The D2 VISA is a residence visa for independent professional activity or for entrepreneur immigrants who wish to establish themselves in Portugal (defined in Article 60 of Law 23/2007 of 04 July in its most recent version).
In other words, if you want to open a company in Portugal and access the European market, or want to develop your business as a freelancer, you can submit a D2 Visa application.
The law defines the following requirements:
1 – A visa to obtain a residence permit for the exercise of independent professional activity may be granted to a third-country national who
a) Has a contract or written proposal for a contract to provide services within the liberal professions; and
b) Is qualified to exercise independent activity, whenever applicable.
2 – A residence visa is granted to entrepreneurial immigrants who intend to invest in Portugal, provided that:
(a) have carried out investment transactions; or
b) Prove to have available financial means in Portugal, including those arising from financing obtained from a financial institution in Portugal, and demonstrate, by any means, the intention to carry out an investment operation in the Portuguese territory; or
c) Develop an entrepreneurial project, including the creation of an innovative based company, integrated in a certified incubator under the terms defined by a decree order from the Government members responsible for the areas of internal administration and economy.
Thus, any foreign citizen who intends to invest or work independently in Portugal may request the D2 Visa.
First it is necessary to gather all the necessary documentation (includes for example a clean criminal record in the country where you live). The Business Plan for the project that you intend to implement in Portugal is an highlighted document for the project. This plan will be analyzed in order to verify its viability.
The second step is to submit the completed file to the Portuguese Embassy in your area of residence. The embassy will then send the file to SEF and (normally within 90 days at the most) issue the D2 Visa.
With the D2 Visa in your passport you can travel to Portugal where you will open your company or open activity as a freelancer, following the business plan. You will have until the end of the D2 Visa period to schedule an interview with SEF in order to apply for your residence permit in Portugal.
Once your temporary residence permit has been issued (for 2 years and renewable for 3 more years), you can apply for family reunification. Finally, after 5 years, you may request a permanent residence permit or even apply for nationality. To keep these residence permits you must stay in Portuguese territory at least 185 days per year.