In Portugal, any individual who plans to engage in official business must obtain their Portuguese tax number first. In Portugal tax numbers are known as NIF numbers and are an abbreviation from Numero de Indentificacao Fiscal. This is a unique number, formed from 9 digits and assigned to individuals for tax purposes. You will need to hold a valid NIF if you plan to engage in any of the activities listed below:

  • purchase or sell properties
  • inherit Portuguese goods and assets
  • get a bank account in Portugal
  • apply for credit, including mortgage
  • pay taxes and contributions
  • be legally hired in Portugal and receive official income
  • study
  • receive social security and other benefits in Portugal
  • get a driving license

Having a valid NIF is a requirement that applies to both resident and non-resident individuals.

There is no general timeframe for requesting your NIF and authorities do not foresee any penalty for not holding one. However, if you plan to stay in Portugal for more than 180 days, engage in any official business or be legally employed you should obtain a Portuguese tax number first.

How can I request NIF?

NIFs can be requested at the Tax Office or the Citizen’s Bureau. The application procedure is straight forward and a minimum set of documents is required. To submit your application, you will need to provide a valid ID (passport or ID card*) and proof of residency. Children, who do not hold a passport or an ID card, can use their birth certificate.

If you are applying as non-resident you will need to provide your home country address, if you apply as resident you will need to provide proof of your Portuguese address. NIF numbers are issued upon application, meaning that you will receive your numbers as soon as your application is approved.

Can I request NIF prior to my arrival in Portugal?

Yes. If you cannot be physically present to apply for a NIF number you can name a legal representative to apply on your behalf. According to Portuguese law, your legal representative can be any Portuguese citizen or individual who is permanent resident of Portugal. You will need to provide your legal representative you with a PoA, which grants them the right to represent and act on your behalf.

How much does NIF application cost?

There are no official fees for requesting NIF, however if you use the assistance of a legal representative or lawyer they will charge for their services.

*EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can apply using their national ID cards. All other individuals should apply using their passport