Portuguese NIF: Everything you need to know before you move

June 5, 2024

Moving to Portugal is an exciting adventure. As with expatriation to any other country, there are certain administrative formalities that should not be overlooked. One of the most important is obtaining a Tax Identification Number (NIF). This document is essential for anyone wishing to live, work or invest in Portugal. Here's what you need to know about it before landing in Lusitania. 

Why do you need a NIF in Portugal?

This is the most important question, as many expatriates ask themselves. If you're wondering the same thing, the NIF is essential for a multitude of reasons, from opening a bank account to signing a rental, purchase or work contract. This unique number identifies you to the Portuguese tax authorities and is required for all financial transactions. Without a NIF, it's virtually impossible to manage your day-to-day affairs in Portugal. Direct access to a specialized article will tell you more about the advantages of this 9-digit personal number. 

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How to obtain your NIF?

Now that you know the importance of the TIN, it's time to learn how to apply for one. For those of you who don't know, obtaining a NIF is a relatively straightforward process. It does, however, require you to follow a few specific steps. 

First, you need to prepare the various documents you'll need to apply. These include your passport or identity card if you are an EU citizen, and proof of address in Portugal. If you are not an EU citizen, you will need to present your residence permit.

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When you collect these documents, you'll need to go to your nearest finance office if you're in Portugal. If you're outside Portugal, you can go to the consulate of the country available to you in your country of residence. 

If you don't feel like moving, you can choose to apply online, on the government platform or through a specialized agency.