How to Get a Portuguese NIF Number (Online or In-Person)

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Originally published in Jul 2021 & last updated on December 6, 2023
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Whether you’re moving to Portugal, buying property, or simply setting up a bank account, you’ll need a Número de identificação fiscal. Número de identificação fiscal translates to Tax Identification Number [source], and you’ll sometimes hear people call it a número de contribuinte as well, but most people just say ‘NIF.’

A NIF number is a unique nine-digit number, or form of personal identification, that is used in Portugal when opening a bank account, buying or renting a property, or official transactions such as signing up for a contract (e.g. home internet, utilities, or a phone contract). You won’t need a NIF if you’re just visiting as a tourist but, as mentioned, you will need one if you’re moving to Portugal.

If you are a Portuguese national with a valid citizen’s card you will likely already have a NIF number, however, if you’re a foreigner who hasn’t lived in Portugal yet (often referred to as a ‘non-resident’), you will need to request a NIF number.

There are two main ways that you can obtain a NIF number:

  1. At a Financas or Loja de Cidadão office in Portugal.
  2. Through a law firm or relocation company.

How to Request a NIF Number

As discussed, there are two main ways to obtain a NIF:

  1. At a Financas or Loja de Cidadão office in Portugal.
  2. Through a law firm or relocation company.

Anyone can request a NIF number, regardless of nationality or residency. However, the way in which you obtain it will depend on where you’re resident.

You’re resident in an EU/EEA country

(e.g. you live in France, Germany, Ireland, or Norway)

  • If you’re moving to Portugal: You probably won’t need a NIF until you get to Portugal. You can wait until you come to Portugal and request one at a Finanças or a Loja do Cidadão office in Portugal. There should be no cost involved, you will receive your NIF on the spot, and you won’t need someone to come with you and act as your fiscal representative.
  • If you need one before then (e.g. you’re buying a property from abroad): If you decide to obtain a NIF remotely (i.e. from outside Portugal), you will need to use a person or company to obtain one on your behalf. This could be someone you know, but most likely will be a lawyer or company.

You’re resident in the rest of the world

(e.g. you live in the US, Canada, the UK, or Argentina)

  • If you’re moving to Portugal: you may be required to get a NIF for your residency visa application, if you’re applying for a visa (e.g. the D7, golden visa, digital nomad visa). While the default way to obtain a NIF is to go to a Financas or Loja de Cidadão office in person, this isn’t practical if you’re in somewhere like the US, Canada, or India. As such, you will most likely need to use a law firm or online company. Regardless of whether you obtain a NIF remotely or in Portugal at a Financas or Loja de Cidadão office, you will need a fiscal representative.

If you do come to Portugal to get a NIF and go to either a Financas or Loja de Cidadão, you should expect to pay €10.20 to get your NIF. If you hire someone to be a fiscal representative, you will also need to factor in that cost. On the other hand, if you use a law firm or company to obtain your NIF, you should expect to pay from around €74.25, which is around $USD80, and that cost typically includes fiscal representation for one year. The turnaround varies from 24 hours to several weeks, depending on the company and service.

We’ve analysed these companies to see which offers 1) the lowest prices and 2) the fastest turnaround, which we discuss in the comparison table below.

Here’s the current cheapest option from that table:

CostTimeframeFiscal RepresentationOur Writeup€74.25 with code PORTUGALIST253-10 days1 YearReview
You can see all the other companies we’ve compared in the comparison table

Still confused? Use our NIF helper to see how you should request your NIF.

How to Get a NIF Online

Both those resident in an EU/EEA country (e.g. France) and those resident in a non-EU/EEA country (e.g. the US or UK) can get a NIF number online using a law firm or company, such as those listed below.

You do not need a Portuguese address to get a NIF [source], although you will need to change your address to your Portuguese address when you move to Portugal via the tax office’s website, Portal das Finanças.

