Last reviewed on March 29, 2024

Portugal Startup Visa

A startup visa to run a business, travel visa-free to the Schengen Area and apply for citizenship after five years


The money in the bank account

3—4 months

Obtaining period

183+ days a year

Living in the country

Portugal Startup Visa is intended for entrepreneurs launching innovative projects in the country. The rules for obtaining this visa are fixed in Articles 60 and 81 of REPSAE, Portugal Immigration Act.

To get a visa, one should submit an application to the IAPMEI, an agency which funds programmes for entrepreneurs; then, present an innovative business project and open a startup in collaboration with a Portuguese business incubator. Up to five partners may be included in the application; the main applicant must be a non-EU citizen or resident.

A Startup Visa leads to getting a Portugal residence permit. The first card is issued for two years and can be renewed for three years. Relatives may obtain residency for family reunification.

Benefits of the Portugal Startup Visa

  • 1

    Portugal residency with relatively low costs

    To get a Startup Visa, one must confirm having at least €5,146, which is the minimum amount for a year of residence in Portugal. The program doesn’t require any investment with a fixed sum. In comparison, to get a Portugal Golden Visa, one should invest at least €250,000.

  • 2

    Moving to Portugal

    A Startup Visa allows its holders to live in Portugal, a secure country with a mild climate, picturesque landscapes, and a high standard of living. To retain residency, one must spend 6+ months in a row or 8+ months in total annually in Portugal.

  • 3

    Visa-free travel to the Schengen Area

    Cosmopolitans with Portugal residence permits may spend 90 days out of 180 in other Schengen states without visas.

  • 4

    Starting a business in Portugal

    To get a Portugal Startup Visa, you should open a startup in collaboration with a leading Portuguese business incubator. The incubator can make work in a new country more convenient, for example, help with the documents or provide an office under beneficial terms.

  • 5

    Tax optimisation

    When an entrepreneur has lived in Portugal for 183 days a year, they become a tax resident and may get a 10-year beneficial tax status, Non-habitual Resident. It allows one not to pay taxes on the income earned abroad if it’s taxed in another country with a double tax agreement concluded with Portugal.

  • 6

    Applying for citizenship after 5 years

    You may apply for Portugal citizenship after five years of residence there. Doing business there may increase your chances of approval.

    A Portugal passport allows one to travel to 187 countries and move to another EU state. Portugal recognises dual citizenship, so applicants must not renounce other countries’ citizenships.


Get maximum information about the process

  • Step-by-step procedure

  • Requirements for applicants

  • Required documents

  • Answers for frequently asked questions

Portugal Startup Visa requirements for applicants

  • Entrepreneur

    • Over 18 years old

    • No criminal record

    • No permanent residency or citizenship in the EU

    • With enough money to live in Portugal for a year; the required amount is €5,146 per person

    • Health insurance

    • Up to 5 business partners in the application

  • Spouse

    • No criminal record

    • In officially registered marriage with the investor or civil partnership recognised by the state

  • Children under 18

  • Children over 18

    • Not married

    • Financially dependent on the main applicant

    • Study in Portugal

  • Parents

    • Financially dependent on the main applicant

Portugal Startup Visa costs for an applicant

The primary condition for getting a Startup Visa is to open a company in Portugal in collaboration with a business incubator.

Opening a company. There’s no obligatory investment threshold. An entrepreneur spends money on the creation of the project, transferring their business to Portugal or opening a new one.

Residing in Portugal. You need to confirm that you have money for a year of living there; it is about €5,200 per applicant. Also, an entrepreneur has to rent or buy housing in Portugal to get a registration address.

Government fees are €90 per person for the visa and €85.05 for a residence permit.

Additional costs include health insurance, which usually costs €400 or more. Also, the investor covers legal services and their trip to Portugal to visit the immigration service.

Which company may be suitable for a Startup Visa

To get a Startup Visa, one should form a new company or transfer their existing business to Portugal. Cooperation with a Portuguese business incubator is obligatory.

There are some requirements for projects:

  1. The project may be at the stage of idea, but it must have a detailed business plan, presentation and financial aims.

  2. The company must be focused on innovation and technology.

  3. The company should focus on entering international markets.

  4. There must be a perspective for creating jobs for highly qualified professionals.

  5. The company must have the potential to reach €325,000+ of annual turnover or assets value after five years.

The business plan is evaluated by an incubator and the IAPMEI. If the startup idea is approved for the program, its founders may apply for a visa.

Individual  cost calculation  for the Portugal Startup Visa

Individual cost calculation for the Portugal Startup Visa

Get an individual calculation for your family with all associated costs and government fees

Differences between the Startup and the Golden visas

Investors can obtain a Portugal Golden Visa by purchasing real estate, securities or other assets. The program’s requirements differ from those for the Startup Visa. For example, the investment amount for the most popular options of the Golden visa is €500,000; the investors must not open a business, and they can include their family members in the initial applications.


