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D2 Visa
for Entrepreneurs, Freelancers & Independent service Providers

Correct as of March 2024, reading time: 5 minutes

The Portugal D2 visa is designed for people who want to open a new business in Portugal, set up a Portuguese branch of an existing business, or move to Portugal to run a business that’s already here. The D2 is also known as the Entrepreneur Visa.

Obtaining a D2 visa is predominantly dependant on having a viable business, or business idea, that you can run in Portugal. and there are no restrictions on what the business can be.

There are two different types of D2 visa – read on to learn more.

Table of Contents

The Entrepreneur Route

 This is a good fit for those who either want to open an entirely new business, or open a Portuguese branch of an existing business.   

Key requirements:  

  • NIF (Portuguese tax number)  
  • Business bank account at a Portuguese bank 
  • Set up a Portuguese limited company (LDA)  
  • An accountant who understands the Portuguese tax system  

In addition, you will  also need to show evidence of having sufficient financial means to set up and run the company.   

As you’re incorporating a company in Portugal, you’ll need to pay corporation tax, along with social security contributions. 

The Independent Service Provider Route

Independent service provider route 

This option is a good fit for those who wish to provide services to domestic or international clients.  

It has fewer requirements compared to the entrepreneur route. You don’t have to incorporate a Portuguese company, nor do you need an accountant.  

Key requirements:  

  • NIF (Portuguese tax number)  
  • Bank account at a Portuguese bank 
  • Proof of relevant experience or qualifications in your field  
  • Proof of having a contract with one or more clients   
 

If you work remotely to deliver services to clients outside of Portugal, then the D7 visa (also called the D7 Passive Income visa) could also be a good option for you. This visa includes remote work in its definition of passive income.   

What Are the Benefits of the D2 Visa?

  • No need to prove passive income  
  • No need to make a large investment in Portugal   
  • Pathway to citizenship after 5 years   
  • Great fit for entrepreneurs and existing business owners  

Whats Involved In Applying For The D2 Visa?​

Being successful with the Portugal D2 visa primarily rests on showing a business plan that’s likely to succeed in Portugal.   

The Portuguese authorities want to know that your business or service activities will generate enough income to support you while you live in Portugal.  For the Entrepreneur route that income could come from a locally incorporated company, or for the Independent Service Provider route, that income could come from contracts with clients.

The D2 route to Portuguese residency happens in two stages.

Stage 1

Application for the D2 Visa happens at the Portuguese Embassy in your home country, where you submit the necessary documentation to support your application.  This includes a business plan or proof of contracts awarded that will generate sufficient income to support you whilst living in Portugal.  This is currently €740 per month, but authorities will look for you to have at least 12 months’ living costs as savings – €9000 for a single applicant.  Additionally, you will need a clean criminal record check, proof of accommodation in Portugal and travel insurance for at least 6 months.  Once your application is approved, the Embassy will invite you for an interview, following which, if successful, your D2 visa will be issued.  This visa is valid for 4 months and allows you to travel to Portugal and apply for residency.

Stage 2

On arrival in Portugal, schedule a residency appointment with SEF (the Portuguese Immigration Authority).  There are some delays at this stage due to the legacy of Covid and volume of people moving to Portugal, but as long as you have booked an appointment you may legally remain in Portugal beyond the 4 months of the D2 visa document.

Portuguese residency (and EU citizenship) requires a minimum of 5 years as a legal resident in Portugal.  This means Portugal is your primary home and country of tax residency, achieved by spending at least 183 days per year physically in the country.  It is important to maintain your residency for the entire five years.  In addition you should learn the language, the requirement being an A2 level of Portuguese which demonstrates basic proficiency in the language.

It may also be possible to benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Residency tax status.  Please speak to our advisers to find out more about how this may apply to your circumstances.