Comparison Table

CostTimeframeFiscal RepresentationReviews€74.25 with code PORTUGALIST253-10 days1 YearReview€79Up to 14 Days1 YearReview
Novomove€87 (with code PORTUGALIST)3 DaysNot necessaryReview
Lisbob€891-10 Days1 YearReview€892-10 days (depending on selected option)1 YearReview
Bordr$140 Less than 1 week1 YearReview
  • Cheapest: The cheapest option, with 12 months of fiscal representation, we could find is €74.25 ( when you use the discount code PORTUGALIST25. If you really want to save money, get the Portuguese bank account as part of the same bundle.
  • Fastest Turnaround: The fastest service was 24-48 hours (, using the premium rush service. This costs extra, but could be worth it if you need to get a NIF quickly.
  • Best-rated: Bordr is probably the best-rated on TrustPilot due to their excellent customer service, and it has the most reviews due to being the first company to start offering this service.

Will you need more than one NIF?

As each NIF is unique, each individual residing in Portugal needs a NIF, including children, although children don’t normally require one until they enrol in school [source]. This means couples can’t share a NIF like they can a bank account [source]. In short, each individual residing in Portugal needs a NIF number.

Steps to getting a NIF online

  1. Choose a company from the comparison table (note: if they offer a discount code, be sure to take a note of it to get those all-important savings).
  2. Click the relevant link where you will need to enter your details and upload relevant documents. These typically are:
    • Passport (or National ID card if you’re an EU citizen).
    • Proof of address such as a driver’s licence, bank statement, or utility bill.
    • If your documents are in a language other than Portuguese or English, you may be asked to provide a certified translation.
  3. Pay for the service.
  4. Wait for your NIF number, which is typically delivered over email.

Documents & Requirements

  • Passport (or National ID card if you’re an EU citizen)
  • Proof of address such as a driver’s licence, bank statement, or utility bill.
  • Fee, which ranges from around €80 to several hundred, depending on the company.

Do I need ongoing fiscal representation?

Most companies and lawyers charge an annual fee for fiscal representation, and the first year is usually included when you obtain a NIF through them. The exception is Novomove.

However, the rules have changed and, in many cases, you won’t need to pay for ongoing fiscal representation [source].

  • If you are planning to move to Portugal, you won’t need a fiscal representative once you get to Portugal.
  • If you don’t move to Portugal, and don’t have financial ties to Portugal, such as a house or car, you don’t need a fiscal representative.
  • If you are an EU/EEA resident, you can receive communication from Finanças at your EU/EEA address.

All of the companies listed have a way of cancelling fiscal representation if you do not require this. Be sure to do so before the end of the year, otherwise they are likely to charge you for a second year of fiscal representation. As mentioned, Novomove does not charge for fiscal representation.

How to Get a NIF in Portugal

Both residents of an EU/EEA country (like Ireland or Italy) and residents of a non-EU/EEA country (like the US, UK, or Turkey) can apply for a NIF number in-person at a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office in Portugal. You do not need a Portuguese address to get a NIF [source], although you will need to change your address to your Portuguese address when you move to Portugal via the tax office’s website, Portal das Finanças.

However, those resident in a non-EU/EEA country (e.g. the US, UK, Switzerland [source], or Canada) need a fiscal representative to accompany them. Those resident in an EU/EEA country (e.g. Poland or Denmark) don’t.

Who can be your fiscal representative:

  • A Portuguese lawyer.
  • An individual, such as a friend or family member, who’s resident in Portugal and willing to act as your fiscal representative.

