How to Obtain a NIF in Portugal: A Step-by-Step Guide for Remote Workers

If you’re a remote worker considering a move to Portugal, obtaining a Portuguese Tax Identification Number, known as the NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal), is an essential step. Your NIF serves as your taxpayer number in Portugal and is necessary for various financial transactions and tax obligations.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of obtaining your NIF, even if you have little to no prior knowledge about Portugal.

What is the NIF in Portugal?

The NIF in Portugal, also referred to as the Tax Identification Number or Taxpayer Number, is a nine-digit numerical code assigned to both residents and non-residents who have tax obligations in the country. This number is crucial for recording your tax activities and ensuring the collection of taxes, particularly the Personal Income Tax (IRS). If you plan to live or work in Portugal, obtaining a NIF is essential.

Who can get a NIF in Portugal?

Any national or foreign citizen engaged in activities subject to taxation in accordance with the General Tax Law and the Code of Tax Procedure and Process can obtain a NIF in Portugal. Even companies, referred to as legal entities, have their own version of the NIF, known as the NIPC (corporate identification number).

💡 Here are some common situations where you need a fiscal number in Portugal:

  • Buying or selling property
  • Renting property
  • Receiving shipments of goods through Customs
  • Inheriting assets
  • Opening a bank account
  • Obtaining a mortgage or credit
  • Filing and paying taxes
  • Receiving income from work or a business
  • Receiving social security benefits (if employed in Portugal)
  • Setting up utilities or telecommunications
  • Purchasing a car
  • Applying for a driver’s license
  • Enrolling as a student in Portugal

Do You Need a Fixed Address in Portugal?

Yes, to obtain a NIF in Portugal, you must have a fixed address in the country. If you don’t have a fixed address, you’ll need to appoint a tax representative to obtain your NIF. However, an amendment approved in June 2022 has relaxed this requirement for NIF holders residing in third countries (outside the European Union or the European Economic Area).

This means that if you don’t have a tax representative and start having legal relationships in Portugal, such as owning property or having an employment contract, you’ll need to appoint a tax representative within 15 days to avoid fines.

How to Obtain the NIF in Portugal

Getting your NIF in Portugal is a straightforward process, and it’s one of the first documents you should acquire when moving to the country.

📝 Required Documents

Obtaining a NIF in Portugal requires relatively few documents, and they are quite basic:

  • Identity Card (ID), citizen card, or valid passport (birth certificates are required for minor children)
  • Portugal’s Parish Council may issue a house rental contract or proof of address.
  • Proof of enrollment for students

If you lack a fixed address in Portugal, you will need a tax representative to assist you in the process.

📝 Documents for European Citizens

If you are a resident of any European Union (EU) country, you’ll need the same documents listed above to obtain your NIF in Portugal.

📝 Documents for Non-EU/EEA Residents

For residents of countries outside the EU or EEA, such as the USA, Canada, China, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and others, you’ll need:

  • Valid identification (ID card or passport)
  • Proof of address (not necessarily in Portugal)

Note that if your documents are not in Portuguese or English, you may be asked to provide certified translations.

Step-by-Step In-person NIF Request

1. Schedule Your NIF Appointment

  • To schedule an in-person appointment, visit the Finance Portal’s Contact Us page.
  • Click on “Service by Appointment” (only accessible to those with Finance Portal access).
  • Alternatively, you can request an appointment over the phone by calling 217-206-707 on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. Attend the Appointment

  • On the scheduled day and time, visit a Finance Unit in most Portuguese cities or a Loja do Cidadão (Citizen’s Shop) in your city of residence.
  • Having a tax representative, if applicable, is beneficial, as you can receive your NIF immediately.
  • Ensure you have all the necessary documents listed earlier, and the attendant will verify your documentation.

3. Signature of the Tax Representative

  • After document verification, the attendant will request that you (or your tax representative if you have a fixed address in Portugal) sign the NIF request document.

4. Issuance of the NIF

  • Upon signing, your NIF will be issued, and you will receive a paper document containing your NIF.
  • Remember to memorize your NIF, as you’ll need it for various financial transactions and tax-related activities.

