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Hiring of foreign workers simplified for more than 300 Estonian startups

25. January 2017 - 17:57

Minister of the Interior Andres Anvelt confirmed a list of Estonian startups that may hire employees from third countries more easily than before. These 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 fund is positive that the vacant position cannot be filled by a resident of Estonia.

According to various estimates, Estonia is short several thousand IT experts, and according to Anvelt, one of the reasons for this is the conditions which newly launched startups often cannot fulfill. "We wish to simplify the current procedure for promising startups," said Anvelt.

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. During its first week of operation, the committee has already received 25 such applications from foreign businesses.

This change to the current procedure is part of a broader plan to attract more specialists to Estonia and enrich the local economy.