Non-EU/EEA residents need a fiscal representative when requesting a NIF number. This can be a company such as Bordr or it could be an individual, such as a friend or family member, who’s resident in Portugal and willing to act as your fiscal representative. – Kathleen Lo, Bordr

EU/EEA members do not need a fiscal representative when requesting a NIF directly at a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office in Portugal. However, those from Switzerland do. – Kathleen Lo, Bordr

Steps to getting a NIF in Portugal

  1. Work out whether you need a fiscal representative: If you are a non-EU/EEA resident, you do. If you are an EU/EEA resident, you don’t.
  2. Find a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office near you. You can find your nearest Loja do Cidadão offices here, but Google Maps is often easier for finding Finanças or Loja do Cidadão offices.
  3. You do not normally need an appointment to get a NIF. However, you should pick a day when you are able to get there early due to the typically long queues.
  4. Make sure you have all the required documentation, such as
    • Passport (or National ID card if you’re an EU citizen).
    • Proof of address such as a driver’s licence, bank statement, or utility bill.
    • If your documents are in a language other than Portuguese or English, you may be asked to provide a certified translation.
  5. When you get there, take a senha (ticket) and wait your turn. The button you need to press will probably say “NIF” or “Número de Contribuinte.”
  6. Wait until your number is called and then explain that you are here for a NIF.
  7. While it’s likely that the person you speak to will speak English, the people who work in Finanças are not known for being helpful so try to make an effort in Portuguese. 

In theory, it should be as easy as walking into a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office and requesting one. In practice, it isn’t always and it may take a lot of your time, particularly in large cities, as some Portugalist readers share. However, this is a good introduction to what bureaucratic life in Portugal can be like (it varies from place to place).

I tried visiting a Finanças office but was told that in order to get a NIF I would need to make an appointment. In order to do that, someone with a NIF would need to make an appointment for me. Now knowing anyone, I tried another Finanças office (the head office in Porto) and was directed to the Loja de Cidadão. While they were very helpful, they only offer a limited number of tickets per day and even though I waited for hours, I eventually gave up. I came back the next morning at 5:55 AM … and that was just in time to get a prime spot near the door. The queue was about 100m+ at 9:30 when they opened (on a Saturday). From then on it was easy, but I wished I had just ordered one online beforehand.


As mentioned, the quality of service varies from place to place and some people have a much easier experience.

I walked in, no prior appointment and got the NIF within 5 mins. Although making an appointment is required, but I was lucky that they attended to me. Nonetheless, this is my personal experience.


The ease of getting a NIF will greatly depend on which Financas office you go to. If you go to one in Lisbon or Porto, you will need to get there before 8 am and there will be long, long lines. If you can go to a Financas in a small town or use one of the online services. Even if you’re an EU resident, it’s not worth the pain of queuing.


Not all financas offices are created equal. We found the Tavira office to be incredibly difficult. Couldn’t get an appointment just to get a NIF number for 5 weeks. People were unfriendly and unhelpful. We went to another financas and it was a much better experience.


If you’re visiting a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office in a smaller town, it’ll probably be easier. The offices of both departments in Lisbon and Porto are known for having long queues.

Documents & Requirements

  • Passport (or National ID card if you’re an EU citizen)
  • Proof of address such as a driver’s licence, bank statement, or utility bill.
  • Someone to be your fiscal representative, if you’re a non-EU/EEA resident.
  • Fee, if a non-EU/EEA resident, which is €10.20.

What about plastic cards? The Portuguese Tax Authority no longer issues NIF cards at its Finanças offices, but you can get a file that you can print out yourself on the e-fatura website. The 2-page PDF issued by Finanças would be the best document to use as proof of your NIF.

There is no requirement to carry your NIF on you, but it is a good idea to have it memorised (in Portuguese ideally rather than English). Most people recite the 9-digit number in 3-digit blocks e.g. 231-574-290.

You can check your NIF number by logging into your personal tax account on Portal das Finanças or if you’ve forgotten it, you can visit a Finanças office [source].

Using Your NIF

Once you are a tax resident in Portugal, it is a good idea to use your NIF even when it’s not required (it’s not required at the supermarket, for example [source]). Using it can reduce your tax bill in certain categories (e.g. for groceries, haircuts, and at the mechanic’s) [source]. You will also receive one entry into a weekly draw for every €10 you spend [source].

An example NIF would be 231-574-290, so it looks almost like a phone number. You should memorise your NIF in Portuguese, as the person requesting it may not speak English.

