Tech Visa is a new program announced by the Portuguese Government in the scope of the the National Strategy for StartUP Entrepreneurship, with impact on the Immigration Law.
This brand new measure will enter in force on January 1st 2019, with the opening of the application process to all companies who intend to obtain the required certification to hire specialized foreign employees.
Tech Visa offers to all highly qualified non-European professionals, namely in the digital and technological fields, the opportunity to get a less bureaucratic access to the positions created by companies, national and from abroad, who invest in Portugal, thus supporting the country’s growth.
IAPMEI will be the entity responsible for the analysis of the candidate companies, being later on assisted by the Foreigners and Borders Services (SEF) and by the General Directorate of Consular Affairs in the process of promptly granting the visas and the residence permits to the foreign professionals hired.
The evaluation will be based on the potential, degree of technological innovation and on the orientation towards the companies’ internationalization, taking in consideration that companies cannot hire more than 50% of its workforce under this measure, being that limit raised up to 80% for companies located in the interior areas of the country. The contracts signed must obey to a minimum period of two years.
The attraction of foreign investment is simultaneously a priority and a successful bet of Portugal, which is confirmed by the recent choices made by companies such VolksWagen, Google, Uber, Microsoft or BMW regarding the establishment of their new facilities.
Tech Visa comes up as a complement to the StartUp Visa Program, which was also announced in the previous edition of Web Summit, and primarily focused on investors who intend to set up startups in Portugal.
Besides Tech Visa, complementary measures have been announced, as for instance, the Key Employee Engagement Program (KEEP), which will also be directed to companies with a technological basis that pay to their employees with shares in the companies’ own capital, as well as the Digital Commerce Program, that intends to put online the business of 50.000 micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the commerce and services fields