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The HQA Visa in Portugal

Recognizing the importance of attracting skilled individuals to its shores, Portugal has introduced the Highly Qualified Activities Residency (HQA) Visa, a program specifically designed to facilitate the relocation and integration of high-caliber professionals into the country’s economy.

The Portugal HQA Visa, also known as the “Tech Visa“, is a streamlined residency program that aims to attract and retain highly qualified professionals and entrepreneurs to Portugal. The program offers a fast-track path to permanent residency and eventual citizenship for those who contribute to Portugal’s innovation and economic growth.

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO

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Eligibility criteria for the Portugal HQA visa

Individuals coming to Portugal for research purposes at esteemed institutions, including universities, are given priority. However, all qualified professionals engaged in intellectual labor can apply, provided they possess a certificate from a higher education institution and have a contract or guarantee with a Portuguese company.

  • Be 18 or older
  • Non-EU citizenship 
  • Hold a university degree
  • Be covered by health insurance
  • Have a work contract or agreement with a Portuguese company with a minimum term of one year
  • Be paid 3 times the Portuguese IAS (which is €509,26€ in 2024), so more than 1527.78€
  • Stay in Portugal for at least 6 months a year
  • Language Proficiency: A basic proficiency in Portuguese is beneficial but not mandatory. Many tech and research environments operate in English.
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Application Process for the HQA Visa in Portugal

  • Gather all required documentation
  • Fill out the application form for the HQA at the E-Visa Portal 
  • Visit the Portuguese Consulate in your home country to await approval (typically within 30 days)
  • After approval, travel to Portugal and apply for a residence permit at the AIMA 
  • After five years, have the possibility to apply for Portuguese citizenship

Residence in Portugal: Applicants must reside in Portugal for at least 183 days per year to maintain their HQA Visa status.

Regular Renewal: The HQA Visa is initially issued for 1 year. Applicants must renew their visa before the expiry date to continue residing in Portugal. Each renewal can be for 2 years, up to a maximum of 5 years.

hqa visa portugal

Required documents for the HQA visa

  • Completed application form
  • Two passport photographs
  • Passport valid for at least 3 months beyond the intended stay duration
  • University diploma
  • Valid travel insurance
  • Certificate of no criminal record from the country of origin
  • Form authorizing AIMA to consult your criminal record
  • Proof of accommodation in Portugal (e.g., a rental contract)
  • Employment contract or agreement
  • Term of responsibility issued by the employer

Enhance your application with these key documents:

  • Professional Portfolio: Showcase your professional achievements, projects, and contributions to highlight your expertise.
  • Letter of Intent: Include a well-crafted letter expressing your commitment to contributing to Portugal’s professional landscape.
Costs of the Portugal HQA Visa

The HQA Visa process involves certain financial obligations to be considered:

  • Processing costs at the Portuguese Consulate of the home country (varying by country)
  • Health insurance (varies according to age and desired coverage)
  • Between 75€ and 90€ for residence permit processing
  • 197€ for the residence card itself
  • Legal and Professional Assistance: Securing professional assistance to navigate the complex application process and ensure eligibility can range from 5,000€ to 10,000€
  • Living Expenses: After moving, estimated monthly living expenses in Portugal range from 1,000€ to 2,000€, covering accommodation, food, transportation, and other necessities
Financial Considerations:
  • Tax Implications: Delve into any tax benefits you may be eligible for, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of its implications.
  • Financial Planning: Collaborate with financial experts to optimize your financial strategy, aligning with both short-term visa requirements and long-term residency goals.
hqa visa portugal

Benefits of the Highly-Qualified Activity visa in Portugal

  • Free entry and circulation within the Schengen Area
  • Family reunification with close relatives
  • Inclusion of a spouse and children under 18 in the application
  • Eligibility to apply for tax incentives for scientific research and innovation, like the NHR
  • Qualification for permanent residence or citizenship in Portugal after 5 years
  • Enjoyment of all Portuguese citizen rights, including access to healthcare and the social security system

In addition to these enticing benefits, the HQA Visa offers an array of advantages:

  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with like-minded professionals in Portugal’s thriving tech and innovation ecosystem.
  • Access to Research Opportunities: For those engaged in research-driven professions, the visa opens doors to collaboration with top-tier Portuguese institutions.
  • Cultural and Lifestyle Perks: Immerse yourself in Portugal’s rich cultural tapestry and enjoy a high-quality lifestyle, blending modern amenities with historic charm.

Seek professional guidance: A path to success

Navigating the intricate process of obtaining a visa and relocating to Portugal can be challenging. Engaging professional expertise is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful transition:

  • Visa Application Guidance: A qualified immigration lawyer can assist in preparing the comprehensive application package, ensuring eligibility criteria are met and legal requirements are fulfilled. Pearls of Portugal offers you a Carefree Visa Service.
  • Financial Assessment and Management: A financial advisor can evaluate your financial situation to ensure you meet the required financial means and provide guidance on budgeting and financial planning.
  • Cultural Integration Support: A relocation or integration specialist can facilitate your adaptation to the Portuguese culture, assisting in finding a home, insights into local customs, language support, and social connections.
Beyond the Visa: Integrating with Pearls of Portugal

The HQA Visa presents a unique opportunity to embark on a fulfilling journey in Portugal, a nation brimming with opportunities for professional growth, cultural enrichment, and personal fulfillment.

With the guidance of experienced professionals, you can navigate the visa process, settle into your new life, and contribute to Portugal’s vibrant economy.

When partnering with a company like Pearls of Portugal, we give you personalized legal support from trusted partners, ensuring a seamless process without added concerns. We are committed to providing unparalleled support for your professional and personal integration into the vibrant Portuguese landscape as you embark on this journey!

Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl, CEO
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