NIF for foreigners and non-residents in Portugal

The NIF, or Tax Identification Number, is a unique identification number assigned to each individual for the purposes of taxation and other tax obligations in Portugal. It is compulsory for any natural or legal person wishing to carry out financial transactions or engage in economic activities in the country. We take a look at what's involved in this article.

Who needs a NIF in Portugal ?

Obtaining a NIF is particularly important for foreigners and non-residents planning to live, work, invest or own property in Portugal. Access this site for more details.

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  • In principle, any natural or legal person wishing to carry out financial transactions or engage in economic activities in Portugal needs a NIF. This includes :
  • Tax residents in Portugal: any individual who stays in Portugal for more than 183 days per year is considered a tax resident.
  • Non-residents of Portugal for tax purposes: any individual who does not reside in Portugal for tax purposes but who receives income or owns property in Portugal.
  • Businesses and companies: any legal entity, whether resident or non-resident in Portugal, must have a NIF in order to carry out its activities in the country.

How to obtain an NIF as a foreign national or non-resident

The process for obtaining an NIF for foreign nationals and non-residents varies according to their individual situation. However, the general steps are as follows:

Filling in the NIF application form: You can obtain the NIF application form from the Portuguese tax office (Autoridade Tributária e Aduaneira) or online from their website. The form must be completed in Portuguese and includes personal details such as your name, address and nationality.

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Gather supporting documents: You will need to provide supporting documents to prove your identity and your resident or non-resident status. These documents may include

  • Passport or identity card
  • Proof of address (utility bill, tenancy agreement)
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of non-resident status (e.g. long-stay visa, work permit)

Submitting your application: you can submit your NIF application in person at a Portuguese tax office or by post. If you submit your application by post, you must send the original supporting documents.

Payment of fees: There is a small fee associated with obtaining a NIF. You will need to pay this fee when you submit your application.

Processing times

The processing time for NIF applications for foreign nationals and non-residents is generally 2 to 3 weeks. However, it may take longer if additional documents are required.

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