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Portuguese StartUp & Tech Visa

The StartUp Visa is part of an effort from the Portuguese government to promote innovation, economic growth, job creation and investment in advanced technology. If you own a US StartUp business or considering launching one in Portugal, you may be eligible for a Portuguese StartUp Visa.

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    What Is The Portugal Startup Visa?

    The StartUp Visa programme is an incredible opportunity for US entrepreneurs from outside the European Union to come to Portugal and make their dreams a reality.

    Successful applicants for the programme are granted a visa to launch their business in Portugal or move an existing business to the country.

    With this programme, you can access the resources necessary to create and grow a successful StartUp in Portugal – from world-class incubators and accelerators to networking events and mentorship opportunities, as well as favourable tax policies.

    Not only that, but this programme also provides a wide range of benefits, such as visa extensions and residency permits for US entrepreneurs and their families once they meet the necessary requirements.

    The StartUp Visa programme is open all year round, and applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Portugal initiated the StartUp Visa programme to strengthen the innovation and tech-driven sectors of the Portuguese economy.

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    Who Qualifies For The Portugal StartUp Visa?

    US Entrepreneurs can apply for the Portugal StartUp Visa. Applying for the visa will grant you quick access to the residence visa as well. To apply for the StartUp Visa, you must have a strong business plan, as well as the funds to finance it.

    You must demonstrate that your business idea or current business has the potential to create jobs. The business must also be able to generate a minimum of €325,000 in annual revenue after 5 years of operation.

    Once you have a business idea or innovation that you think is feasible, you can apply for it.

    The chances of your application being accepted are largely dependent on how innovative your business idea is.

    The business’ potential, the capability of the management staff, and how well the business can create employment opportunities for highly qualified Portuguese citizens also have an impact on your application being accepted.

    For further advice, speak to our legal experts today by calling: +1 844 290 6312

    Benefits Of The Portugal StartUp Visa For US Citizens

    The StartUp Visa is a way to encourage forward-thinking US entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Portugal.

    It is ideal for those seeking more opportunities to grow their business internationally by taking advantage of the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is also possible to obtain Portuguese citizenship once you have lived in the country long enough.

    Key benefits for applying for this visa programme include the following:

    • Faster and higher chance of being granted a residence permit in Portugal. This is particularly useful for US investors and entrepreneurs who are coming from countries outside the European Union.
    • No language proficiency requirements
    • No business performance and length of residency requirements
    • Freedom to travel across the Schengen area. There are no visa requirements for your travels or residency within the stated area.
    • You can apply for the Non-Habitual Residents Regime (RNH). This programme has favorable tax requirements and can be very useful for business owners and individuals alike.
    • You can apply for Portuguese nationality once you have lived in the country for at least five years under this visa.
    • You can reunite with your US family members who meet the dependency requirements. This includes your spouse, parents, and children.

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      What Are The Requirements For The Portugal Startup Visa?

      You must be 18 years and above to qualify for the Portugal StartUp Visa. Applicants are advised to adhere to the requirements, as Portugal is strict with the rules. Before applying, applicants must:

      • Intend to either set up a branch or division of an existing company in Portugal or launch a new StartUp in the country
      • Not live permanently in the Schengen area
      • Be free of criminal record
      • Have at least €5146.08 in a personal account for a minimum of a year (per individual)
      • Have the support of a government-backed startup incubator in Portugal. The incubator must also be partnered with a Research and Development facility
      • Applicants must be willing to or currently undergoing a 3-year incubation period

      Application Process For Portugal StartUp Visa

      The application process for this visa programme is as follows:

      • US Applicants must submit preliminary documents such as a copy of their resume, a copy of their passport, and the basic idea behind their intended StartUp. You can submit your application in Portuguese or English through an online form.
      • Applicants will need to have a video call session with an incubator based in Portugal. If satisfied, the incubator will issue you a Term Sheet.
      • Once you have satisfied all documentation requirements, you will need to pay an incubation fee to an Escrow bank account.
      • You will then need to submit your application to the relevant party as directed by the agent in charge. At this time, you will have an interview scheduled at the Consulate about 15 business days after submitting your application.
      • Once your application is approved, after a 90-day wait period, you will be allowed to travel to Portugal and be issued a residence permit.
      • Once the residence permit has been issued, reach out to the incubator and their government-backed research and development facility to incorporate and start your business.

