Portugal HQA Visa 2024

In 2019, Portugal launched a new startup visa program for non-EU investors – the Portugal Highly Qualified Activity (HQA) Via – and it has been a game changer for third-country nationals seeking residency by making a passive, startup investment in Portugal

Discover why this program may be what you’ve been waiting for below, or contact us for a free consultation.

The Portuguese HQA Visa Program at a glance 

The Portugal HQA Visa Program comes at a time when traditional Golden Visa Residency and Citizenship By Investment (CBI) Programs are increasingly coming under fire as nationalism sweeps across the European political landscape. The HQA Visa solves many of the challenges such programs presently face, given that it’s structured as a legitimate win-win deal for both residency investors and Portugal itself.

The Portugal HQA Visa makes a lot of sense from an investor’s perspective, for 3 main reasons:

1) Price: Unlike with most other Golden Residency Programs, requiring investments between €250,000 (Greece) and €500,000 (Spain) for a single applicant only, the HQA Visa Program requires an early stage investment of only €175,000 into a Portuguese research project to secure residency for the primary applicant, their spouse, and two dependent family members.

2) Speed: In many EU jurisdictions offering residency by investment programs, the primary applicant is processed within 3 to 4 months, after which it takes another additional year before their family members can obtain EU residency rights. With the HQA Visa, all it takes is 4 months to process the entire family’s application. For those seeking a Plan B beyond their native jurisdictions due to political or economic uncertainty, this can be a key advantage.

3) Simplicity: The HQA Visa application process is fast and seamless, given the concierge style approach employed by our in-country service consultants. Once your company is set up, the programme requires that you make a mandatory investment of only €175,000 including professional service fees into a research project with a Portuguese Institution (the options are pre-identified and presented to you).

The R&D project investment is the first step towards developing a strategic business plan for your future enterprise, and you’ll also need to complete a basic startup incubation program.

But the key advantage with the HQA Visa Program, unlike with most other Start-Up Visa Programmes, is that there is no requirement to develop the business beyond the initial investment and exploratory R&D planning stage. If you so choose, you could develop the business further, but it’s entirely up to you.

Who is the HQA Visa for?

High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs)

If you’re a high net worth (or ultra high net worth) individual seeking a seamless, plug-and-play residency solution with low, Golden Visa equivalent minimum stays, then the HQA Visa could be an excellent option for you.

Offering a low total capital layout (€175,000 all-in) and a concierge style process, the HQA Visa serves as the ultimate flexible back-up plan in Europe – without any of the costs or hassles of overseas property ownership. Approvals are granted in 30 days – even during Covid times, and despite the current SEF back-log.

Moreover, you don’t ever need to move there, unless of course you want to…

Tech Entrepreneurs & Startup Founders

If you’re an accomplished serial entrepreneur seeking to either launch a brand new startup in Portugal, or to expand your existing startup’s footprint into Europe, then the HQA Visa Program offers an excellent platform, regardless of whether you’re at the concept, proof-of-concept, growth or hypergrowth stages of the business.

As with a property based Golden Visa, you’ll enjoy exceptionally low minimum stay requirements (one to two weeks per year should suffice.)

And what’s more, the HQA Program offers comprehensive back-office support, and your incubator partners can also assist with building a high-performance team.

Prospective Golden Visa Investors

If you’ve missed the window period for obtaining a Golden Visa by investing in residential property in Lisbon, Porto or the coastal Algarve region, and you’d ideally prefer to minimize your total capital layout, the HQA Visa is an excellent Golden Visa alternative, even to fund based investments.

The application process and approvals take as little as 30 days, compared to 12-15 months with property based Golden Visas.

Moreover, it still leaves you with an additional €175,000 to buy a property anywhere in Portugal (should you wish), thus also reducing your exposure in case of a future property market correction.

Successful Technology Professionals

Boasting an affordable, highly skilled labor force and a low cost of living, Portugal is one of the best places to launch a new, technology focused enterprise. If you’re a successful, suitably qualified professional in the technology, Research & Development or innovation sectors…

And you wish to seed a business option in Portugal even before you’re ready to move there with your family, then the HQA could be a perfect fit for you.

Offering full Golden Visa flexibility and an accessible investment price point, the HQA Visa puts you in the drivers seat to build a new life in Portugal – without the need to move there permanently.

Newly Minted Crypto Millionaires

If you’ve earned big off early investments in Bitcoin, Ether or a range of altcoins, chances are you may be sitting on significant unrealised capital gains. Portugal is one of a few countries treating crypto as a currency, rather than a security, making it a no-brainer choice for wealthy hodlers. 

What’s more, the country’s Non-Habitual Tax Residency Program (NHR) also holds a lot of appeal for those seeking to optimize their global tax obligations. 

Overseas Businesses Seeking To Expand in Europe

For foreign businesses seeking to open a Portuguese branch or wholly owned subsidiary seeking to establish a presence in Schengen Europe, the HQA Program can serve as an excellent quick-start platform with Golden Visa equivalent residency status and benefits.

Business can be conducted at arms length between the mother company and the Portuguese enterprise, with potential tax benefits and a currency hedge built in.

Why Choose The Portugal HQA Visa?

GAIN PORTUGUESE (EU) RESIDENCY: The  simplest, fastest and most affordable road to Portuguese residency, without the burdensome challenges of conventional Golden Visa and Start-up Visa Programs.

STANDARD OF LIVING: Discover the sun-drenched lifestyle that has made Portugal sought after as one of the world’s top travel destinations yourself.

INCREASED MOBILITY: Travel, stay or travel visa free at a moment’s notice across 26 other countries in the EU – no Schengen visa required.

FAMILY RESIDENCY RIGHTS: The primary applicant’s spouse and dependent children up to the age of 18 years can be included in the application for residency rights.

WORLD CLASS EDUCATION: Enroll your children in Portugal’s world class educational institutions, without the need to pay higher education fees as a foreigner.

 NO LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY REQUIREMENT: Unlike in the case of the Spanish and Portuguese Golden Visa Programs, you won’t need to prove proficiency in Portuguese to gain residency under the HQA Visa Program.

NO MINIMUM STAY REQUIREMENTS: Beyond the first visit to activate your HQA Residency permit, no mandatory stays are required of you or your family. Spend as much – or as little – time in Portugal as you choose.

NO ONGOING MAINTENANCE COSTS: Unlike with most other Investment Residency and Golden Visa products, there are no significant ongoing maintenance costs associated with your Portugal HQA Visa Residency – the main investment is once-off.


The primary applicant must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, the following is required:

  • A €175,000 once-off investment in a R&D or research project with a Portuguese institution.

  • A single visit to Portugal to activate your HQA Residency.

  • A clear criminal record.

  • Proof of legally sourced investment funds.

  • Preliminary participation in a start-up incubation program and the development of a basic strategic roadmap – nothing more, unless you decide to.

Why choose us

Golden Visas gives non-EU angle investors access to some of Europe’s top angel investor residency programs, including the Portugal HQA Visa Program for second residency. We specialise in Golden Visas and residency by investment programs, and collaborate with only the finest investment immigration experts in the jurisdictions we service.

Get in touch below to find out more and get your application process started today, as the this deal is not going to be around for long at the current pricing. Take advantage of this exceptional offer today.