Are NIF Numbers Given At Birth?

By James Cave / Published: November 2021.
Posted in: QandA

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Discount code: PORTUGALIST

Jamie writes:

Thank you for all this information. My husband got a Cartão de Cidadão but does not live in Portugal. He moved to another EU-country when he was 2. Does he needs to apply for a NIF number or does he already have a NIF number by birth? if so, where could we find out what his NIF number is?

To answer this question, I spoke to Kathleen Lo from, a company that specialises in obtaining NIFs and opening bank accounts for people moving to Portugal.

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According to Kathleen, ‘NIFs are not mandatorily assigned at birth. Parents typically get a NIF for their children when they start school since this is necessary for enrollment. If you are a Portuguese Citizen, one way to check if you have a NIF is by looking at your Cartão do Cidadão (Citizen Card).’

So it sounds like the Cartão de Cidadão would be a good place to start, especially since your husband already has this, but, obviously, there’s a good chance you’ve already looked there. Another good place to check would be your nearest Finanças office, if you’re in Portugal. If you aren’t planning to visit Portugal anytime soon, Kathleen writes in a separate answer to another question that you could visit your nearest embassy or consulate and ask there. are able to arrange a NIF for €150 (or €140 if you use the code PORTUGALIST). For more information, read our guide to getting a Portuguese NIF.

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