Lithuanian start-up visa – how to get it

Overview

This visa route permits a foreign national to live in Lithuania with their family on the basis that they set up a start-up business in an approved industry. This will allow a foreign national to obtain Permanent Residence (PR) and eventually Lithuanian Citizenship if desired.

Eligibility

You must submit a plan for a start-up business which introduces new technologies or other innovations of significance for the economic and social development of Lithuania that has the potential to scale up rapidly (Article 45 (1) Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens);· You must intend to establish a business in any of the following areas:

  1. Financial technology;
  2. ICT;
  3. Biotechnology;
  4. Nanotechnology;
  5. Mechatronics; and
  6. Laser technology.

You must also:

  1. intend to register your company in Lithuania;
  2. have comprehensive sickness cover for the period of stay in Lithuania (Article 26 (2) Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens);
  3. have the means of subsistence for stay in Lithuania (Article 26 (3) and Article 27 Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens);
  4. have arranged a place of accommodation for the period of stay in Lithuania (Article 26 (4) Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens).

Application Process

STEP 1 – Submit your application form visa the Startup Visa Lithuania Website.

STEP 2 – If your application is deemed to meet the basic requirements you will be invited to attend a recorded interview. Your application and recorded interview will then be sent to the Lithuanian Start-Up Committee for evaluation. The processing time for this application is 1 month.

STEP 3 – If the Start-Up Committee approve your application they will send an official confirmation letter from Enterprise Lithuania. This letter is valid for 3 months.

STEP 4 – Once you have obtained the letter, gather the remaining documents required for the TRP application. You will then create an account on the Lithuanian migration website, fill out the application form and upload scans of all supporting documents.

STEP 5 – Once you have completed your application, you will be asked to make a slot reservation at your local Lithuanian consulate/embassy for the submission of original documents. You should also receive an email with confirmation of documents uploaded and details of your appointment reservation. Before attending your appointment you will need to arrange a place to live in Lithuania for the period of the TRP (it is recommended that the agreement terms covers a period of 15 months).

STEP 6 – Attend your appointment and submit all original documents for the TRP. Once your application is processed, you should receive an email providing a specified appointment time to collect your TRP. Processing time for residence permit is generally 2 months but can be fast-tracked to 1 month for a premium fee.

STEP 8 – Once you have received your TRP you will have 30 days to establish your company in Lithuania. Once the company is registered you must inform Startup Visa Lithuania within 3 working days. You must provide your TRP expiry date, company registration code and full name of company. You must also provide copies of the registration certificate and incorporation agreement.

Pathway to Permanent Residence

STAGE 1 – The initial period of the TRP will usually be 1 year. You can extend the TRP twice, each time for a further period of 1 year. Each time the Start-Up Committee will be required to make an assessment of your start-up, including the progress and achievements made during the first year.

STAGE 2 – After 3 years, you will need to apply for a temporary residence to continue to engage in “lawful activities”. This is likely to mean either:

A. Proving you are the head of the company, manager of the company or a shareholder of the company with at least a third of the authorised capital; paying a salary equivalent to at least 2 BDU’s of the national economy of the country; and whose equity capital is at €28,000 of which at least €14,000 is foreign-invested funds; or

B. Proving that you are a shareholder of the company holding at least a third of the authorised share capital and that the enterprise has created 5 jobs.

You will need to submit an application for change of residence permit. The temporary residence permit may then be granted for 3 further years (Article 45(3) Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens).

STAGE 3 – After 5 years continuous residence in Lithuania on a temporary residence permit you may be eligible for PR (Article 53 (8) Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens). In order to obtain PR you must confirm that you have passed the examinations on Lithuanian language and the basics of the Constitution. Application processing time is generally within 4 months, but it can be fast tracked to 2 months.

STAGE 4 – After 10 years continuous residence, you may apply for naturalisation as a Lithuanian citizen. You must pass an examination in the Lithuanian language and an examination on the basic provisions of the Constitution of Lithuania (Article 12, Law on Citizenship). Currently, you will still have to renounce any other citizenship held upon application.

N.B. Your family members may also apply for PR and naturalisation after 5 and 10 years on a TRP respectively.

Documents You Will Need – for the initial application

  1. Online application form;
  2. Business pitch deck;
  3. CV; and
  4. Diploma and other related documents to support your qualifications.

Additional documents needs – for the Temporary Residence Permit (TRP) application

  1. Completed TRP application form;
  2. 1 passport sized photo;
  3. Valid passport;
  4. Valid visa providing right to stay in Lithuania
  5. Police clearance certificates from any country in which you have resided in the last 2 years for more than 6 months;
  6. Enterprise Lithuania confirmation letter;
  7. Bank statements confirming you have the required level of maintenance funds (€7,284) (bank statements must be stamped and signed by the bank);
  8. A list of the foreign states that you have either visited or lived during the last 10 years (Article 26 (5) Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Aliens);
  9. Accommodation agreement covering the next 12 months in one of the following forms (this will only be required when you are submitting the originals at your appointment in Lithuania:
  10. Rental agreement signed and registered at VĮ Registrų centras;
  11. Consent signed by landlord, that he/she will rent the apartment for next 12 months and allows him to
  12. register place of living and confirmed by notary; or
  13. Consent signed by landlord, that he/she will rent the apartment for next 12 months and allows him to register place of living. Landlord is coming to Migration department together and confirms validity of consent;
  14. Health insurance policy valid for 12 months/period of TRP (sum of insurance not less than €30,000); and
  15. Application fee (paid by card during the appointment).

Can I bring my family members?

Your spouse/civil partner and any dependent children may apply for a family reunification visa and enter Lithuania at the same time as you. Their visa will be granted for the same term as your visa.

Visa Fees

Main Applicant

Application fee for TRP: €150 (general application) or €300 (fast track application)

Application fee for PR application: €90 (general application) or €180 (fast track application)

Application fee for Naturalisation: €62

Dependent Applicants

Application fee for TRP: €120 (Spouse and Child)

Application fee for PR application: €90 (general application) or €180 (fast track application)

Application fee for Naturalisation: €62 (must be over 18 years old)

My note on the law governing the Lithuanian start-up visa is here if you want to see the actual legislation.

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