How to Get a Portuguese NIF Number (Including Easy Online Options)

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Published: July 2021 & Last Updated: November 2022

If you’re planning on moving to Portugal, you’ll come across the word NIF a lot. NIF is short for Número de Identificação Fiscal (it’s sometimes called a Número de Contribuinte as well). It’s a nine-digit tax number that’s used when you make payments in Portugal and is also asked for when you have to register for anything with a financial element (e.g. when you purchase a house or get a mobile phone contract).

At the supermarket checkout, the checkout assistant may say “fatura,” a receipt with your NIF, or “contribuinte?” What he or she is asking is whether you want to register these purchases against your personal financial number or NIF. 

A NIF isn’t something that you just use when paying for your groceries, though. In fact, you don’t have to give over your NIF when doing your shopping, but you will likely need a NIF if you decide to…

  • Buy a property
  • Rent a property (with an official contract)
  • Buy a car
  • Open a Portuguese bank account (some banks allow you to open an account without a NIF)
  • Get broadband
  • Get a mobile phone contract

Basically, it’s a number that you’ll need a lot. Most importantly, it’s also increasingly being asked for when non EU/EEA people apply for a residency visa (such as the D7 or golden visa). Unfortunately, this is challenging because it means getting a NIF before you’ve actually moved to Portugal and become resident here.

The good news is that, even though getting a NIF as a non-resident can sometimes mean jumping through a few hoops (or at least paying a lawyer to get it for you), it is possible to get one. There are several ways to get a NIF, however, the options will depend a lot on whether you’re resident (officially living) in an EU/EEA country (e.g. Spain, Poland) or a non-EU/EEA country (e.g. the United States, Australia) rather than nationality (e.g. Portuguese, American).

As a non-EU Resident

(e.g. USA, Canada, UK, South Africa, India, Switzerland, Turkey)

  • Cost: Depends on the lawyer/company, but averages €200
  • Turnaround time: Depends on the lawyer/company, but anywhere from a few days to several weeks

If you aren’t resident in an EU/EEA country, you’ll normally need a representante fiscal (fiscal representative) in order to obtain a NIF. This could be a friend or family member, but since you most likely don’t know anyone in Portugal yet, you’ll probably need to use a law firm or company to obtain a NIF for you. This typically costs around €200 but can be as high as €500 or even €1,000, however, it is possible to get a NIF cheaper using an online company.

Kathleen and Richard Lo struggled with Portuguese bureaucracy when they moved to Portugal, and one of those challenges was getting a NIF number at a reasonable price. It inspired them to start Bordr, a company which helps prospective expats get a NIF for €150 (or €140 with this link). They were also kind enough to provide a lot of the information used in this article and to answer a number of questions about the NIF.

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

Online Services: Comparison Table

CostDiscountTimeframeReviews€150€140 with this linkLess than 1 week1,000+ (excellent)
E-Residence.comFrom €99 €89 with this link & code PORTUGALIST at checkout3-10 days (depending on selected option)500+ (some complaints about getting a response)€70Up to 7 Days0 (new company) and both have excellent reviews on TrustPilot (see Bordr’s here and TrustPilot’s here), although Bordr has roughly double the number of reviews.

Both can also open Portuguese bank accounts remotely, which may be another thing that you need for your visa. With E-Residence you need to purchase the two options separately whereas Bordr offers a package where you can get the two together at once for €470 for one person.

