The Portugal D2 Visa is not as well known as the Portugal D7 Visa and the Portugal Golden Visa, but it could be the right path to take if you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or independent service provider from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland looking to reside in Portugal. You might be eligible for a D2 Visa if you want to start a business or startup in Portugal, transfer your existing one to Portugal, as well as invest in a business in Portugal. This visa is catered to small and medium-sized businesses to raise foreign investment to develop the Portuguese economy. To apply, you must put together a viable business plan that will be evaluated in terms of its economic, technological, and cultural impact. You can set up any business, from a restaurant to a tech startup.

In terms of cost, the D2 Visa would sit right in the middle between the D7 Visa and the Golden Visa. While with the Golden Visa you need at least a €350,000 investment and with the D7 Visa all you need is proof of passive income, the D2 Visa requires you to prove that your business is viable. You must invest in the company’s share capital, which immigration firms advise should be at least €50,000. In truth, the more you invest, the more likely you might be to get your visa. You must also show that you have the financial ability to sustain yourself while living in Portugal.
This visa allows for family reunification where your family members are granted the same residency rights as you. Like the D7 Visa and Golden Visa, you can apply for a permanent resident after 5 years and citizenship after 6 years. To be eligible for permanent residence, you must spend at least 6 consecutive months in Portugal within those 5 years.

Portugal D2 Visa Requirements:

If you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or independent service provider from outside the EU/EEA/Switzerland looking to reside in Portugal, you might be eligible for a Portugal D2 Visa. You must show that you either have set up a company operating in Portuguese territory or that you have the financial resources in Portugal that demonstrate you can set up a company in Portugal. You can obtain these financial resources through a proof of loan from a Portuguese bank. There is no official amount that you need, but the recommended amount is at least €5,000.
You will also need to show that you have enough money to sustain yourself. For yourself as the main applicant, you must have 100% of the minimum salary which is €8,460 per year. For a spouse, you must add 50% to this (€4,230) and for a dependent child, you must add 30% to this (€2,538). Therefore, for a couple with one child, you would need around €15,300 a year to be eligible for the D2 visa.

Applicants must also produce a solid business plan that will be reviewed for its social, economic, and cultural impact. This plan should prove that your business will thrive and lead to economic growth.

Lastly, applicants must explain in their application why they have chosen Portugal as their business location. Rather than just focusing on the cost of living and climate, essentially why the country would be positive for you, also focus on how your company will impact Portugal and satisfy the needs of the population. It might be that you will be creating multiple jobs in Portugal or solving a particular issue that has not yet been addressed in the country.

What are the Benefits of the Portugal D2 Visa?

1. Visa Exemption

The Portugal D2 Visa allows you to enter Portugal and the Schengen area (26 EU countries). You can circulate freely without a visa. The D2 visa essentially grants you the travel rights of all European Union citizens. This is perfect for entrepreneurs who want to travel through Europe to network and build corporate connections.

2. Family Perks

You don’t need to leave your family behind with the D2 Visa. This visa allows for family reunification where your family members are granted the same residency rights as you. This means that a partner, children under 18, dependent children over 18 that are studying, parents, and minor siblings. From getting permanent residence to tax incentives, family reunification grants all the same rights to your family. You will have to prove your relationship to any family members included in the program.

3. Permanent Residence: Does the Portugal D2 Visa Lead to Residence?

Yes! Right after receiving your D2 Visa, you have to book an appointment with the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) to obtain a residency permit. Your D2 Visa is only valid for 120 days, but if you carry proof that you have booked this appointment, you are good to go. You will renew your residency until the 5-year mark when you can apply for permanent residency.

4. Citizenship: Does the Portugal D2 Visa Lead to Citizenship?

You can become a Portuguese citizen after 6 years of legal residency. To do so, you need to learn Portuguese and obtain an A2 Portuguese language certificate, have a clean criminal record, and provide documents such as proof of a Portuguese bank account.

5. Tax Incentives: Non-Habitual Tax Regime:

With a Portugal Golden Visa, Portugal D7 Visa, and Portugal D2 Visa, you can become a non-habitual resident (NHR) and enjoy the incentives of this fiscal regime. This tax regime allows you to transfer your tax residency to the country. To be eligible, you cannot have been taxed in Portugal during the five years before the application. However, this does not apply to corporate tax.
Here are the benefits of this tax regime:
  • You can be eligible to not pay ANY tax on pensions, rental income, real estate gains, and income from non-Portuguese sources if your country has a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with Portugal. You would instead pay taxes in your country of origin. The UK, USA, and many more countries have a DTA with Portugal where this is the case.
  • If your pension income is taxed in Portugal, it will be at a flat rate of 10%, including retirement savings and insurance.
  • Income from “high value-added activities” in Portugal is taxed at 20%. This includes employment and self-employment income from activities of scientific, artistic, or technical character performed in Portugal. Still, you will pay the same income tax as ordinary tax residents for other types of domestic income.
  • You will only be taxed on your worldwide income after the first 10 years of residence.
  • Foreign interest, dividends, rents, and property capital gains can be exempted from taxation.
  • You will not pay an inheritance or wealth tax.

Corporate Tax & Social Security Tax in Portugal

HOWEVER, this will apply to you as a resident, but not a registered company and you will have to pay the regular corporate tax (IRC) in Portugal. The corporate tax in the Portuguese mainland is 21%, while the first €25,000 of taxable profit for small and medium-sized companies is taxed at 17%. The corporate tax rate is lower for Madeira (20%) and the Azores (16.8%). You will also need to pay the social security tax (TSU) for your employees when you pay their salary. Companies pay 23.75% TSU for each monthly wage, while an extra 11% comes directly from the employee’s salary. Therefore, for a €2,000 monthly salary, your company will pay €475 a month for social security, while the employee will pay €220.

Who can get a Portugal D2 Visa?

Non-EU/EEA/Swiss entrepreneurs, freelancers, and independent services providers can apply for a Portugal D2 Visa. An applicant must show that they either have set up a company operating in Portuguese territory or that they have the financial resources in Portugal that demonstrate they can set up a company in Portugal.