Portugal’s embassies worldwide received 263,502 Schengen uniform visa applications in 2017, according to a report by SchengenVisaInfo.com.

Angolans were the largest group of applicants at Portugal’s embassies, submitting 92,815 uniform visa applications, more than any other nationality in 2017.

Though they were listed at the top for the number of visa applications, they also experienced a higher rate of visa denials. Out of the total Angolans applicants, 16,065 of them got rejected.

The country where Schengen consulate is located Uniform visa applications Issued uniform visas (including MEV visas) Share of MEV visas Issued LTV visas Not issued uniform visas
Angola 92,815 76,671 63.5% 79 16,065
Russia 25,342 24,635 69.8% N/A 707
China 17,904 17,330 11.5% 18 556
Cape Verde 17,310 12,006 36.5% 1 5,303
China 11,224 10,511 42.6% 5 708

A portion of 8.3% of uniform visa applications at Portuguese embassies were denied a visa. In absolute numbers, 39,141 applicants were rejected at these consulates.

Portuguese embassies in Africa rejected a huge amount of visa applications in 2017. For example, though Angolans submitted most applications (92,815) a number of 16,065 of them got rejected.

The rate of visa denials was even higher at other consulates. In Nigeria, 76.2% of the applicants were denied a visa, whereas slightly above half (51.8%) of the applicants at Portuguese embassy in Senegal were rejected.

According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, the reasoning behind this occurrence can be the immigration crisis that the region has experienced in recent years. Probably their stringent Schengen visa restrictions for African applicants are an indication of with their efforts to deter the increased flux of illegal immigration.

Portugal’s StartUP Visa Program

As visas pertaining to foreign entrepreneurs looking to enter Portugal were not specifically included in the above report, Portugal does have a StartUP Visa program aimed at foreign entrepreneurs looking to live in work in the country.

The Portugal StartUp Visa application process went live on March 15, and now over 65 incubators throughout the country are certified to help foreign startups.

The first phase of the StartUp Visa was concluded with the certification of incubators, and the startup application phase of the program is now underway.

The evaluation of the candidate projects will have as criteria the innovative potential of growth, the scalability of the business in the market, and also the prospects of working in Portugal once the program is finished.

The full list of certified Portuguese incubators can be found here.

The Institute to Support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (IAPMEI) recently released its “StartUp Visa Mini Guide for application submission,” which reads:

The entrepreneur should start the process by filling out the identification and description of the project and upload the following documents (for each entrepreneur):

• Letter of motivation with demonstration of interest in developing an entrepreneurial and/or innovative project in Portugal;
• Copy of the passport;
• Official declaration of the country of origin that certifies the settlement of tax and social security debt, when applicable.
• Statement from the bank that proves the existence of own financial means of subsistence corresponding to € 5,146.80,80, and that the possibility of transferring these funds to a bank operating in Portugal;
• Curriculum vitae. The entrepreneur can also attach a project presentation file that can help the incubator do the evaluation.

For more information on how to apply to the Portugal StartUP Visa, please see our full report here.