CostDiscountOpens withTimeframe€350
€10 with this link, but an extra €30 cheaper if you get a NIF+Bank Account bundleMillenium BCP3-4 Weeks
E-Residence€300€10 with this linkNovoBanco3-4 Weeks

For most non EU/EEA residents, using a lawyer or company like Bordr is the most common way of obtaining a NIF, but it’s not the only way. The main options are:

  • Use a company like Bordr or your lawyer, if you’re already using them for your visa application (most common way)
  • Visit Finanças or Loja do Cidadão with someone who’s willing to be your fiscal representative and pay for a NIF at a cost of €10.20 (works well if you have a friend, family member, estate agent, or anyone resident in Portugal who is willing to be your fiscal representative, but isn’t cost effective if that person is your lawyer and is charging you for your time)

Documents needed:

  • 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

As an EU/EEA Resident

(e.g. France, Ireland, Spain, Germany, Portugal)

  • Cost: Normally free
  • Turnaround time: Depends on the approach. It can take just a few minutes, excluding time spent queuing

EU/EEA residents have it slightly easier. They can get residency in Portugal and then get a NIF or if they need a NIF for another reason that doesn’t require them to become a resident (like buying a house) they can easily request one and in both cases, without usually needing a representante fiscal (fiscal representative).

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

The following are some of the main ways EU/EEA residents can obtain a NIF:

  1. Visiting a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office in Portugal (the most common option)
  2. Emailing a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office (an option during the pandemic)
  3. By having another resident with a NIF request one through the Portal das Finanças website (an option during the pandemic)
  4. Using a lawyer or one of the online services mentioned above

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. 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.

Roman (Portugalist reader)

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.

Some offices allow you to turn up whereas others require you to make an appointment. Ideally, do it first thing and get there at least 10 minutes before it opens. You will need to take a senha (ticket) and wait your turn. The button you need to press will probably say “NIF” or “Número de Contribuinte.” Wait until your number is called and then explain that you are here for a NIF. 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. 

Regardless of where you visit, you’ll need to bring some ID such as:

  • A passport (or ID card for EU citizens)
  • Poof of address (bank statement or utility bill, for example)

FAQs About the NIF Number

The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about the Portuguese NIF number, all of which have been answered by an expert.

Do EEA Residents Need a Fiscal Representative to Get a NIF?

If you are an EU/EEA resident applying for a NIF directly with the Financas, you do not need a fiscal representative. [1]

Do Residents in Switzerland Need a Fiscal Representative to get a NIF?

Residents of Switzerland do need a fiscal representative since Switzerland is not part of the EU or EEA. [2]

Do I Legally Have to Use My NIF When Making a Purchase?

You are required to provide your NIF when making large purchases like a car or a house because these come with annual tax obligations. In the supermarket, giving your NIF is optional because this simply allows you to have tax deductions on your personal income. [3]

Does my NIF number expire?

Your NIF number does not expire and does not need to be renewed either. If you already have one, you don’t need to get another one. [4]

I’ve Forgotten My NIF Number, What Do I Do?

If you are in Portugal, you can go to a Financas office to request a copy of your NIF. If you are abroad, please get in touch with the Portuguese embassy or consulate nearest you. [5]

Can a married couple share the same NIF?

Each individual needs their own NIF number. As a married couple, you can share a joint bank account, but will still need your own NIF numbers to open it. [6]

Will my children need a NIF? At what age does someone need a NIF?

There isn’t a hard requirement on age, but your child will need a NIF in order to enroll in school. [7]

Are NIF Numbers Given At Birth?

NIFs are not mandatorily assigned at birth. [8]

Can I cancel a NIF number?

The Portuguese tax office does not allow for the cancellation of your NIF even if you no longer live in Portugal. 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). [9]

If I get a NIF, will I have tax obligations in Portugal (e.g. filing a tax return)?

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. [10] are able to arrange a NIF for €150 (or €140 when you use this link). For more information, read our guide to getting a Portuguese NIF.

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  1. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
  2. 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.

  3. Thank you for all this great information. My husband and I are considering Spain or Portugal as our retirement home. We currently live in the US. I am a little confused about whether I have to choose a home in Portugal before I get the tax ID number or after

    • Hi Carol,

      The NIF, or personal tax number, is probably one of the first things you will need to get. You may need it when applying for a visa like the D7 (depending on the consulate) and you will most likely need it when you rent a place. You will need it if you decide to buy a place. So, the NIF usually comes first.

