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The Startup Visa initiative is a program to welcome foreign entrepreneurs who wish to develop an entrepreneurship and / or innovation project in Portugal, with the ambition of granting residence visas or residence permits for entrepreneurial immigrants. The “Incubator” is the entity that welcomes and supports those entrepreneurial immigrants and is responsible for assisting the development of new business during the start-up period.

International entrepreneurs are able to apply through an online platform and the incubators will receive the projects that are considered relevant in their evaluation and criteria. The procedure will be supervised by the IAPMEI – Institute to Support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises.

The entrepreneur should start the process by filling out the identification and description of the project and upload the following documents (for each entrepreneur):

  • Letter of motivation with demonstration of interest in developing an entrepreneurial and/or innovative project in Portugal;
    • Copy of the passport;
    • Official declaration of the country of origin that certifies the settlement of tax and social security debt, when applicable.
    • Statement from the bank that proves the existence of own financial means of subsistence corresponding to € 5,146.80,80, and that the possibility of transferring these funds to a bank operating in Portugal;
    • Curriculum vitae. The entrepreneur can also attach a project presentation file that can help the incubator do the evaluation.

To advance to the second step, the entrepreneur must obtain a positive feedback from at least one incubator.

International entrepreneurs wishing to access the Portugal Startup Visa and obtain a residence and work visa must accomplish the following criteria:

  • Intend to develop business activities to produce innovative goods and services;
  • Open or relocate companies and/or projects focused on technology and knowledge, with a perspective of developing innovative products;
  • Have the potential to create qualified employment;
  • Have the potential to attain, three years after the incubation period, a €325,000, or a turnover of more than €500,000 per year.

The evaluation of the economic and innovative potential is made based on the degree of innovation, the scalability of the business, the market potential, the capacity of the management team, the potential for creating qualified employment in Portugal, and the relevance of the applicant in the team.

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