How to Obtain the NIF in Portugal Online

In the wake of the pandemic, many processes, including obtaining your NIF, can be done online. To get your NIF online, follow these steps:

📝 Required Documents

  • Apostille copy of your passport
  • Proof of address (e.g., bank statement, utility bill)
  • Certified and apostilled copy of a power of attorney from the applicant authorizing the tax representative to request the NIF in Portugal
  • A copy of the tax representative’s signed document accepting financial responsibility prior to the Tax and Customs Activity
  • Residence permit, citizen card, or tax representative identification card

Step-by-Step Online NIF Request

To request your NIF online, your tax representative should follow these steps:

  1. The tax representative must authenticate on the Finance website.
  2. After authentication, go to “Minha área (My area)” in the top menu.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and select “Fale conosco—Contacte-nos (Contact us).
  4. Choose the “Atendimento e-balcão (E-counter service)” option on the contact page.
  5. Select the “Registrar nova questão (Register new question)” option and complete the form, specifying the request for a NIF in Portugal.
    • Tax or area: Select “Registro Contribuinte (Taxpayer Registration)
    • Question type: Choose “Identificação (Identification)
    • Question: Select “Atrib/Alter NIF Singulares (Add/Change Singular NIF)
    • Subject: Mention “Obtenção de NIF em Portugal (Obtaining a NIF in Portugal)
    • Message: Provide a message introducing yourself with your full name, NIF, contact telephone number, email, and the request for the NIF for the person you represent.
  6. Anexar ficheiro (Attach a single PDF file) containing all the required documents.
  7. Submit the form by selecting “Registrar Questão (Register Question)
  8. Wait for a response from the Finance Department. If everything is correct, your tax representative will receive a request sheet.
  9. Review and sign the request sheet, following the Finance Department’s instructions.
  10. Wait for a new contact from Finance with your requested NIF.

👍 Our Recommendation

If possible, opt for the in-person process, as it ensures immediate issuance of your NIF and allows you to address any questions you may have. Service at Finance Units is generally efficient and accommodating.

How to Apply for Your NIF from Outside Portugal

You have two main options to apply for your NIF remotely:

  1. Free Option: Find a friend or acquaintance in Portugal, either a local or a legally residing immigrant, willing to act as your tax representative at no cost. You can then apply online through the Finance website.
  2. Paid Option: Hire a lawyer to be your tax representative and handle the NIF application for you. There are reputable service providers in Portugal specializing in assisting foreigners. Look for those with high ratings on TrustPilot or similar platforms, as they offer reliable, streamlined online services.

Preparing to Apply for Your NIF from Abroad

Before diving into the application process, you’ll need a few key documents:

  • A valid passport copy (or a birth certificate for children under 10).
  • Proof of your residence in your current country.
  • A tax representative who is a legal resident in Portugal (this can be a Portuguese citizen or a foreigner with legal residency).
  • An identity document, like an ID card or passport, of your tax representative.
  • Proof of your tax representative’s residence in Portugal.

Beware of Unqualified Tax Representatives

It’s important to note that while many non-lawyers offer tax representative services for a fee, they may not be legally qualified to provide this type of consultancy. To avoid scams and ensure a smooth process, stick with verified, professional services, especially when handling this remotely.

Understanding the Role of a Tax Representative in Portugal

A tax representative in Portugal isn’t just a formality; they play a pivotal role in ensuring you meet all the country’s tax obligations. Think of them as your personal guide in the complex world of Portuguese tax law.

Who needs a tax Representative?

If you’re not yet a tax resident in Portugal but need a NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) for activities like working, living, or even just opening a bank account, you’ll need a tax representative. It’s a key step in planting your roots in Portugal.

Proving Tax Residence

You might be wondering, “How do I show I’m a tax resident?” It’s simpler than you think. A rental contract registered with Finance or a proof of address from the Parish Council will do the trick.

