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Portugal’s Entrepreneur Visa: A Streamlined Pathway to EU Residency

Aim Global
IMI Official Partner

Portugal’s Golden Visa has historically dominated the country’s investment migration headlines. Now that the program is stable after nearly a year of complete confusion expect it to hog the spotlight again.

Throughout 2023, when no one knew what would happen to the Golden Visa, more companies started marketing other Portuguese investment migration programs, namely the HQA.

This marketing activity opened the eyes of many investors, and it is a waste to stop at the HQA when Portugal’s dynamic immigration framework has so much more to offer – especially the Entrepreneur Visa.

Portugal’s Entrepreneur Visa

Many investors may already know about the Portuguese D2 Visa, but many misconceptions exist about what it represents. 

The D2 is a broad framework encompassing various work and temporary residence visas in Portugal. Among those are the Startup and Entrepreneur visas. 

Each visa type has its specific requirements and a particular set of benefits that can make it an optimal solution for any given investor, so it is imperative to understand the intricacies of each D2 Visa type.

The Entrepreneur Visa may not have an exciting name like the HQA or the Startup Visa, but it is one of the best options Portugal offers investor migrants.

The Entrepreneur Visa has some of the most straightforward processes and requirements within Portugal’s immigration structure, and that simplicity makes it a great option.

The visa requires establishing a company in Portugal. There are no commercial activity, job creation, or capital investment restrictions. It is the government’s way of attracting more business to Portugal’s market. 

Investors only need to meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Be above 18 years of age
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Submit a detailed business plan
  • Register an address (both for the business and personal)
  • Obtain a NIF (Tax Identification Number)

There is no minimum investment requirement for the Entrepreneur Visa. The investment amount only needs to correspond to the nature of the business.

For example, a capital of €100,000 will not work for establishing a construction chemical manufacturing plant, but it is more than enough for a boutique marketing office. It just has to make sense.

Successful applicants receive a two-year residency permit, renewable for three years. The process is much quicker than the Golden Visa, typically taking five months on average.

Family members get the visa along with the principal applicant, making it an excellent option for investors who want to relocate or gain access without drawn-out waiting periods. 

Entrepreneur Visa Aligns Perfectly With New Regulatory Landscape

The Entrepreneur Visa’s simplicity and affordability make it an excellent option for investors, but sweeping law changes make it even more interesting.

The government’s recent decision to scrap its Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) tax regime hasn’t gone well with many foreign investors, but the good news is that a new version of the NHR is coming.

The government is still ironing out many details, including the NHR benefiting companies and their owners. While the government has made no official statements on this issue yet, it is a matter of internal discussion.

When this law passes, Entrepreneur Visa holders should be among the few categories of investor migrants who can benefit from the NHR regime.

Another exciting update is the new naturalization law. This rule change is considerable for Golden Visa applicants who have to wait long periods before getting their initial residency and face long times to renew it. Still, it is also a great complementary benefit to the Entrepreneur Visa.

The Entrepreneur Visa’s short processing times and automatic renewals with less scrutiny over renewal requirements mean that waiting times are not exactly a point of concern.

However, since the principal applicant’s family can join in from the beginning and initial application processing is quick, the Entrepreneur Visa provides one of the fastest routes toward Portuguese citizenship.

Physical residency requirements are also an interesting point to consider. The Entrepreneur Visa requires applicants to reside six months a year to renew their visa, but some exceptions can make the physical residency requirement much more flexible.

The Portuguese government understands that entrepreneurs, especially foreign ones who have to manage their business globally, may not be able to reside in Portugal full-time.

Entrepreneur Visa holders can justify rational lapses in residency by communicating comprehensively with the Portuguese government and highlighting their reasons for being abroad. 

It is important to note that this is not a rule but rather an exception, and managing it carefully and rationally is critical. Aim Global can help you create a long-term plan for this issue based on your global activity and business setup.

An Exciting Option 

The Entrepreneur Visa is another exciting Portuguese immigration option many may overlook due to little awareness of the program and its requirements.

However, it is an astonishingly simple and beneficial program that can be the optimal fit for many investors, especially those who want to expand their corporate foothold into the EU market.

It is a straightforward program and does not require any hassle. Portugal’s 39th ranking worldwide on the Doing Business Report highlights how easy it is to set up and manage a company in the country, and that simplicity translates into the elegance of the Entrepreneur Visa.

To know more about the Entrepreneur Visa and investment migration in Portugal, contact Aim Global today via our website.