Startup and Entrepreneur Visa International Index
There are 46 startup, entrepreneur, and digital nomad visa programs currently active internationally, allowing participants access and residence in 39 countries.
Visas targeting tech founders and remote businesses aren't limited to rising or low-profile countries. In fact, of the 27 EU countries, 16 countries currently offer some form of visa for entrepreneurs, whether they've got an established business or nothing but a business plan. Canada also offers a startup visa. The US startup visa was approved under the Obama administration, but canceled by the Trump administration before launch. As of 2022 the visa is not being further developed under the Biden administration. In spite of barriers, the US remains the most popular location for startup business formation.
Here at NanoGlobals, we view these visas as keys to the increasingly international tech ecosystem. To that end, we're collecting data to break down each current program on the market internationally, from Europe to Asia and beyond: the cost, allowances, requirements, and how to take advantage as a tech founder.
Top Startup and Entrepreneur Visa Programs by Region
|North America||Canada||Canadian Start-up Visa||Experienced startup founders with existing investement|
|Asia||Taiwan||Taiwan Entrepreneur Visa||Early-stage founders seeking an incubator experience and investor access|
|South America||Chile||Startup Chile||Early-stage founders seeking an incubator experience and guaranteed seed funding|
|Europe||Lithuania||Startup Visa Lithuania||Early-to-mid-stage founders seeking EU access and a self-directed tech ecosystem experience|
|Austria||Red-White-Red Card for Start-up Founders||Startup||Apply|
|Cyprus||Cyprus Startup Visa Scheme||Startup||Apply|
|Estonia||Estonia Digital Nomad Visa||Digital Nomad||Apply|
|Estonia||StartUp Visa Estonia||Startup||Apply|
|Finland||Start-up Entrepreneur Residence Permit||Startup||Apply|
|France||French Tech Visa||Startup||Apply|
|Georgia||Remotely From Georgia||Digital Nomad||Apply|
|Germany||Self-Employed Residence Visa||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|Ireland||Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|Italy||Italian Startup Visa||Startup||Apply|
|Latvia||Latvia Startup Visa||Startup||Apply|
|Lithuania||Startup Visa Lithuania||Startup||Apply|
|Netherlands||Dutch Startup Visa||Startup||Apply|
|San Marino||San Marino Startup Visa||Startup||Apply|
|Spain||Entrepreneur Visa Program||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|Sweden||Self-Employed Residence Permit||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|United Kingdom||Innovator Visa||Startup||Apply|
|United Kingdom||UK Start-up Visa||Startup||Apply|
|Canada||Entrepreneur Program Stream 1||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|Canada||Entrepreneur Program Stream 2||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|Japan||Japan Startup Visa||Startup||Apply|
|Malaysia||Malaysia Established Entrepreneur Pass||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|Malaysia||Malaysia New Entrepreneur Pass||Startup||Apply|
|South Korea||K-Startup Grand Challenge||Startup||Apply|
|Taiwan||Taiwan Entrepreneur Visa||Startup||Apply|
|Jamaica||Start Up Jamaica||Startup||Apply|
|Australia||Business Innovation and Investment Visas||Entrepreneur||Apply|
|New Zealand||Entrepreneur Work Visa||Startup||Apply|
Startup and Entrepreneur Visa Programs Criteria
We've vetted each program listed to determine if it is truly geared at startups and entrepreneurs, or if it is simply a re-branded investement visa. We're striving to only include visas that are:
- Created to enrich the local tech ecosystem in a country.
- Do not require arbitrary payments or non-business investements.
- Are open to exceptional tech founders and not based purely on personal financial resources.
Entrepreneur Visa vs Startup Visa
Entrepreneur visa: residence permit for the purpose of operating a new or existing business in a country. Entrepreneur visas are granted to qualifying applicants who can enrich the economy through value and job creation. Entrepreneur visas are often, but not always, granted through sponsorship by an approved business or economic development organization. For the purpose of the NanoGlobals Visa Index, we strive to only include visas which are true economic development programs, not simply disguised "residence by investement" schemes or tax loopholes.
Startup visa: residence permit for the purpose of starting a new tech company in a country. Startup visas are granted to qualifying applicants who can enrich the country's innovation economy through value or job creation. Startup visas are often, but not always, granted through a government-appointed startup incubator. For the purpose of the NanoGlobals Visa Index, we strive to only include visas which are designed for early-stage founders.