      Even if you don’t intend to live in Portugal, you are expected to revisit the country before your residence permit expires. Failure to renew at each renewal period can significantly impact your application process.

      What Is Portugal Tech Visa?

      The Portugal Tech Visa is a visa certification programme that allows companies and organizations in Portugal to attract highly qualified international professionals. This visa is intended for professionals living outside the Schengen area.

      The IAPMEI appraises and certifies organizations under this visa programme. Without approval from the IAPMEI, companies cannot utilize this immigration pathway to attract professionals.

      International companies cannot hire more than 50% of their employees under this programme, while local businesses can hire up to 80% of their employees. The significant difference in employee sizes between the two kinds of organizations is the reason for the disparity in employee percentage caps.

      Additionally, companies must pay at least the minimum compulsory wages for any employee hired under the Portugal Tech Visa programme.

      Who Qualifies For The Portugal Tech Visa?

      Under this visa programme, international startups and companies registered in and operating in Portugal are allowed to hire employees from other countries to work in Portugal.

      The list of certified organizations can be found on the Portuguese immigration website.

      The Tech Visa, like the StartUp Visa programme, is not open to anyone permanently resident in the European Union region. Highly qualified and skilled workers from outside the Schengen area are all eligible for this visa.

      To qualify, workers must also have a minimum of level VI educational qualifications in line with the requirements of the ISCED 2011. Alternatively, employees must have a level V educational qualification with a minimum of 5 years of specialized practice or experience.

      For assistance with Portuguese StartUp Tech Visa, get in touch with us today. Contact Us

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        What Are The Benefits Of The Portuguese Tech Visa?

        The most significant benefit of the Portugal Tech Visa is that it grants US non-EU skilled workers in the tech industry a chance of residency in the EU.

        Furthermore, the visa programme is also suitable for US citizens seeking employment in the EU. This benefits the tech industry in Portugal and the individual interested in the immigration opportunity.

        This visa programme is a clear example of Portugal’s commitment towards nurturing its tech industry. Experienced professionals in the industry who want to live in the EU can consider this programme as a suitable path towards their goal.

        Other benefits of the visa programme include the following:

        • Opportunity to apply for Non-Habitual Residents Regime (RNH) under this visa programme. The tax rules under this regime are favorable and attractive to immigrants.
        • Opportunity to reunite with your family in Portugal. Your dependents may include your US partner or spouse, children 18 years, parents, and your children that are older than 18 years but are still in school and financially dependent on you
        • Exemption from paying tax on your capital
        • No minimum investment amounts under this visa programme
        • Opportunity to apply to obtain permanent residency and Portuguese citizenship once you have lived in the country for a minimum of 5 years under this visa programme. However, you need to meet the requirements for your permanent residency or citizenship application to be approved

        What Are The Requirements For The Portugal Tech Visa?

        There are several requirements that highly qualified and skilled workers must meet to qualify for this visa programme. Applicants must:

        • Be a national or citizen of a third-world nation that lives outside the European Union
        • Have met all tax requirements applicable to them
        • Be free of criminal history or record
        • Be 18 years or older
        • Have completed a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field or possess educational qualifications (level VI) in line with the requirements of the ISCED-2011. An alternative to that requirement is educational certifications at a tertiary level (Level V) with a minimum of 5 years of practical experience in a relevant field.
        • Be proficient in Portuguese, Spanish, English, or French, as required by their intended employment role.

        What Is The Application Process For The Portugal Tech Visa Programme?

        Interested organizations in Portugal may submit an application for a Tech Visa certificate online. The IAPMEI is responsible for certifying applying organizations and is also in charge of the consular services (visa issuance centre) and the Aliens and Borders Services (residence permit issuing agency).

