- What Is a Portugal StartUp Visa?
- What Are the Benefits of the Portugal StartUp Visa?
- What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the StartUp Visa Application?
- How Do I Apply for a StartUp Visa Portugal?
- What Documents Do I Need for the Portugal StartUp Visa Application?
- What Are the Visa Fee and Processing Times?
- What Happens after I Apply for a StartUp Visa Portugal?
- How Can I Obtain Portuguese Citizenship under the StartUp Visa?
- How Can IAS Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Portugal StartUp Visa?
A Portugal StartUp Visa is a residence visa that allows innovative entrepreneurs from non-European Union countries to immigrate to Portugal and start businesses. Also, you can move or develop your existing StartUp to the country if it qualifies.
The visa attracts talents, innovative abilities, and foreign investments to Portugal. However, your idea must have the ability to prompt economic growth and create a skilled workforce in the country.
For that reason, you must submit a detailed business plan and find an authorised incubator in the country to accelerate your project. After that, you can apply for the visa through the IAPMEI (Portuguese Agency for SME Support and Innovation).
Note that once you integrate the Portuguese StartUp incubator, you can benefit from all the incentives and support of the StartUp Portugal Program.
Moreover, the StartUp Visa Portugal application can include up to five team members. Also, your family members can join you after they acquire a family reunification residency.
After obtaining the visa, you can apply for a Portugal Residence Permit. The validity of the initial permit is two years, while that of the subsequent ones is three years. However, you must stay in the country for six consecutive months or a total of eight months per year to retain your residency.
Contact our specialised lawyers at (+44) 333 4149244 to learn more about the legal framework of this visa.
Access to Portugal residence at a Low Cost
The Residence Permit you obtain after getting the Portugal StartUp Visa is relatively less expensive than other residence visas. For instance, you must have €8,460 minimum in your bank account and more than €250,000 for investment to get a Portugal Golden Visa
For the StartUp Visa, you only need to prove that you have at least €5146.8 in your bank account to support you for a year.
An Ideal Route to Portugal
Portugal StartUp Visa allows one to enter, live, and work in the country. Portugal is a safe country with a conducive climate for everyone. Additionally, it has tasty local cuisine, clean beaches, attractive landscape, and a comfortable lifestyle.
Ensure you meet the minimum stay duration requirement to retain your residency: Six straight months or eight months in total each year.
Collaborating with a Portuguese business incubator is one of the requirements for the StartUp Visa Portugal application. On the other hand, it’s a significant step towards your success in starting a business in a country.
The StartUp Visa program includes an incubators’ National Network of a particular territory. Your incubator assists you in getting an office on favourable terms, doing the paperwork, and seeking grants and investments.
Additionally, the network helps you establish your Portuguese venture in an entrepreneurs’ community familiar with specific features of the Portuguese and European markets.
The Portugal StartUp Visa requires the holders to stay in the country for at least 183 days a year. That means you become a tax resident in Portugal. However, you may obtain beneficial status to pay less as a Non-Habitual Resident (NHR).
For instance, while the usual taxation rate may be up to 48%, the status may allow you to pay as low as 20% income tax.
Access to Healthcare and Education Systems
Portugal offers high-quality healthcare and education services that cost relatively low than some EU countries. As a foreign entrepreneur, you can access services from public facilities.
Alternatively, you can choose the private ones if you need a unique approach: A faster medical procedure or English-conducted classes for your children.
Dependents’ Inclusion in the Visa
A StartUp visa to Portugal allows you to add your dependents to the visa. After obtaining the Residence Permit, your eligible family members can apply for residence permits. They include parents (yours and your spouses), spouses, and children under 18 years.
Your spouse must have a clean criminal record and be in an officially recognised marriage or legal partnership.
However, children over 18 years can be eligible if they’re studying full-time in Portugal, are unmarried, and they are Portugal parents financially dependent.
Eligibility for Permanent Residency or Citizenship
You may qualify for Permanent Residency or citizenship after staying in Portugal for five years. Nevertheless, you must be able to speak at least A2 level of the Portuguese language and have clean criminal records.