The Responsibilities of Your Tax Representative

Your tax representative is your front-line defender in tax matters, handling tasks like:

  • Receiving and informing you about tax-related correspondence.
  • Handling fees and taxes on your behalf.
  • Ensuring you pay your taxes and any fines on time.
  • Representing you in disputes, making appeals, or filing complaints if needed.

Finding a Tax Representative When You’re New in Town

Don’t know anyone in Portugal? No worries! Consider hiring a professional, like a lawyer or a real estate broker – who can provide advisory services and act as your tax representative.

Becoming Your Own Tax Representative

Once you’ve settled in Portugal for a few months, you can take over this role yourself. Just provide proof of housing, like your rental contract or a certificate from the parish council, to Finance, and you’re all set.

Top Most Reliable Online NIF Providers for Remote Workers in Portugal

Bordr

🔗 Website: bordr.com

🏷️ Pricing: From $150

nif bordr screenshot

Bordr, priced at $150, simplifies the process of obtaining a Portuguese NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) for individuals relocating to Portugal. Customers like Ed from Fort Lauderdale and Mariano from Buenos Aires have highlighted Bordr‘s rapid and hassle-free service, praising its efficiency with a turnaround time of less than two business days. With over 1,895 positive reviews on Trustpilot as of December 2023, Bordr’s reputation for quick, reliable, and user-friendly service is well established.

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The service streamlines the NIF acquisition with an easy online application process. Clients typically receive their NIF within a week, a feature especially advantageous for those eager to expedite their move to Portugal. Bordr‘s founding story, rooted in the founders’ personal relocation experience, adds a layer of authenticity to the service. This background resonates with users who appreciate the straightforward, transparent, and efficient approach to obtaining their essential Portuguese tax ID. In summary, Bordr stands out as a preferred option for those in need of a NIF in Portugal, offering a blend of speed, convenience, and excellent customer service.


AnchorLess

🔗 Website: anchorless.io

🏷️ Pricing: From 99€

anchorless nif site

AnchorLess offers a comprehensive service for those relocating to Portugal, making it an ideal choice for remote workers. For just 99€, a special December discount from the regular 149€, AnchorLess provides a swift and efficient way to obtain a NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal), a crucial document for anyone planning to settle in Portugal. Their service stands out for its rapid response time, often delivering a NIF in just three days, and is praised for its exceptional customer service and stress-free process, as evidenced by numerous positive reviews on Trustpilot.

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Clients laud AnchorLess for its straightforward three-step process: completing an application form, signing a power of attorney, and receiving the NIF via email. This simplicity is a significant draw for those unfamiliar with Portuguese bureaucracy. AnchorLess‘s commitment to customer satisfaction is clear, offering a hassle-free approach to obtaining a NIF and additional services like tax representation for non-EU residents. Their user-friendly, online-based service allows clients to manage their paperwork from anywhere in the world, ensuring a smooth transition to life in Portugal. In conclusion, AnchorLess is highly recommended for its affordability, speed, and ease of use, making it an excellent option for obtaining a Portuguese NIF.


e-residence

🔗 Website: e-residence.com

🏷️ Pricing: From 149€

E-Residence emerges as a standout service provider for individuals seeking to obtain a NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) in Portugal, especially tailored to remote workers and digital nomads. With a pricing structure that ranges from 89€ to 299€, E-Residence offers various options, including urgent and essential services, catering to different needs and timelines. Their process is acclaimed for being 100% remote and exceptionally fast, often delivering NIFs within three days.

eresidence nif site

Trusted by over 15,000 nomads, E-Residence has established itself as a secure and efficient option, as evidenced by its excellent ratings on Google and Trustpilot. The service simplifies the process of getting a NIF by handling all the necessary paperwork and liaising directly with the Portuguese Tax Department. Their team, comprising legal professionals, provides comprehensive online services, making E-Residence an ideal choice for those looking to manage their administrative tasks efficiently from abroad.

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Customers consistently praise E-Residence for its quick turnaround, straightforward online process, and responsive customer service. These attributes make it a highly recommended service for anyone looking to navigate the Portuguese bureaucracy with ease, ensuring a smooth start to their new life in Portugal.


