Second Citizenship
November 2, 2022
Reading Time: 6 min

Portugal D2 Visa: how to get a residence permit for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs may apply for a Portugal D2 Visa if they start or buy a business there. The visa allows one to get a residence permit and all its benefits, such as the right to live in Portugal and the opportunity to travel visa‑free to other Schengen countries.

The usual obtaining period for the D2 Visa is about 3+ months.

Requirements for businesses are quite soft: applicants may open companies in any sector and don’t have to get approval from Portuguese business incubators. These facts make the D2 Visa one of the most attractive ways to immigrate to Portugal.

Alina Mishurenko
Alina Mishurenko

Spoke on Portugal D2 Visa benefits and requirements

Portugal Startup Visa

Portugal D2 Visa: how to get a residence permit for entrepreneurs

What is a Portugal D2 Visa?

The D2 Visa is a Portugal residency visa for entrepreneurs. To get one, an applicant must open a new company there or buy an already working business or its share.

No minimum investment threshold is defined for the D2 Visa. However, an applicant must prove to have funds to start and run their business. Also, housing and money to live in Portugal for a year are required.

The visa validity period is four months. At this time, an entrepreneur must enter Portugal and apply for a residence permit, which enables them to immigrate to Portugal, start a company and work there.

A Portugal residence permit after the D2 Visa is valid for two years, and then it can be renewed for three years. After five years of residency, one may apply for citizenship or permanent residence in Portugal.

An entrepreneur’s family members may immigrate to Portugal with a residence permit for family reunification. To retain residency, business people and their relatives must stay in Portugal for 6+ months each year.

Who is eligible for a Portugal D2 Visa?

An entrepreneur may apply for a D2 Visa if they fulfil one of the following conditions:

The business requirements are quite soft: an applicant can choose any sector, and there are no thresholds on profitability or the creation of jobs.

However, applicants must confirm that the businesses will be economically and socially beneficial for Portugal and that they have enough money for investment in their companies due to the business plans.

Other requirements for Portugal D2 Visa applicants include the following:

  • age over 18 years;

  • no criminal record;

  • to have rented or owned housing in Portugal;

  • to confirm they have money to live in Portugal for a year;

  • to buy health insurance.

An entrepreneur’s spouse, the couple’s children and parents may apply for residence permits for family reunification. Adult children and parents must prove they depend on the D2 Visa holder to get residency. Also, the family has to confirm that they have housing and enough money to live in Portugal.

Will you obtain the Portugal D2 Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain the Portugal D2 Visa?

Documents to apply for a Portugal D2 Visa

You’ll need to submit some business documents to apply for a D2 Visa. The list includes the following:

  • a detailed business plan;

  • if you have already started a company, submit constituent and registration documents, contracts, invoices, financial reports, and a bank statement on the company’s account balance;

  • if you only plan to start a new company, submit documents to prove you have money for business investment, for example, a statement from a Portuguese bank.

Also, some personal documents and filled-in forms are required for visa and residence permit applications. Entrepreneurs prepare and submit the following:

  1. An application form.

  2. A passport and its copy.

  3. A document to confirm sufficient funds to live in Portugal, for example, a bank statement.

  4. A document to prove to have housing to live in Portugal, for example, a rental agreement.

  5. A certificate of no criminal record from the country of residence with an apostille.

  6. Permission to Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal to check criminal records in Portugal.

  7. Health insurance.

  8. Two colour photographs, 3×5 cm.

How to apply for a Portugal D2 Visa: step-by-step procedure

Obtaining a Portugal D2 Visa usually takes 2—3 months if you already have a business plan or a company in Portugal. After that, some time is required to get a residence permit.

1

Step 1. Gather all necessary documents

Prepare your business plan, documents to prove you have enough money to start a business, and all the required personal documents and forms. You may need to turn to experienced lawyers to gather everything for the application.

2

Step 2. Apply for a D2 Visa

Schedule an appointment in a Portuguese consulate in the country of your residence or citizenship, and then come and submit your application.

3

Step 3. Wait for approval and get the visa

The usual visa application processing time is up to 60 days. After that, the visa will be pasted into your passport.

4

Step 4. Obtain a Portugal residence permit

The visa is valid for four months. During this time, you need to come to Portugal and submit a residency application and biometrics to the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal by appointment. Then wait for the approval and receive the residence permit card.

How much does it cost to get a Portugal D2 Visa?

Applicants have several costs; the most significant one is business investment. There’s no minimum threshold, but an entrepreneur must confirm to have enough money to run their company.

In addition, an applicant has to prove to have funds to live in Portugal. The necessary amount is counted due to the minimum salary in Portugal. Starting on January 1st, 2024, the national minimum wage will go from €760 to €820. For a year, the necessary amount is at least €9,840.

Renting or purchasing housing in Portugal is obligatory, too; however, there are no requirements for an apartment’s cost or square.

Government fees and health insurance are less significant in cost than the previous expense items. Also, you may need legal services to apply; the prices depend on the chosen provider.

