Portugal has a StartUp Visa and is now accepting applications

March 20, 2018


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Portugal is looking to attract foreign entrepreneurs to live and work on the Iberian Peninsula with the launch of the StartUp Visa.

According to The Institute to Support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (IAPMEI), the StartUp Visa application takes place in two steps.

First step:

The entrepreneur should start the process by filling out the identification and description of the project and upload the following documents (for each entrepreneur):

• Letter of motivation with demonstration of interest in developing an entrepreneurial and/or innovative project in Portugal;
• Copy of the passport;
• Official declaration of the country of origin that certifies the settlement of tax and social security debt, when applicable.
• Statement from the bank that proves the existence of own financial means of subsistence corresponding to € 5,146.80,80, and that the possibility of transferring these funds to a bank operating in Portugal;
• Curriculum vitae. The entrepreneur can also attach a project presentation file that can help the incubator do the evaluation.

After completing this information, the entrepreneur must send a request to at least one incubator, to obtain a declaration of interest in the incubation, namely taking into account:

a. The innovative side of the project;
b. The potential for growth;
c. The scaling up of the business in the market;
d. The perspectives of the setting up in Portugal, after the end of the program.

To advance to the second step, the entrepreneur must obtain a positive feedback from at least one incubator. After that the entrepreneur must complete application information and submit it through this online platform, for IAPMEI approval.

Nearly 70 incubators are certified through the Portugal StartUp Visa program to help foreign entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

International entrepreneurs wishing to access the Portugal StartUP Visa and obtain a residence and work visa must accomplish the following criteria:

  • Intend to develop business activities to produce innovative goods and services;
  • Open or relocate companies and/or projects focused on technology and knowledge, with a perspective of developing innovative products;
  • Have the potential to create qualified employment;
  • Have the potential to attain, three years after the incubation period, a €325,000, or a turnover of more than €500,000 per year.


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