Startup Visa in Portugal

How to obtain the Portugal StartUP Visa

  • StartUP Visa Portugal
    December 9, 2019

    The Portugal StartUP Visa is a residence visa for non-EU-Schenghen entrepreneurs with a good idea who want to develop their idea further and settle in Portugal to do so.

    The project has to be innovative and disruptive. Applicants face strict and rigorous selection criteria before they get an authorisation for residency permit in Portugal.

    IAPMEI is the responsible organism for executing this StartUP Visa program. The program also involves the National Network of Incubators throughout the whole territory. That ensures that your business will be set up next to a community of entrepreneurs already hacking in the ecosystem and acquainted with all the idiosyncrasies of the Portuguese and European markets. The entrepreneurs, for their part, have to submit their applications on IAPMEI’s online platform.

    “The success of this programme since we started in 2018 has been astounding. We already have on-the-ground in Portugal over 90 entrepreneurs who came to Portugal in order to develop their ideas and launch a startup”, said Helena Moura of IAPMEI.

    You can apply for a SturtUp Visa if you are an entrepreneur over 18 years of age. The visa is also aimed at companies based elsewhere wanting to relocate to Portugal or open an office in Portugal. Indeed, foreign investors wishing to incorporate a company in Portugal can now do it in just 30 minutes.

    Helena Moura says that Portugal is well above the EU average in terms of entrepreneurship. It shows how strong and skilled the entrepreneurial ecosystem is in Portugal.

    IAPMEI has a list of incubator partners up and down the country, particularly in the centre and north of Portugal. The applicant must invite one or more of the incubators from the list to support the project. You can proceed to this invitation on the StartUP Visa platform.


    The requirements

    Environment and technology projects are welcome. However, above all start-ups which have the potential to expand abroad, do business overseas and export ideas, services and goods abroad.

    If the decision is favourable, the entrepreneur gets approval. Then, follows a 40-day period to draw up the contract with the incubator. Once the incubator and entrepreneur have signed the contract, IAPMEI issues the StartUP Visa.

    Each project can have between one and five entrepreneurs. Each one will receive a statement of acceptance onto the programme and get their visas. The nexst step is to take the declaration or statement to the Portuguese consulate in the entrepreneur’s(s) country of origin where the visa will be issued.


    • Your startup shows potential to the creation of jobs, besides the entrepreneurs you include initially, along with yourself, in your application;
    • Your startup shows the potential to generate a turnover of 325,000€/ year and/or assets value over 325,000€/ year, within 5 years after the start of the contract with your chosen incubator;
    • You have the capacity to establish a company, when applicable, during the undergoing of the program;


    Arrival procedures

    The visa holders register at the border and immigrations service SEF in Portugal to obtain their Authorisation for Residency permit.

    As for funding, IAPMEI works with special funds, the Ministry of the Economy, has links to venture capital organisations and business angels, international programmes like Portugal 2020. There is funding for startups and support in finding those entities that provide funding.