Applications for the Portugal Tech Visa are now open on the IAPMEI website.

The Portugal Tech Visa aims to ensure that highly qualified talent, especially from the technological area foreign to the European Union, can access jobs created by Portuguese companies in a simplified way.

The applications start as of January 2 and the analysis are done within 20 days.

The program, which is enrolled in the National Strategy for Entrepreneurship StartUP Portugal, is aimed at technological and innovative companies, inserted in the global market, that wish to attract qualified and specialized staff from foreign countries to Portugal.

Read More: Portugal StartUp Visa: How to Apply

The companies in the area of ​​technology and innovation that wish to be included in the list of companies certified to receive foreign citizens through the program will have to apply, as of January 2, 2019, to the Tech Visa program.

Read More: Portugal Tech Visa kicks-off January 1, 2019

IAPMEI will be responsible for the certification of the candidate companies, involving several entities, such as the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and the Directorate General of Consular Affairs, in the process of granting residence visas for professionals hired by certified companies.

The evaluation will be based on the potential, degree of technological innovation and orientation for the internationalization of the companies, which can not have more than 50% of employees contracted simultaneously under Tech Visa. In the cases of companies that mainly develop their activity in the interior territories, this limit is 80%.

Applicants under Tech Visa will be evaluated and selected on the basis of several criteria, including:

  • being legally constituted
  • not having Social Security and Treasury debts
  • not being considered companies in restructuring

Applicants must “have a positive net position, as evidenced by the latest available Simplified Business Information (IES),” as well as “develop an activity to produce internationable goods and services.”

In addition, applicants must “prove the technological and innovative basis by meeting at least two of the following requirements”:

  • a ‘startup’ established for at least two years with activity in high or medium-high technology sectors, or of strong knowledge intensity
  • have an average annual growth in turnover of more than 20% in the last three years
  • have more than 15% highly skilled workers
  • have raised venture capital through venture capital or business angels in the last three years
  • have investment projects approved in Portugal 2020 or in the program to be created under the EU financial framework until 2027 in the areas of productive innovation, qualified entrepreneurship and creative or R & D Enterprises.

After this process, certified companies must ensure that highly qualified workers meet a set of requirements, including third-country nationals and not permanently residing in the European Union; have the regularized taxpayer status in terms of Social Security and Tax, have no criminal record and “no less than 18 years old.”

Employees qualified under Tech Visa must carry out highly qualified activities, complying with the requirements set forth in the ordinance, and “have a minimum annual salary equivalent to 2.5 times the index of social support,” as well as “having a command of the Portuguese language or appropriate to the duties to be performed.”

Companies that wish to be included in the list of companies certified to receive foreign citizens through the program must apply under the terms of the notice to be published by IAPMEI, “which will define the application periods and the specific requirements to observe.”

The certification of the company is valid for two years, renewable for equal periods.

Portugal Tech Visa Background

Tech Visa is a certification program for companies in the areas of technology and innovation for hiring foreigners to the European Union to grant visas by the Consulates and authorization of residence by the SEF, provided for in the Aliens Act.

This program, whose signature was announced by Prime Minister António Costa at the Venture Summit, is combined with the Startup Visa, whose Ordinance was signed at the Web Summit of 2017, both of which are provided for in the StartUp Portugal National Strategy for Entrepreneurship.

Companies in the area of ​​technology and innovation that wish to hire highly qualified staff from countries outside the European Union will have to apply for the Tech Visa Program, being evaluated and selected based on criteria defined by the signed Directive.

To participate in this Program, companies assume a set of obligations and workers wishing to hire will have to meet eligibility requirements defined in the law.

These workers are issued a term of responsibility that will be one of the necessary documents in the process of issuing visas and granting of residence permits, which is thereby expedited.

IAPMEI is responsible for the company certification process, which also involves consular services (who grant visas) and the Aliens and Borders Service (which grants residence permits).

It is planned to set up a Group to monitor the implementation of the Ordinance, with representatives of the Foreign Affairs, Internal Administration and Economics.

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