Portugal D2 Startup Visa

The Portugal D2 Visa, also known as the Startup Visa for non-EU entrepreneurs or self-employed professionals, who wants to buy or set up a business in Portugal
April 10, 2023
Ana Fankhauser
April 10, 2023

Have you ever dreamed of your European vacation lasting a lifetime? Well, dream no longer!

Portugal, with its gorgeous weather and culture, has an option for you. Available to non-EU citizens, you can get a Portugal visa through their StartUp program.

By meeting a few simple requirements, you could soon be growing your business while exploring Portugal. Follow this simple guide to learn how you can apply for a startup visa in Portugal.

What is a Portugal Startup Visa?

The D2 Visa, also called the Portugal Immigrant Entrepreneur Visa, can be applied for directly in Portugal. This is different from the D7 Visa, which requires the applicant to first get a special-purpose residence visa from the Portuguese Consulate in the applicant's home country. The average processing time for the D2 visa application is around 60 days.

The D2 Visa grants a 4-month stay in Portugal, during which an appointment with SEF must be scheduled to obtain a valid Portuguese residency.

Entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Portugal, people who already have a business in their home country and want to open a branch in Portugal, and self-employed people like independent professionals, freelancers, and digital nomads who have a work contract or written work proposal and can show that their services are valuable and relevant to Portugal are all eligible for the D2 visa.

To be eligible for the D2 Visa, applicants must show how their company could help Portugal. This means giving a declaration of investment, proof that the company was set up, a detailed business plan, proof of financial ability, proof of personal financial means, share capital, health insurance, a service contract, and a tax representative.

The D2 Visa has many benefits, such as the ability to start a business or work as an independent professional in Portugal; free entry and movement within the Schengen Area; family reunification; access to Portugal's non-habitual resident tax regime; and eligibility for permanent residence or citizenship. After living in Portugal legally for five years, you might be able to get permanent citizenship there if you pass a basic Portuguese language test. and Portuguese residency rights, including education and healthcare.

After living in Portugal legally for five years, you might be able to get permanent citizenship there if you pass a basic Portuguese language test. The D2 visa can be renewed every two years, as long as it can be shown that the person is still working.

The minimum stay requirements for maintaining residency in Portugal are spending at least four months in the country during the first year and at least six months per year during each subsequent three-year period.

To apply for the D2 visa, applicants must get a Portuguese taxpayer identification number (NIF), open a bank account in Portugal, find long-term housing, and apply online through the E-Visa Portal.

The visa is under the umbrella of the Ministry of Economy, so that really tells you they want to help you and Portugal grow. Operated by the Agência para a Competitividade e Inovação (IAPMEI), the economy is the primary focus of their programs.

It is a fast-track visa, meant to get you on the path to living and working in Portugal quickly. It's family-friendly, meaning you have the ability to bring your spouse and dependents with you.

Other than those directly related to your business, requirements are relatively few. There are no language requirements; you only need to be 18 years old, and the minimum you must have in your bank account for the year is low.

Applications are open at all times of the year. Now that you have a good idea of what the Portugal Visa program looks like, let's find out if you are eligible.

Compare Prices from Law firms

Partners we recommend could result in us getting compensated. For more details, see our advertiser disclosure.

Company Service Price
MovingTo D2 Visa 2,500 EUR Apply
Almeida, Dias and Associados D2 Visa 2,500 EUR Apply
Lexidy D2 Visa 3,150 EUR Apply
Prismaat D2 Visa 4,000 EUR Apply
RHJ D2 Visa 3,500 EUR Apply

Who is Eligible?

Both those who already have a startup or are looking to begin one can apply for this visa. Even if you have already registered your company in another country, you can be eligible for this visa. It's all about your vision

Basic Requirements

As mentioned above, there are some basic personal requirements to meet. You must be over 18 years of age and have no criminal background.

The Portugal D2 Visa, which is often called the "immigrant entrepreneur visa," is meant to let people who are not from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland live there if they have invested or plan to invest money that is available in Portugal. Check here for more information on what the Schengen Area is.

Finally, for one year, you must have at least €5,147 in your bank account. There are other monetary requirements, but they are related to your business and not your personal account.

