About the Portugal Startup Visa
The Portugal Startup visa was created by the Portuguese government to encourage US entrepreneurs to invest in, establish, and relocate their innovative businesses to Portugal.
The major purpose of creating the Portugal Startup visa program for foreign entrepreneurs is to create qualified employment that will attract highly qualified professionals and ultimately boost the economy of Portugal.
You must apply to the Portuguese Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (IAPMEI), thereafter, you must present an innovative business project and launch a startup together with a Portuguese business incubator. You are allowed to be enjoined by an additional 4 partners making up for a total of 5 business partners, with a non-EU national or resident as the main applicant
When you obtain a Portugal Startup visa, you will have the opportunity to remain indefinitely in Portugal. The residence permit you will be issued when you enter Portugal has a validity of 2 years and can be renewed for another 3 years.
When you have stayed in Portugal for 5 years, you may qualify for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residency. Your family members are also allowed to join you in Portugal on your Startup visa. Also, with this visa, you can enter other countries in the Schengen area.
- About the Portugal Startup Visa
- Requirements for Entrepreneurs and Businesses Applying for a Portugal Startup Visa
- Costs Associated With Obtaining a Startup Visa
- How to Apply for a Portugal Startup Visa
- Portugal Startup Visa Duration
- Benefits of the Portugal Startup Visa
- Opportunities to Apply for Permanent Residency and Citizenship with a Portugal Startup Visa
- How Can Total Law Help
- Frequently Asked Questions
Requirements for Entrepreneurs and Businesses Applying for a Portugal Startup Visa
US entrepreneurs who want to launch a Portuguese business venture must meet the following Portugal Startup visa requirements:
- Be 18 years old or above.
- Be a non-EU national or a Portuguese resident.
- Have a minimum of €5146.8 for a year to cover your expenses while in Portugal.
- Do not owe the Tax Authority or Social Security.
- Have health insurance of about €400.
- Have accommodation in Portugal.
- Have a clean criminal record.
Your business must also meet certain requirements, such as focusing on innovation and technology and having its projects based on:
- Commerce and customer products and services.
- Information and Technology.
Your business plan needs to be thorough and demonstrate its projections for:
- Creating jobs.
- Entering into the global market.
- Accumulating more than €325,000 in assets or revenue within 5 years.
Costs Associated With Obtaining a Startup Visa
As a US entrepreneur who wants to obtain a Portugal Startup visa, you must incur the following costs:
- Have a minimum of €5,146.8 for a year in Portugal.
- Pay €90 for the Portugal Startup visa fee.
- Pay €85.05 for the residence permit fee.
- Pay €400 or more for health insurance.
- Have €7,000 or more for accommodation. However, you are not required to pay for rent as a Startup visa applicant.
- Pay for translation services. If your documents are not already in English, they must be translated by an authorized translator and notarized.
- Pay other legal fees in your application process.
Create a Business Plan
Make a thorough business plan that focuses on innovation and technology and has the potential to grow the economy and launch a company in Portugal.
Bring all Required Documents
Assemble all the required documents which comprise the letter of motivation, the project presentation, your CV, and any supporting materials for the application. You also need a social security number and a taxpayer ID number, which you can obtain with the aid of an immigration lawyer.
Complete Your Application
Upload copies of the required documents and submit them after filling out the essential information on the IAPMEI website’s application form.
Locate a Licensed Business Incubator
Fill out your application forms and submit them to the Startup visa platform after you have found a licensed business incubator to help accelerate your project.
Await the Approval
The application is processed by IAPMEI in roughly 30 working days. From your dashboard on the IAPMEI website, you may keep tabs on the development. Following the approval, you will receive a declaration of participation in the Startup visa program that is valid for 6 months.
Book an Appointment
Fix an appointment with the Portuguese Consulate in the US. On the designated date, present your application along with all required documents to receive your Startup visa once it has been approved.
Apply for Residency
You or your lawyer must schedule an appointment with the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to apply for your Portugal residency. Upon your entry into Portugal, submit your application and your biometric information.