NumberPortuguese TranslationPronunciation

Tax Implications

If you obtain a Portuguese NIF you won’t automatically have tax obligations in Portugal or be required to file a Portuguese tax return. However, even if you haven’t made Portugal your country of residence, you may have tax obligations in Portugal if you have purchased a property or car in Portugal, for example [source].

However, it’s important to note that changing the address on your NIF from your non-Portuguese (e.g. your address in the US) to a Portuguese address (e.g. your new address in Portugal) can be construed as changing your tax residency to Portugal. For this reason, you should only register a Portuguese address within the Finanças Portugal when you want to be considered a Portuguese tax resident. An accountant can advise on when is best to do this.

Leaving Portugal

At some point you may decide to leave Portugal or to sell a property, leaving you with no financial ties there.

The NIF number does not expire and does not need to be renewed [source], however, it also cannot be cancelled. However, as of 2022, you no longer need an ongoing fiscal representative if you have a NIF, don’t reside in Portugal, and don’t have any tax obligations here (e.g. owning a property).

If you’ve already left Portugal, you should update your address so that you won’t be considered a tax resident in Portugal anymore. If you don’t update the address associated with your NIF, you might be liable for personal income tax in Portugal. You can update your address at Portal das Finanças.

Useful Words & Phrases

  • Resident: If you’re legally living somewhere (e.g. the USA) you’re considered a resident there (e.g. a resident of the USA).
  • Non-Resident: If you aren’t living somewhere, you’re considered a non-resident. If you see the word non-resident, it usually refers to people not living in Portugal as opposed to not living somewhere else.
  • Fiscal Representative (representante fiscal): A person living in Portugal (or company) that acts as your intermediary between you and Finanças (the Portuguese tax authority). If you have a non-EU/EEA address, you will need a fiscal representative. This person (or company) is responsible for passing on communications from Finanças to you. See our article on fiscal representatives.
  • Citizen: This normally refers to where you hold citizenship, and is often (but
  • EU: The European Union, which is a union of member states (such as Germany and France). Following Brexit, the UK is no longer a member of this union.
  • EEA: The European Economic Area. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are in the EEA but not the EU.
  • Número de contribuinte: Another word for the NIF number. At the supermarket, the cashier might ask ‘contribuinte?’ What she is asking is whether you want to add your Portuguese tax number to the receipt.
  • Finanças: The Portuguese tax authority. Like the IRS in the USA or Inland Revenue in the UK.
  • Loja de Cidadão: A one-stop shop for government and essential services. In these shops you can find Social Security, Tax and Registration services, as well as EDP, Galp or CTT services, among other entities. You can find your nearest Loja de Cidadão here.

Other Numbers

There are several personal identification numbers in Portugal, such the NISS (social security number) and número de utente (healthcare number). The other numbers are typically requested once you’ve moved to Portugal and you can find out how to request them in these articles:


Written by

James Cave is the founder of Portugalist and the author of the bestselling book, Moving to Portugal Made Simple. He has visited just about every part of Portugal, including Madeira and all nine islands of the Azores, and lived in several parts of Portugal including Lisbon, the Algarve, and Northern Portugal.

You can contact James by emailing or via the site's contact form. This article includes contributions from Kathleen Lo, co-founder of

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There are 105 comments on this article. Join the conversation and add your own thoughts, reviews, and stories of life in Portugal. However, please remember to be civil.


  1. The ease of getting a NIF will greatly depend on which Financas office you go to. If you go to one in Lisbon or Porto, you will need to get there before 8 am and there will be long, long lines. If you can go to a Financas in a small town or use one of the online services. Even if you’re an EU resident, it’s not worth the pain of queuing.

  2. Hi James,
    Thanks for thé article, it’s very interesting
    I’m leaving in France and I’m wondering if I can get the NIF Online by my own ? (From what I understood we need to go to Portugal but I just want to make sure the online option is not there)
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Nina,

      Yes, come to Portugal or use one of the companies listed in the article. If you come to Portugal, you’ll be able to do it for free as an EU resident. However, it rarely makes sense to come to Portugal just to get a NIF considering companies charge as little as €75.

