Portugal HQA Visa


Portugal HQA Visa Program
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Portugal’s HQA Visa is often described as a hybrid program that combines the outdated means-based Golden Visa with a Startup Visa. The HQA program essentially gives qualified entrepreneurs the ability to establish their own company in Portugal while making an investment in an R&D project in collaboration with a government supported research facility (a Portuguese university). Every individual who participates in the HQA Visa program must participate in a government approved incubator program (Empowered Startups).

The HQA Visa is one of the fastest residency programs available in the European Union, with just a 90 day timeline to residency. It offers a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs, investors, and subject matter experts to gain residency in the European Union, while starting a new venture.


  • The HQA Visa Program is built specifically for business people
  • The total processing time for the HQA Visa is just weeks
  • There is no property investment required
  • The program allows applicants to have access to the EU as a plan B or second residency
  • Provides a clear pathway to Portuguese Citizenship
  • The ability to easily start and maintain a venture in the EU
  • Portugal’s fantastic lifestyle and climate
  • Provides pathway to citizenship and Permanent Residency for family members.
  • You will benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax Residency Program for the first 10 years of your residency
More HQA Visa Program Info

You can read more about the HQA Visa Program in detail, including learning more about the legislation that supports the program by visiting the link below.

Visit www.HQAvisa.pt

HQA Research Projects & Partners

One of the requirements for the HQA Visa Program is making an investment in research and development activities that can be used to support your new venture at one of Portugal’s universities. Have a look at some of our industry options for HQA Visa Program research projects here.



West: Leiria 

Our incubator on the West coast, just an hour north of Lisbon, offers ready access to ground-breaking work in sea basin technologies, through the Politecnic of Leiria.

Northeast: Bragança

Our northern Portugal location is within a research facility that houses dedicated teams of researchers to support innovative r&d in several areas, including mecatronics, agri-tech, and nano-manufacturing.

University of Evora
Center: Évora 

Our incubator in the central region, an hour east of Lisbon, is connected to 4 regional research institutions through the 450-year-old University of Évora, offering state-of-the art expertise in aeronautics and Industry 4.0 solutions.

South: Faro 

Our incubator in the Algarve region, on the southern coast of Portugal, is well-connected to the thriving pan-Mediterranean innovation community through the University of the Algarve.

Using our proven and powerful methodology, network, market insight and business expertise, we guide entrepreneurs on a path to successfully start a business in Portugal.

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Become the Best

We educate and empower founders to build market offers and business models that empower their ideas to become the best in the world. We guide them through the rigours of Lean StartUp and Horizon Methodology, and cycle through the validated learning process of build-measure-learn.

Connect with the Best

We select entrepreneurs from around the world with the best innovative and scalable concepts to startup in Portugal, with international reach. We are skilled at assisting entrepreneurs in de-risking their projects, increasing their speed to market, and enhancing the overall prosperity of the Portuguese ecosystem they are entering.

Sell Internationally

We build startups that define and aggressively pursue revenue goals on this equation: My startup will sell $X of Y product to customers A, B, C in N number of countries in M number of months.


Our valued partnerships provide transnational entrepreneurs with opportunities to deepen the foundations and extend the reach of their ventures.

Our partnership with the Politecnic of Leiria offers entrepreneurs access to innovative research in sea basin technologies.

Our partnership with the University of Évora provides entrepreneurs with access to state-of-the-art expertise in Industry 4.0 solutions.

University of Évora

Our partnership with BEP provides start ups with ready access to top tier researchers, according to their business needs.

Our partnership with the University of the Algarve provides entrepreneurs with access to pan-Mediterranean collaboration opportunities.


Golden Visa vs. HQA Visa vs. D7 Visa

Golden Visa vs. HQA Visa vs. D7 Visa

We get quite a few questions about how Portugal's HQA Visa program differs from a Golden Visa. To be honest there are quite a few differences but it really boils down to 3 main differences - Processing time, cost, and the activities associated with the visa....


The following professionals generously offer their perspectives on our plans. We are grateful for the influence they continue to have on our projects.



Executive Director, STARTUP LAB – SRS Advogados




Director , CRIA – University of the Algarve




Entrepreneurship & Investments Officer, Brigantia-EcoPark