30 July 2021 –
Portuguese immigration officials prioritized the appointments and processing of HQA permit applications ahead of other categories, as COVID restrictions were eased in the second quarter of 2021.
The first of 7 pending HQA appointments was scheduled for only days after immigration offices (SEF) reopened, following the lifting of temporary closures related to COVID measures. All permits were issued within weeks, with some delivered in 2 business days.
All 7 pending HQA applications were expedited and processed as presented, without additional inquiries by the authorities. This cohort of applicants included nationals of Russia, Iran, and the USA. HQA partner universities indicate to SEF that HQA applicants are high-value contributors to the Portuguese innovation ecosystem.
– Empowered Startups Portugal