      There are a number of services that can help you obtain a NIF from the US. See the comparison table here.

    • Hi Martha,

      I've just checked and the code seems to be working. When you get to the checkout page, there's a box that says 'add promotion code' and you need to add the word PORTUGALIST in order to get the €10 off.

  4. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
  5. I did get my NIF last week I did walk into the offfice whit my wife and we did wait till we where at our turn.
    There was a woman working who was rude and did treat everyone as a kid in kindergarden!
    I did feel like i was 3-4 years old but i did wait paitiendly till my turn she even did send people away who she didnt like.
    But the NIF and bankaccount was not a problem i had allready for 3 months my rental contract and payments for gas electric and water.
    But till here it was not a problem to me to do it my self!
    But next week i will go to an apointment for NISS and then the last hurdle for my wife a permanent licence.
    Lets hope that it will go like its going like its going now!

    • Unfortunately, some of the people that work in government departments aren't particularly friendly, but I guess that's not unique to Portugal. Glad you were able to get the NIF and bank account sorted.

  6. Hi, James. Thank you for the article. I would appreciate if you could comment on my case:
    - I have Portugal residency
    - have a permanent address here (contract for rental)

    What kind of documents do I need to get the NIF number? Do I need a representative?

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
  10. Hi i want to get NaiF for me and wife and open bank account for now the plan to apply for DO visa in the future but meanwhile want to buy a property.
    So my question do can i do that 2. Dose my account require maintenance also for the property how I get to pay taxes and other things 3. What I need to know or missed.

    • Hi Eli,

      Thanks for commenting.

      Yes, a NIF is needed to buy a property. You can get one through a service like Bordr if you need a fiscal rep. They can also help with the bank account, if needed.

      It depends on the bank account, but most banks in Portugal charge a maintenance fee.

      Yes, there will be paperwork to consider, from taxes to registrations. Some of this is mentioned in Moving to Portugal Made Simple, which you might find useful. You may find it useful to work with a buyer's agent as they can provide a lot of information on what you will need rather than you having to do everything yourself.

  11. 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.

  12. 3/9/2022

    Hi James.
    I obtained a nif number whilst in portugal a few years ago whilst property viewing.
    This was subsequently domiciled at my UK address.
    I have since moved to Portugal and obtained the 5 year residency certificate pre brexit.
    I have recently discovered that I should have changed my address!
    I've been to the local finacas office and tried to rectify this.
    Producing my residéncia a letter addressed to me at my portugese address as well as the property deeds, which are registered in my wife's name.
    This proofed unsuccessful have you any advice as to how I can change the address please.
    Thank you

    • Hi Gary,

      You didn't really say why Finanças weren't able to help you, just that they didn't. If you're not sure yourself, you'll need to go back in and find out what the issue is. Alternatively, you could try updating it on the Financas Portal. Bordr has a good guide here

      If there's a possibility that you should have been paying taxes in Portugal during this period and you haven't, I would also speak to an accountant and explain the situation.

  13. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
  14. I have a NIF however a few of my details have changes since then including not only my address but also my name (I was married before). Can I use the same NIF number?

  15. 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?

  16. 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!

    • Hi Melissa,

      So glad you like it. I know Bordr have a process in place for this. If you decide to go with another company, make sure that they do -- otherwise it seems you could be stuck paying a fiscal representation fee forever!

      Here's what Bordr said:

      The Portuguese tax office does not allow for the cancellation of your NIF even if you no longer live in Portugal – or if you had gotten your NIF and later decided not to move to Portugal. This means that your assigned fiscal representative will continue to be your fiscal representative indefinitely. At Bordr, we understand that plans change and things can happen that are out of our control. For as long as you do not have any ongoing tax obligations, we can waive ongoing fiscal representation fees for our customers, provided that you agree to not use your NIF for any purposes in the future.

  17. Hi James, great article and good info.
    I just received my NIF and planning to apply for NISS (social security no.). I am not in portugal and trying to find a tax representative who can apply on my behalf. Can you please suggest anything here if you have this info on how to go about finding one?


