You finally made the move, got your D7 visa and moved to Lisbon (or another beautiful city in Portugal). Now you’re running into issues when working to get your utilities or opening up your bank account set up since you don’t have a NIF. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through how to get your NIF so you can go about enjoying your life in Portugal. This is to get a regular NIF, if you are looking to apply for the NHR regime which allows you to be taxfree for certain types of foreign incomes (non-habitual resident), the process will be different.
What the Heck is a NIF?
Your NIF (Número de Identificação Fiscal or Número de Contribuinte) is basically your taxpayer number.
Why Do I Need A NIF
You need a NIF to get pretty much anything done in Portugal. What, you ask?
- Opening up a bank account
- Getting a phone contract
- Setting up utilities in Portugal
- Buying a home
- Securing a long-term lease
- And doing your taxes in Portugal (even if you are under the NHR regime)
How to Get Your NIF
Proof of Your Address
If you are not yet living in Portugal, you can bring a bank statement for a foreign bank. If you are living in Portugal, you will need to bring proof of your Portuguese residence (you will need a lease that has been registered at Finanças by your landlord-lady – this is new as of 2018). You can also bring a copy of a utility bill in your name, but this is a bit of a catch-22 since you can’t get utilities without a NIF.
A passport should work perfectly for this.
Go to Your Closest Finanças
Finanças is Portugal’s answer to the IRS. Go early, lines can be quite long and once you get in you will have to pull a ticket with a number and wait some more. I suggest getting there 30 minutes prior to opening.
Pull Your Ticket
There should be a map above to tell you which of the numbers to push for the appropriate number for this service.
Request Your NIF
Once you’re done waiting, let the person in front of you know that you would like to get your NIF and present your documentation. If they ask why tell them you want to open up a bank account. If you get the right person, you should walk out in another 15 minutes with a piece of paper that includes your NIF.
Note: I was also told that you can apply for a NIF at the loja da cidadao.
Have other questions about getting set up to move to Portugal? Join our private forum, it contains simple answers to complicated questions, our list of approved vendors and service suppliers, and allows you to ask questions about your particular situation.