Overview of Portuguese D2 Visa: The Visa For Entrepreneurs
A Portugal D2 visa, often referred to as the Portuguese visa for entrepreneurs, is a long term resident visa. Portugal launched the D2 visa with a vision to grow the national economy by attracting foreign investments and resources. The Portugal D2 Visa is a viable option to live in Portugal for foreign national entrepreneurs and self-employed professionals.
A Portugal D2 visa holder and their eligible family members can get residence permits in Portugal, which will allow them to live, work and study in the country, and will also lead to permanent residency in Portugal or even Portuguese citizenship eventually.
Non-EEA (the EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or non-Swiss foreign nationals, who have either already established or seek to establish a business in Portugal, or are self-employed professionals, may be eligible to apply for a D2 visa to travel to Portugal.
Foreign national entrepreneurs seeking to relocate their existing business to Portugal can also avail of the D2 visa. Alternatively, a foreign national entrepreneur may also choose to invest in an existing business in Portugal.
Turkey (or Türkiye as per its new official spelling) is not among the visa-exempt nations for Portugal. As a Turkish citizen, if you are an entrepreneur, independent professional/freelancer, or an independent service provider, you can apply for the D2 visa, provided you also meet all terms and conditions specified by Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (SEF). Company owners, shareholders, partners, board members, and directors can also apply for a Portugal D2 visa.
After arriving in Portugal, you will have to get in touch with SEF to apply for a temporary residence permit. After completing five years of lawful residency in Portugal, you will be eligible for a permanent residence permit in the country, and can also apply for Portuguese citizenship if you so wish.
- Overview of Portuguese D2 Visa: The Visa For Entrepreneurs
- Benefits of D2 Visa in Portugal
- Am I Eligible to Apply for a D2 Visa in Portugal?
- How Do I Apply for a Portuguese D2 Visa?
- What Supporting Documents Do I Need?
- Processing Time
- D2 Visa Validity and Renewal in Portugal
- D2 Visa to Permanent Residency and Citizenship in Portugal
- What If My Application Has Been Refused?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
A Portugal D2 visa is a settlement route to Portugal, the country which comes with a favourable climate, high-standard education and healthcare infrastructure, social security benefits for residents, an improved legal and justice system, and a friendly community.
The Doing Business 2020 report states that it is easy to set up a company in Portugal or expand your existing business to the country. A stable economy and banking system as well as tax optimization options make Portugal attractive to foreign entrepreneurs, who wish to apply for residency in the country.
In addition, as a Portuguese resident, you can also enter and exit Portugal freely, bring your family members to Portugal under the family reunification principles, and obtain visa-free travel access to the EEA countries and Schengen Area.
In this context, a family member refers to:
- Spouses or civil partners
- Children under 16 years of age (both biological or adopted children are allowed)
- Children (both biological or adopted) above 16 years of age who are dependent on their Portuguese resident family member
- Dependent parents
Moreover, after five years of holding a temporary residence permit in Portugal, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent residence permit, which will allow you to continue with all rights and benefits available to Portuguese residents without the need to renew your residence permit.
It also paves your way to become a Portuguese citizen if you wish to do so. A Portuguese citizen will get additional rights in the country such as the right to vote and the right to live, work and study in any of the EU countries.
As a Portuguese citizen, you can also apply for a Portuguese passport, which ranks 14th in terms of global mobility, as per the 2022 Passport Index. A Portuguese passport will allow you to travel either visa-free or on a visa-on-arrival basis to 188 countries.
The eligibility criteria for a D2 visa in Portugal can be divided into two specific categories:
- a) business requirements, and
- b) general requirements
Since the D2 visa is meant for foreign national entrepreneurs and independent professionals, you will have to fulfil certain business requirements to be eligible to apply for a D2 visa in Portugal. On the other hand, there are certain general requirements that you must meet to be eligible for a Portuguese residency visa, such as the D2 visa, and a temporary residence permit eventually.
In this section, we will discuss both categories of eligibility requirements for a Portugal D2 visa in detail.
Business Requirements for a Portugal D2 Visa
To fulfil the business requirements to apply for D2 Visa in Portugal, you must:
- Demonstrate that you have:
- Already established a company operating lawfully in the country, or
- Plan to set up a company in Portugal and have the financial means for the same, or
- Seek to invest in a Portuguese company
- Have a well-formulated, detailed business plan in place for your Portugal company (already active or proposed)
- Do note that the Portuguese authorities will review your business plan thoroughly to assess its social, economic, and cultural impact in the country
- Your business plan should also prove beyond reasonable doubts that your company will not only thrive in Portugal but also contribute to the country’s economic growth
- Explain in detail why you have chosen Portugal as a business location for your company, and how your company is going to impact Portugal and its residents
- For example, you may mention that your proposed business in Portugal will create a certain number of jobs, or will solve an existing supply-side issue in the country for a particular good or service
Do note that you can take a loan from a Portuguese bank to meet your financial needs for establishing a business in the country. Although there is no minimum investment amount specified for a D2 visa, please note that the amount you are willing to invest should be sufficient enough to justify your proposed business plan in Portugal.
