Estonia has confirmed a list of the country’s startups that may hire employees from third countries more easily than before.
Confirmed by the country’s ministry of interior, 339 companies are freed of the obligation to pay foreign experts at least Estonia’s average gross monthly pay. They will also not have to ask the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund for permission to hire foreign experts, which is usually granted only if the institution is certain that the vacant position cannot be filled by a resident of Estonia.
This change to the current rules is part of a broader plan – startup visa programme – to attract more specialists to Estonia and enrich the local economy. According to various estimates, Estonia is short several thousand IT experts.
Startups, that are currently not on the list, can apply for the same rights from a recently founded expert committee comprised of representative organizations working in the field and tasked with determining whether a company qualifies as a startup or not. The committee comprises of Startup Estonia, Estonian Startup Leaders Club, EstBAN, Garage48, Buildit Hardware Accelerator, Tehnopol Startup Inkubaator and Startup Wise Guys.