Portugal D2 Startup Visa: Your Guide in 2024

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
Dot
January 10, 2024
Ana Fankhauser
January 10, 2024
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Seeking to launch your business in Portugal? The D2 visa for Portugal is your gateway. This article cuts straight to the chase, providing entrepreneurs with essential details on application steps, financial requirements, and the legal groundwork needed to obtain the D2 visa. Explore the path to turning your business vision into reality and securing your residency in Portugal right here.

Key Takeaways

  • The Portugal D2 Visa enables non-EU entrepreneurs to start businesses in Portugal, offering a pathway to permanent residency or citizenship after five years, with stipulations on residing in Portugal for specified periods.
  • Applicants must provide a robust business plan, prove financial sustainability with minimum funds and income requirements, and maintain a clean criminal record for a successful D2 Visa application.
  • D2 Visa holders can benefit from tax advantages under the Non-Habitual Resident regime, enjoy visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, and have the option for family reunification, paving the way for establishing a business and creating a life in Portugal.

Understanding the D2 Visa Portugal

Portuguese cityscape with a mix of modern and historic buildings

The Portugal D2 Visa offers a unique opportunity for non-EU entrepreneurs to set up their businesses within its borders. It’s a unique opportunity to tap into the Portuguese economy, contribute to the country’s growth, and become part of the Portuguese business community. But that’s not all. After a five-year residency in Portugal under the D2 Visa, entrepreneurs can seek permanent residency or citizenship, establishing a solid foothold in both Portugal and the broader EU.

The only catch? To maintain your residency, you’re required to spend a significant amount of time in Portugal—a continuous period of 18 months, or a total of 16 months within a 2-year timeframe. But with the rich culture, stunning landscapes, and friendly locals that Portugal boasts, who would complain about that?

The Entrepreneur's Path: Applying for the D2 Visa

Entrepreneur reviewing a detailed business plan

So, you’re ready to take the leap and apply for the D2 visa? The steps ahead involve crafting a convincing business plan, providing evidence of sufficient financial resources, and submitting the essential legal documents.

Let’s discuss each of these requirements in detail.

Crafting a Solid Business Plan

Your detailed business plan is the cornerstone of your D2 Visa application. It’s not just a document; it’s a roadmap that showcases your company’s potential business investment and contributions to Portugal’s economy and society. The Portuguese government takes a close look at this plan, assessing its social, economic, and cultural implications. Therefore, your plan must be meticulously crafted and comprehensive, highlighting any tax incentives that your business may be eligible for in Portugal.

Keep in mind that this plan should highlight your company’s potential benefits for Portugal and how it can cater to local needs. So, here are some steps to follow to make sure your business plan shines:

  1. Gather your business insights
  2. Polish your ideas
  3. Highlight your company’s potential benefits for Portugal
  4. Show how your business can cater to local needs

Financial Planning and Proof of Funds

Regarding the financial part of the D2 Visa application, it’s necessary to prove that you have enough resources to cover both your business and personal expenses in Portugal. As the primary applicant, you’re required to show financial capacity by presenting evidence of savings amounting to €9,120 and proving the ability to earn a minimum of 100% of the Portuguese minimum wage, which is currently €10,640.00 per year.

For those applying with family, the requirements increase. A spouse requires an additional 50% of the Portuguese minimum wage, and each dependent child requires an extra 30%. Evidence of subsistence can be presented through bank statements and other financial documents or by obtaining a statement of responsibility signed by a Portuguese citizen or a legally resident foreign national in Portugal.

Legal Documentation and Criminal Record Check

Besides the business plan and financial evidence, legal documents also play a significant role in the D2 Visa application. A clean criminal record certificate is a basic requirement, verifying that you have not been engaged in any criminal activities in any of your previous residing countries.

This certificate must be obtained from every country where you have resided for over one year, and it should not be more than three months old at the time of your D2 Visa application. Remember, a clean record is not just beneficial for your entrepreneur visa application; it’s a testament to your integrity and reliability as an entrepreneur.

Tax Advantages for D2 Visa Holders

Tax forms and documents with a calculator

Aside from starting a business and gaining residency in Portugal, D2 Visa holders also have the advantage of certain tax benefits and access to border services. The Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime is a special tax status in Portugal that enables individuals to relocate their tax residency and benefit from favorable tax treatment for income earned within the country.

Under the NHR status, D2 Visa holders can enjoy tax exemption on nearly all foreign source income, including corporate tax, and a flat rate of 20 percent for certain Portuguese source incomes. This arrangement is particularly beneficial for entrepreneurs who have diverse income sources. However, do note that the NHR tax program is scheduled to conclude in 2024.

Essential Insurance and Health Coverage

Person holding international health insurance card

Health insurance is an integral component of the D2 Visa application. You must have valid travel medical insurance that covers your initial period in Portugal until you are officially registered as a resident and gain access to state healthcare coverage. The recommended options for travel insurance include the following:

  • Schengen Plus plan from Europ Assistance
  • Trawick International
  • WorldTrips
  • International Medical Group

The cost of private health insurance in Portugal varies widely, typically ranging from €300 to €1,000 annually. But once you obtain residency, you can switch from private health insurance to state healthcare coverage by applying for enrollment in the Portuguese public healthcare system, also known as the Serviço Nacional de Saúde (SNS).

