Applications for the Portugal StartUp Visa officially open March 15 to attract international talent and foreign entrepreneurs.

With the applications to the Portugal StartUp Visa just under a week away, there have already been at least 46 early requests, mostly from Brazil, showing interest in the visa program.

The applications will come online on March 15.

StartUP Visa is a residence visa for entrepreneurs, which aims to attract investment, talent, and innovation to Portugal.

This is one of the most innovative entrepreneurship programs across Europe that is attracting international talent.

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.

The program takes place in two stages: an initial process of certification of incubators that can host and support foreign entrepreneurs in the creation and installation of technology-based companies, and then the granting of residence permits to these entrepreneurs.

The purpose of incubator certification is to ensure that these incubators are able to host citizens from non-EU Member States (as defined in Administrative Rule 344/2017), with IAPMEI being responsible for the analysis, selection and certification of applications and and by monitoring the implementation of the program.

The phase for submission of applications for certification of incubators ended on February 28, and the process of analysis is currently underway.

The first phase of the Portugal StartUp Visa will be completed in the next few days, with the certification of 71 incubators, and with about 20 being located inland and one in Madeira.

Seventy-one applications were received, most of which were in Lisbon, Porto, Leiria and Aveiro. The list of incubators certified under the Portugal StartUP Visa program will be published on March 15.

By investing and creating qualified employment, entrepreneurs can integrate a startup incubator in Portugal and benefit from all the incentives and support of the StartUP Portugal program.

In 2016 the Ministry of Economy launched a National Strategy for Entrepreneurship, called StartUp Portugal, whose vision is to widen the country and all sectors of activity of the entrepreneurial dynamic underlying the realization that Portugal has today one of the most vibrant ecosystems of entrepreneurship, resulting from the investments made over the last decade in qualifying human resources, infrastructure and technology, which provide enormous opportunities for those who intend to launch or invest in new businesses.

The objectives pursued by StartUp Portugal include:

  • Creating an entrepreneurship ecosystem at the national level;
  • Attracting domestic and foreign investors to invest in start ups;
  • Co-financing startups, especially at the idea stage;
  • Promoting and accelerating the growth of startups in foreign markets;
  • Implementing government measures to support entrepreneurship.

The Portugal StartUp Visa program aims to strengthen the innovation ecosystem and to affirm Portugal as an open country to entrepreneurship and to all those who, with their knowledge and capacity for innovation, can bring investment to the portuguese economy, capable of strengthen and enhance national skilled human resources.

If you are a startup looking for more information you may check out and submit the questionnaire at Sign up for Portugal.

On January 9, 2017, during the India – Portugal Summit, the Portuguese government announced in India the “Startup Visa” program.

Read More: Startup Visa: The Gateway to Indian startups in Portugal

It was billed as a visa facilitation program for Indian entrepreneurs, aimed at Indian entrepreneurs who want to launch their startups in Portugal.

This “Startup Visa” program, was designed to facilitate access to Portugal and granting residence and work permits for these specific categories of visa applicants. In addition, during this event a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Startup Portugal (the national strategy for entrepreneurship) and Invest India.