, for children aged 6-11 years. Then they go through Basic Education for 6 years between 10-17 years of age, and upon completion they receive a Basic Education Certificate. Upper secondary education longs 2 years and applies for the children aged between 16-19 years, which finalizes on Matura Examination, leading to tertiary education.

Out of 6 years of Basic Education, vocational and technical education starts at the 5th year for students aged between 14-15 years. These students go through upper secondary education as depicted, but in addition to Matura Examination (required for promotion to tertiary education level), vocational students must undergo an additional post-secondary education program of 2 years.

Tertiary education is divided in college and university. The difference is that colleges provide vocational studies and since 2006, have been awarding professional bachelors degree while universities provide academic studies, that leads to international Bachelors, Masters and Post-graduate degrees.

Academic year starts on 1st of September at every level of education.

Lithuania Start-up Visa

Lithuania promotes start-up ideas to get implemented in their region disregard to any religion, race and color. The Startup Visa is a new scheme that lets entrepreneurs (from Non-European states) to reside, invest and grow their business in Lithuania with the permission of the authorities. It is an immigration law that has been made to attract talent, innovation and ambitious minds from across the globe and help them establish grow their startups in European Union state and work for mutual benefits of themselves and the state.

According to the above-mentioned Visa Scheme, the self-employed expats can get permission to live and work in the country for a period of 1 year, which further can be extended for one extra year. After that, normal immigration processes apply. Family members can also accompany the start-up owner if there are any.

The scheme also provides relaxation, regarding the investment made and size of the start-up. There is no restriction to invest a certain amount of capital and no minimum number of employees is required.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • For acquiring a start-up visa, it is appreciated that your start-up company must be related to any one of the following sectors:
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Biotechnology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Electronics
  • Mechatronics
  • Laser Technology
  • The applicant must be at least a part owner of the newly formed company.
  • The applicant must enjoy a financial status so that he/she can meet up with startup goals for 1 year. There is no restriction on the amount of money invested as capital by Lithuanian Authorities.

Start-up Visa Application Procedure:

Majorly, there are two main steps in getting a Lithuanian start-up visa.

  • Approval of business idea by Enterprise Lithuania/Startup Lithuania
  • Applying for temporary residence permit
  • Approval of business idea by Enterprise Lithuania/Startup Lithuania:
  • Get confirmation from Enterprise Lithuania or Startup Lithuania that your business idea meets the eligibility criteria.
  • Fill the online application form and submit it. It will include your personal information, professional experience and staff composition. In addition to this, detail about your company, 1-year action plan, capital information and 2-year company strategy should be stated there. Only the application filled in Lithuanian or English language, will be considered for further processing.
  • Present your business idea in a short video clip of about 2-5 minutes in the form of an interview with the Lithuania Enterprise representatives. The interview video will be recorded and attached as a part of your application.
  • An assessment committee comprising of representatives from Startup Lithuania, Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology, Venture Capital Funds and Startup Accelerators will evaluate your application. Application will be assessed for innovation, scalability, 1-year strategy, 2-year strategy, team qualifications and capital.
  • In some cases, when technical evaluation is needed, the authorities will forward the case to the specialist who will access. After the results of extra assessment, the committee will commence their evaluation.
  • Applying for temporary residence (After the approval of startup application):
  • After the evaluation and approval of startup application, the applicant will receive an official confirmation form from Enterprise Lithuania. One can now apply for a temporary residence permit.
  • The applicant can apply for residence permit at Migration Department, Vilnius or outside Lithuania in any Lithuanian Embassy. Usually, it takes 2 months for application processing and grant of a startup visa.
  • Once the applicant gets the permit, one’s company must get established and continue operations in the country within 30 days.

Cost of Application

The startup visa application is free, while the fee for temporary residence permit is 114-228 EUR depending upon the type of service requested.

Extension in the Temporary Residence Permit

To extend the temporary residence permit for another year, one has to submit the progress report of Startup and a long-term business establishment plan. This should be done before the current permit reaches its expiry limit.

The assessment committee will then evaluate the business status and check if applicant is eligible for further extension in residence permit or not. This depends upon the operation of the startup during it’s 1st year and the long-term plan presented.

In case, applicant wants to stay beyond 2 years of the firms’ operations, normal migration processes and conditions will be applicable then.

Results

With a startup visa, one can not only reside and work in Lithuania but can also avail numerous benefits that come with living in this country.

  • Lithuania enjoys an International Work Culture, because people from different states, nations come invest and share their wealth of ideas in all sort of contexts and languages.
  • Mostly foreigners move to Lithuania just to have a wonderful work-life balance. As a matter of fact, Vilnius was ranked as 9th city in the globe for a great work-life balance by Business Insider, 2015. It’s all because of the country’s excellent infrastructure, it offers quick and comfortable travelling facilities between the busy cities with a touch of nature and a lot of side activities.
  • According to Rotten Wi-Fi tests in 2014, Lithuania was ranked to be having the fastest public Wi-Fi in the globe. Lithuania was ranked number 1 in European Union to have the fibre-to-premises penetration by Fibre to the Home Council in 2015.
  • World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Lithuania 3rd best back in 2016 for providing best mathematics and science education to children. Six schools in the country provide the world accredited International Bacca Laureate Program
  • Almost every Lithuanian knows English and almost 50 percent citizens can speak a minimum of 2 foreign languages, making Lithuania the 2nd most multilingual state in the European Union.
  • Travelling in Lithuania is easy. In order to move from any location to the other one may have multiple means to get to destination either by bicycle or taxi or by car sharing services. Moreover, it’s international airports will get you to any European Nation.
  • Lithuania possesses a world-class health care infrastructure. It has largest number of doctors per capita and most of them are experienced and multilingual. There is also a well established and cost competitive private medical health care system which covers general medical practice to surgical practices.
  • There are a number of leisure activities for its people which notably includes indoor skiing, top-notch spas, concerts and many more.
  • According to a research, done by the European Commission, Lithuanians are 98% living in Vilnius, making it to be the happiest capital of all in the European Union.
  • Mercer Cost of living index’s report of 2015 shows that Vilnius is among the 5 least expensive cities for foreigners to stay in the European Union.
  • Lithuania, is a place full of nature. It has lakes rivers, sand dunes. Cities are mostly green and hence the air is clean and fresh to breathe in.

Several startups have been initiated under the Startup Visa Scheme in Lithuania. There has been increase in the number of applications from China, Turkey, Belarus, USA, India, South Korea and Ukraine.

Professional Services:

Stephen M.S Lai & Co CPA Ltd. is a professional firm that helps in Startup Visa application process. The Startup Visa is a talent attraction program, that offers a smooth and simple entry process to the startup ecosystem in Lithuania for gifted non-EU, non-EEA startup founders to establish, develop and grow in the profitable international community.

The Startup Visa Scheme offers flexibility and welcomes creativity. There is not any capital, minimum number of employees’ requirement. If your idea gets approved by the committee, you can apply for the residence permit on that basis.

You can start by filling the online application form, taking the online interview as a part of application, get your idea approved and then apply for the temporary residence permit on the basis of which you can start your business.

You should not worry at all. It is a lot easier than it seems. Stephen M.S Lai & Co CPA Ltd. will help you along the way. Get in touch with us for more information.