The Portugal D2 Visa, also known as the Portuguese Entrepreneur Visa, is a type of residence visa designed for non-European Union (EU) and non-European Economic Area (EEA) citizens who wish to establish a business or invest in an existing business in Portugal. This visa provides a pathway for entrepreneurs to live and work in Portugal, and potentially obtain permanent residence and Portuguese citizenship.
Here are the main requirements and steps for applying for a Portugal D2 Visa:
- Develop a business plan: You should have a well-prepared business plan that outlines your proposed business or investment in Portugal, along with financial projections and other relevant details.
- Register your business: You’ll need to register your business in Portugal and obtain a Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF).
- Meet the investment requirements: The minimum investment amount for the D2 Visa is not strictly defined, but you should be prepared to invest a substantial amount, generally starting from €50,000, in your business or an existing Portuguese company. The investment should have a positive impact on the Portuguese economy, create jobs, or promote innovation.
- Gather necessary documentation: You’ll need to provide various documents, including your passport, proof of financial means, proof of health insurance, a criminal record certificate, and other supporting documents related to your business or investment.
- Submit the application: You can apply for the D2 Visa at the nearest Portuguese consulate or embassy in your country of residence. The processing time for the visa can vary, but it generally takes around 60-90 days.
- Obtain a residence permit: Once your visa application is approved, you’ll receive a temporary residence visa valid for four months. After arriving in Portugal, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit (Autorização de Residência) within this period. The initial residence permit is valid for one year and can be renewed for two-year periods.
- Maintain your investment and residency: To maintain your D2 Visa, you’ll need to continue your business activity or investment in Portugal and comply with the legal requirements for residing in the country.
- Apply for permanent residency and citizenship: After five years of holding a residence permit, you can apply for permanent residency in Portugal. After six years of legal residence, you may be eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship, provided you meet certain language, cultural, and other requirements.
A business plan is a crucial component of the Portugal D2 Visa application, as it demonstrates your intentions, strategy, and potential for success in establishing or investing in a business in Portugal. A well-prepared business plan should be comprehensive and persuasive, showcasing the feasibility and potential impact of your proposed venture on the Portuguese economy.
Here are the key elements to include in your D2 Visa business plan:
- Executive Summary: Provide a brief overview of your business, including the name, location, ownership structure, and a summary of your objectives and goals.
- Business Description: Describe the nature of your business, the industry, and the specific products or services you will offer. Explain the unique selling proposition (USP) and how your business will stand out from competitors.
- Market Analysis: Conduct thorough research on the market and your target audience. Include information on market size, trends, customer needs, and competitor analysis. Demonstrate the demand for your products or services and how you plan to address it.
- Marketing and Sales Strategy: Outline your marketing approach, including pricing, promotion, and distribution strategies. Explain how you will generate leads, convert them into customers, and maintain customer relationships.
- Operations Plan: Describe your day-to-day operations, including location, facilities, equipment, suppliers, inventory, and any permits or licenses required. If applicable, mention your plans for research and development or intellectual property protection.
- Management and Organizational Structure: Present the key team members, their roles, qualifications, and relevant experience. Describe the organizational structure and any external support, such as advisors or consultants.
- Financial Projections: Provide a detailed financial forecast for at least three years, including projected income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Clearly state the amount of investment required and how it will be used. Include various scenarios to demonstrate the financial viability of your business under different market conditions.
- Investment Impact: Explain how your investment will benefit the Portuguese economy, such as job creation, innovation, or the introduction of new products or services.
- Exit Strategy (optional): While not always required, it’s a good idea to include an exit strategy that details how you plan to sell or transfer ownership of the business in the future.
- Supporting Documents: Attach any relevant documents, such as market research reports, industry certifications, or partnership agreements, to strengthen your business plan.
Remember, your business plan should be professional, well-structured, and persuasive. It’s important to demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched and planned your venture, and that your business has the potential to succeed in Portugal.
