What is the Best Startup Visa Scheme in Europe?

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Being an entrepreneur has become more competitive than ever. This is because of the high rate of local brands that launch daily into the market system. To stand out among several others, entrepreneurs should be intentional about international deals or transactions. Fortunately, European countries are open to innovative business ideas. However, you may need to step out of your comfort zone to achieve the desired result.

Begin by Applying for a Startup Visa

Several commitments and sacrifices come in if you plan to relocate your business abroad. It would help if you started applying for the entrepreneur visa as early as possible. Although you are exposing your business to a new culture, you will need to learn how to mingle with the people there.

Why You Need an entrepreneur or Startup Visa?

Getting a startup visa may be challenging because most countries offer investor visas instead. The investor visas are also called the Golden visas. Many people use it as an opportunity to gain residency and work permits in a country. However, the investment is usually huge, needing about € 1 million to € 2 million. Although you can get a residency permit through a startup visa, it usually starts on a short-term basis. The startup visa is best for medium and small businesses because it requires little capital. You will need to present a sufficient bank statement that proves you can sustain yourself in the visiting country. This proves your business idea will enhance economic growth. Also, having a solid business plan will provide more freedom to move within the country.
Applying for a startup visa in the EU provides an added advantage because there is no barrier to how far you can take your business. You can start a new life in Europe as well, provided you are free of any criminal record. Other benefits you have access to include grants, R&D tax breaks, and other financial support. However, migrating to a neighboring country is much easier if you have already started a business in any European country.

Choosing the Best European Country for Startup Visa

If you are just relocating your business abroad, consider the following four countries, among others.


The Italy visa agency offers R&D funding to individuals with startup visas. It is one of the most accessible forms of application. However, you want to make sure the team working with you are qualified. The agency may ask that your present proof of school qualification, such as a master's degree and PhD. You must have been in the business sector for a minimum of four years, with a guarantee that you can generate up to €5 million yearly. You will also need to back up your business with in-depth research for developmental purposes.
Upon receiving your application letter, you should confirm the maximum period you can stay in the country. In most cases, Italy will offer business persons a maximum of one year visit. You can extend it to two years or more, provided you meet the requirements. You must pay tax throughout your stay and invest in the R&D portfolio.


France is more friendly to tech-oriented businesses. This can be associated with the country's latest developments in expanding its tech horizon. Tech startups are encouraged to apply to France, although you will have to fill two application processes. These processes are called the French Tech Ticket and the French Tech Visa. Fortunately, people who are not startups but are tech enthusiasts can apply for these visas. You can either invest in the tech industry or be a part of the employees. Unlike the Italian visa, France grants employees and their families a residency permit after meeting the requirements.
Firstly, you need to prove to the agency that you are not running your business alone. You can get partners on your side to present a pitch that the tech business is innovative. The French Tech Ticket differs from the French Tech Visa, such that it allows companies to run without a full-time commitment. If you see yourself not staying in France for a long time, then this is for you. Meanwhile, the French Tech Visa would require you to present a constructive pitch with a minimum of two co-founders.


Entrepreneurs can choose the Startup Entrepreneur Programme or the Immigrant Investor Programme in Ireland. These programs are quite different from the schemes offered by the countries above. The programs include many benefits but with high capital investment. The minimum capital for the Immigrant Investor Programme is €2 million, while some countries refer to it as the "Golden Visa".
You can either invest in a community project or real estate for three years. On the other hand, the Startup Entrepreneur Programme must benefit society. For instance, there should be a minimum of ten job opportunities available at your company. You must be running the business for up to five years, and the headquarter should be in Ireland. The application cost is €350, with a minimum capital of €75,000. You can apply for a residency permit after staying in Ireland for up to three years without causing any trouble.

United Kingdom

Many startup entrepreneurs are rushing to the United Kingdom because of the opportunity to connect to other target areas. The cooperation tax for the UK is low, with a flexible application process, visiting rules, and obtaining a long-term residency permit. However, you need to ensure sufficient capital and bank statements to sustain you throughout your stay.
The UK startup visa does not incur huge investments on entrepreneurs. You can even start a business for free, provided you receive sponsorship from a reputable organization or UK higher education institution. Sourcing for funds should be flexible, but the source must have a history of supporting entrepreneurs in the United Kingdom. The application fee varies between €308 and €493. The choice as to whether you are expanding your visa, and your nationality, will also influence your application charges.
Your business idea needs to be innovative, with an approved body confirming its authenticity. There is a quality standard of living in the UK, making it a great destination for many entrepreneurs. However, the UK visa only permits entrepreneurs to stay for a maximum of two years without the hope of renewing.
Written by: Fikayomi Abisola
Abisola is an ETIAS Travel and Immigration writer with several years of writing experience in the industry. Abisola has a unique enthusiasm for travels, tours, and tourism and loves to educate travellers about the criteria involved in international travelling.

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