MigRun

🔗 Website: migrun.tech

🏷️ Pricing: From €99

MigRun, a service priced at €99, offers an efficient online solution for obtaining a NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) in Portugal. This service is ideal for remote workers and digital nomads planning to settle in the country, providing an easy and fast way to handle essential bureaucratic processes. With a turnaround time of 1–15 days, MigRun caters to those who need to open bank accounts, rent apartments, apply for specific visas like the D7 (passive income), or engage in tax-related activities in Portugal.

migrun nif site

MigRun‘s process is straightforward and remote-friendly, requiring only a proof of address and a copy of the passport for application. Clients appreciate the clear, hassle-free approach, and the service has garnered positive reviews from over 15,000 nomads for its security and efficiency. Additional options include standard and urgent NIF services, ensuring flexibility to suit different urgencies and budgets.

🛍️ Get 7% off on any service on MigRun

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Established in 2022, MigRun, an American-Portuguese company, has quickly become a trusted name for simplifying the immigration process. Their multinational team, comprising immigrants and legal professionals, focuses on making migration affordable and stress-free. MigRun‘s comprehensive platform provides a range of services, including free guides, expert consultations, and a user-friendly website, making it a top choice for those embarking on a new life in Portugal.


Sortd

🔗 Website: getsortd.pt

🏷️ Pricing: From €69

Sortd emerges as a standout service, offering not just NIF registration but also comprehensive VISA support and tailored RELOConcierge services. Their approach is client-centric, blending essential support with affordability, ensuring your transition to Portugal is not just a dream but a delightful reality. Their team, proficient in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French, is dedicated to making your relocation process as smooth as possible.

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Sortd stands out with its clear, transparent pricing and a money-back guarantee if services aren’t completed due to their error. This guarantee, alongside their exceptional multilingual support and comprehensive assistance, makes Sortd a top choice for remote workers and expats. Whether you’re looking for basic NIF registration at €89 or need expedited service for €129, Sortd caters to all needs, ensuring a seamless journey to your new Portuguese life. Their client testimonials speak volumes, highlighting their efficiency and willingness to go the extra mile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is the NIF in Portugal the same as a Social Security Number (NIF)?

No, the NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal) in Portugal is not the same as a Social Security Number (NIF) in other countries. The NIF in Portugal is primarily used for tax-related purposes, while a Social Security Number is used for social benefits and retirement planning in many countries, including the United States.

2. How long does it take to get a NIF in Portugal?

When you apply for a NIF in person, you typically receive it on the spot. However, if you apply online through a tax representative, the process may take longer, depending on the response time from the Finance Department.

3. Can I use my Portuguese NIF for banking and other transactions?

Yes, your Portuguese NIF can be used for various transactions, including opening a bank account, purchasing property, signing rental contracts, and conducting business in Portugal.

4. Do I need to renew my NIF in Portugal?

No, the NIF in Portugal does not have an expiration date, and you do not need to renew it unless your personal information changes or you need to update your tax status.

5. Can I apply for a NIF in Portugal as a tourist?

Typically, tourists do not need a Portuguese NIF. However, if you plan to engage in financial transactions or purchase property while in Portugal, you may be required to obtain one.

6. Can I apply for a NIF in Portugal before moving to the country?

Yes, you can apply for a NIF in Portugal before moving to the country. You can do this in person at a Portuguese consulate or embassy in your home country or online through a tax representative. However, you will still need a fixed address in Portugal or a tax representative in the country to complete the process.

Bottom line

Obtaining a NIF in Portugal is a relatively straightforward process, whether you choose to do it in person or online through a tax representative. Having a NIF is essential for conducting various financial transactions and complying with tax obligations in Portugal. Be sure to gather the necessary documents, schedule your appointment if needed, and follow the steps outlined in this guide to obtain your NIF smoothly.

📝 Disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes and spans various topics. While we aim for accuracy with AI-enhanced, human-curated information, we do not guarantee correctness and are not liable for inaccuracies. This is not professional advice; consult a professional for specific guidance. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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