Andrei's story. How to get a residence permit in Portugal and open a business there.

Andrei’s story. How to get a residence permit in Portugal and open a business there

Andrei was born and lived in Kyiv. At 32, he had two college degrees and was quite serious about self-education. He understood long ago that water doesn’t flow beneath a rolling stone. So from the age of 25, he tried to develop and build his own business.

In early 2014, together with a friend, he opened a small café in the central district, where he lived. Over time, he managed to buy out his friend’s share, and remain the full owner of the business. The café was then refocused into a coffee shop. The main activity was the production of the author’s confectionery. The business did not bring in a lot of money, but it helped keep it afloat. At first, Andrey invested all of his small financial profit in the development of his business. This is how the second coffee shop appeared.

Services were in demand and a contingent of regular customers was formed. However, the well-known events in the country changed the situation radically. Survival became almost impossible.

How to decide to move to another country?
Andrei's story. How to get a residence permit in Portugal and open a business there 9

How to decide to move to another country?

There have always been difficulties in running a business and developing it. The guy tries to regulate all the issues as much as possible. As a result of another clash in Kyiv, one of the buildings of the coffee house was badly damaged. To recover the invested capital, Andriy decided to sell the ready-made business. There were problems in this task as well; he had to sell the premises separately as his property.

In the end, it did not work out to get their funds back completely, but the start-up capital, though not much, was there.

The idea of moving to another country began to visit Andrei in 2016. He considered several options. One of the attractive ones at the time was Germany, where Andrei’s best friend lived. However, the main purpose of the move was not a change of residence, but an opportunity to invest for his profit. So the young man began to analyze the country’s more favorable climate for business. He carefully read the legislation and got acquainted with the reviews of those people who had such practice.

Andrei is a practical guy. Analyzing all the pros and cons, he kept documentation and made his calculations. The base capital for the calculations was the sums accumulated during the period of doing business and selling the premises for cafeterias. Andrei had plans to sell his four-room apartment in Kyiv.

Why Portugal?
Andrei's story. How to get a residence permit in Portugal and open a business there 10

Why Portugal?

The decision has been made. Just on one of the portals, Andrew came across the story of a young couple moving from Ukraine. He managed to get in touch with the guys and get answers to his questions. Doubts fell away and the decision was made unconditionally.

Given that one of the young man’s specialties was a pastry chef, Andrew was not going to change the orientation of his business. He planned to open a small café with exclusive pastries. The second idea for business development in Portugal, Andrew considered the hotel business. The guy worked out these two activities in detail.

In addition to studying the business climate of the country, Andrew took into account the main advantages of moving to the country. They include:

    • Affordable cost of real estate in the country.
    • Prices for food and basic necessities are half and a half lower than in some European countries.
    • Good-hearted people and a low crime rate. According to statistics, it is 35-45% lower than the crime rate in Germany and France.
    • A favorable climate has a positive effect on the overall human condition.
    • Extensive opportunities for business development. Affordable system for obtaining permanent residency when purchasing real estate.
    • The country is part of the EU. Therefore, obtaining citizenship gives the opportunity to expand their own opportunities for residence in any country of the European Union.
    • Loyal migration laws of the country do not have strict restrictions.
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In addition to the main advantages of moving to the country, Portugal is quite a promising place to start a business. The main contributing factors, it is important to allocate:

  1. Easy tax rate, which is focused on the beginner entrepreneur.
  2. Paying audience and interest in what’s new.
  3. Openness and friendliness of the population, special interest in start-ups.

It is worth it because the country has a low level of business, so the business climate in Portugal has low competitiveness. That means that all conditions for the development of business projects have a high rate of efficiency. And in conditions of low competition, it is possible not only to develop your own business but also to multiply it with time.

How was the move?
Andrei's story. How to get a residence permit in Portugal and open a business there 11

How did the move go?

It is important to note that starting a business is considered one of the most promising ways to get a permanent residence. The minimum amount of share capital, which involves 5 thousand euros, and the complete absence of various kinds of bureaucratic delays create a favorable ground for relocation.

Grounds for relocation can be studies, business, and the purchase of the real estate. And buying expensive real estate already gives the right to claim a golden visa. For legal immigration, you must obtain a visa D2. Step by step, the process of moving was a few steps. They include:

  1. Purchasing a D2 visa, which Andrew obtained from the consulate. The help in obtaining and collecting documents was provided by the agency representative, who was in constant communication.
  2. Obtaining a residence permit in Portugal. After arriving in the country, Andrew submitted the documents to the department. The time to obtain a residence permit in Portugal depends based on each individual’s movements. In Andrei’s case, he received his residence permit 2.5 months after he had submitted the documents.

At the end of this period, it was extended for another two years. Given that the time of residence in the country in February 2021 Andrew was five years, in March he safely received a permanent residence permit. During his stay in the country, the young man had adaptation courses and learned the Portuguese language. He successfully confirmed his knowledge of the language, which greatly facilitated him not only in matters of residence and various household problems but also helped improve and strengthen his business.

What does a D2 visa do?
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What do you need a D2 visa for?

In terms of working prospects, Portugal compares favorably with many European countries. For investors and independent professionals at various levels, it is necessary to open a D2 visa. This visa implies the opening of a company in the country, to do business. It is intended for those citizens who have a desire to move to the country.

To apply through the embassy and get a visa, Andrew submitted a package of documents. It included:

  1. Passport, confirming the identity.
  2. Certificate of criminal record, the duration of which is limited. Therefore, such a certificate should be requested immediately before submitting the documents to the Consulate.
  3. Confirmation of the business and availability of funds. It is enough to submit a bank account statement that accumulates funds intended for the start-up capital.
  4. Business documents were provided as registration statements, summary reports, and a business plan. Detailed development calculations were provided in the business plan.

The business plan was not only supported by financial calculations. The main emphasis was on the cultural and economic solution. Depending on the direction of the business, separate attention is paid to such factors when considering the application. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to the fact that the business is not just viable, but also has social, economic, technical, or scientific significance in development.

After applying for a visa, Andrei had an appointment for an in-person interview at the embassy. The interview took the form of a dialogue, without any problems. The questions were sole of a general nature. Although it was clear that all the documents were carefully studied. To minimize the questions from the representative of the embassy, it is worth carefully preparing the documents.

Already after obtaining the visa, upon arrival in Portugal, Andrew made an appointment at the SEF for registration and obtaining a temporary residence permit.

How did the business opening process go?
Andrei's story. How to get a residence permit in Portugal and open a business there 13

How did the process of starting a business go?

Portugal has created the most comfortable conditions for doing business. Studying the ground, for himself, Andrew identified several real advantages:

  • The low minimum rate of share capital. It does not create a financial burden on the budget.
  • Can set up a company without having a residence permit in Portugal.
  • Tax rates are orders of magnitude lower than in most European countries. Rates in Portugal are considered the lowest and most attractive for investment and development of the internal market.
  • The country itself is among the top 10 safest countries in the world.
  • Fastest company registration process. Andrei managed to register his business in two business days.
  • A complete lack of red tape and bribery. Representatives from the service actively advised and assisted with the paperwork.
  • Affordable and reasonable prices for goods and services that fully comply with their quality.

In terms of opening a company also there were no particular problems. The chosen form of ownership was individual entrepreneurship. Andrew beforehand analyzed and studied the market, and he found a cozy room for rent in a small cafe with good passability. The cost also suited him. The number one plan was to further purchase the building. The Portuguese authorities are interested in having a financial impact on the country’s economy. Therefore, the conditions for starting a business are also very comfortable and acceptable, equally for residents and non-residents of the country.

To open a business and register it, Andrei needed 2.5 thousand euros. The process itself included:

    • Opening a bank account, whereafter the registration the authorized capital is deposited. For the individual entrepreneur, there are no limits on the amount of the authorized capital.
    • Registration at the company’s Registration Centre, where the business plan has been presented.
    • Submission of the lease agreement.
    • According to the expected income for the year.
    • Registered with the tax authority and social purpose departments.

In terms of record-keeping, there is also a choice. You can sign a contract for permanent collaboration with an accountant, to use outsourcing. In the beginning, Andrew limited himself to the lack of an accountant, with the provision of accounting on their own. After 7 months of operation, he signed an outsourcing contract.

What are your plans for the future?

Having lived in Portugal for five years and quite well organized his business, Andrew did not regret his decision even once. Among other things, he can fly to his parents in Kyiv, and his parents visited him several times.

The idea to expand has always been relevant. Therefore, among the most promising and understandable to him, the young man identified several main areas. Among them were such ideas:

  1. Remodeling work that is relevant in the country and demand not only by private property owners. A popular service is the repair of office space and those that are intended for further rent. Owners are interested in the presentable and attractive appearance of their buildings.
  2. The fishing business is one of the most profitable in the country. Even with a small boat of your own, you can have a steady income. Fish production is gaining momentum in the country.
  3. A good step for aspiring entrepreneurs is to grow their crops. Ecological products of their production are a priority not only for the locals but also for tourists.
  4. The hotel business seemed to Andrei the most promising and closest to his core business.

At the moment he is looking for a small family hotel to move his cafe into and combine the hotel business with a pleasant pastime.

The young man has expanded his cafe and has signed a cooperation agreement with two professional pastry chefs. He also took several additional courses and regularly tries to participate in master classes of famous pastry chefs. Improving his experience in the confectionery art, the guy now has his own contingent of regular customers.

Citizenship and residence permit in Portugal
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Citizenship and residence permit in Portugal

First of all, it is worth noting that Portuguese citizenship opens up the possibility for a person to obtain EU citizenship. The country’s passport is on the list of the most priority documents. By obtaining citizenship, a resident automatically gets the opportunity to reside permanently in one of the countries of the European Union, and receive education, use of medical and other services.

In the economic list of countries, Portugal ranks 54th. Citizenship of the country gives unlimited opportunities, both for normal residence and for possible employment. And entrepreneurship and the development of business in the country are most welcome and encouraged by the authorities. The country has a fairly developed economy and a stable market. A smooth political situation also gives confidence in the future. Acceptable and high standards of living give great prospects for those who are willing to improve, work and develop. For the contribution to their economy, the country’s government offers potential and real investors a wide range of benefits and guarantees.

Therefore, it is worth highlighting the advantages of citizenship in Portugal. Among them are the following advantages:

    • A simplified system for obtaining a residence permit for spouses and relatives of a resident who already has Portuguese citizenship.
    • Extensive opportunities not only to live and enjoy the available services but also to receive an education. It is worth highlighting that education is of a fairly high level.
    • Citizens of the country have visa-free entry to the Schengen destination countries.
    • After obtaining a residence permit in Portugal, after a period of permanent residence in the country for five years, you can get a permanent residence permit. There are no restrictions and there are no difficulties in applying for citizenship.
    • After 5 years of doing business in the country, the state provides a return on investment.
    • The requirements for residence in the country are minimal. There are no difficulties in renting an apartment for permanent residence. The cost of renting is also affordable.
    • Taxation under favorable conditions. A very important point! The state provides an opportunity for each aspiring entrepreneur to gain a foothold in the market. During the first 10 years, all the income which the entrepreneur receives in the process of his activity is not taxed. Therefore, it is quite possible to manage the profits received independently. Most often, entrepreneurs invest it in real estate or simply develop their business ideas.
    • Lack of excessive requirements for language skills when applying for a residence permit in Portugal.
    • High rate of health care.

Now it is worth dwelling on the Permanent Residence Permit in Portugal. Even though the status is granted to a citizen indefinitely, it is confirmed every five years. Since the country recognizes dual citizenship, when applying for permanent residency, you do not need to renounce your original citizenship. Andrey, having received a permanent residence permit in Portugal, has Ukrainian citizenship

Legally, obtaining the status requires six years of legal residence in the country. Before submitting documents, it is necessary to make sure that all the conditions for obtaining them are met. The package of documents includes:

    1. A special application form can be obtained from the Alien Services Officer.
    2. A valid passport of the country of which the applicant is a citizen.
    3. The birth certificate and identification number.
    4. Photographs in an approved format.
    5. Document proving the right to legally stay in the country.
    6. Certificate that the person has no criminal record. It is issued by law enforcement agencies and the Portuguese version of the document is also provided.
    7. Marriage document if the citizen is or has been married.
    8. Confirmation of financial well-being. A bank statement is officially confirmed by the financial institution.
    9. Medical certificate confirming the state of health.
    10. Certificate of language proficiency.

In the process of processing documents, there may be some minor nuances. Andrew initially took this fact into account. So the most convenient and easy option to do everything quickly and reliably was chosen by Andrew at the planning stage. The opportunity to use a specialized service for relocation to Portugal saved time and money. Movetocascais is a team of professionals who are not in theory to help. These are people who have tremendous experience, have been through all the stages of relocation themselves, and help to find the most convenient and promising option for each person. Andrei was easy in this regard, as the agency representative was constantly in touch and instantly responded to any questions. After the move and the emergence of stability in life and business, Andrew does not stop communicating with the guys from the agency and helps those who have expressed a desire to change their lives.

Portugal is not just a fairy tale, it is an opportunity to build your own life, improve it, make plans, and successfully achieve results!