    • Hi Rishi,

      I can certainly put you in touch with an accountant that offers that service. However, many lawyers/companies offer one year of fiscal representation when you get your NIF through them, so double check in case you're eligible for this.

    • Hello Rishi,
      I want to apply for the same please help me to guide how to do. by seeing many website and research i am confused now.

      waiting for your reply.


  18. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
    • 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.

  19. 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 article contains information for people who are resident outside of the EU/EEA (e.g. Turkey) including costs and turnaround times. As your wife is a Portuguese citizen, she may know someone who's willing to be fiscal representatives for you both, which could save you money.

  20. Hi
    My son lives in South Africa and is going to Cyprus, my question is may my Mom who lives in Portugal apply for his NI number? And what are the requirements and cost? Can he get a number if he has never resided in Portugal?


    • Hi Ana,

      A similar question was answered on the site recently. However, I should mention the NIF number is for Portugal. I'm not sure what Cyprus uses but I don't think the Portuguese NIF would work there.

      Do non-EU residents need to use a lawyer as their fiscal representative? If I know someone in Portugal can I ask them to get me a NIF and be my representative?

      All non-EU residents need a fiscal representative to apply for a NIF on their behalf. Your fiscal representative does not necessarily need to be a lawyer, but they do need to be a Portuguese tax resident and a Portuguese permanent resident or citizen. If you have a trusted friend or know someone in Portugal who is willing to take on the responsibility, they can absolutely be your fiscal representative.

      Full article here:

        • This sounds like the Spanish tax number for foreigners (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) maybe? As far as I know, Spain has a NIF (Número de Identificación Fiscal) for residents and has a separate NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) for foreigners and non-residents.

          In any case, it's probably not what you're looking for, if you're moving to Portugal or buying property here. A Portuguese NIF is what you need.

  21. Hi James,

    My husband and I are currently in Portugal as we booked to sign the deeds on a property we have purchased. We have already paid the deposit.
    Unfortunately, we applied for the NIF numbers 3 weeks ago through a representative but have still not received them. Originally we were told 4-5 days which is why we flew over. The person we have been dealing with has told us several different days and has said he’s been to the office to collect them several times but hasn’t been successful. He told us that our application has been approved and we are just waiting for the numbers to be emailed but I’m starting to wonder if this is genuine. Is there a way we can check that an application has been made on our behalf? We fly home Sunday so have missed our chance to sign the deeds on this trip and will need to come out again ASAP. The sellers are getting restless and I’m worried they will pull out if we don’t sign soon.

    • Hi Cheryl

      Difficult to say whether it's just a bit slow or there's a bigger problem here. Is the person who's obtaining your NIFs also representing you in the property purchase? That would be a cause for concern as they haven't shown themselves to be professional so far.

      I can understand the sellers getting restless, but due to the way the deposit (promissory contract) works, I don't think they'll pull out ( ). If either party pull out it's typically costly.

      Sometimes saying you want to put a complaint in the complaints book (Livro de Reclamações) can speed up a resolution in cases like these.

  22. 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.


  23. Hi James,
    you say to try to apply for a NIF via email as EU resident (which I am) you need an ID copy and a proof of address. Now does this address have to be in Portugal or can it be anywhere in the EU?
    Thanks a lot, also for all the useful information,

  24. Dear Sir,
    I am non resident of Portugal, already opened saving account last year in one of Portugal bank, and not doing any business in Portugal even my bank deducting monthly charges in other words my account reduces every month.
    This week I received a notification from a tax service company in Portugal asking me to pay them 300 Euros for last year and 300 Euros for this year totally 600 Euro only for obtaining tax identification number ( TIN ).
    Will you please kindly let me know do I need to get this TIN number for one time but why they are asking me to pay them every year 300 Euro.
    Is it possible I could apply to obtain my TIN number by internet on line ( free ) or not?
    Appreciate if you kindly help me to answer me soon.
    best Regards,

  25. Hello,

    I am living overseas and trying to obtain an NIF number. I just read that it's possible to apply for an NIF number via the online portal; however, the portal requests that I sign in. It is asking for information that I do not have. How do I obtain an NIF number if I can't get access to the online portal? I feel like I'm stuck in a loop. Any thoughts.