  3. Thank you for all your hard work with this article. It lays all of the options out in a really clear and easy way to understand.

    I’m British but living in Spain, so not sure if Brexit applies. Where should I apply for a NIF?

    • Hi Anthony,

      Brexit does apply (non-EU residents need a fiscal rep and those from the EU don’t). However, it’s based on residency rather than citizenship. As you’re resident in Spain, you can apply at a Finanças or Loja de Cidadão office.

  4. I can confirm that Financas are doing walk ins. You do not need to make an appointment however it is probably better to have one. Good luck geting an answer on the phone though. I couldnt get one for days so I decided to just turn up and hope for the best. I got there just after 8 am and managed to get a slot. Some people recommend getting their earlier. They only have a few slots available per day so its a case of the early bird catches the worm.

    You need to be an EU citizen for this. If you arent EU then you need a lawyer.

  5. Hi,
    I applied NIF through the website offered on this website: €70 – Up to 7 Days. I have not heard from the office. Not even a confirmation that they received my application. What should I do? Thank you for your advised.

    • Hi Rhonda,

      How long have you been waiting for a reply? A few people have commented that this service is slow (see the other comments) but people do get their NIF numbers eventually.

  6. i came across website that provide NIF number and i have some doubts please if its legit replay to confirm it validity
    web site is !!!!

    also if opening online back account with BANCO ATLANTICO EUROPA is that valid for D7 visa application?

    thanks in advance Obrigado

  7. Hi James, love the article!

    just one question: I’m a EU citizen, moved to Portugal but don’t have an offical adress here. Will I still be able to get a NIF through the Finanças Portal Online? I can only proof my non-Portugal EU-adress.

    Sunny regards

    • Hi Tim,

      Did you move to Portugal (as in officially register here and obtain a residency certificate) or did you “move here” but are technically still living elsewhere? If it’s the latter, you would obtain a NIF in the same way as someone living in another EU country would obtain one.

  8. Hi,
    Thanks for the great article. Although, I am a little confused by some of the terminology, specifically the term ‘resident’.
    I am not an EU citizen, but I am a permanent resident of an EU country. In this case do the rules for an EU citizen apply to me regarding the NIF application or do I require fiscal representation?

  9. Hi James,
    Firstly, we bought your book and it has been SOOOO helpful. Thanks!
    Regarding a NIF, if we get one in advance of our move and then something changes and we are unable to relocate to PT, what is the process to cancel it? Since we’d be paying Borderio (or other) to be a Fiscal Representative, we’d like to know the exit strategy (for the NIF/representative) if our plans don’t work out. We’ll be scouting this June and are considering setting up our bank account while in PT (so would need a NIF), but won’t move until summer 2023 or early 2024. A lot can change in that time, so were pondering all the possible outcomes. Thanks!

    • Anyone resident in Portugal can be your fiscal representative, assuming you need one, according to this interview with Bordr. I have heard of some lawyers or landlords doing this for people when they’re buying or renting a house, but unfortunately the norm is that most people need to use a company to act as their fiscal representative.

  10. I am Turkish citizen and my wife is Portugal citizen. We are living in Turkey. We want to open a joint acount at a Portugal bank.
    Which documents do we need for NIF, what does it cost, how long does it take?

    • Hi Oral,

      The required documents are listed in the article above. As you’re resident in Turkey, you should follow the information for non-EU/EEA residents. Most likely you will need to use a company to open the account for you, in which case the timescale depends on them. I’ve listed the estimates for each company in the comparison table.

      Note: your wife may already have a NIF if she is a Portuguese citizen.

  11. Hi, I need your advice. I already applied and have NIF about 6 years ago, but never used it. I live in the Uk and trying to get a property in Portugal now.
    Please how do I retrieve my NIF number because I can’t find the it at the moment.


  12. Hey James!

    Thanks a lot for the article, it is truly clarifying!
    I still have a specific doubt, not sure if you might have an answer: I’m a freelance in Spain, therefore I have tax obligation there, but I’m moving to Porto and it’s true that you need the NIF for basically everything.

