- What is a Portugal Startup visa?
- What are the requirements for a Portugal startup visa?
- What are the required documents for a Portugal Startup Visa?
- How do I apply for a Portugal Startup visa?
- How much does a Portugal Startup visa cost?
- What are the benefits of a Portugal Startup Visa?
- What is a Portugal Tech visa?
- What are the requirements for companies seeking to enrol in the Tech Visa program?
- What are the steps to take for companies to enrol on the Tech Visa program?
- What are the requirements for nationals seeking employment under Portugal’s Tech visa?
- What are the required documents for the Portugal Tech visa?
- How much does a Portugal Tech visa cost?
- What is the processing time for a Portugal Tech visa?
- What are the benefits of the Portugal Tech Visa?
- How can IAS help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Portugal Startup visa & Tech Visa?
The Portgual Start Up visa program was established by the Portuguese government to attract enterprising immigrants across the globe to Portugal. The visa may be granted to a single entrepreneur or a group of at most five people working on the same project.
The Tech Visa, on the other hand, allows companies registered in Portugal to bring highly skilled employees to live and work in Portugal.
What are the requirements for a Portugal startup visa?
To apply for the Startup visa, startup founders, who may not exceed a maximum of five persons, must:
- Be non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss citizens or permanent residents (they must be from non-Schengen countries).
- Be over 18 years of age.
- Have no criminal record.
- Have a minimum of €5146.80 each in a personal bank account for at least one year.
- Plan to create a new startup or set up a branch of an existing business in Portugal
- The startup must be innovative and related to technology in the following sectors:
- Information technology.
- Medical or health.
- Industrial products.
- Communication and media.
- Biotechnology and pharmacology.
- Have the committed guidance of a Portuguese government-approved business incubator.
The business, as well, must:
- Have the potential of creating jobs in Portugal.
- Have a projected minimum annual turnover of €325,000 within five years of acceptance by a tech incubator.
- Undertake a 3-year incubator term.
What are the required documents for a Portugal Startup Visa?
Applicants must submit the following documents when applying for a Portugal Startup Visa:
- A completed official application form
- A comprehensive resumé or CV.
- A copy of passport and residency card, if applicable.
- A detailed business plan and a project presentation.
- An official document of no criminal record from countries of residence and origin.
- A form authorizing access to Portuguese criminal records by the Immigration and Border Services (SEF)
- A bank statement showing a balance of at least €5146.80 per applicant.
- A Portugal taxpayer number (NIF).
- A Social Security number (Segurança Social)
- A motivation letter demonstrating the applicant’s interest in developing an innovative business in Portugal.
- An official declaration obtained from the Agency for Competition and Innovation (IAPMEI) proving that the applicant has an incubation contract with a recognized incubator.
How do I apply for a Portugal Startup visa?
Applicants must first be approved by a government-certified incubator before applying to join the Startup Visa program. The steps to applying for a Portugal Startup Visa are as follows:
- Assembling of documents – These include all documents mentioned above such as a detailed business plan and motivation letter.
- Initial application – Applicants are to fill out the online application form on the IAPMEI website, attaching copies of all required documents.
- Approval of incubators – The profile and documents of applicants will be made available to incubators. Applicants must pass the assessment of at least one incubator and be approved to proceed to complete the online application.
- Application approval – Applicants should wait for application approval which usually takes about 30 working days. Following approval, applicants will receive a declaration of participation in the Startup Visa program.
- Application for a Startup Visa – Applicants may then submit a completed visa application form along with all supporting documents to the Portuguese consulate or embassy domiciled in their country of residence.
- Residence permit application – Applicants must travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit by making an appointment with Portugal’s Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF). They must submit their application and biometrics in person.
- Residence permit card – Once the application is approved, the applicant will be issued a residence permit card.
- First residence permits are usually valid for one year and can be extended twice with a two-year validity each. After five years, applicants are eligible to apply for permanent residency.
How much does a Portugal Startup visa cost?
It costs €90 per adult to apply for the Portugal Startup Visa.
What is the processing time for a Portugal Startup visa?
Applicants can expect a decision in 30 working days from the date of submission if no additional documentation is required.
What are the benefits of a Portugal Startup Visa?
The advantages of obtaining a Portugal Startup Visa include the following:
- There are no prerequisites related to language, residency and business performance to be met by applicants.
- There is the opportunity to live or travel freely within the Schengen countries.
- Holders of the Startup Visa can apply for permanent residence after five years and upon meeting other related conditions.
- Overseas investors from third countries can access Portugal’s residence permit easily and quickly.
- Holders of the Startup visa can have their family members join them under the family reunification program.
- Holders can apply for the Non-habitual Residents (NHR) Regime and take advantage of its favourable tax rules.
What is a Portugal Tech visa?
The Portugal Tech visa is a certification program addressed to startups and tech companies who wish to hire highly qualified professionals who are third-country nationals (from non-Schengen countries).
Portuguese companies who intend to hire professionals from third countries must meet certain requirements. Individuals who want to join companies in Portugal must also fulfil some prerequisites.
What are the requirements for companies seeking to enrol in the Tech Visa program?
Portuguese companies who wish to join the list of tech visa-certified companies must:
- Not have Social security or tax authorities debts.
