The Deputy Minister of Economy said today that Tech Visa, whose applications start in January, aims to ensure that skilled workers outside the European Union can access jobs created by companies in Portugal.
“This week we are receiving investment intentions from many large companies, the investments that are announced will create in the coming months, next year, some thousands of jobs in Portugal, highly qualified jobs,” Pedro Siza Vieira told reporters at the margin the launch of Tech Visa at the Web Summit in Lisbon.
The period of applications for the measure, set forth in the National Strategy for Entrepreneurship StartUp Portugal, to attract highly qualified foreign staff, starts on January 1.
“We have to recognize that our level of unemployment is at record levels, confirming” a 6.7% unemployment rate in Portugal in the third quarter “is a continuous decline since 2015,” continued Siza Vieira, adding that “this means that in some sectors” Portugal begins “to need labour to accompany the efforts of” Portuguese “companies towards investment and growth.
“We hope that with this measure we can facilitate the access to Portugal of workers from third countries, obviously, the workers of the European Union are free to settle there,” he added, noting that in the last months we have seen many young skilled workers, entrepreneurs, to live in the country.
“This initiative aims to ensure that workers from third countries, whether from Brazil, Asia, or the rest of Europe outside the European Union can also easily access the jobs we are creating here,” the official said.
Tech Visa “is a program aimed at technological and innovative companies, inserted in the global market, that wish to attract to Portugal new highly qualified and specialized staff who are nationals of countries not included in the Schengen Area,” according to the Ministry of Economy.
IAPMEI analyzes the eligibility and merit of the candidate companies, involving several entities, such as the Aliens and Borders Service (SEF) and the Directorate General of Consular Affairs in the process of granting residence visas for professionals hired by certified companies, and the evaluation “will also be based on the potential, degree of technological innovation and orientation towards the internationalization of the candidate companies”.
Certified companies “can not have more than 50% of workers contracted simultaneously under Tech Visa, being this limit of 80% for companies from the interior, with this exception being a positive discrimination for the territories of the interior.”