    Do you know if getting the NIF will affect my tax obligations in Spain? (basically, they have the same name). Do I have to become a resident to have it? (I’ll be staying for a year or so in here).

    Thanks a lot again!

    • If you move to Portugal and spend the majority of your time here then you’ll most likely be a tax resident of Portugal and not Spain. Having a NIF won’t make you a tax resident on its own (although if you register with a Portuguese address they’ll think you’re a Portuguese tax resident).

      You can get a NIF as a resident or as a non-resident. If you’re spending a year here, you’ll probably have to pay taxes in Portugal and not Spain.

  13. James, I actually only registered to say “thanks”. Thanks for writing such a clear article about getting your NIF. There’s so much confusing things you have to take care of when moving to Portugal, that I was relieved to find your very clear overview here, with so much tips in there. Would have saved me even more time if I would have found it sooner in my process, but it still helped a lot 🙂

  14. Hi James,

    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?

    Kind regards,

  15. Hello there!

    Thank you for the article James!

    Me and my girlfriend are starting immigration process. We are freelancers but non-EU residents and don’t have any friends in Portugal yet.

    I just want to clarify few things. As a non EU resident we have only two choice to get NIF, correct me if I’m wrong:

    1. Pay some company to get NIF (The way which seems real for me).

    2. Ask rent owner or realtor to help get NIF so we can rent long-term apartment.

    Second option looks easier but does anyone practise it? I heard that people in Portugal don’t usually sing a contract for flat rent. Could the owner help us with this or it’s better to concentrate on some company service and forget about option 2? 🙂

    Best Regards,

    • Hi Artur,

      Anyone resident in Portugal can be your fiscal representative. However, becoming someone’s fiscal rep brings certain responsibilities so a realtor or property owner may not want to do it. You can ask, but you may need to just go with option one.

  16. Hello James,
    first of all, great article, and thanks for all the detailed explanations.
    I’d like to ask for a small clarification I am confused about. I am an EU citizen and I am shortly relocating to Portugal. Does the proof of address to be presented to request a NIF have to be a Portuguese address?
    I don’t have a permanent address in Portugal yet, and from my understanding, I would need a NIF to sign any form of contract. I am wondering if it’s possible to provide proof of foreign address and if this would be accepted by any Loja De Cidadao.

    Thanks for the help and best regards,


  17. Just wanted to thank you for this post.

    I used for my NIF and they were great, really fast and efficient.

    I had tried using a lawyer but they were too slow and nearly missed having an NIF for my visa meeting!

  18. Hi! I’m in an urgent situation since I start to work for portuguese company in August but I don’t move there until September so I need to get the NIF asap. Do you recomend to use Bordr then? I’m spannish so I don’t know if need a representative there or not…

    • Hi Cristina,

      Often an employer can help in relocation issues like this, so I would speak to them and explain your situation.

  19. Good afternoon, I’m in an urgent situation since I come to work in Lisbon, however I cannot get the NIF because the finance office doesn’t accept to carry out the procedure without an appointment, and the appointments they give are for September. I need the NIF immediately. In the helpline they have, they informed me that I could write them an email, however they also have it blocked. What other way is there to get the NIF immediately?

    • Hi Ximen,

      Aside from emailing every Finanças office you can find, either to get a NIF over email or an appointment at a Finanças office, the only other thing I can suggest is to use a service like Bordr (mentioned above).

  20. Hey James, thanks for the great article.
    When I click the “apply online” link to go to the financas website, I must sign in with either:
    – My NIF (lol) or
    – “Authenticate with Citizen Card or Digital Mobile Key”
    Does this mean it’s no longer possible to apply for the NIF online or were these always the options and I’m just not understanding them?

    Thanks 🙂

  21. I have used but are very very slow. Some reviews say it takes months to get a NIF with them or at least several weeks. Not sure its a good idea to have a company be your tax representative if they dont respond to emails.


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