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D3 Visa
Highly Qualified Activities

Correct as of March 2024, reading time: 5 minutes

This visa is aimed at entrepreneurs and investors who have an idea for a startup that they want to develop over a 3 year period with the help of masters and PHD students from leading Portuguese universities. 

Table of Contents

Who are D3 Highly Qualified Activities Visas Designed for?

Although this visa has some similarities with other visas, like the D2 and Golden Visas, it is uniquely suited to investors, entrepreneurs, and high-earners with €175,000 who are willing to invest in a startup idea.

Portugal’s HQA visa program is suited to projects that require research and development, for at least 3 years,  rather than something that can be brought to market immediately

If you qualify and this visa is suited to you then it’s worth looking into as the visa is the fastest way to obtain residency in Portugal and therefore the fastest way for non-EU citizens to get to the citizenship application stage.

The Portugal HQA Visa is not just limited to investors and entrepreneurs, it is open to professionals who do not need to have a business background. One of the key requirements is having an  idea for a business that needs research and development.

Another key requirements is being able to demonstrate your professional background and qualifications

Benefits of the HQA Visa

  • Lower investment requirements compared to other Portugal visas.
  • Lower cost of adding a family member compared to other Portugal visas
  • Guaranteed decision within 30 days
  • A full refund if your application isn’t accepted.
  • Potentially low stay requirements if you have other professional commitments
  • No need for you to become a tax resident in Portugal if you don’t want to.


  • You will need to invest €175,000.
  • You will need to be at least 18 years of age.
  • Your project will need to be approved and accepted. 
  • You will need to show a CV that shows an experienced business background or expertise in the area you wish to invest in.
  • You will need to take part in the program for at least 3 years.


In terms of requirements, the main requirement is whether or not you have a strong idea or interest in a market which you feel has opportunities. There is a strict vetting process, which is designed to weed out those that just want to buy their residency (and eventually, citizenship) for €175,000.