How to Get a D2 Visa and Start a Business in Portugal

If you’re interested in exploring Portugal and potentially starting a business there, a D2 Visa might be the right choice for you. This visa, also known as the “Portugal Entrepreneur Visa,” allows you to reside in the country for up to one year while you establish your business or investment plans. In this article, we’ll go over the requirements, benefits, and application process for a D2 Visa in Portugal.


What is a D2 Visa in Portugal?

The D2 Visa is a long-term residence visa in Portugal that is designed for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and independent professionals. It allows you to live and work in Portugal for up to 2 years and renew the visa every three years. 

The D2 Visa in Portugal was introduced in 2012 as part of the country’s efforts to attract foreign investment and encourage entrepreneurship. It was designed to specifically target entrepreneurs and startup companies, providing them with a fast-track route to residency in Portugal. The visa is aimed at individuals who wish to establish a new business in Portugal, invest in an existing business, or become self-employed.

The D2 Visa quickly gained popularity among foreign entrepreneurs and investors, due to its relatively low minimum investment requirement, fast processing times, and flexible eligibility criteria. Since its introduction, the D2 Visa has been responsible for attracting thousands of foreign entrepreneurs and investors to Portugal, and has contributed to the country’s growing reputation as a hub for startups and innovation.

The introduction of the D2 Visa was part of a larger strategy by the Portuguese government to attract foreign investment and promote economic growth. Together with D2 Visa, Portugal had several other investment visa programs, such as the Golden Visa Portugal and the D7 visa, which focused on real estate investment and passive income, respectively.

What are the benefits of having a D2 Visa in Portugal?

There are many benefits to having a D2 Visa in Portugal, including:

  • The ability to live and work in Portugal, one of the safest countries in the world. 
  • The right to travel freely within the 27 countries in the Schengen area.
  • Opportunity for family reunification. This means that the family members of the visa holder, including partners, children, parents, or siblings who are dependent on either partner, have the possibility to live in Portugal as well.
  • Possibility to apply for Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime, which allows in certain situations to pay just 20% on income from other countries (if applicant is still working) or not pay anything if they are pensioners. We advice to confirm with the accountant according to the origin and profession of each case.
  • The opportunity to apply for Portuguese citizenship after five years of residence, which is one of the lowest minimum time requirements compared to other European countries.
  • The chance to experience the Portuguese lifestyle and culture, and to have Portuguese residency rights, including education and health care.


Who can apply for the D2 Visa?

  • You must be a non-EU citizen.
  • Entrepreneurs: If you are an entrepreneur who wishes to establish a new business in Portugal, the D2 Visa provides a pathway for you to pursue your entrepreneurial endeavors in the country.
  • Business Owners: If you already have a business in your home country and are interested in expanding by opening a branch or subsidiary in Portugal, the D2 Visa allows you to establish your business presence in the country.
  • Self-employed Professionals: The D2 Visa is also suitable for self-employed individuals, including independent or liberal professionals, who want to work in Portugal. Whether you have a specific work contract or a written work proposal, this visa allows you to operate independently and provide your professional services in the country.
  • Freelancers and Digital Nomads: Freelancers and digital nomads who offer unique and valuable services relevant to Portugal can also apply for the D2 Visa. It is important to demonstrate that your services are differentiated and contribute to the country’s development and economy. 


What documents do I need for a D2 Visa application?

The following documents are required for a D2 Visa application for:

  • Valid Passport
  • Application form
  • Health insurance coverage
  • A declaration outlining the reasons for the Portugal residency.
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal (property title deed or rental long-term agreement)
  • Criminal record issued no more than 90 days before the date of submission
  • Proof of financial means to support yourself during your stay in Portugal. Main applicant must have 100% of the minimum annual salary which. A spouse, requires an additional 50% of this value and for each dependent child, you must add 30% more.
  • A detailed business plan or investment plan. Make sure that your business plan is well-written and comprehensive. It should include information about your business goals, target market, and financial projections.
  • Proof of financial means available in Portugal for running the business. For example statement from Portuguese Bank. There is no minimum amount for the investment and depends on your business strategy.
  • Contract or written service provider proposal for liberal professions; and, if applicable, declaration by competent authorities certifying professional competence for the referred activity.

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What is the application process for a D2 Visa in Portugal?

The application process for a D2 Visa in Portugal is as follows:

Step 1: Prepare the Required Documentation. Gather the necessary documents for your D2 Visa application, including your passport, criminal record, financial statements, and business plan or proof of employment. Consult with an immigration company to ensure that you meet all of the requirements and that your application is complete and accurate.