Consequently, you can move in and out of Portugal without restrictions, travel to more than 180 countries (including the US and UK) and move to the Schengen area without a prior residency application.
Visa-Free Access to Schengen Area
This StartUp visa allows you to travel freely and stay in the Schengen area for 90 out of 180 days. Thus, you have a chance to expand your business across the zone.
As a StartUp founder, you must:
- Be a foreign entrepreneur: A non-EU/EEA, non-Swiss, or a permanent resident in Portugal.
- Have financial capability: At least €5146.8 to sustain you in Portugal for one year.
- Owe no debt to Social Security or Tax Authority.
- Have enough rent or buy housing in the country.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Be more than 18 years old.
Your business idea must focus on innovation and technology. Therefore, some of the suitable projects can fall under the following areas:
- Commerce and customer products and services
- Information Technology
- Your business plan must be detailed and show its perspective for:
- Attaining more than €325,000 of assets or turnover in 5 years.
- Stepping into the global market.
- Creating jobs.
There is no business performance requirement under this program.
How Do I Apply for a StartUp Visa Portugal?
You apply for StartUp Visa Portugal by following the steps below:
Step 1: Create a detailed business plan that’s innovation and technology-oriented with the potential to boost the economy and create a Portuguese business venture.
Step 2: Gather all the necessary documents. They include a motivation letter, a project presentation, a CV, and all the application’s supporting documents. You also need a taxpayer and social security number (an Immigration Invest lawyer helps you to get them).
Step 3: Fill out your application. Include the needed details on the application form on the IAPMEI website and upload copies of the required documents.
Step 4: Find a certified business incubator. Get various incubators to accelerate your project. Once you obtain approval from at least one of them, complete your application form and submit it to the StartUp Visa Platform.
Step 5: Wait for approval. It takes about 30 working days for IAPMEI to process the application. You can track the progress from your account on IAPMEI’s online platform. Once approved, you get a StartUp Visa Program’s declaration of participation, valid for six months.
Step 6: Book an appointment with your country’s Portuguese Consulate. Present your application and all the required documents on the scheduled date and get your StartUp Visa after approval.
Step 7: Apply for residency once you get to Portugal. You or your legal representative should schedule an appointment with SEF, Portugal’s Foreigners and Border Service. Here, you’re required to visit Portugal and submit your application and biometrics.
Step 8: Obtain a residence card. You get your card after your residency application is approved. The initial Residence Permit is valid for two years, while the subsequent issue’s validity is three years.
Note that if you’re already in Portugal, you don’t have to go to the Consulate in your home country to apply for a StartUp Visa. Instead, you should submit your documents to SEF directly.
If you’re stuck in your visa application or want to have it done correctly and in the shortest time possible, contact our experienced immigration lawyers.
What Documents Do I Need for the Portugal StartUp Visa Application?
You need the following documents for your StartUp Visa Application:
- Two recent, identical, and coloured photographs that are easy to identify (for appointments at Odivelas, Aveiro, or Braga SEF bureau only).
- A copy of a valid passport and a residency card (if applicable).
- A solid business plan and a project presentation.
- A letter of motivation: Shows an interest in developing an innovative idea in Portugal.
- A criminal record clearance certificate from your countries of residence and origin.
- A bank statement showing that you have at least €5146.8 for your upkeep.
- A Portuguese taxpayer’s number, known as NIF.
- A Social Security Number, Seguranca Social.
- Proof of adequate accommodation
- An updated CV.
There are various categories of the cost you incur throughout the Portugal StartUp Visa application process, including the following:
- Company opening fees: You incur the cost of designing your project, getting into a new Portuguese venture or transferring an existing one, and the legal services fees. There’s no obligatory investment threshold.
- Upkeep funds: You must prove that you have at least €5146.8 to take you through one year of your stay in the country. Also, you need to buy housing or rent one and obtain a registration address.