        Once a company is certified, the certification only lasts for two years before being renewed for another two-year period.

        Companies intending to hire foreign workers must satisfy a set of compulsory requirements and Portuguese laws when applying for this programme. The highly qualified and skilled workers planning to be employed must also meet the eligibility requirements and be handed a term of responsibility.

        The term of responsibility is a document that can speed up the visa application process as well as granting a residence permit.

        Who Qualifies for the Portugal Tech Visa?

        Under this visa programme, international startups and companies registered in and operating in Portugal are allowed to hire employees from other countries to work in Portugal. The list of certified organizations can be found on the Portuguese immigration website.

        The Tech Visa, like the StartUp Visa programme, is not open to anyone permanently resident in the European Union region. Highly qualified and skilled workers from outside the Schengen area are all eligible for this visa.

        To qualify, workers must also have a minimum of level VI educational qualifications in line with the requirements of the ISCED 2011. Alternatively, employees must have a level V educational qualification with a minimum of 5 years of specialized practice or experience.

        Portugal StartUp Visa Program For Employers

        Employers can leverage Portugal’s Tech Visa program to access top-tier talent and drive innovation within their organizations. The introduction of the StartUp Tech Visa program by the Portuguese government has further facilitated the recruitment of highly skilled professionals in the tech and innovation sectors. This initiative aims to simplify the hiring and immigration process for companies seeking to tap into the global talent pool.

        Benefits of Certification for Employers

        For companies operating in Portugal’s tech industry, obtaining certification under the Tech Visa program offers numerous advantages. Certified companies can easily recruit from an international talent pool, accelerating their growth and innovation. Certification also signals a commitment to operating on a global scale and opens doors to a diverse range of specialized expertise.

        Qualifying for Tech Visa Certification

        To qualify for certification under the Tech Visa program, companies must meet specific criteria outlined by IAPMEI, the certifying authority. The company must:

        • Be legally set up in Portugal.
        • Not owe any social security or tax debts.
        • No outstanding salary payments to employees should exist.
        • Shouldn’t be in the midst of restructuring.
        • Must match the technical areas required for the StartUp Tech Visa.
        • Should operate internationally, offering goods or services.
        • Must receive a positive evaluation, showing its potential in the market or orientation towards external markets.

        Once certified, companies can apply for the Tech Visa to recruit highly skilled workers from outside the Schengen area.

        Restrictions and Requirements For Employers

        While the StartUp Tech Visa program offers significant benefits, employers must navigate certain restrictions and requirements. These include a 50% recruitment ceiling, mandating that no more than half of a company’s workforce can be hired through the program. Additionally, employers must adhere to minimum mandatory wage requirements and ensure that recruited workers meet stringent eligibility criteria, including educational qualifications and language proficiency.

        How Can IAS Help?

        The immigration process can be time-consuming and daunting for US citizens. It is possible to need clarification on the eligibility criteria or how to adjust to specific requirements. The IAS team is here to help make the immigration process as smooth and straightforward as possible. We can offer comprehensive advice on all visa programmes available for Portugal, taking into account your situation and requirements.

        With our knowledge of the immigration process and the Portugal visa system, we are able to advise you on your eligibility status and offer helpful guidance throughout the application process. Our experienced consultants can identify potential issues that may arise during the application process and provide effective solutions. Contact us today online, via email, or by phone at +1 844 290 6312 to discuss your individual requirements. We will be more than happy to help you with the StartUp or Tech Visa programmes or find the right visa programme for you.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  For the Portugal Startup visa programme, the incubation fee is €175,000. €25,000 of this sum is used for share capitalization and will be used to pay for any service required by the startup.

                  No. Applicants can only submit one application under one business project at a time.

                  The StartUp Visa programme typically allows up to 5 entrepreneurs per project.

                  You will need two coloured photographs of you with a blank background, proof of suitable accommodation, a copy of a passport or relevant travel document, and permission for the SEF to check your criminal records.

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