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StartUp Visa and Tech Visa in Portugal: Here’s What You Need to Know

Okay, so you have done your research and decided to either establish or relocate your business to Portugal. What are the next steps, and how can you move to Portugal to start a business? Well, start familiarising yourself with the available visas and relocation programs in Portugal, or check the myriad of services we offer to help entrepreneurs and startups in their journey towards Portugal.

StartUp Visa: Enabling Non-EU Founders and Entrepreneurs

Announced in October 2016 and implemented since March 2017, the StartUp Visa focuses on entrepreneurs from outside the European Union, both those already owning or simply considering launching a startup, but aiming to set it up and grow it in Portugal. The Portuguese Government developed this program to strengthen the innovation ecosystem and affirm Portugal’s positioning as a country open to entrepreneurship and all those who possess knowledge and innovation capacity.

Application for this visa requires solid business and financial plans demonstrating that the startup has strong potential to create jobs and will be able to generate a yearly turnover of no less than 325,000€ after five years. Open all year round; successful applications depend on the business’s degree of innovation, market potential, and job creation.

We understand that the process can sound bureaucratic and labor-intensive, but fear not: GrowIN Portugal offers guidance and full assistance with the GrowIN Move service bundle. In other words, dedicated professionals will assist entrepreneurs and Tech Talent throughout the entire Portugal Visa application process, including but not limited to eligibility assessment, drafting, and submission of applications as per the program requirements, up to handling all required formalities to issue the Residence Permit upon arrival to Portugal.

In case you are looking for further information about how to apply to the StartUP Visa, you may want to check our Step by Step Guide to StartUP Visa in Portugal

Tech Visa: Easing the Process of Hiring Foreign Talent

2019 brought the beginning of the Tech Visa in Portugal. This program allows innovative companies that are certified and part of the program to hire highly qualified non-EU tech talent, facilitating their entry into the country. 

The Portuguese Tech Visa involves other government entities and regulates and processes residency visas for the hired professionals, which should have a contract of at least two years. IAPMEI is responsible for the evaluation and certification of companies under the Tech Visa program.

If you are a highly skilled talent and aspire to work in Portugal, you may want to explore this List of Tech Visa Certified Companies. Furthermore, if you intend to apply for the Tech Visa, you have to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Non-EU National and Non-EU Permanent Resident
  • Fulfilled Tax Obligations at the Country of Residence
  • No Criminal Record
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Bachelor Degree or a High-School Degree with a five-year experience in specialized technical functions
  • Proficiency in Portuguese, English, French, or Spanish

There will be a mandatory minimum wage for workers recruited through Tech Visa Program. The application’s success depends pretty much on the innovation level and how international the companies are (or can become). It’s essential to notice that the companies are not allowed to have more than 50% of their workers under the Tech Visa unless their focused activities are primarily within Portugal (then, that limit is 80%).

GrowIN Portugal’s Move service package also offers you guidance and assistance throughout the Tech Visa application process, including (but not limited to) eligibility assessment, drafting, and submission of applications as per the program requirements, up to handling all required formalities to issue the Residence Permit upon arrival to Portugal.

Bonus Tip: Could the Portuguese StartUP Visa and Tech Visa Work Together?

None of the Startup Visa and Tech Visa Programs are exclusive, which indicates that they could work together to strengthen the tech ecosystem across Portugal. Hence, the Tech Visa is a natural development of the Startup Visa: once the government attracts foreign companies into the country (and, consequently, into the EU), it makes sense to open the possibilities for those companies to bring more people to work on them as well. So, yes! The Portugal StartUp Visa is step number one to relocate or open a business in Portugal, and then, step two is to apply the Portugal Tech Visa Program to make sure you have the best possible pool of talent available, especially from outside of the European Union.

Should you need help with the applications — both the StartUp and/or the Tech Visa, don’t hesitate and send us an e-mail. We can help you Incorporate, Move and Fund your business here in Portugal!

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