Register your business
Registering your business in Portugal is an important step when applying for a D2 Visa. By registering your business, you’ll be able to obtain a Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF) and comply with local regulations. Here’s an overview of the process to register your business in Portugal:
- Choose a business name: Before registering your business, you should decide on a unique business name. You can check the availability of your desired name through the Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial (INPI) website.
- Obtain a Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF): Both individuals and companies need a NIF for tax purposes in Portugal. If you don’t have a NIF yet, you can apply for one at a local Finanças office or through a Portuguese consulate or embassy in your country of residence. Alternatively, you can appoint a fiscal representative in Portugal to apply on your behalf.
- Choose a legal structure: Determine the appropriate legal structure for your business. Common legal structures in Portugal include sole proprietorship (Empresário em Nome Individual), private limited company (Sociedade por Quotas, or Lda.), and public limited company (Sociedade Anónima, or SA).
- Prepare the necessary documents: Depending on the chosen legal structure, you may need to prepare several documents, such as articles of association, shareholder agreements, and identification documents for company representatives.
- Register your business: You can register your business through one of the following methods:a. Empresa na Hora: This is a fast-track registration service available at certain registries across Portugal. With this service, you can register your business within an hour, provided that you choose a pre-approved company name.b. Online registration: You can register your business online through the Balcão do Empreendedor website. This process typically takes a few days to complete.
- Register for Social Security: Once your business is registered, you’ll need to register it with the Portuguese Social Security system. This can be done online or at a local Social Security office.
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain specific permits or licenses from relevant authorities. Make sure to research and apply for any required permits before starting your business operations.
Keep in mind that the process and requirements for registering a business in Portugal may vary depending on your specific situation and chosen legal structure. It’s always a good idea to consult with a local expert, such as a lawyer or accountant, to ensure that you’re complying with all relevant regulations and requirements.
The Portugal D2 Visa, or Entrepreneur Visa, does not have a strict minimum investment requirement, but it is generally expected that applicants invest a substantial amount in their business or an existing Portuguese company. The investment should have a positive impact on the Portuguese economy, create jobs, or promote innovation.
Although there is no official minimum, a common starting point for investments is around €50,000. However, the required investment amount may vary depending on the nature of the business, the industry, and the potential economic impact of the investment. In some cases, a higher investment might be necessary to demonstrate the viability and value of the proposed business.
When applying for a D2 Visa, it is important to provide evidence of your investment in the form of bank statements, investment agreements, or other relevant documents. You should also explain in your business plan how the investment will be used, the expected return on investment, and the projected impact of the investment on the Portuguese economy.
Keep in mind that the investment requirements for the D2 Visa are different from those for the Portugal Golden Visa, which has specific minimum investment amounts for real estate, capital transfer, or job creation options.
As always, it is essential to consult the latest official guidelines and requirements for the Portugal D2 Visa and seek professional advice to ensure that your application meets the necessary investment criteria.
When applying for the Portugal D2 Visa, you will need to provide a range of documents to support your application. Although the requirements may vary slightly depending on your individual circumstances and the specific consulate or embassy you are applying through, here is a list of common documents required for the D2 Visa application:
- Passport: Provide a valid passport with at least two blank pages and an expiration date of no less than three months beyond the intended stay in Portugal.
- Passport-sized photos: Submit two recent, color passport-sized photos with a white background.
- Visa application form: Complete the D2 Visa application form, which can be downloaded from the website of the Portuguese consulate or embassy in your country of residence.
- Business plan: Include a detailed business plan outlining your proposed business or investment in Portugal, as well as your objectives, market analysis, financial projections, and other relevant information.
- Proof of investment: Provide evidence of your investment in the form of bank statements, investment agreements, or other relevant documents.
- Proof of business registration: Submit proof that you have registered your business in Portugal, such as the certificate of incorporation or registration.
- Proof of financial means: Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents during your stay in Portugal. This may include bank statements, salary slips, or proof of regular income.