Navigating Family Reunification with the D2 Visa

The D2 Visa considers not only the business aspect but also the family. The D2 Visa program allows for family reunification, granting residency rights to your spouse, children, and other dependent family members. The family members who are eligible for family reunification encompass:

  • a spouse or partner who is legally wed or involved in a civil partnership that the state recognizes.
  • children under 18
  • dependent children over 18 who are studying
  • parents
  • minor siblings

In addition to the fundamental €9,840 stipulated for the entrepreneur, an extra €4,920 is mandated for each adult family member and €2,460 for each child during the process of applying for family reunification under the D2 visa, also known as the immigrant entrepreneur visa. To establish a relationship with your family members, you’ll need to provide official documentation, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, and proof of economic dependency for children over 18.

Establishing Your Business Presence in Portugal

Entrepreneur opening a bank account in Portugal

Obtaining your D2 Visa is the initial step. The real challenge starts after your arrival in Portugal, where you’ll set up your business. The process starts with obtaining a tax identification number (NIF), a mandatory requirement in Portugal for tax-related operations such as opening a bank account.

You can even open a Portuguese bank account remotely, from any location worldwide. After you obtain your NIF and establish a bank account, the next step involves registering your company with the relevant Portuguese authorities to ensure legal recognition of your business.

Living the Portuguese Dream: Permanent Residence and Citizenship

The Portugal D2 Visa serves a dual purpose—not only establishing a business but also creating a life. After completing five years of legal residency, D2 Visa holders can apply for a residence permit and Portuguese citizenship, provided they meet certain requirements, such as language proficiency.

To apply for Portuguese citizenship, you’re required to show A2 proficiency in Portuguese, possess a clean criminal background, and establish an active connection to Portugal. Once you gain Portuguese citizenship, you get additional privileges, including EU citizenship. And the best part? Portugal grants its citizens the right to hold dual citizenship.

The Golden Opportunity: Comparing the D2 and Golden Visas

The D2 Visa is not the only way to gain residency in Portugal. The country also offers the Golden Visa, an investment visa that requires a significant financial commitment. However, while the Golden Visa requires a minimum investment of €350,000, the D2 Visa does not stipulate a specific minimum investment but emphasizes the need for a viable business idea.

In terms of residency criteria, the Golden Visa demands its holders to stay at least 14 days in Portugal every two years, in contrast, the D2 Visa involves a longer stay in the country. The Golden Visa also offers a wider array of investment options, including real estate acquisition, capital transfer, investment in research endeavors, patronage of artistic creation or heritage in Portugal, and job creation through company formation.

The Financial Aspect: Costs and Fees Associated with the D2 Visa

The D2 Visa application comes with specific costs. Beyond the investment in your business, you need to consider the government fees, health insurance, and accommodation expenses. The minimum financial threshold for sustaining residency in Portugal under the D2 Visa is equivalent to the statutory minimum wage in Portugal, amounting to €760 per month or €9,120 per year.

You also need to consider the cost of securing accommodation in Portugal, which may include expenses related to a rental agreement or the acquisition of property. Health insurance, a mandatory requirement for the D2 Visa application, typically costs a minimum of €400.

Building Business Connections: Visa Exemption and Travel Rights

In addition to enabling entrepreneurs to start a business in Portugal, the D2 Visa also provides the following benefits:

  • Access to the rest of Europe
  • Privilege to enter Portugal and the Schengen area without the need for a visa
  • Ability to travel unrestrictedly within the EU

This visa-free travel within the Schengen Area enables D2 Visa holders to enter and move freely within member countries, which in turn facilitates networking and the establishment of corporate connections across Europe. So, with the D2 Visa, you’re not just setting up a business in Portugal, but also gaining access to business opportunities across Europe.

Summary

In conclusion, the Portugal D2 Visa is a golden opportunity for non-EU entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business in Portugal. From the application process to the benefits it offers, including the pathway to permanent residency and citizenship, the D2 Visa is a ticket to living the Portuguese dream. It’s not just about starting a business; it’s about building a life in this vibrant European country. So, if you’re an entrepreneur with a solid business idea and a dream to expand your horizons, the Portugal D2 Visa could be your golden ticket.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a D2 visa Portugal?

The D2 Visa Portugal is a long-term visa for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and independent service providers, offering a route to immigrate to Portugal for business purposes.

What is the difference between D2 and D7 visa in Portugal?

The D2 visa is for those with a job offer or seeking to set up a company, while the D7 visa is for individuals with passive income, making the D7 visa more beneficial for most people.

What is the D type visa for Portugal?

The D type visa for Portugal includes specific categories such as D2, D3, and D7, catering to emerging entrepreneurs, highly qualified individuals, and other industries. These visas are designed for innovative business ventures in Portugal.

What is a D3 visa for Portugal?

The D3 visa is a long-term visa for highly qualified professionals who intend to work in Portugal. It enables them to live, reside, and work in the country for one year, with the possibility of applying for a residence permit or EU Blue Card.

What are the basic requirements for the D2 Visa application?

To apply for a D2 Visa, you will need to prepare a thorough business plan, provide evidence of financial resources, and present proper legal documentation, such as a clear criminal record certificate.

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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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