Portugal attracts highly skilled workers from the technology sector.

In addition to Startup Visa, which grants visas to entrepreneurs, Portugal has just launched the Tech Visa program, which aims to attract skilled labor and boost the technological sector of the country.

The measure aims to ensure that highly qualified technology staff can access the jobs created by Portuguese companies in a simplified way.

Tech Visa is part of the National Strategy for Entrepreneurship Startup Portugal, with a view to the certification of technological and innovative companies for the purpose of granting visas or residence permits to nationals of third states wishing to develop a highly qualified activity in Portugal.

Who is Tech Visa addressed to?

The programme is aimed at technological and innovative companies, inserted in the global market, which wish to attract qualified and specialised tables from foreign countries to the European Union to Portugal.

On the other hand, the program is also an opportunity for foreign professionals, such as designers, software engineers, computer scientists, programmers, etc., to enter the Portuguese market.


How to benefit from Tech Visa?

Technology and innovation companies wishing to be included in the list of certified companies to receive foreign citizens through the program will have to apply, from January 2, 2019, to the Tech Visa program, being evaluated and selected based on criteria defined by Ordinance No. 328/2018 of December 19.

IAPMEI will be the body responsible for the certification of the applicant companies, involving several entities, such as the Foreign and Border Service (SEF) and the Directorate-General for Consular Affairs, in the process of assigning residence visas for the professionals hired by certified companies.

Certification of interested companies:

To obtain certification under TECH VISA, companies must demonstrate compliance with the criteria provided for in Article 3 of Ordinance No. 328/2018 of December 19.

Among the criteria defined by the Ordinance, we highlight the need to have a positive net situation, being considered for this purpose the value of equity in the Balance Sheet, of the last Simplified Business Information (HEI) legally chargeable taking into account the legal deadlines for the delivery of IES.

In the case of newly constituted undertakings which, at the time of application, have not registered HEIs because they have not registered activity in the financial year required to do so, this criterion shall be considered to be fulfilled, based on the company’s capital at the time of its Constitution. To allow the assessment of compliance with this condition, companies will have to have organized accounting.

The evaluation methodology is measured on the basis of the statement of reasons to be submitted by the company, taking into account the following aspects:
• Market potential – measured by the potential for increased expected turnover over the next 2 to 5 years.
• Degree of technological innovation – by identifying the type of product or process innovation that constitutes a competitive advantage for the company compared to the sector or market.
• Guidance for internationalization – through the identification of current and future markets and the relevance of foreign markets to which you want to direct your activity.

The certification criterion will be considered as fulfilled if the company obtains a positive assessment in all evaluation criteria.


Nature of the Entities able to participate in the program:
Technological and innovative companies of any nature and in any legal form are admitted to the programme.

Deadline for analysis of certifications

As a rule, applications will be reviewed within a maximum of 20 working days from the date of submission/submission, and this period may be suspended when additional elements are requested by IAPMEI.

During the evaluation process, if there is non-compliance with any of the criteria provided for, companies will be notified by IAPMEI to submit additional information within 3 working days.

Limits on participation in the program:
Each company may submit only one application to participate in the Tech Visa program, except in the case of withdrawal or notification of unfavorable decision, of previous application.

It is important to note that certified companies cannot have more than 50 of the workers employed simultaneously under this programme, and in the case of companies that mainly develop their activity in the territories of the the limit is 80.


Duration of certification:

The company’s certification will be valid for a period of 2 years.
Renewal of Certification:
The renewal of the certification is carried out 2 years after the decision under the terms to be defined by IAPMEI.
Deadline for submission of applications:
Applications may be submitted throughout 2019, with closure scheduled for 31/12/2019.

The evaluation will be based on potential, degree of technological innovation and guidance for the internationalization of companies.