You may find yourself in the unusual position where you need a NIF and you need that number FAST! This could be the case if you’re applying for a residency visa (like the D7) and you’ve just found out that you need one and want to get your application in ASAP. Or it could be something you need when you’re buying a property and you want to get one ASAP so you don’t lose out on your dream home. Whatever the reason, there are, thankfully, ways to get a NIF number quickly, depending on where you’re resident (i.e. legally living).
If you’re resident outside of the EU/EEA, you’ll normally need a fiscal representative in order to obtain a NIF number. Some people are lucky and already have a friend or family member living in Portugal who they can ask to provide this service, but most people need to use a lawyer or company to act as their fiscal representative.
There are lots of companies that offer this service, but the speed in which they can obtain a NIF varies considerably. Many take at least two weeks if not longer, but E-Residence is one company that has an ‘urgency fee’ option. With their expedited option, which you can find on the checkout page, you should expect to get your NIF within 1-3 days. According to their website, obtaining a NIF takes an average of 3 business days.
Bordr is another popular service for obtaining a NIF remotely. They advise that most people should receive their NIF within 1 week but there are times where it can take longer.
These aren’t the only two companies that offer this service, but most, whether Portuguese law firms or companies that specialist in obtaining the NIF, don’t advertise the speed at which they can obtain one. Some also take a few days just to respond to an initial inquiry, so it’s best to stick with a company that has an online store where you can order the NIF straight away.
If you’re resident in an EU/EEA country, you’re in luck: you don’t need a fiscal representative to obtain a NIF. You can simply visit your a Finanças or Loja do Cidadão office in Portugal and request one there.
Of course, that involves coming to Portugal and there are instances where that might not be possible or might be too expensive. If that’s the case, the most reliably quick option might be to use a service like E-Residence. Since the outbreak of Covid, it has also been possible for EU/EEA residents to get a NIF over email, but this often requires emailing multiple Finanças offices to get a positive response. You can also ask someone who’s a resident to get one for you through the Finanças online portal. However, unless you already know someone that you can ask, this may not be the easiest option.
What to read next?
Why not read our full guide to the Portuguese NIF number.