New assumptions under the company certification scheme came into force last April to accommodate third-country nationals willing to develop a highly qualified activity in Portugal – the so-called Tech Visa.
This amendment is intended to extend the existing regime to all companies that develop their activity in Portugal and need to employ workers from third countries to the European Union with specialized, exceptional or appropriate skills to carry out the corresponding activity, thus stop being an exclusive program for the certification of technological and innovative companies.
Consequently, the requirements to proof the “technological and innovative basis” of the applicant companies, which are now subject to evaluation criteria relating to (i) market potential and (ii) guidance to external markets, are therefore eliminated.
Additionally, regarding the requirements to be fulfilled by the workers, the exercise of the highly qualified activity must be shown through the fulfillment of one of the following requirements:
i) Possess a minimum level of qualification of level 6 according to the ISCED-2011;
ii) Regarding workers with a level 5 qualification – a professional higher technical course according to the ISCED-2011 – must prove to have exceptional specialized technical skills, obtained through a minimum experience of 5 years;
iii) Employment contract or promise of employment contract with a minimum duration of 12 months.
The values related to the minimum annual salary – equivalent to 2.5 times the Social Support Index – were kept unchanged and the range of languages required was extended to encompass Portuguese or English as well as French or Spanish.
This first amendment to the scheme intends to be seen as a way of incentive to attract foreign investment, as well as a way of establishing companies and boards at the highest level in the national territory, in response to the increasing demand for specialized know-how and is applicable to outstanding applications