- Proof of health insurance: Provide proof of comprehensive health insurance coverage, which should be valid in Portugal and cover the entire duration of your stay.
- Criminal record certificate: Obtain a criminal record certificate from your country of residence, issued within the last three months. In some cases, you may need to provide certificates from other countries where you have lived for a significant period.
- Accommodation: Provide proof of accommodation in Portugal, such as a rental contract or a declaration from a Portuguese resident confirming that you have a place to stay.
- Payment of visa fee: Pay the applicable visa fee, which varies depending on the consulate or embassy where you submit your application.
Please note that all documents should be translated into Portuguese, and some may require authentication or an apostille, depending on your country of origin. Ensure that you consult the latest official guidelines and requirements for the Portugal D2 Visa before submitting your application, as these may change over time.
Submit the application
To submit your Portugal D2 Visa application, follow these steps:
- Prepare your documents: Gather all the necessary documents as mentioned in the previous answer. Make sure all documents are translated into Portuguese and appropriately authenticated or apostilled, if required.
- Find the nearest Portuguese consulate or embassy: Locate the nearest Portuguese consulate or embassy in your country of residence. You will need to submit your application in person at one of these diplomatic missions.
- Schedule an appointment: Contact the consulate or embassy to schedule an appointment for your visa application submission. Some consulates or embassies may offer an online appointment booking system.
- Attend the appointment: On the day of your appointment, bring all the required documents and the completed visa application form to the consulate or embassy. Be prepared to answer any questions about your application and proposed business or investment in Portugal.
- Pay the visa fee: Pay the applicable D2 Visa fee at the consulate or embassy. The fee may vary depending on the specific consulate or embassy and is subject to change, so confirm the amount beforehand.
- Biometric data collection: Depending on the consulate or embassy, you may be required to provide biometric data, such as fingerprints, as part of the visa application process.
- Wait for the decision: After submitting your application, the processing time for the D2 Visa can vary, but it generally takes around 60-90 days. You may be asked to provide additional information or documents during the processing period.
- Receive the visa: If your application is approved, you will receive a temporary residence visa valid for four months. You must enter Portugal within this period and apply for a residence permit (Autorização de Residência) after arrival.
Remember that the specific requirements and procedures for submitting a D2 Visa application may vary depending on the consulate or embassy and your individual circumstances. Always consult the latest official guidelines and requirements before proceeding with your application.
Obtain a residence permit
After your Portugal D2 Visa application is approved and you receive a temporary residence visa valid for four months, you must enter Portugal within this period and apply for a residence permit (Autorização de Residência). The residence permit is what allows you to live and work in Portugal legally as an entrepreneur or investor. Here are the steps to obtain a residence permit:
- Arrive in Portugal: Enter Portugal using the temporary residence visa granted as part of your D2 Visa approval.
- Schedule an appointment with SEF: Upon arrival, schedule an appointment with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) to submit your residence permit application. You can do this online at the SEF website.
- Prepare required documents: Gather the necessary documents for your residence permit application. These typically include:
- Passport with your D2 Visa
- Proof of accommodation in Portugal (e.g., rental contract or property deed)
- Proof of health insurance valid in Portugal
- Proof of financial means to support yourself and any dependents
- Criminal record certificate from your country of residence, issued within the last three months
- Proof of business registration in Portugal
- Business plan and proof of investment
- Receipt of payment for the residence permit application fee
- Attend the SEF appointment: Go to the SEF office for your appointment, bringing all the required documents with you. During the appointment, your biometric data, such as fingerprints and a photograph, will be collected.
- Pay the residence permit fee: At the appointment, you will need to pay the applicable fee for your residence permit application.
- Wait for the decision: After submitting your application, SEF will review your documents and make a decision on your residence permit. This process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the workload at the local SEF office.
- Receive your residence permit: If your application is approved, you will receive a residence permit card (Título de Residência), which is initially valid for one year. This permit allows you to live and work in Portugal as an entrepreneur or investor.
