Covid19 Editorial

Frequently asked questions about Startup Portugal’s programs

During the current pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of contacts and questions received, especially about the Startup Voucher and Startup Visa programs. In this article, we answered some of those questions.
Frequently asked questions about Startup Portugal’s programs

This post is part of a collaborative effort between Startup Portugal, The Next Big Idea, and Sapo24, meant to create relevant content to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Startup Portugal, a public-private association that is responsible for the creation and implementation of the strategy for the national entrepreneurship. More than fostering the entrepreneurial spirit, StartUP Portugal aims to support those who are already entrepreneurs, to ensure the longevity of the companies created and increase their impact on the creation of jobs and economic value.

It is responsible for the implementation and/or dissemination of various programs, such as Startup Voucher, Startup Visa, 200M or TechVisa and, as such, provides support to them and is available to answer questions about them to anyone.

During the current pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of contacts and questions received, especially about the Startup Voucher and Startup Visa programs. In this article, we answered some of those questions.

StartUp Voucher

What is StartUp Voucher?

The StartUp Voucher act aims to promote the development of business projects that are in the development stage.

Which type of support is granted by the StartUp Voucher?

Between 4 to 12 months, accordingly to the stage of development of the project, it will be granted:

  • Monthly grant of 691.70€;

  • Mentoring;

  • Follow-up of the project;

  • Mid-term evaluation Prizes – 1.500€ prize for the projects that achieve a positive midterm evaluation according with the purposes of each stage;

  • Achievement Prize –2.000€ prize for the implementation of the project through a startup with a commercial company set up, provided that it occurs after the first six months of participation in the program and up to six months after the twelve-month maximum duration of the StartUp Voucher.

Who can apply for StartUp Voucher grant?

Applicants may apply for the programme if:

  • Are aged between 18 (eighteen) and 35 (thirty-five);

  • Have Portuguese nationality or inhabit in Portugal;

  • Are not benefiting of another grant for the same purposes and have no other source of income;

  • Do not have a set up company.

What is the duration of the program?

The StartUP Voucher has a minimum duration of four months and a maximum duration of twelve months given the stages of business project development and the company set up.

How many applications can be submitted?

Each person can only submit an application for one project, but every project must be submitted by teams of at least two and a maximum of five promoters but only two of them can benefit from the StartUp Voucher Grant for the development of the business project and only if they have no other source of income.

I’m a Portuguese living abroad, can I apply?

Yes, provided that Portuguese nationality is made proof and that the remaining eligibility criteria are met.

I’m not Portuguese, can I apply?

Yes, if you can prove your residence in Portugal and that the remaining eligibility criteria are met.

To take advantage of this program can we benefit from another income?

To be eligible, the applicant cannot benefit from another source of income.

Is the StartUp Voucher Grant cumulative with the unemployment benefit?

No. With the attribution of StartUp Voucher grant, the candidate receives a monthly amount and thus is no longer entitled to the benefit.

When and where can I apply?

The application can be submitted at any time, through IAPMEI’s website.

How can I get more information?

Further clarification and additional questions can be through IAPMEI’s website, by email (,or by telephone to IAPMEI’s Blue Line (808 201 201 | 213 836 237)

StartUP Visa

Startup Visa is a program to welcome foreign entrepreneurs who intend to develop entrepreneurship and/or innovation project in Portugal, with a view to granting a residence visa or residence permit for immigrant entrepreneurs. It is one of the largest incentives for foreign entrepreneurs, without permanent residence in the Schengen Area.

Who can apply?

Applicable to entrepreneurs, residing outside the Schengen area, who want to set up their business in Portugal, and/or to move a business already established, outside the Schengen Area, to Portugal.

What are the minimum age and the limit of people for enrolment in StartUP Visa?

This program is for over 18 years old with no age limit and welcomes, per project, up to a maximum of 5 (five) elements.

I have a company already established, I am a foreign citizen and my partner is a Portuguese citizen. Can we be candidates for StartUP Visa?

Yes, as long as the company is set up outside the national territory and if the company’s leader is a foreign entrepreneur without permanent residence in the Schengen Area.

How and when to apply for a visa to stay in Portugal?

The visa must be requested at the Portuguese consulates after the acceptance of the project in the StartUP Visa program. Once the application has been approved, a declaration of acceptance will be issued by IAPMEI (Institute for SME and Innovation Support and primary programme entity). The residence visa is intended to allow its holder to enter Portuguese territory for the purpose of applying for a residence permit. This visa is valid for two entries and entitles the holder to stay in the national territory for 4 (four) months.

How many elements per project can apply for the Startup Visa Program?

Each project can have between 1 (one) and 5 (five) elements.

Does my family also get a residence visa through the program?

It is possible to apply for family reunification, but the application for a residence visa for the purpose of family reunification can only be carried out after the visa applicant is approved.

The application requires a Criminal Report, how can I ask for it?

The Criminal Record can be requested through the embassy of the country of origin. In many cases, this request can be done online. This must be presented properly translated and authenticated by the consulate office of the country of origin or apostille by the Hague Convention.

For any additional questions or about any of our programs, please refer to our website or contact us at the email address

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Startup Portugal Team • April 17, 2020