How to Obtain a NISS (Social Security Number) in Portugal: The Ultimate Guide

Digital masterpiece depicting 'The Remote Worker's Dream' with a person at a laptop in a cozy home office, scenic ocean or mountain view outside, symbolizing work flexibility in Portugal with a NISS number displayed

Obtaining the Número de Identificação de Segurança Social (NISS) is a crucial step for anyone planning to live, work, or study in Portugal. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to know about the NISS, including what it is, its benefits, and how to obtain it.

Whether you’re a remote worker, an expat, a job recruiter, a small business owner, a freelancer, a digital nomad, or simply someone interested in relocating to Portugal, this guide has you covered.

What is NISS (Número de Identificação de Segurança Social)?

The NISS is a unique social security identification number assigned to individuals in Portugal. It serves as a vital document that registers individuals with the Portuguese Social Security system and enables access to various benefits and services. Without a valid NISS, engaging in formal employment relationships in Portugal is not possible.

What are the Benefits of NISS?

The NISS provides numerous advantages to individuals residing or working in Portugal. These benefits include:

  • Unemployment Benefits: Citizens with a valid NISS are entitled to receive unemployment benefits in the event of involuntary job loss, ensuring financial support during periods of unemployment.
  • Sick Leave Benefits: Individuals with NISS are eligible for sick leave benefits when illness prevents them from working. Social Security provides financial compensation to cover lost wages during the recovery period.
  • Parental Leave Benefits: The NISS grants access to parental leave benefits, which provide financial support to parents when they take time off from work to care for a newborn child, ensuring income replacement during this period.
  • Retirement Benefits: NISS holders are entitled to retirement benefits, also known as old-age pensions, upon reaching the legal retirement age or meeting specific contribution requirements. These benefits ensure financial stability during retirement.
  • School or Family Allowances: Families with children may receive school or family allowances to support their children’s education. Access to these allowances requires a valid NISS.
  • Access to Social Security Direct Portal: The NISS grants individuals access to the Social Security Direct portal, an online platform where users can conveniently monitor their contribution status, manage bonuses, subsidies, and other benefits.
  • Opening a Bank Account: The NISS is a mandatory requirement when opening a bank account in Portugal, ensuring proper identification and compliance with banking regulations. Read more
  • Access to Credit Lines: The NISS is essential when applying for various credit lines, including personal loans, housing loans, automobile loans, and others. Without a valid NISS, obtaining credit may be challenging.
  • Access to Public Health Care: The NISS guarantees access to public healthcare services, including medical care, consultations, diagnostic tests, hospitalization, and medication. Citizens with a NISS can receive these services without facing barriers.

How to Obtain a NISS

The process of obtaining a NISS varies depending on your circumstances and nationality. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved for different groups:

Portuguese Citizens

  • Birth Registration: All Portuguese individuals are automatically assigned a NISS at birth, and it can be found on the back of the Citizen Card.
  • Requesting a NISS: If you’re a Portuguese citizen without a Citizen Card, you can request your NISS in person at a Social Security Customer Service by appointment. Bring the completed Mod RV1017 form and any valid identification documents.

Foreign Contract Workers

  • Employer’s Responsibility: If you’re a foreign citizen hired by a Portuguese company, your employer is responsible for requesting your NISS. Provide the necessary documents, and the company will inform Social Security of your employment.

Self-Employed Foreign Workers

  • Tax and Customs Authority Notification: Notify the Tax and Customs Authority of your self-employed activity. Provide the necessary documents, either in person or online through the Finance Portal. A NISS will be automatically assigned after your activity is registered.

Foreign Students

  • Foreigners and Borders Service (AIMA/SEF) Authorization: Obtain an authorization from AIMA (A Agência para a Integração, Migrações e Asilo), formerly known as SEF if you’re a foreign student in Portugal. Present documents proving that studies are your primary activity in the country.

How to Request and Collect Your NISS

You or your employer can initiate the request once employment begins.

Steps for Online Request:

  1. Navigate to the Social Security website.
  2. Click the “I am a Citizen (Sou Cidadão)” or “I am an Employer (Sou Empregador)” tab.
  3. Select “Atribuição de Número de Identificação de Segurança Social (NISS)” to start the assignment process for a Social Security Identification Number.
  4. Fill out and submit the “Form for requesting a Social Security Identification Number (Formulário para pedido de Número de Identificação de Segurança Social)“.

Upon submission, Social Security will send you a confirmation email with details and instructions for in-person NISS collection at their offices.

In-person Collection:

You may collect the NISS yourself by showing your identification document at the Social Security offices.

📝 A lawyer can collect the NISS on your behalf by presenting their professional identification and a valid power of attorney. Another individual may also retrieve your NISS, provided they present a valid power of attorney or a completed Third Party Authorization Form (Mod. PA-12) along with their own ID documents.

NISS na Hora: Streamlining the Process

NISS na Hora is an online application method that expedites the NISS attribution process, eliminating bureaucracy and long waiting lines. It’s available to foreign citizens, legal representatives, and employers. You’ll need to provide personal information, identification documents, proof of residence, and tax identification documents (if applicable).

Bottom line

The NISS is an essential document that unlocks access to fundamental rights and benefits in Portugal. Whether you’re a Portuguese citizen or a foreign resident, understanding the NISS and the procedures for obtaining it is crucial for a smooth transition to living, working, or studying in this beautiful country.

By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can navigate the process seamlessly and secure your NISS without hassle.

🌟 Secure Your NISS in Portugal Online

Secure your NISS number online in Portugal for just €99 within 10-20 days. Essential for obtaining a D3 visa, securing mandatory health insurance, paying taxes, and more.

📲 Get Your NISS Now


  1. Segurança Social. (No specific publication date). Atribuição de Número de Identificação de Segurança Social (NISS).
  2. Pedro, S. (2022, November 21). NISS: o que é, para que serve e como obter? Simulador líder de Crédito e Telecomunicações | ComparaJá.pt.
  3. ePortugal. (n.d.). Pedir o Número de Identificação da Segurança Social (NISS). Retrieved from

📝 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

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments