Investment migration is usually divided into two parts; citizenship or residency, but if you are looking at the matter from an investment asset class perspective, you can re-classify it into active investment migration and passive investment migration.
The divide between active and passive investment migration programs is massive, and it affects every part of the process, from investment amounts, physical residency requirements, and the type of residency permit a person can obtain.
Active investment migration, also known as business migration, refers to immigration channels based on applicants opening and running a business in the destination country. These programs are designed to attract entrepreneurs, help create jobs, service underdeveloped areas, and drive innovation.
Business migration programs usually provide applicants with a work permit, typically issued by their new company, as it will act as their sponsor. After a certain amount of time, and depending on the country, they may qualify for permanent residence or citizenship.
It is crucial to make one matter crystal clear, though, business migration is not better or worse than passive investment migration; it is just different and caters to another type of investor; those who want to expand their business into another country or region while also benefiting from the immigration opportunity.
There are much more business migration programs worldwide than there are passive investment programs, as the benefit business migration brings to a country is more tangible and long-lasting, depending, of course, on the country’s economic growth plan. But this variety makes choosing the right business migration program quite complex, as applicants must balance between a country’s business environment, living standard, and ease of the immigration program.
In this piece, we will cover two of the best business migration programs out there, be it in terms of the process itself or the country of destination. Those programs are Portugal’s D2 Visa and Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs and Start-Up Visa (SUV).
Portugal’s D2 Visa
The Portuguese D2 Visa is one of the simplest business migration programs in the world. It has a very straightforward premise: applicants with a clean criminal record who want to establish and run their business in Portugal can apply for a one-year D2 Visa to do so.
The D2 Visa, which allows applicants to bring along their spouse and dependent children, is basically a work permit that allows business owners to establish a company, work, and live in Portugal.
Its process is very simple, as all an applicant must do is:
- Create a comprehensive business plan
- Collect the required documentation
- Have enough money to cover their living expenses
- Register a business and open a bank account
- Transfer the company capital to the company’s bank account
- Submit a complete application
The D2 does not have a minimum investment requirement, which is why it is very popular, as applicants can invest an amount that makes sense within the scope of their business.
The company’s capital only needs to be compatible with the business size and industry. For example, €25,000 would not begin to cover the needs to establish a construction chemical production plant, but it would be more than enough for a boutique IT services firm.
Registering a business in Portugal ranges between €600-€2000 depending on the company type, and the minimum capital needed for an LLC to be registered is €5,000, making the entire process one of the most affordable ways to obtain a residency permit in the EU.
Applicants do need to prove they have the means to cover their living expenses for the duration of the visa, and that would require the following:
- €8,460 for the main applicant
- €4,230 for the spouse, and
- €2,538 for each child
The D2 Visa is issued for one year, and is renewable for one or two years, depending on the business and the applicant’s specific case. As long as the business is active, the applicant has enough money to cover living expenses, and he has no criminal charges against him, he can continue to renew the visa indefinitely.
After residing in Portugal for five continuous years, applicants can then apply for a permanent residency permit or citizenship, and then their status will no longer be bound to their business.
The D2’s simplicity is complimented by Portugal’s business environment. The EU country’s economy is continuously growing, and while experts expect Portugal’s GDP growth to slow a bit in 2023 to 2.4% (it reached an impressive 6.7% in 2022), it is still a substantial indicator of how well the economy is doing.
The number of SMEs grew about 2.5% in 2022 to reach 945,649 businesses throughout the nation. The growing number of smaller companies is owed to the fertile economic environment the pro-business Portuguese government has cultivated in the past few decades.
The World Bank also ranks Portugal 39th worldwide for ease of doing business on its B-Ready rankings, giving it the best classification of Very Easy.
Portugal also opens the doorway to the rest of the EU, which is one of the world’s leading economic superpowers. Those wanting to expand their business to the EU and European continent can do so through the simple and attainable D2 Visa.
The D2 program is straightforward and quick (it takes only three months to process on average), it is very affordable, has very simplistic requirements, and it has a route to Portuguese citizenship. Add that to the fact that Portugal’s economic environment is an outstanding one, and the D2 stands out as one of the best business migration options in the world.
To know more about the Portuguese D2 Visa, contact us today to book a comprehensive consultation with one of our experts. Our strong bilingual teams at Savory & Partners’ Dubai and Lisbon offices help investors find the best investment options.
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