- Government fees: €90 for the visa, while the Residence Permit costs €85.05.
- Extra costs: At least €400 for Health Insurance coverage and legal services and a ticket to visit the immigration service in Portugal.
The processing time for the Portugal StartUp Visa is two months or more. However, the application’s final decision may take about 30 days, and the duration can be as short as 15 days. Therefore, it’s advisable to apply early enough.
What Happens after I Apply for a StartUp Visa Portugal?
After successfully applying for your StartUp Visa, IAPMEI sends you a declaration of participation in the StartUp Visa scheme. This step is a requirement to obtain a Residence Permit.
Additionally, you must prove your financial ability before applying for the residency. Hence, you need to show that you have sufficient funds for use and acquiring proper accommodation.
Once approved, you can apply for the Residence Permit to stay in the country.
How Can I Obtain Portuguese Citizenship under the StartUp Visa?
You can become a Portuguese citizen under the StartUp Visa after obtaining a five years residency in the country. One year is equivalent to six continuous months or eight months in total.
Other eligibility requirements include the following:
- Sufficient funds for use and rented or owned housing to live in the country.
- Proof of Portuguese language proficiency (CEFR A2).
- Having a clean criminal record.
You don’t have to renounce your country of origin’s citizenship, as Portugal allows multiple citizenships. However, if your home country doesn’t permit dual citizenship, you’ll have to be willing to abandon your previous citizenship to move to Portugal permanently.
After obtaining citizenship in Portugal, you can travel to 187 countries without a visa and live in any part of the Schengen area. A Permanent Resident Permit can function like a passport but maintains its lifetime status.
How can IAS Help
A Portuguese StartUp Visa is an ideal route to immigrating to Portugal to start a business or transfer an existing one. Additionally, it’s a reliable pathway to permanent residency in the country. This visa allows you to include your dependents after obtaining a residence card.
For those reasons, it’s crucial to put in the correct measures and make the application correctly to avoid delays or refusal. Our able lawyers will assist you in crafting a solid and innovative business plan to boost economic growth and create an innovative business venture in Portugal.
Also, you must gather all the necessary documents to support your visa application and find a certified business incubator to accelerate your project. We can help with these tasks too.
While the process may be tedious, you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here to ensure that you take the shortest time possible and be successful.
Our specialist immigration lawyers will help gather all the supporting documents, find a certified incubator, and walk you through the application process. Also, they’ll provide all the legal advice you may need.
Call us today at (+44) 333 4149244 for more information about our services and how we can assist with your situation. We can help you via phone, in person, or online.
Last modified on August 17th, 2023 at 2:13 pm
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Yes, a company started by a Portuguese and a foreign citizen can be eligible for the StartUp program. However, the business must be set up outside Portugal. Also, the foreign entrepreneur must be the principal applicant without a permanent residence in the Schengen Area.
Yes, your StartUp Visa application is at risk of being refused if you don’t meet the financial requirement for the visa. It’s a mandatory requirement, and you must prove your compliance through a bank statement. Also, if you’re a group, each entrepreneur must provide the proof individually.
Yes, you can submit a declaration of interest to another StartUp project if an incubator rejects the initial. Actually, there’s no limit to the number of declarations you should submit unit you get approval. It’s only after you get approved by at least one incubator that you can submit your application.
No, you can only apply for one project at a time. You must also demonstrate a compelling interest in developing an innovative-based entrepreneurial project. In this case, the individual contribution of each group member is essential. Only withdraw or rejection of a project that gives you a chance to apply for another.
No, the StartUp Visa isn’t only granted after making all the company’s investments in Portugal. You apply for the StartUp Visa at your local Portuguese Consulate after being approved for the program. IAPMEI issues you with an Acceptance Statement once the incubator approves your project. You don’t have to have started a business in Portugal to do this.
You’re entitled to family reunification after obtaining a Residence Permit. Hence, your dependent family members can request a Residence Visa approval from the SEF to join you in Portugal. They can apply for a visa for family reunification once the body approves the request.