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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.

Portugal Startup Visa

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:

  • buy a Portuguese company or a share in it;
  • already have a company abroad and a plan to open its branch in Portugal;
  • submit a comprehensive business plan for a new company in Portugal.

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.

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 SEF to check criminal records in Portugal.
  7. Health insurance.
  8. Two colour photographs, 3x5 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.

Step 1. Gather all necessary documents
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.

Gather all necessary documents
Step 2. Apply for a D2 Visa
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.

Apply for a D2 Visa
Step 3. Wait for approval and get the visa
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.

Wait for approval and get the visa
Step 4. Obtain a Portugal residence permit
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 Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) by appointment. Then wait for the approval and receive the residence permit card.

Obtain a Portugal residence permit

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, which is €760 per month. For a year, the necessary amount is at least €9,120.

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 investmentNot defined; depends on the business plan
Money to live in Portugal€9,120
HousingNot 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 benefits

Vineyards in Douro Valley. Portugal is famous for its wines, and winemaking is one of the popular sectors to invest in

Portugal D2 Visa benefits

Cabo da Roca, a cape in Portugal and the westernmost point of Europe, is a popular tourist destination. About 6 million foreigners visited the country from January to August 2022

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 properties, securities, deposits or businesses. It allows one to maintain residency without living in Portugal permanently.

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

ConditionD2 VisaD7 VisaStartup VisaGolden Visa
Grounds for obtaining residencyBuying a company in Portugal or starting a new oneHaving rented or owned housing and enough money to live in PortugalOpening an innovative startup in collaboration with a Portuguese business incubatorInvestment in the country’s economy; seven options are available, including business investment
Financial conditions€9,120+ for living in Portugal

To rent or buy housing

Investment in a business
€9,120+ for living in Portugal

To rent or buy housing
€5,147+ for living in Portugal

To rent or buy housing
Investment of €250,000+

To rent or buy housing and confirm sufficient funds to live in Portugal
Time of obtaining a residence permit3+ months3+ months3+ months8-10 months
Obligation to live in Portugal6+ months in a row or 8+ months a year6+ months in a row or 8+ months a year6+ months in a row or 8+ months a year7 days a year
Family members who can obtain residencyA spouse, children, and parents get resident permits for family reunificationA spouse, children, and parents get resident permits for family reunificationA spouse, children, and parents get resident permits for family reunificationA spouse, children up to 26 and parents are included in the initial application

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 SEF 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 at least six months a year in the country to retain residency.
  6. If you have family members who also wish to immigrate, apply for residence for family reunification.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Portugal D2 Visa?

A Portugal residency visa for entrepreneurs is called a D2 Visa. It is intended for foreigners who open a new company or buy an existing one in the country.

How much money do you need to get a Portugal D2 Visa?

You must have money to develop your company according to the business plan. The minimum investment threshold is not defined.

Also, applicants must confirm they have rented or owned housing and money to live in Portugal for a year, pay government fees and buy health insurance. To fulfil these conditions, one will need at least €16,000.

How to apply for a Portugal D2 Visa?

One needs to gather all documents, schedule an appointment in a Portuguese consulate in the country of residence and apply for a visa. The processing time is up to 60 days, and the visa is pasted into the applicant’s passport after approval.

What is a Portugal D2 Visa validity period?

It is valid for four months. During this time, one must enter Portugal and apply for a 2-year residence permit.

Why get a D2 Visa and immigrate to Portugal?

Portugal is a safe country with a stable economy. Other reasons to move there are the opportunity to live by the ocean and easy access to affordable but still quality healthcare and education.

Can I work in Portugal with a D2 Visa?

You can live, run a business and work in Portugal after getting a residence permit based on the D2 Visa.

How to get a permanent residence permit or citizenship in Portugal?

One must maintain residency in Portugal for five years and learn Portuguese to apply for citizenship or PR. Also, it is necessary to have money and housing to live in Portugal and have no criminal records.

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