Costs of obtaining a Portugal D2 Visa

Business investment

Not defined; depends on the business plan

Money to live in Portugal

€9,840

Housing

Not defined; the actual price depends on the chosen location


Average prices of renting a 1‑bedroom apartment for a month:
Lisbon — €750+
Porto — €600+
Funchal — €600+

Government fees

€90 — consular fee
€155.50 — fees for a residence permit card

Health insurance

€400+

Benefits of a Portugal D2 Visa

Immigration to Portugal, a developed European country with a high level of safety, is one of the key aims of foreigners applying for a D2 Visa. The country attracts expats with a mild climate, an opportunity to live by the Atlantic Ocean, and access to affordable and still high-quality healthcare and education.

Running a business in Portugal. The country is considered a reliable jurisdiction with a stable economy and banking system. According to the Doing Business 2020 report, starting a business in Portugal and trading across borders while a company is registered there is easy.

Tax optimisation. Individuals may apply for a beneficial Non-habitual Resident status in Portugal to reduce their taxes in the first ten years of residency. This status allows one not to pay taxes on income earned outside Portugal and pay a 20% tax on income earned in the country.

Businesses can also optimise their taxes in Portugal, especially if they are registered in Madeira or the Azores.

Visa-free travelling to the Schengen Area. You may stay in this zone for 90 days out of 180; time spent in Portugal doesn’t count.

Citizenship application after 5 years. Suppose an entrepreneur maintains residency for five years and speaks Portuguese at the A2 level; then, they may apply for permanent residency or citizenship. These rules are among the mildest in the EU: in comparison, you must live for 7+ years in Greece or 10+ years in Italy or Spain to apply for a passport.

Portugal D2 Visa benefits

Lisbon is the capital and the largest city of Portugal. Also, it is a major global economy centre. At the same time, it can hardly be called a megapolis because only around 500 thousand people live there

Portugal D2 Visa vs the D7, Startup and Golden Visas: what option to choose?

If your goal is to immigrate to Portugal, there are some options to consider apart from the D2 Visa. Some of them, like the D7 Visa, don’t require starting a business at all.

The D7 Visa is intended for financially independent foreigners. They prove to have funds and housing to live in Portugal to get a residence permit alongside all the rights the D2 Visa holders have.

The Startup Visa is for those who wish to open an innovative startup in Portugal. It’s one of the most affordable: applicants don’t need to invest in their businesses, and the amount of money for living to prove is about €5,200.

The Golden Visa is residence by investment in fund units, culture, science or businesses. It allows one to maintain residency without living in Portugal permanently. The minimum investment is €250,000.

Comparison of D2, D7, Startup and Golden visas to Portugal

Condition

Grounds for obtaining residency

D2 Visa

Buying a company or starting a new one

D7 Visa

Housing and enough money to live in Portugal

Startup Visa

Startup with a Portuguese business incubator

Golden Visa

Investment in the country’s economy

Condition

Financial conditions

D2 Visa

€9,840+ for living in Portugal

Rent or buy housing

Business investments

D7 Visa

€9,840+ for living in Portugal

Rent or buy housing

Startup Visa

€9,840+ for living in Portugal

Rent or buy housing

Golden Visa

Investment of €250,000+

Rent or buy housing

Condition

Time of obtaining a residence permit

D2 Visa

3+ months

D7 Visa

3+ months

Startup Visa

3+ months

Golden Visa

8-10 months

Condition

Obligation to live in Portugal

D2 Visa

1.5 consecutive years in the first 2 years 

or 16 months in total over 2 years

D7 Visa

1.5 consecutive years in the first 2 years 

or 16 months in total over 2 years

Startup Visa

1.5 consecutive years in the first 2 years 

or 16 months in total over 2 years

Golden Visa

7 days a year

Condition

Family members who can obtain residency

D2 Visa

Spouse, children, parents — by family reunification

D7 Visa

Spouse, children, parents — by family reunification

Startup Visa

Spouse, children, parents — by family reunification

Golden Visa

Spouse, children under 26, parents — with the investor

How to get Portugal citizenship or PR after the D2 Visa?

To apply for Portugal citizenship or permanent residency, one must meet the following requirements:

  • maintain residency in Portugal for five years;

  • learn Portuguese for the A2 level;

  • have no criminal records;

  • prove to have housing and funds to live in Portugal.

Portugal allows its citizens to have several passports. If your country of origin does so, too, you won’t have to renounce your previous citizenship.

Portugal D2 Visa: getting citizenship

With a Portugal passport, one can travel to 180+ countries without getting visas in advance, live in Portugal and relocate to other EU countries

Obtaining a Portugal D2 Visa: a brief checklist

  1. Buy a company in Portugal or create a detailed business plan for the future one. Represent the amount of investment you’ll make and the benefits that locals will get from your business — for example, new jobs.

  2. Gather all necessary documents, including a business plan, bank statements and others.

  3. Apply for a visa in a Portuguese consulate in your country of residence. Get the visa after about 60 days of processing.

  4. Travel to Portugal and submit a residency application to the Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum of Portugal by appointment. You must do it in four months after obtaining a Portugal D2 Visa.

  5. Get your residence permit, immigrate to Portugal and run your business. Remember that you must spend 1.5 consecutive years in the first two years of residency or 16 months in total over two years.

  6. If you have family members who also wish to immigrate, apply for residence for family reunification.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Will you obtain the Portugal D2 Visa?

Practical Guide

Will you obtain the Portugal D2 Visa?

Frequently asked questions