Startup Visa

Golden Visa

Investment amount

Not defined


Obtaining period

3–4 months

8–10 months

Residence requirements

6+ months a year

7 days a year

Family composition

A spouse, children, and parents. Children over 18 can get residency only if they study in Portugal.

A spouse, children under 26, and parents.

Investment retention period

5+ years

5+ years

The government fee for a residence permit card

€85 per person

€5,340 per person

Step-by-step procedure for obtaining a Portugal Startup Visa

It takes about two months to obtain a Startup Visa. Then the entrepreneur can visit Portugal and get a residence permit.


Preliminary Due Diligence

A certified Anti Money Laundering Officer conducts preliminary Due Diligence before an entrepreneur signs a contract with Immigrant Invest. This check allows us to foresee possible difficulties and raise the investor’s chances of getting a Portugal Startup Visa.


Gathering the documents

Applicants prepare their business plans, motivation letters and CVs. Also, they get certificates of no criminal record and bank statements that confirm they have funds to live in Portugal.

Immigrant Invest lawyers help an applicant get tax and social security numbers in Portugal and gather the package of documents necessary for the application.


Applying to IAPMEI

The application to the IAPMEi is submitted online, along with the project’s description and documents.


Finding a business incubator

To get a visa, an entrepreneur must find an incubator ready to develop their project. To do so, the applicants must turn to several incubators and pass interviews. 

When the incubator approves the project, Immigrant Invest lawyers finish filling out the form at the IAPMEI website. The application will move to the last level and will be awaiting approval.


Consideration of the application

The agency considers the application for 30 days. The entrepreneur can track the progress in their account on the IAPMEI website.


Getting the visa

The agency sends a declaration of participation in the Startup Visa program to the applicant. It is valid for six months; in this time, one must apply for a visa at the Portugal consulate in the country of residence and then visit the office of the immigration service (SEF) on the date of appointment.

Also, an applicant may visit Portugal with a Schengen visa and submit documents immediately to SEF.


Applying for a residence permit

The lawyers book an appointment in SEF, a Portugal immigration service, for the investor to visit it and submit the documents.


Getting a residence permit card

When the application is approved, SEF issues a residence card and sends it to the investor’s address in Portugal.

The first residency card is valid for two years and can be renewed for three years. After five years, the investor may apply for permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal.

Residence permit and Immigrant Invest stay with you

New demands may arise after obtaining a Startup Visa or a residence permit. For example, you might seek a beneficial tax status, wish to buy a property or apply for citizenship. Let’s talk about how we can help.

  • Renewing your residency permit

    We help investors to renew their residence permits after two years and then every three years.

  • Obtaining permanent residence or citizenship

    We prepare documents and help to apply.

  • Getting a beneficial tax status

    We help obtain a Non-Habitual Resident status after the investor becomes a Portuguese tax resident.

  • Replacing a lost residence permit card

    We prepare an application and help to receive a new residence permit card.

  • Selecting real estate

    We help choose a finished apartment or buy an off-plan property and follow up on the deal.

Schedule a meeting

Let's discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Elena Kozyreva
Elena Kozyreva

Managing Director for Real Estate projects

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Frequently asked questions

  • What is a Portugal Startup Visa?

    A Portugal Startup Visa is intended for entrepreneurs who wish to run an innovative business in Portugal.

  • Who is eligible for a Portugal Startup Visa?

    Entrepreneurs who have a detailed idea of an innovative startup may get a Startup Visa. The applicant should be over 18, with no criminal record, and no citizenship or permanent residency in the EU. Up to five business partners may be included in the application.

    A spouse, children and parents also may get Portugal visas.

  • How much to invest in getting a Portugal Startup Visa?

    The investment amount is not defined. Entrepreneurs spend money on developing the business idea, opening a new company or transferring an existing one to Portugal.

  • Do I need a developed business idea to apply for a Startup Visa?

  • Which documents do I need to apply for a Startup Visa?

    To apply for a Startup Visa, an entrepreneur needs the following documents:

    1. A passport

    2. A visa application.

    3. Two new photos of a passport format.

    4. Health insurance.

    5. A Schengen visa or another document that gives you the right to enter Portugal.

    6. Certificates of no criminal record in the countries where the applicant has lived for more than a year.

    7. Documents confirming rent or purchase of housing in Portugal.

    8. CV.

    9. Confirmation of having money for living in Portugal, for example, a bank account statement.

    10. A declaration from IAPMEI on concluding a contract with a business incubator.

  • What are the benefits of a Portugal Startup Visa?

    A Portugal Startup Visa allows its holders:

    • to move to Portugal;

    • travel visa-free to the Schengen states;

    • run a business in Europe;

    • optimise taxes; and

    • apply for citizenship after five years of residence.

Schedule a meeting

Let's discuss the details

We will develop an individual solution, select a country and status that will solve your problems, and accompany the entire process.

Zlata Erlach
Zlata Erlach

Head of the Austrian office

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