The start-up visa is a visa category offered by a country to attract ambitious immigrant entrepreneurs who wish to establish new business in that country. Such visas often have certain eligibility conditions related to investment and job creation that must be fulfilled by the visa holder.
Normally the aim is to draw those non-citizen entrepreneurs who possess innovative business ideas, can generate new jobs and have the capacity to raise capital from investors.
List of countries that provide start-up visa
At present only 14 countries across the world offer start-up visas to attract non-citizen entrepreneurs to set up businesses. Out of these 14 countries 8 are from Europe. Surprising, the United States of America still does not offer a start-up visa for entrepreneurs.
|Spain||The United Kingdom (UK)|
Do start-up visa lead to permanent resident status?
Most start-up visas for non-citizen entrepreneurs provided by various countries across the world are actually temporary visas. But it can eventually lead to residency if the entrepreneur proves to be successful.
The only exception is Canada, which provides immediate permanent residency. Foreign entrepreneurs are granted permanent residence in Canada based on their objective to operate a qualifying business in the country. Such entrepreneurs must have received the written support of a designated angel investor group, venture capital fund or business incubator.
What parameters determine the success rate of a start-up visa holder?
Different countries have different parameters to evaluate migrant application and determine the success rate of a start-up visa holder. But generally it involves two key parameters:
- What is the benchmark for entrepreneurs and their businesses that qualifies them for entry and residency?
- How quickly must the benchmark be reached?
Apart from these two parameters, most countries also consider other factors to renew entrepreneur visas or to convert such visas to permanent residency. Such factors are:
- What is the number of jobs created by the start-up?
- What is the amount of additional investment raised or the revenue created within a specified period of time?
These are the broad parameters that entrepreneurs are required to consider while deciding to set up a business venture in a new country that provides start-up visas.
Which country offers the cheapest start-up visa scheme?
Most countries offering entrepreneur visa schemes need entrepreneurs to show investments in the range of $40,000 to $100,000. But there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Spain do not require entrepreneurs to show a minimum capital investment.
Chile and France have start-up visa policies that are different from all other countries. A successful applicant to Chilean Entrepreneur Visa program is granted 20 million pesos ($35000 approximately) and to the French program is granted EUR 12,5K ($14000 approximately) by the respective country government.
What are the advantages for start-up visa holders?
The advantages provided for start-up visa holders varies from one country to another. Here are a few such advantages:
- Canada’s Start-up visa provides instant permanent residency. Canada is the only country to offer such an advantage to foreign entrepreneurs.
- Ireland’s Innovative Start-up visa is the only one that offers flexibility in the amount of time allowed to the entrepreneur to fulfil the renewal requirements in terms of jobs created and revenue generated. It also offers a flexible immigration system that makes it simple for start-ups to hire foreigners.
- New Zealand’s Entrepreneur Work visa is a dual-step visa that offers more time for entrepreneurs to set up their business in the country, with support from the Government. It also provides the option of removing the capital requirements, provided the business is very innovative and scalable.