Step 2: Submitting the Application. Submit your complete application package to the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country or the country where you are legally residing. Make sure to follow the specific instructions provided by the embassy or consulate. Pay the application fee.

Step 3: Attend the Interview. Be prepared to answer questions about your experience and qualifications. The immigration officer will want to know  that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in your chosen field.

Step 4: Wait for the Visa Decision. Wait for the processing of your visa application. The duration can vary, usually it takes up to 60 days. First visa will be valid for 4 months. 

Step 5: Travel to Portugal and Apply for a Residency. Once your D2 Visa is approved, you can travel to Portugal within the validity period and submit the application to the Immigration department AIMA (former SEF). You will already have the date for the meeting as the Embassy will apply for you.

Step 6: Attend AIMA for biometric data and submit the originals of the documents. Resident card will arrive at your official address in Portugal within 90 days. First residency permit valid for 2 years.  


What is the processing time for a D2 Visa application in Portugal?

The processing time for a D2 Visa application in Portugal can vary depending on the workload of the embassy or consulate where you applied. Generally, it can take from several weeks to several months to process.


What is the cost of obtaining a D2 Visa in Portugal?

The cost of obtaining a D2 Visa in Portugal includes various fees and expenses. Here are the key cost considerations:

  • Government Fee – Application Fee at the Portuguese Consulate and Residency Card Fee at AIMA in Portugal – up to €300.
  • Translation, Notarization, and Authentication and supporting documents costs, such as obtaining certificates, background checks, or medical examinations, depending on the requirements of your application. Estimated cost is something between € 500 and € 1000
  • If you choose to use an immigration company to assist with your application, you may have to pay around € 4000 depending on the level of service you require.  Immigration company will provide you with lawyer and accountant services, application, and will cover all associated costs with the application. Also the team will guide you through the investment process when starting business in Portugal. 


What is the minimum stay requirement for a D2 Visa in Portugal?

The minimum stay requirement for a D2 Visa in Portugal is six consecutive months in the first year and non-sequential sixteen months during two years.


What are the common reasons for D2 Visa application rejections in Portugal?

Some common reasons for D2 Visa application rejections in Portugal include:

  • Incomplete or incorrect application forms
  • Insufficient financial means to support yourself during your stay in Portugal
  • A lack of a viable business plan or investment plan
  • Criminal record


Can I add family to D2 Visa Portugal?

It is possible to add family members to your D2 Visa application in Portugal. The D2 Visa allows for family reunification. It means that your spouse or partner, children, parents, or siblings who are dependent on either partner can join you in Portugal.

To include your family members in your D2 Visa application, you will need to provide the necessary documentation to demonstrate your relationship and their dependency. This typically includes marriage certificates, birth certificates, or other legal documents proving the family connection. Additionally, you need to show evidence of financial support to demonstrate that you can adequately provide for your family members during their stay in Portugal. 

Once your D2 Visa is approved, your family members will also receive residence permits that allow them to live and stay in Portugal.


Can I get a passport with a D2 Visa Portugal?

After holding a D2 Visa in Portugal for a minimum of five years, you become eligible to apply for citizenship in Portugal. Alongside meeting the residency requirement, there is an additional criterion to fulfill. It is  a successfully passing a Portuguese language test at the A1-A2 level. This requirement ensures that you have a basic understanding of Portuguese language. You will be able to engage in everyday conversations and comprehend simple texts.

Alongside the language requirement, it is important to maintain a clean criminal record and meet other general criteria for citizenship. This includes fulfilling the residency requirement, integrating into Portuguese society, and having a stable financial situation. By demonstrating your commitment to Portugal and complying with the necessary requirements, you pave the way towards acquiring Portuguese citizenship.



The D2 Visa in Portugal offers a promising opportunity for entrepreneurs, business owners, and self-employed professionals to establish their presence and contribute to the vibrant entrepreneurial landscape of the country. 

With the D2 Visa, you can pursue your business ventures or open a branch. Also you can offer your services as a self-employed professional in Portugal.

The visa also provides the possibility of family reunification. It allows your loved ones to join you and experience the benefits of living in Portugal.

However, it is important to note that the D2 Visa is not a guaranteed way to obtain a residence permit in Portugal. If you are considering applying for a D2 Visa, we recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure that you meet all of the requirements and that your application is complete and accurate. Please contact us for advice.

We hope this guide has been helpful. If you are interested in this Visa, we are happy to give you detailed information via call or Zoom meeting. We analyze your situation from different perspectives, give full support in the process. We advice you about the optimal investment and best strategy to use in your case. You can schedule a meeting at a suitable time here.