General Requirements for a Portugal D2 Visa
In addition to the business requirements, a D2 visa applicant must also fulfil certain general criteria for obtaining residency in Portugal. You must:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Not have any criminal record in your home country
- Have your own accommodation in Portugal, purchased or rented
- Have financial means for yourself and your family members, if applicable, to reside in the country for a year
- Have a medical insurance, enough to cover any emergency or hospitalisation
As the main D2 visa applicant, you must have a minimum income of €9,120 per year. For your spouse/civil partner accompanying you to Portugal, you must have an additional 50% of this amount.
You will need 30% of the specified minimum income per head for your dependent children and parents.
How Do I Apply for a Portuguese D2 Visa?
Before you start with your application process for the Portuguese D2 visa, you will have to complete the formalities around establishing a business in Portugal, in case you do not already have an established company trading lawfully in the country.
You may start with researching the Portuguese economic and business scenario, and subsequently the requirements for the formation of a company, or a branch of your existing business in your home country, in Portugal. You will need to obtain all required business licences and permits, as applicable, from the Portuguese authorities.
You will have to get a taxpayer identification number in Portugal, known as Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF). This number is a must for any financial activity in Portugal, such as purchasing goods or services, entering into contracts, opening bank accounts, etc. After getting your NIF, please open a business account of your company with any Portuguese bank, and transfer your required business capital (or a sufficient portion of the same) to your company’s Portuguese bank account.
At this stage, you may also want to hire for certain business roles, such as an accountant or a day-to-day operation manager, for running your company in Portugal.
Please start your D2 visa application process by filling up the relevant application form. You can download this form from the website of the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
Once you have duly completed the form and signed the same, and have arranged for all required documentation, please schedule an appointment with the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
You will need to submit your completed and signed application form along with supporting documents in the Portuguese embassy or consulate of your home country on the day of your appointment, and pay the visa fees.
Turkish citizens can apply for their D2 visa in the Portuguese embassy in Ankara, located at the following address:
Embassy of Portugal in Türkiye
Kirlangiç Cad. no. 39 – Gaziosmanpaşa (GOP),
Çankaya – 06700,
What Supporting Documents Do I Need?
To apply for the Portugal D2 visa, you will require to submit the below mentioned supporting documents:
- Completed and signed application form
- Two passport size photos
- Current passport
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal (e.g. property purchase documents, rental lease, etc.)
- Medical insurance, where the insured amount is sufficient to cover your medical expenses including medical emergencies
- Criminal record certificate, issued by a competent authority of your country of residence, with the Hague Apostille (if applicable) or legalised
- A letter granting permission to SEF for criminal record enquiry
- Proof of subsistence (e.g. bank account statements)
- A detailed business plan
- For entrepreneurs whose companies are already actively and legally trading in the country:
- Proof of business in Portugal, such as your company registration documents, contracts and agreements, leases, invoices, financial reports, company bank statements, etc.
- For entrepreneurs planning to set up a business in Portugal:
- Evidence to prove that you have sufficient financial means to establish such a business in Portugal, e.g. bank loan documents, account statements, etc.
- Proof of intention to invest in the country
- For independent professionals:
- A contract or service provider proposal in writing for liberal professions, and
- A declaration by competent authorities certifying professional competence for the referred activity, where applicable
- For start-ups:
- A declaration issued by the Agency for Competition and Innovation (IAPMEI), certifying the signing of an incubation contract with a certified incubator, in accordance with the Minister of Economy regulations
Please note that since Turkey is a member of the Hague Apostille Convention, your official documents do not need to be legalised.
Your documents must be in either English or Portuguese. You will need to arrange for certified translated copies if not. Additionally, do keep in mind that the above list is, by no means, an exhaustive one. SEF may ask you for additional supporting documents depending on your immigration situation.
The Portuguese embassy or consulate dealing with your application in your country of residence may take 60 days or more to process your D2 visa application.
The processing time may vary depending on the volume of visa applications being handled by your Portuguese embassy or consulate at the time of your application, as well as the completeness and accuracy of your visa application and supporting documents.
To avoid any unnecessary delay in processing, kindly ensure that you have filled up the application form completely and correctly, and have submitted all relevant supporting documents along with your Portugal D2 visa application.
