The Tech Visa aims to attract highly qualified and specialized human resources to Portugal from non-Schengen countries. This qualified staff will work in innovative technological companies and will be able to obtain a residence permit in Portugal. It falls under the article 90 of the Law no. 23/2007 in the scope of the residence permit for highly qualified human resources.
According to paragraph 1 of Law 23/2007, they may submit:
1 – A residence permit is granted to third-country nationals for the purpose of exercising a teaching activity in a higher education institution, an education or vocational training establishment, a highly qualified activity or a cultural activity, who, in addition to the conditions established in article 77, also fulfil the following conditions
a) They have an employment or service provision contract compatible with the teaching activity or are highly qualified;
b) An invitation letter issued by a vocational education or training institution; or
c) They present a statement of responsibility from a certified company under the terms defined in a decree order from the members of the Government responsible for the areas of internal administration and economy;
d) Are collaborating in a cultural activity carried out in national territory within the scope of a project recognized by the Government member responsible for the area of culture, as being of interest to the Country.
The “Tech Visa” program – in force since 1 January 2019, seeks to make the granting of a residence visa/residence permit more effective and efficient for highly qualified immigrants recruited by companies operating in the area of technology and innovation, certified by IAPMEI, I.P., in a certification procedure for those companies and for recruitment available on that entity’s institutional page.
The application for granting of a residence permit, preceded by the issuing of a term of responsibility by the company that recruits the interested party, is formulated by appointment (or through an electronic platform – currently being implemented for holders of a residence visa), by the interested party or by the entity/company hosting him/her (in this case preferably electronically). It is delivered in person with the appropriate form signed by the applicant or his/her legal representative and may be presented at any SEF regional directorate or delegation, which may forward it, after instruction and decision, to the regional directorate or delegation of the applicant’s area of residence.
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.