ROUGHLY 25 COUNTRIES, INCLUDING AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, PORTUGAL AND THE U.K., HAVE CREATED STARTUP VISAS IN THE PAST DECADE TO HELP ATTRACT ENTREPRENEURS. HERE’S A LOOK AT FIVE OF THEM.
Eligible to apply: entrepreneurs (who must be proficient in English or French) with roughly $165,000 in investment from an accredited venture firm or $62,000 from an incubator program.
Its government-run accelerator program, Start-Up Chile, has attracted 1,960 startups since its 2010 launch with “equity-free funding,” mentoring and a one-year working visa.
Targeted to high-growth founders such as tech entrepreneurs, Estonia promises that its startup committee will make decisions on applications in 10 working days. Since its 2017 launch, more than 2,750 people have applied, and 750 founders, many from Russia, Iran and India, have relocated to the tiny (population 1.3 million) startupfriendly nation.
Its Start-up Entrepreneur Programme welcomes non-EU founders who have “an innovative business proposal” and $61,000 (at current exchange rates). Family members can migrate under the same visa.
Entrepreneurs outside the EU must work with one of roughly 30 “facilitators,” such as the HighTechXL accelerator. The income requirements are low—roughly $25,000 a year at current exchange rates. The visa is valid for a year, but then the entrepreneur can apply for a permit to work on a selfemployed basis.