Portugal: Startup Visa

StartUP Visa is a residence visa for non-EU-Schengen startup founders
who want to be part of one of the fastest developing startup communities in Europe.


The program is executed by IAPMEI and involves the National Network of Incubators throughout the whole territory which ensures that businesses 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.


If you an entrepreneur who intends to develop a startup in Portugal, even though the business was not started yet, you have already launched a startup in your country but want to set it up in Portugal, and you are from outside the European Economic Area & Switzerland, then you are eligible to apply for the Portugal Startup Visa.

You can apply if:

  • You are an entrepreneur who intends to develop your startup in Portugal, even though you might not have started your business yet
  • You are an entrepreneur who has already launched a startup in your country and you want to set it up in Portugal
  • You did not have a regular residence in the Schengen area in the recent past
  • You do not have criminal records
  • You are not under 18 years old
  • You have enough funds in your bank account in a total amount of 5146.08€ for 12 months (per person)

Entrepreneurs need to provide a proof that:

  • the project/startup is focused on tech
  • the startup shows the potential of creating jobs
  • the 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
  • they have the capacity to establish a company, when applicable, during the undergoing of the program

The last step is selecting one of the certified incubators to physically incubate your startup within the Startup Visa program, and then your application is complete.

When to apply:

Applications are accepted anytime during the year.

Documents to be prepared:

When you apply, the following documents should be provided:

  • A motivation letter demonstrating your interest in developing an entrepreneurial and/or innovative project in Portugal
  • Documents necessary for the eligibility process
  • Identification and slide deck of the entrepreneurial project

The Process:

  1. Access the Startup Visa online platform.
  2. Submit your application is submitted in Portuguese or in English language, through an online form, available in the online platform of the program.
  3. The incubator of your preference will get a notice of your application and revises it.
  4. In case your application is accepted, you will get approved by the incubator and get a notification on the portal informing you about it.

Application Assessment:

The evaluation of applications is based on:

  • the degree of innovation
  • the scalability of the business
  • the market potential
  • the capacity of the management team
  • the potential for creating jobs

For more detailed information about the Startup Visa, check the IAPMEI website here.

Source: Startup Portugal
Last updated: 07/2020

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