  26. 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.

  27. Hi James,
    We are newly arrived to Prt with our D7 Visa a and 6mos. rental contract in hand. Just as a side note the San Francisco Prt Consulate does require the NIF and a funded Prt bank account prior to approving your visa. I was asked to include both hard copies as proof in my application packet. It’s interesting that neither are listed on the VFS website check list, some applicants happen to discover these requirements through research, and unfortunately some don’t, until their appt date.

    A second look while printing out the appointment cover as requested will reveal a highlighted 3 or 4 sentences referencing these 2 requirements and stating they are not listed on the website and now that you are aware, asking if you would you like to continue the process. Something along those lines. I think the word is getting out there with talk on the various fb pages but not everyone is connected.

    I have an immediate problem regarding the NIF; I thought I was past the knee jerks. A few days ago my shipping agent in Lisbon asked for several declarations, a baggage cert from the consulate, a Residencia Cert with our new address and an updated NIF matching the address on Residencia Cert. I was told I needed to update my address on the NIF. When I asked my NIFOnline rep he said not without your residency card. I then checked with my accountant who said I could if my landlords property was registered with the Financais Office. Long story short, my apartment isn’t registered (short term Accommodations Rental) and I can’t change my address so I have to pay customs and vat on my container filled with my household belongings.

    Have you heard of this happening to any newly arrived expats and is there anything that can be done to update my NIF address? I have about 30 days. Any suggestions are appreciated, Thank You!

  28. 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 🙂

  29. Hi,

    I emailed to get a NIF as a EU citizen resident but, was yold I need a fiscal resident to do it for me. Do you have a list so I can try another office?

    • Hi Ian

      Here's a list of all the ones in the Algarve to get you started - .

  30. 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,

  31. 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,

  32. 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,


  33. I am a UK citizen but I have lived in Ireland for 7 years. I now want to move to Portugal. Is it possible for me to get my NIF before I arrive in Portugal with all my worldly belongings? Which is the best route for me? (I dont have over 250,000 euros).

  34. I have paid for NIF and once approved I plan to open Portugal Bank account (from abroad)
    If I wanted to buy a property as investment ,but still live abroad is that possible?

  35. Hello sir,

    Thank you for such a detailed explanation. I am a non-EU student who just moved to Lisbon for the first year of my masters. Is there a separate, less elaborate process for a student to obtain the NIF number to be able to work part time?
    Thank you.

  36. Hi,

    I am a Portuguese citizen living in the UK. I don’t own or have anything in Portugal. My dilemma is that I do stock trading here in the UK and my provider is not letting me to trade anymore because I’m a Portuguese citizen and they need my NIF to prove my identity. British tax number is irrelevant for identity purpose. Is it worth having a nif only for this purpose or is Portuguese Government wants all it’s citizens to have NIF? or should I change my provider?

  37. Hi James

    Thanks very much for this article and for your responses to the comments/questions beneath.

    It would be really helpful to know the answer asked by Dave at "David Pascoe August 17, 2021 at 8:38 am" i.e. can NIFs still obtained by applying online for non-EU citizens. My potential fiscal/tax representative has just had a baby so online much preferable than attending in person.

    If it is not possible any longer, will use as you have helpfully recommended.


  38. My bank statement doesn't show my full middle name (only the initial). Would this be acceptable for proof of address, or does it have to show my full name that is on my passport?