A D2 visa processing fee is €90, charged by your local Portuguese embassy or consulate. This fee may vary from country to country.
SEF will charge you a fee of €83 for processing your temporary residence permit application. You will need to pay an additional €72 to receive your residence permit from SEF.
If your supporting documents are not in Portuguese or English, you will have to arrange for their certified translated copies. This will come at an additional cost, and may be a significant amount depending on your country of residence.
A D2 visa is valid for four months, and makes the visa holder eligible to travel to Portugal to apply for a residence permit in the country. However, please note that holding a valid visa does not guarantee your entry into Portugal. The Portuguese immigration officer at your port of entry will check your visa and other relevant documents, and accordingly grant you permission to enter Portugal.
After arriving in Portugal, you will have to contact SEF within the validity period of your D2 visa to apply for your temporary residence permit in the country.
A temporary residence permit for people taking the D2 visa route is usually valid for two years, and can be renewed thereafter. You will have to apply for a renewal at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your current resident permit.
You will need to schedule an appointment with SEF to renew your residence permit. Your temporary residence permit can be renewed if you continue to meet the conditions based on which your initial permit was granted.
Please submit the following supporting documents along with your residence permit renewal application:
- Copy of your current residence permit
- Proof of subsistence
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal
- Proof that you have met your tax obligations
- Proof that you have not been convicted in a criminal case
Minimum Stay Requirements for D2 Visa
Foreign nationals, who have taken the D2 visa route to residency in Portugal, will have to reside in the country for at least six months continuously, or eight months in total, per year to retain their temporary residence permits.
This minimum stay requirement is also applicable for the family members of a D2 visa holder, who have joined them in Portugal under family reunification principles.
D2 Visa to Permanent Residency and Citizenship in Portugal
After five years of temporary residence in Portugal, the D2 visa holders and their family members can apply for a permanent residence permit. A permanent residence is issued indefinitely, so they will not need to renew it unlike a temporary residence permit.
However, you must update your permanent residence card every five years.
Alternatively, after five years of temporary residence in Portugal, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship by naturalisation/residence if you wish to do so.
What If My Application Has Been Refused?
In compliance with Portuguese domestic law, you may take the below course of actions, if your D2 visa application has been refused:
- You may lodge a formal complaint at the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your country of residence within 15 days from receiving the visa refusal notice
- You may appeal at the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs within three months after receiving the notice
- You may initiate legal action at the Administrative Court of Lisbon Circle within three months after receiving the visa refusal notice
How Can Total Law Help?
The Portugal D2 visa is a viable route to residency in Portugal for entrepreneurs, independent professionals, and independent service providers. However, please ensure that you have completed all business related formalities and have the required business or professional licences/permits in place before applying for a D2 visa.
Even if you meet the eligibility criteria for a D2 visa, you must pay due diligence while filling up the relevant application form and arranging for all supporting documents.
Appealing a D2 visa refusal is not only a lengthy but also an expensive process. It is, therefore, advisable that you focus on getting the application right the first time. As such, please consider consulting an immigration lawyer before and during your Portuguese D2 visa application.
Speak to Total Law.
Our team of sympathetic immigration lawyers come with the required expertise and legal knowledge to assist you, even if your circumstances are complex.
If you are seeking overall advice with your D2 visa application or you would like an immigration expert to complete your application on your behalf, we are happy to help. We offer a document and application checking service, in case you just need us to conduct a final check to confirm that your documents and application adhere to SEF regulations.
Total Law also has an appeal package if you would need to appeal your visa refusal.
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By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
The target group for D2 visa is foreign national entrepreneurs, independent professionals or independent service providers, who wish to set up or expand their business in Portugal. They must invest in Portugal to meet the D2 visa-specific eligibility criteria.
On the other hand, D7 visa is for foreign nationals who wish to retire in the country, and have a minimum specific amount of passive income from outside Portugal. They are not required to invest in Portugal or carry on independent professional activities.
The Portuguese Golden Visa programme is for investors who make a qualifying investment of minimum €250,000 in Portugal, through certain specified options. There is no such investment limit specified for a D2 visa.
Moreover, the minimum stay requirement to retain residency is seven days a year for a Golden Visa holder while the same for a D2 visa holder is at least six months at a row or a total of eight months per year.
No. A Portugal D2 Visa is meant primarily for entrepreneurs, independent professionals or independent service providers. The eligible family members of a D2 visa holder are allowed to join them in Portugal under family reunification principles, which belong to a different visa category.
After a D2 visa holder has successfully obtained their residence permit in Portugal, their eligible family members can apply for a family reunification visa to join them in the country.