Happy, green and startup-friendly: Finland is the place if you’re a startup person! Rudolf An — founder of Eatme — describes his experience with moving there on a startup visa.
“I was born in St. Petersburg and have spent much of my life visiting Finland, so it's obvious that when I thought about relocating, Finland was the first choice. I know Helsinki and the suburbs pretty well, so I feel comfortable here. Additionally, Finland has a familiar climate and it's easy to visit friends or relatives back home when needed. When I was thinking about relocating, these were the first few factors that came to mind.”
Rudolf had his reasons well chalked out for him. But that’s not all. There are many more reasons as to why people relocate to Finland. Here’s a quick few!
For the fifth year in a row, Finland has been ranked first on the world list of happiest countries. This Nordic nation values equality and so is very immigrant friendly. The inhabitants also enjoy many benefits like good healthcare and government services like e-government access making it an excellent place to live! The locals speak excellent English, and infrastructure is so well developed that you can find almost anything in even the most rural areas: schools, gyms and shops along with train stations or airports.
Finland is a buzzing hub of startups and has 4,000 startups already established there. This is due to the strong support provided by its ecosystem of accelerators, angels and venture capitalists. Plus it boasts of the world's best digital infrastructure, which is both time conserving and convenient for anyone looking to startup there. Obtaining a residence permit takes two weeks! Just 2 weeks.
Once you have a residence permit, the possibilities of scaling up and growing fast and attracting investment are very high. In addition to these, you will be able to hire the best talent of highly educated people to join the workforce.
What about taxes? Taxes are high here though. With a great standard of living, taxes are obviously a little on the steep side.
Countries around the world are struggling to build a good ecosystem. Finland on the other hand has figured a way to leave a low carbon footprint and is one of the top ten greenest nations in the world.
To unwind, people enjoy skiing, saunas and dog sledding in the forests. Green areas such as forests occupy more than 75% of the country's territory.
Finnish people believe in being efficient and responsible who tackle business issues head-on. You won't get bogged down with red tape, as everything is done in a transparent and fast manner. For example, Rudolf says “Life example, the startup committee made its decision on my case in less than a week.”
The application process for a start-up visa is very streamlined. Finland wants you to move there quickly.
A startup questionnaire (pitch deck, diplomas, and a story about yourself) is considered for two weeks. A residence permit will be made in 2 weeks (for comparison, obtaining a residence permit from the Estonian government takes up to three months). With only a month's worth of effort, you could find yourself with Finnish residency.