Portugal has established itself worldwide as a true “tech hub destination”, with the most varied attributes that allow the establishment of technological giants, as well as the creation of designated startups, being recognized.

A good part of this recognition was possible thanks to the creation, by the Portuguese Government, of immigration regimes that promote the capture of investment in the technology area, such as the StartUP Visa Program or the Tech Visa Program.

The similarity in its designation can cause some confusion, easily clarified through the analysis of the corresponding assumptions. If not, let us see:


With the clear objective of attracting talent and capacity in the area of technological innovation, this is a program to welcome foreign entrepreneurs who intend to develop an entrepreneurship and/or innovation project in Portugal, being applicable to:

  1. Entrepreneurs wishing to develop their entrepreneurial and/or innovative project in Portugal, even if they have not incorporated a company;
  2. Entrepreneurs who already have business projects in their countries of origin and who intend to pursue their activity in Portugal.

In procedural terms, the respective regime stipulates that candidates who meet the eligibility requirements must:

  1. Register on the platform and identify the associated entrepreneurs and the project to be developed;
  2. Contact certified incubators in order to obtain a declaration of interest in incubating the project;
  3. Submit the online application for review.


Provided in Ordinance No. 328/2018, of December 19, as amended by Ordinance No. 99/2019, of April 4, the Tech Visa is defined as a program for certification of companies for the purpose of granting a visa or residence permit for highly qualified third-country nationals wishing to develop their activity.

If in the StartUp Visa was at stake an investment for the creation and/or development of an innovative project, the Tech Visa program, is all about enhancing the development of a highly qualified activity for the purpose of applying for a visa or residence permit in Portugal.

The certification and prior qualification of the company within the scope of this program, removes the process of control and verification of the candidate’s eligibility as highly qualified, thus shortening the processing time and visa assignment in the country of origin.

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