  39. Good Morning Mr James,
    My husband and I visited Portugal 2 weeks ago for the first time. We are interested in investing in Portugal. The lawyers we spoke to were more interested in selling us properties, it felt pushy. We wanted to take the process step by step. We wanted to open an account first, I understand that we need to have NIF to open bank account. Can you please point us to the right people/lawyers that can help us obtain NIF for the purpose of opening bank account. My husband and I are residing in Uganda/Kenya. I am Kenyan citizen and he’s polish.
    Kindly get back to us.

    • Hi Saida,

      Yes, take your time when buying a property in Portugal. Many people rent first so they can get a feel for life in Portugal and areas that they may want to live in.

      Bordr, who are mentioned in this article, are well-reviewed by Portugalist readers. There are plenty of other great options, but they have good customer service and usually only take a few working days. There's a discount code that offers a small saving mentioned in the article too (PORTUGALIST).

    • Hi Saida,

      Am also Kenyan and just relocated to Portugal a week ago. My husband is Dutch and we are now in the process of getting the hoping this works out ok. Please let me know how it goes for you too...

  40. Just sent my request off. Shouldn't have problem/s now when repartriating come early next year getting apartment, bank account, etc. Quick and easy.

  41. Hi,

    I’m an EU citizen residing in the EU. I’ve contacted a few offices and they’ve told me I need a fiscal representative. My understanding is that I can obtain a NIF without a fiscal representative, can you confirm this is the case?

  42. 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!

  43. Does anybody know if this online route is still available?

    When logged in with my representatives details and following the link from the text above ( an error occurs (The feature you are trying to access may have re-addressed) has the application been moved on the portal das fincas site or has the online route now been stopped again due to Covid restrictions lifting? My partner (Portuguese) and I have tried trawling through the site tree and using the search as directed by the error link but have had no real success.

    Any help with an updated link, Portuguese or English, would be a great help.

    Thanks in advance.


  44. Hi there,

    I have a fiscal representative who is a permanent resident in Portugal. Do they apply for my NIF from their profile? There are so many sources confirming fiscal representative but none detailing the process.


  45. Hi james

    Great article, I am a U.K. citizen living and working in Qatar.

    We want to move to Portugal next year but will be buying an investment property before we arrive.

    Am I to understand the only way we can get a NIF and open a Portuguese bank account is by using a lawyer service now?

  46. How do you change your fiscal representative?
    I am still not living in Portugal and my NIF rep added an expiration date to my NIF. I would like to change the rep to a friend in PT. Is that easy to do?

    • If you have access to Finanças portal, you can do it online. You can also go into a Finanças office, if you are planning to come to Portugal.

      You may also be able to do it via email as Finanças are handling a lot more over email at the moment (or were during the strictest covid restrictions).

    • Hi,
      if one has a NIF nr obtained with a foreign address, and that nr is used in a rental contract in Portugal, does this make a person a tax resident?? How and when (if at all) does one proof that one isn't permanently living here but uses the rented apartment for stop overs and short vacations only? Even if one has internet, etc.?

  47. Hello,

    I am a resident of the EU and emailed the Finanças de Loures 3 and received a response that it was done and I could pick it up in person. When I responded, I requested it be emailed to me and they responded that it must be signed for in person.

    I am unable to get to Portugal because I'm not yet fully vaccinated but I just wanted to update you that the rules may have changed on that option.


  48. Hi, I 'm a EU citizen, but i'm living in UK. I' m planing to buy a property in Azores in a few months and i would like to prepare in advance. If i choose to eMail Financas can i send them a copy of my EU country National ID card, and as a proof of address a copy of my bank statement or utility bill from the UK(the place i'm living but it is different from the address in my National ID card)? Thank you for your time, George

  49. Hi James -
    I do have another question that I hope you might help me with.
    When I am a citizen and living in Portugal permanently or for 6 months or so, would I and my non-citizen wife be liable to pay taxes in Portugal if we do not work there?
    We both have 2 pensions and social security.


