In addition to the Startup Visa, which grants a visa for entrepreneurs, Portugal has just launched the Tech Visa program, which aims to attract qualified labor and boost the country's technological sector.
This measure is dedicated to ensure that highly qualified staff in the technological area can access jobs created by Portuguese companies in a simplified way.
Tech Visa is part of the National Strategy for Entrepreneurship Startup Portugal, in ways to certifying technological and innovative companies for the purpose of granting a visa or residence permit to third-country nationals who wish to develop a highly qualified activity in Portugal.
Who is Tech Visa aimed to?
The program is designed for technological and innovative companies, inserted in the global market, that intend to attract qualified and specialized staff to Portugal, coming from foreign countries to the European Union.
On the other hand, the program is also an opportunity for foreign professionals, such as designers, software engineers, computer scientists, programmers and others to come to the Portuguese market.
How to benefit from Tech Visa?
Technology and innovation companies wishing to be included in the list of companies certified to welcome foreign citizens through the program will have to apply, from January 2, 2019, to the Tech Visa program, being evaluated and selected based on the criteria defined by Portaria No. 328/2018, of 19 December.
IAPMEI will be the institute responsible for the certification of candidate companies, involving several entities, such as the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) and the Directorate-General for Consular Affairs, during the process of granting residence visas to professionals hired by these certified companies.
Certification of interested companies:
To obtain certification within the scope of TECH VISA, companies must demonstrate compliance with the criteria provided for in Article 3 of Portaria No. 328/2018 of 19 December..
Among the criteria defined by this ordinance, the need to have a positive net worth, considering for this purpose the value of equity in the Balance Sheet, of the latest Simplified Business Information (IES), keeping in mind the HEI deadlines.
In the case of newly founded companies that, at the date of the application, did not have IES because they did not register activity in the year required for that purpose, this point is considered to be fulfilled, based on the capital of the company at the time of its constitution. To allow the assessment of this condition, these companies must have organized accounting.
The evaluation methodology is assessed based on the reasoning presented by the company, taking into account the following aspects:
1. Market potential: measured by the potential to increase the volume of business expected in the next 2 to 5 years.
2. Degree of technological innovation: by the type of product identification or innovation process that shows up as a competitive advantage for the company compared to its sector or market.
3. Orientation towards internationalization: through the identification of current and future markets and the indication of relevant foreign markets.
The certification criteria will be considered fulfilled if the company obtains a positive evaluation in all the evaluation aspects.
Entities kinds able to participate in the program:
The admission is destined for technological and innovative companies of any nature and in any legal form.
Certifications analysis deadline:
As usual, applications will be analyzed within a maximum period of 20 working days from the date of their submission, and this period may be suspended when additional elements are requested by IAPMEI.
During the evaluation process, if any of the criteria are not accepted, the companies will be notified by IAPMEI to present additional information within 3 working days.
Program participation limits:
Each company can submit only one application to participate in the Tech Visa program, except in the case of withdrawal or notification of an unfavorable decision in a previous application.
It is important to note that certified companies cannot have more than 50% of the workers hired simultaneously under the program. For companies that mainly develop their activity in the countryside, the limit is 80%.
The company's certification will be valid during a period of 2 years.
The certification is renewed 2 years after the decision under the terms to be defined by IAPMEI.
Deadline for applications submission:
Applications are selected throughout the year 2019, with closure scheduled for 12/31/2019.
The evaluation will be based on the potential of technological innovation and guidance towards the internationalization of these technologies.