Are you eligible for D2 Visa? How to get a Portugal startup visa? Who is eligible for a Portugal entrepreneur visa? Read on to know the answers to all your questions.
The Portuguese government has always been in favor of attracting immigrants through investment. The country has consistently ranked high in terms of economic competitiveness and ease of doing business.
The county has two free economic zones in Madeira and the Azores. These are the most profitable places to start a business. Small and medium-sized businesses can also benefit greatly from Portuguese government support. For entrepreneurs, the D2 visa is the ideal route to working in Portugal and eventually, gaining Portuguese citizenship.
Read: Everything You Should Know About The European Travel Information And Authorization System Or ETIAS
D2 Visa Or The Portugal Startup Visa
The Portugal Start-Up Visa is also known as the D2 visa. This is a long-term visa for independent professionals, business entrepreneurs and freelancers wanting to establish their brands in Portugal. You could have an idea for a business that you want to establish in Portugal or an existing business that you wish to move to the country. The visa may be granted to a single entrepreneur or to a group of up to 5 people working on the same project.
D2 visa holders and their dependents can live and work in Portugal and fast-track their application for a residence permit. The D2 visa itself is valid only for 4 months. This is the time available for the applicant to get a residence permit.
Eligibility Criteria For Portugal Startup Visa
There is no minimum investment required for the D2 visa. Entrepreneurs wanting to apply for the D2 visa must meet the below criteria:
- The applicant must be over the age of 18 years
- The applicant must not belong to any of the Schengen countries
- The applicant must not have been a Schengen regular resident in the recent few years
- The applicant must prove the ability to maintain at least €5,147 in their bank account for the past one year
- The start-up must be innovative and oriented towards technology in the following sectors:
- Biotechnology and pharmacology
- Communication and media
- Industrial products
- Commerce and consumer products
- The business must have the potential to create local employment
- The business should have a projected minimum annual turnover of €325,000 within 5 years of entering a tech incubator
- The applicant must have the committed guidance of a Portuguese government-recognized business incubator
Documents Required For D2 Visa
- Official form
- Form authorizing access to Portuguese criminal records by the Immigration and Border Services (SEF)
- Current passport with travel validity for at least 3 months beyond the intended duration of stay
- 2 recent, passport-sized photographs
- Valid travel insurance for 6 months
- Certificate of good character by the police in the country of origin/ country of current residence
- Proof of having sufficient means of subsistence
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal
- Proof of where funds for the project are being sourced from
- Flight reservation of an air ticket
- Tax and income proof in the current country of residence
- Detailed business plan
- Declaration issued by the Agency for Competition and Innovation (IAPMEI) proving that the applicant has an incubation contract with a recognized incubator.
D2 Visa – The Application Process
There are 2 stages to applying for a D2 visa.
First, the applicant must be accepted into an incubator program by a government-certified incubator. Once, this commitment has been secured, he/she can apply for the D2 visa.
Applying To Incubators
There are many certified incubators in Portugal. You can explore the list here.
To start the application process, the applicant must register himself/herself on the IAPMEI website and upload the following documents to their profile:
- Letter of motivation explaining the interest in starting an entrepreneurial project in Portugal.
- Copy of the existing passport
- Tax and social security certificate for Portugal (if held)
A declaration of not having the above
- Clean criminal record certificate
- Bank statement showing that the applicant has 12 times the minimum monthly subsistence amount as approximated by the government
- Current CV
This will be shared with all the incubators. To advance further with the application, at least one incubator must show interest in the project. Applications are evaluated on the innovative and economic potential as well as market potential, scalability, management team’s capacity, the relevance of the business and potential for generating employment.
When an incubator demonstrates interest, the applicant may move on to completing the online application and submission to the IAPMEI. The IAPMEI will render a decision on the application in about 30 working days. In some cases, additional documentation may be required. This must be submitted within 3 working days of being requested.
Next, the applicant can move to formalize the contract with one of the incubators who showed interest earlier. The incubation period is usually 40 days.
If the decision by the IAPMEI is unfavorable, the applicant has up to 10 days to appeal the decision after which the IAPMEI’s decision will be considered final.
Applying For The D2 Visa
Once the IAPMEI-certified contract is received, the applicant may submit the completed visa application form and supporting documents to the Portuguese embassy/ consulate in his/her country of residence. The visa is typically granted within 60 days as long as all the documentation is in order. This visa is valid for only 4 months.
Hence, the applicant will need to travel to Portugal within the time frame and start the process of applying for a residence permit. It may happen, the D2 visa validity expires before the residence permit is issued. This is not a problem as long as the individual can prove that the process has been started.
A residence permit is usually valid for 1 year after which it can be extended twice for 2-years each. At the end of 5 years, the applicant will be eligible for permanent residence or Portuguese citizenship.
D2 Visa Fees
A €90 visa fee is payable per adult application. This is common for all long-term visas. The fee for dependent children’s application is only €35.
Bringing Your Family Along With D2 Visa
The D2 visa is not a family visa and only the main applicant can be included in it. Once the applicant has successfully got his/her visa, the applicant’s family can be sponsored through a family reunification visa.