Anybody staying in Portugal for more than 180 days or settling in the country has to have a fiscal number (NIF). This is essential if you want to open a bank account, rent or buy a house/apartment, buy a car, open other accounts, conduct a business or get an invoice for IRS purposes. Even a child has to have one.

Getting a NIF number is not difficult. If you are fluent in Portuguese, follow the steps on

You can apply for the NIF at the following places:

  1. At any Finanças Department in the country. The webpage only supplies the addresses for Lisbon. People in and around Cascais, Alcabideche or Estoril can go to the Finanças in 3-5 Avenida do Ultramar, Edifício Vimar, Cascais, 2750-506, opposite the main Cascais Post office. The above site however has an English version on the Portuguese Tax system, which is quite   Enquiries by telephone are not advised. Finanças is always busy, they do not answer their phones and most of the staff either do not speak English, or refuse to do so.


  1. At any Loja do Cidadão (Citizen Shop) that provides this service. The one in Cascais does not, as the Finanças is just across the road.


  1. At a Conservatória dos Registos Centrais (Central Registry Department). In Cascais this is behind the Cascais court house complex, on Avenida Jaime Thompson.


You will need to produce an Identity card or Passport. In the case of children under 10 years old who do not have a passport, a birth certificate is required. Proof of residence or any Portuguese issued invoice with your name and an address will do. If you do not have any proof of residence, you should be accompanied by your fiscal representative who will sign the NIF application on your behalf.  That person’s address will be registered as your address in

the NIF registry. You can go back and change the address once you have your own.proof of residence. The person that accompanies you will have to provide his own documents, citizen card, passport and his own NIF number. Your fiscal representative must be a Portuguese citizen or have a permanent residence in Portugal. Be aware that since April 2016 a person with a temporary residence cannot stand as a fiscal representative.


Issuing a NIF number is free of charge and on the spot. The NIF ‘credit cards’ of old are no longer being issued. All you get is an A4 sheet of paper with your details and your NIF number on it. Do not lose it as it is a very important document.

Portugal’s notorious dedication to bureaucracy seems to have been eliminated when it comes to the issuing of a NIF number.

Tags: Cascais | Finanças department | NIF number

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