Get Your Residence Card
Once your residency application is approved, you will be issued your residence permit. You will be issued an initial residence permit that has 2 years validity and renewable for an additional 3 years.
Remember that if you are currently in Portugal, it is better to submit your documents directly to the SEF instead of going back to the Portuguese Consulate in the US to apply for a Startup visa.
If you need more information about making a solid application for a Portugal Startup visa, reach out to us at Total Law. Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
Portugal Startup Visa Duration
The Portugal Startup visa validity period is for 6 months and takes about 2 months to process. Whereas the final decision on the application typically takes about 30 days. Therefore, it is advised you apply early to avoid additional delays in your application.
Route to Portuguese Citizenship
With a Portugal Startup visa, you can enter Portugal, live, and work in the country. You can become a Portuguese citizen or permanent resident when you stay in Portugal for 5 years and meet other requirements.
Assistance from Incubators
One of the requirements for applying for the Portugal Startup visa is working with a Portuguese business incubator. Additionally, it is a big step in the right direction for you to launch a business in Portugal.
The National Network of incubators in a specific territory is the component of the Startup visa program. Your incubator helps you with the documents, applying for grants and investments, and securing an office with suitable terms.
Furthermore, the network aids in establishing your Portuguese business in a network of entrepreneurs experienced with particular aspects of the Portuguese and European markets.
US entrepreneurs with a Portugal Startup visa are required to remain in Portugal for a minimum of 183 days per year. As a result, you start paying taxes in Portugal.
However, as a Non-Habitual Resident (NHR), you may be given preferential treatment and required to pay less. The NHR status will only require you to pay as little as 20% in income tax, when the standard tax rate may be as high as 48%.
Low-Cost Portugal Residency
After receiving a Portugal Startup visa, you can apply for a Residence Permit that is more affordable compared to other residence visas. For instance, to qualify for a Portugal Golden visa, you must have at least €250,000 in investments, and €8,460 in your bank account. You only need to show that you have €5146.8 in your bank account to cover your expenses for a year to qualify for the Startup visa.
Opportunities to Apply for Permanent Residency and Citizenship with a Portugal Startup Visa
US entrepreneurs can obtain Portuguese citizenship or permanent residency status through the Portugal Startup visa. Once you enter Portugal on a Startup visa, you must obtain a Portugal residence permit.
The residence permit is typically valid for 2 years and can be extended for a further 3 years. When you have stayed in Portugal for 5 years, you may qualify for Portugal citizenship or permanent residency by naturalization, provided you have met all requirements.
You are required to have an A2 level knowledge of Portuguese, that is, a conversational knowledge of Portuguese, as one of the conditions to qualify for Portuguese citizenship or permanent residency through the Portugal Startup visa.
How Can Total Law Help
US nationals who want to transfer their businesses or open new businesses in Portugal can do so through the Portugal Study visa. This visa can allow your dependents to join you in Portugal after you have obtained your residency card.
Besides that, you have the opportunity to become a Portuguese citizen or permanent resident through the Startup visa, among other benefits. This is why it is advised to have professional backing in your application process.
We recommend you reach out to one of our immigration advisers at Total Law to assist you in your application to avoid errors that may cause delays or refusals.
Our immigration advisers will assist you in writing a solid innovative business venture plan and get you a certified incubator while ensuring you gather all the required supporting documents for your application. Contact our team today on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.
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The steps involved in applying for a Portugal Startup visa include:
- Create a Business Plan.
- Bring all required documents.
- Complete your application.
- Locate a Licensed business incubator.
- Await the approval.
- Book an appointment.
- Apply for residency.
- Get your residence card.
It typically takes about 3 months for you to get your Portugal Startup visa if you already have a business plan. However, the application process may take longer if there’s a delay in getting a business incubator or approval from IAPMEI.
You are required to invest at least €250,000 into the Portuguese economy to obtain Portugal residency.