Per project, you can have up to five entrepreneurs apply for this residence visa. So you are not limited to just yourself when designing your business!

Business Requirements

As the main goal of the StartUp Visa is that you are growing a business in Portugal, the business requirements are much higher. One of the main factors is that your business should fall into the general realm of technology and knowledge.

More generally, you must be producing innovative products. This means your business must focus on subjects such as:

  • Electronics
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Energy
  • Pharmacology
  • Biotechnology
  • Health
  • Communications
  • Commerce
  • Producing Innovative Goods and Services

The field is likely wider than you think; almost everything can become tech-related if you keep that goal in mind.

You must meet yearly turnover requirements to the tune of over €325,000 annually (or an asset's value of over €325,000). Don't worry; you have five years to achieve this once you enter a tech incubator.

Tech Incubators

Speaking of the tech incubator, you must have a government-sponsored business incubator. After the first part of your application, you can apply to one or more incubators. In order to move forward with the application, at least one incubator must provide positive feedback.

The average amount charged, or required to be invested in the incubator, varies. In fact, some of the incubators cost 50 euros per month or are free. The amount of this investment will be used as capitalization for the business venture.

There are many different incubators to apply to. Check out this list

Other Requirements

Aside from meeting the eligibility requirements, the success of your application will depend on some more vague points. Primarily, your business must be able to show that it has the ability to create jobs.

Remember, this visa is designed not only to help you move to Portugal but to help the Portuguese economy grow. That means your business plan must include plans to hire employees.

As mentioned above, your company is generally expected to be innovative. You need to be able to interest tech incubators.

Market potential is also important. Your business needs to have the potential for monetary success, or you won't be able to meet the annual turnover requirements.

Essentially, when making your application, it is important to focus on specifics. Expect to explain how your business is innovative, likely to be successful, and has clear job creation potential.

With these requirements out of the way, let's move forward to the actual steps you need to take. Don't you intend to meet these requirements? There are many other visa options to help you move to Portugal.

Steps to Take

The process to get a startup visa is not as mired in bureaucracy as you might think. Rather, everything takes place in clear stages, as outlined by the IAPMEI.

First, you should compare all the law firms that can help you get a D2 visa, as they can make the entire process of moving to Portugal much smoother and less stressful.

The Application

For the application, you'll need a valid passport, recent passport-sized photos, a statement about why you want to live in Portugal, a health insurance plan or affidavit, a criminal record certificate, proof of where you live and how much money you have, and paperwork about your job or business.

The government fees for the D2 visa range from €50.63 to €158.15 per applicant, with the primary costs being relocation expenses and professional fees. Other residency routes may be more expensive.

Next, you need to fill out the IAPMEI StartUp Visa application. After filling out the basic information, you will upload several documents. These documents are:

  1. Your letter of motivation
  2. Copy of passport
  3. Certificate/Document of Criminal Record check
  4. Your resume or CV
  5. A bank statement proving you have the required €5,147
  6. Your NIF number

If you already have a Portuguese tax or social security number, then you will need to wait for an online consultation with IAPMEI. Once this is done, you must identify your number in an attachment.

If you want to know more about the application process, we recommend that you read our article about “How to Apply for a Portugal D2 Visa: A Comprehensive Guide.”

Beyond the Startup Visa

If you are interested in moving to Portugal permanently, it is possible to obtain citizenship through this visa. After living in Portugal for five years and renewing your residence permit each year, you can apply to become a citizen.

You will need to speak Portuguese at an A2 level. There are some exceptions, but people whose startups are doing well and helping the Portuguese economy may sometimes be exempt from paying the tax.

You will also need to demonstrate that you are tied to Portugal. If you're looking to move to Portugal, you're probably wondering where you should live. Check out this list of the best places to live in Portugal

Startup Visa Portugal: What Next?

Now you know everything there is to know about the Startup Visa in Portugal. Feel free to contact us today if you need any help.

Written by
Author's profile picture

Ana Fankhauser

Ana has worked in many startups and moved to a few countries, which led her to create MovingTo. She believes that remote work is a growing trend that is here to stay and that digital nomads will move to countries that have more to offer than the ones you were born into. She mostly writes opinion pieces for MovingTo.

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