It is no secret that in recent years, many entrepreneurs worldwide have chosen Portugal as the country to immigrate to and start their businesses. Why? Perhaps the reason is a highly favorable climate, a high level of safety, and a comfortable environment, both for living and building their business in the new country. In addition, the Portuguese government is very clear about its position on attracting entrepreneurs, which is that any foreign entrepreneur can quite easily be legalized in the country if he can prove that he will make investments and develop the local economy. This is why there are several programs in Portugal under which international entrepreneurs can move to the country to live and work here. Therefore, if you want to invest in the development of the Portuguese economy, just know that you are always welcome here!
Options for entrepreneurs to immigrate to Portugal
- Obtaining a "golden visa"
One of the options for entrepreneurs to immigrate to Portugal is to obtain a "golden visa". You can read about it in detail in our article on the "golden visa" program in Portugal. However, the main disadvantage of this program is a relatively large amount of investment, so if you do not have large sums and are a small or medium-sized entrepreneur, then this option, unfortunately, will be irrelevant for you.
- Obtaining a startup visa
Another option for entrepreneurs could be getting a startup visa, which we noted in great detail in one of our previous articles. This option is suitable for startups, but you will need to work closely with a Portuguese incubator to decide whether to grant you a startup visa. If you do not wish to work for a Portuguese incubator, or if you are an existing company that does not fit into the startup framework, then this startup visa option is also not likely to work for you.
- Obtaining a D2 business visa
If neither of the two options above suits you, then the best option would be to get a D2 visa, or as it is also called the entrepreneur's visa. We will tell you more about this visa in today's article.
What is a D2 business visa in Portugal?
The D2 resident visa in Portugal is a visa for entrepreneurs who prepare to invest in the Portuguese economy by managing a company on the territory of Portugal. In fact, this visa gives access to obtaining a residence permit on the territory of Portugal to carry out entrepreneurial activities.
In this case, obtaining a D2 visa can take place in one of the following scenarios:
- You may already be the owner of a company in Portugal (for example, if you bought a stake in an existing company or bought it outright);
- You can only intend to open a business in Portugal with a detailed business plan that can prove the feasibility of your idea and show how the company can operate in the Portuguese market;
- You may own a company in another country and intend to open a branch of an existing company in Portugal. In this case, you will have to provide very detailed financial statements of the company existing in another country and justify the feasibility of opening a branch in Portugal.
The perfect option out of these three would be the first one, i.e., when you already have an operating company available in Portugal with accounts, profits, financial history, etc. The third option, when you open a branch office in Portugal for an existing foreign company, it is also not bad, because you will also be able to present actual papers on accounting and financial results.
The most challenging path awaits you in the second option when there is no company yet, but only plans of creation. In this case, everything will depend exclusively on how prepared your business plan is. Furthermore, if you have not yet made a real investment in the Portuguese economy, you will need to show the availability of funds to start your business. This money must be in Portuguese territory, which can be confirmed by a certificate from a Portuguese bank.
Remember that the primary evaluation criterion will be how well your business will function for the benefit of the Portuguese economy. So, first of all, you need to pay attention to the planned financial performance and the Portuguese market's development in your chosen field.
How to simplify obtaining a D2 visa in Portugal?
Everyone knows that obtaining a resident visa at the Portuguese consulate of your country of residence can be denied. Unfortunately, this is a reality and is often encountered by people who try to obtain different types of residency visas from consulates.
To reduce the probability of rejection, we recommend using the following tips when applying for a D2 residence visa for entrepreneurs.
Tip 1. Consider buying a ready-made business
After all, if you buy a ready-made business under the "Trespasse" model (which means purchasing a company with all its tangible and intangible assets), you will have powerful evidence of your intentions regarding the construction of a business in Portugal. And the immigration services, in deciding on your visa, will see not just a theoretical business plan but the real business you bought.
Tip 2. Consider purchasing a franchise
Starting at 10,000 euros, you can buy the rights to open a franchise business. You may want to open a pizzeria, a supermarket, a gym, or something else. It will always be easier to do it with an already established brand based on an existing business model. As with the first tip, this option will give you more assurance of getting the coveted D2 visa.
If you want to know what franchises are available on the Portuguese market, we recommend visiting one of the following websites, where you can choose the business model that suits you:
It is possible if you do not want to use these options and just intend to start a company from scratch in Portugal. However, pay more attention to preparing a business plan so that no one doubts the feasibility and profitability of your future business.
Documents for obtaining a business visa D2 in Portugal
We have written above about the conditions for obtaining a D2 visa in Portugal. Also, you can always find these conditions on the official website of the SEF. Remember that you will need to show your investment in the Portuguese economy (no minimum amount requirements) or show the availability of funds in a bank account intended to open a business in Portuguese territory. In addition, be prepared to provide various documents (the list will always depend on the specific situation, so we recommend checking directly with the Portuguese consulate of the country where you live).
Most often, at the consulate of your country, you will be asked to provide the following documents:
- Visa application form
- 2 3x4 color pictures
- Passport and its photocopy
- Proof that you have the minimum financial means necessary to live in Portugal (for example, bank statements, etc.)
- Confirmation of your residence in Portugal (this can be a house owned, a rental agreement, etc.)
- Certificate of criminal record absence with apostille
- Permission to check your criminal status (criminal record) in Portugal
- Health insurance
You will also need to provide documents about your company. These most often include:
- The most detailed business plan, in which it is essential to mention the nature of the investment, its size, and duration, as well as its economic and social importance for Portugal;
- Company founding documents, agreements, invoices, financial statements, etc. (if the company is already open and functioning);
- Company registration documents and a bank statement on the company's account balance in Portugal (if the company is already open and functioning);
- If the company is not yet open and no investments have been made, it is necessary to provide proof that you have sufficient financial resources in Portugal to start a business (a certificate from a Portuguese bank can serve as proof of availability of these funds);
- If you have already invested in the country's economy to start a business, you will need to document this.
Documents required for obtaining a D2 visa are always better to clarify directly at your country's consulate. However, you can always find a general list on this official portal or the Eportugal website.
The process of obtaining a D2 visa
The process of obtaining a D2 visa for entrepreneurs is quite simple, and schematically it can be represented as follows.
Step 1: Collecting all the necessary papers for a D2 resident visa
Step 2: Personal submission of these papers at the consulate of your country
Step 3: The review of your documents usually takes about 60 days, after that, if the decision is positive, you become the owner of the coveted visa D2
Step 4: After arrival in Portugal with a D2 visa, you can obtain a residence permit on this basis at the SEF office, and after 5 years you can apply for citizenship
However, it is essential to note that the first step in this list may require your presence in Portugal. For example, to register a company, you need to visit specific organizations to choose a place for your business or buy a ready-made company. Anyway, this will depend on your particular situation, whether you are preparing a list of documents on your own or accompanied by an immigration agency. Just keep in mind that your presence in Portugal may be necessary during the preparation of the list of documents for the application for a residence visa.
D2 visa - one of the tools for the immigration of entrepreneurs in Portugal
If you want to start a business in Portugal and thereby help develop the country's economy, you should know that the Portuguese government is ready to provide you with several immigration options. Whether you choose the "golden visa" program, whether you want to create a startup on a startup visa, or go for a D2 residency visa, your choice will ultimately depend on the size of your investment and your business development strategy. If you are willing to live in Portugal for most of the year and the size of your investment is medium to small, a D2 entrepreneurial visa will be an excellent option for you. We hope that this article will be a great help for you in obtaining this type of visa and for better planning your immigration to Portugal.