- Renew your residence permit: Your initial residence permit can be renewed for successive two-year periods. Ensure you maintain your investment, business activity, and legal residency requirements during your stay in Portugal to successfully renew your permit.
Please note that the information provided here is for general guidance only and is subject to change. Always consult the latest official guidelines and requirements for obtaining a residence permit in Portugal before proceeding with your application.
Maintain your investment and residency
Maintaining your investment and legal residency in Portugal is crucial for retaining your D2 Visa and renewing your residence permit. Here are some key aspects to consider while maintaining your investment and residency status:
- Maintain your business or investment: Ensure your business or investment in Portugal remains active and viable. Regularly review your business plan and make any necessary adjustments to adapt to changes in the market. Keep records of your business activities and financial transactions as evidence of your ongoing commitment to your investment.
- Renew your residence permit: Your initial residence permit will be valid for one year, and you’ll need to renew it for successive two-year periods. To renew, you must continue to meet the requirements for the D2 Visa, such as maintaining your business or investment and having sufficient financial means to support yourself and any dependents.
- Comply with tax and social security obligations: As a resident and business owner in Portugal, you must comply with all tax and social security obligations. This includes registering with the Portuguese Tax Authority (Autoridade Tributária) and the Social Security system (Segurança Social). Ensure you file your tax returns and make social security contributions on time.
- Maintain valid health insurance: Keep your health insurance coverage valid throughout your stay in Portugal. Your health insurance should cover you and any dependents in Portugal for the entire duration of your residence permit.
- Satisfy the minimum stay requirements: To maintain your legal residency in Portugal, you should fulfill the minimum stay requirements of 7 days in the first year and at least 14 days in each subsequent two-year period. However, it’s advisable to spend more time in Portugal to demonstrate your commitment to your investment and residency.
- Keep your personal documents up-to-date: Ensure your passport and other personal documents remain valid throughout your stay in Portugal. If any of your personal details change, such as your address, update them with the relevant authorities.
- Monitor changes in legislation: Stay informed about any changes in Portuguese immigration laws, tax regulations, or other rules that may affect your investment and residency status. Seek professional advice when necessary to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.
By maintaining your investment, complying with all legal and financial obligations, and adhering to the residency requirements, you can successfully retain your D2 Visa and residence permit in Portugal.
Permanent residency and citizenship
After holding a D2 Visa and maintaining legal residency in Portugal, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency and eventually Portuguese citizenship. Here’s an overview of the requirements and steps involved:
- Legal residency for five consecutive years: To qualify for permanent residency, you must have lived legally in Portugal for five consecutive years. This includes holding a valid residence permit and fulfilling the minimum stay requirements.
- Stable income: You must demonstrate that you have a stable income to support yourself and any dependents.
- Basic knowledge of Portuguese: You’ll need to prove your basic knowledge of the Portuguese language, typically at the A2 level or higher, by passing a language test or providing a language certificate.
- Clean criminal record: Applicants must not have a criminal record in Portugal or their country of origin.
- Apply for permanent residency: Submit an application for permanent residency with the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF), providing the necessary documents and paying the relevant fees.
- Legal residency for six years: To be eligible for Portuguese citizenship, you must have lived legally in Portugal for six years, which includes holding a valid residence permit.
- Sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language: You must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language, typically at the A2 level or higher, by passing a language test or providing a language certificate.
- Clean criminal record: Applicants must not have a criminal record in Portugal or their country of origin.
- Good standing with the community: You must be considered to be in good standing within the Portuguese community.
- Apply for Portuguese citizenship: Submit an application for citizenship with the Portuguese Registry Office (Conservatória dos Registos Centrais), providing the necessary documents and paying the relevant fees.
Note that the specific requirements and steps to obtain permanent residency and citizenship may change over time or depending on individual circumstances. Always consult the latest official guidelines and requirements, and seek professional advice to ensure you meet all the necessary criteria.