- Not be in the restructuring phase.
What are the steps to take for companies to enrol on the Tech Visa program?
The process of enrolling on the program includes the following steps:
- Create an IAPMEI account – Applicants should create an account for their Portuguese company if they have not already done so.
- Apply for Tech Visa certification – Fill out all required forms and include all necessary documents.
- Tech Visa certification – If the application is successful, the company will receive a certification and can proceed to start hiring qualified workers after having read and understood all applicable conditions. The certification is valid for two years and can be renewed before the end of its validity period.
What are the requirements for nationals seeking employment under Portugal’s Tech visa?
To apply for a visa or residence permit through this program, companies must ensure foreign talents comply with all requirements applicable to a highly qualified worker. The candidate must:
- Be a third-country national not holding a permanent residence permit in the European union territory.
- Have no criminal record.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Fulfil all tax obligations where applicable.
- Have successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (level 6) or level 5 (tertiary level education)with at least five years of experience in specialized technical roles.
- Be proficient in English, Portuguese, Spanish or French.
What are the required documents for the Portugal Tech visa?
For a third-country national, the following are the documents that must accompany a Portugal Tech visa application:
- Visa application form with all required sections filled.
- Two recent, even passport-sized photos.
- Passport or any other valid travel document, valid for three months after the intended date of return from Portugal.
- Proof of regular situation such as residence permit in another country other than the country of applicant’s nationality. This permit must also be valid for three months after the intended date of return.
- Valid travel insurance document, covering necessary medical expenses, including urgent medical assistance and possible repatriation.
- Proof of funds.
- Criminal record certificate.
- Request for criminal record enquiry by the Immigration and Border Services (SEF) (Not applicable to minors under the age of 16).
How much does a Portugal Tech visa cost?
There is no application fee associated with the Tech Visa at the moment. Once the applicant’s company qualifies for the program, they can proceed to fill out the application form and include the required documents on the IAPMEI website.
What is the processing time for a Portugal Tech visa?
Applicants can expect a decision on their application within 20 working days or more, depending on if additional documents are requested.
What are the benefits of the Portugal Tech Visa?
The advantages of obtaining a Portugal Tech Visa include the following:
- It helps technological and innovative businesses hire highly qualified professionals outside the EU region easily.
- There are no tax deductions on capital.
- There is no requirement for the minimum investment amount for companies.
- Companies can apply for the Non-habitual Residents (NHR) Regime and take advantage of its favourable tax rules.
- Employees under this program can apply become permanent residents, if they so desire and upon applying, after living in the country for at least five years and complying with other requirements.
- Employees also have their family members join them under the family reunification program.
How can IAS Help
Are you looking to be employed by one of Portugal’s tech visa-certified companies? Or are you a startup or existing company in Portugal seeking to enrol on the Tech Visa program?
At IAS, our professional lawyers possess the experience and expertise that you need to be successful in your application for Startup Visa or Tech Visa. We will work with you to ensure you obtain and submit the right documents along with your application.
Last modified on August 17th, 2023 at 2:26 pm
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There are differences as well as similarities between the Startup Tech Visa and Portugal’s golden Visa.
Bearing in mind that both require available funds, one major difference is that one must invest a minimum of €250,000 as part of the requirements for obtaining a Golden Visa, while you only need to provide proof of funds up to at least €5,146 as part of requirements for a Portugal Startup Visa.
The incubation fee is €175,000. However, if the application is unsuccessful, the incubation process will not begin. Also, the incubation fees will be returned.
Portugal’s special tax regime for Non-Habitual Residents (NHRs) allows entrepreneurs, professionals, retirees and high-net-worth individuals to enjoy reduced rates of tax on Portuguese-source income if they qualify.
Most foreign-source income is exempt from Portuguese taxation, for a decade. The key benefits of this regime include:
- A special personal income tax treatment over a 10-year period.
- Tax exemption on almost all foreign source income.
- 20% flat rate for certain Portuguese source incomes (from specific professions and self-employment), as opposed to normal Portuguese income tax rates of up to 48%.
- No minimum stay requirement.
- Become part of a white-listed tax environment within the EU.
- A tax exemption for gifts or inheritance to direct family members.
- No wealth tax.
- Free remittance of funds to Portugal.
Applicants can appeal the refusal to grant a visa in compliance with Portuguese domestic law.
Available options include the following:
- Issue a complaint, within 15 days following acknowledgement of refusal, against the issuer of the refusal (in compliance with Portuguese law);
- Appeal the decision of refusal within three months following notification (in compliance with Portuguese law), to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- Bring an action to a competent court within three months of notification of refusal (according to Articles 69 and 59 Administrative Court Process Code, CPTA) requesting the overruling of the refusal and the granting of the required lawful act.
The referred options are not mutually exclusive. As such, the applicant can appeal to the Minister and, depending on the results of such appeal, continue towards litigation (Paragraph 4, Article 59, CPTA).
The applicant can also appeal the decision and bring an action simultaneously to the administrative court without waiting for the results of the appeal (in compliance with paragraph 5 of article 59 CPTA).
Alternatively, you could get the help of a capable and experienced immigration expert. Our team of immigration lawyers are able to help you make a strong appeal. Call us right away on 0333 305 9375 or chat with us online to get started.