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Visa programmes

StartUP Visa

The StartUP Visa Programme welcomes foreign entrepreneurs – with permanent residence outside the EU Schengen Area – who wish to develop projects capable of creating "startup" type companies, with new ideas and business models. It can apply to:
  • Entrepreneurs who wish to develop their entrepreneurial and/or innovative project in Portugal, even if they haven’t set up a company;
  • Entrepreneurs who already have business projects in their countries of origin and wish to pursue their activity in Portugal.

Once accepted into the Programme, entrepreneurs will benefit from:
  • Quick access to the necessary residency visas or permits to move to Portugal;
  • Integration into a Portuguese startup incubator;
  • All of the StartUP Portugal Programme incentives and support.

The Programme is built on a prior certification process of several incubators, so that they can fully welcome and support foreign entrepreneurs in the creation and installation of technology-based companies.


Entrepreneurs who wish to access the StartUP Visa Programme and obtain a visa or residence permit must demonstrate the following criteria:
  • That they intend to develop activities for the production of innovative goods and services, with a view towards internationalization;
  • That their projects and/or companies focus on technology and knowledge;
  • That they have potential for the creation of qualified employment;
  • That they have the capacity to constitute a company during the duration of the Programme (when applicable);
  • That they have the potential to reach, within 5 years after the incubation contract is in force, a turnover greater than 325 thousand € per year and/or an asset value greater than 325 thousand € per year.

For more specific requirements, please read the relevant Legislation.

How to obtain

Entrepreneurs can apply online through the StartUP Visa platform. Applications go through a two-stage approval process.

In order to get to the last approval stage, entrepreneurs must first select and apply for a certified incubator to physically host their startup and be accepted by it.

Currently, there are 6 certified incubators entrepreneurs can choose from in Porto:

In the second approval stage, entrepreneurs and their respective business projects will be assessed by the Portuguese Public Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (IAPMEI), which will decide whether to accept them into the StartUP Visa program.

Learn more

To learn more about StartUP Visa benefits, requirements and its application process please visit IAPMEI’s website.

You can also access and read the Program’s relevant legislation: