PM announces new ‘tech visa’ and €100M to support innovative projects

  • ECO News
  • 6 November 2018

Portugal's prime minister on Monday announced an additional €100 million from the European Investment Fund to support projects of technological innovation and the start of a "Tech Visa".

António Costa announced the two measures at the opening session of the Venture Summit in Beato Convent, which was also attended by the mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, and the Deputy Minister of Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira.

In a speech in English, the PM said that Portugal would soon sign the document outlining the boost to the investment in the partnership with the European Investment Fund with an additional €100 million – funds to be applied in the “Portugal Tech” which has already involved some €230 million since its inception.

According to the Government, of this total €100 million, €50 million comes from IAPMEI (the Portuguese agency to support small and medium-sized companies) and the other €50 million from the European Investment Fund itself – an EU programme that is part of the “Juncker Plan”.

In the same speech, Costa said that his Government on Wednesday would sign the ordinance for the creation of a “Tech Visa”, intended to make it easier for qualified non-EU staff in the technology sector to live in Portugal.

According to the Government, the “Tech Visa” will enter into force on 1 January, 2019 and intends to complement the “Startup Visa,” which was created under the strategy of deepening bilateral relations between Portugal and India and is especially focused on investors who plan to install startups in Portugal.

Speaking to an audience of Startup investors in his brief speech, the prime minister outlined the country’s macroeconomic path over the last three years from exiting the EU’s Excessive Deficit Procedure to the recent situation where all rating agencies consider Portuguese debt to be investment grade.

With the agreement Portugal will sign with the European Investment Fund, it will strengthen its focus on startups, and this will also involve private investments, Costa said.

In relation to the Tech Visa, the PM said that special visas for Startup investors had already been created and that the Government was now launching a new visa for “more technological profiles” on Wednesday.

“We want to attract these professionals to Portugal. Since March, more than 400 people have already requested this type of visa,” Costa added.