  50. James -
    I submitted my paperwork for Portuguese citizenship, (my father was born in Portugal), in March 2020 through an attorney. In May 2021, I was notified that my parents marriage application was registered in Portugal, but there is no information concerning the status of my and my mother's birth certificates being registered.
    In June 2021, I was notified that the Portuguese government created a web link for people waiting for citizenship to check the status of their citizenship applications. I was given a unique number to check my status. The government did this because of the number of applications, (130,000), was so high and people were constantly calling about their applications taking up valuable time. The message said the process could take 1 to 2 years to complete.
    There are 7 steps for the citizenship process and in spite of my application being submitted 16 months ago, my status was still on step 1. Granted, COVID slowed things down, but it's frustrating. I know time moves a lot slower in Portugal.
    My wife, (who is not applying for citizenship), and I do plan on spending at least 3 to 6 months in Portugal.
    1. Once I am a citizen, would getting the NIF number be easier and would I still need to have a tax representative?
    2. Once I am a citizen and assuming I don't need a tax representative, could I be the tax representative for my wife.
    3. If we had an arrangement with a landlord to rent the same apartment from him/her every time we are in Portugal, ( 3 to 6 months), and had an address, would we still need a tax representative?
    I hope this makes sense and thank you in advance.

  51. Hello James,

    I will be looking to apply for a D7 visa so my understanding is that I need to get a NIF for this. My options are I will need a local resident or a company ( or Please confirm if this is correct, once I have this NIF I should then be able to apply for D7 Visa.?

    Do you know how much it cost to apply for the D7 visa?

    • Hello James,

      I am a non EU citizen and would like to know if; instead of having to apply for a residency visa and then having to go to Portugal to apply for residency permit, Is it possible to apply for a residency permit straight away from my home country?

      And if so, do I need to have a fiscal representative(attorney) when I get the NIF number online?

      Thank you.

  52. 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.

  53. 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).

      • Hey James, do you know how long it takes to get the NIF via email? Is it a one day thing? If they see my email. And are they sending the number then via email as well? Do I also need it on paper?

        • It's only one day if they 1) see it and 2) decide to reply to it.

          For most things you don't need it on paper as you'll just recite it when asked.

      • Could you please check on financas portal which offices in Lisbon area have open dates for August?
        I need to schedule appointment soon, but the office I tried had it in September.

  54. Hi, i've just recently became a Portuguese citizen.
    A local service provider in Portugal who handled the process for me, registered me to his address, although i'm not living in Europe. He also registered me for NIF and created an account in the Portugal Tax website.
    I'm now in process of changing the address to my home country's address.
    I don't have any business or bank activity in Portugal.
    He is now telling me that I have to appoint a tax representative.
    Is it true? Do I have to do it even if i'm not living there and only spent a week there?

    • You #need a tax representative if you have financial activity or assets in Portugal (e.g. own a property in Portugal) but don't live in the EU.

      If you don't have this then I don't think you need a tax representative.

    • Hi David,
      I've just seen this post and was wondering if you had to get a representative despite not having any financial ties to Portugal. I am in the same situation where I don't have any property, bank account or any financial income etc in Portugal but live in the UK. I don't plan on moving to Portugal in the near future so wondering if I still need a representative. Steve below said she didn't think you needed one but it's not a definite no.
      I would greatly appreciate it if you or someone seeing this would advise as I'm struggling to find a definite answer to this.
      Thank you.

  55. 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 🙂

      • My representative logged in to portal das financas.
        On which section does he apply for my NIF? there doesn't seem to be an obvious choice.

  56. 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.

  57. Hello,
    im non eu citizen.i have nif number ,i made in 2018 with my old passport.i didnt live in i have new passport and do i need update my new passport?i made with portuguaese reprasantative.

  58. Hello, my question is what do i have to do to get a copy of my exsisting NIF number, im spanish and did the paper work at least 15 years ago , but never got to use it.

  59. Thanks for the intresting input.

    However, one question I do have:

    "To unlink yourself (from the NIF tax representative), which you can do once you have a residence permit,"

    Is this the case with the temporary permit or the one one get after 5 years (permanent)?