NIF Basics

Yes, every individual will need their own NIF. 


If you are a married couple, you will both need separate NIF numbers. Children also need their own NIF in order to enroll in a school in Portugal.


You will need your unique NIF number to sign up for health insurance, bank account (even if it's joint), a cell phone contract, etc.

The NIF that you will receive through Bordr is permanent. It is a unique 9-digit number that is assigned to you for life. 

The NIF number issued to you by Finances is your permanent NIF number.


Your NIF does not expire and does not need to be renewed either.

You will receive your NIF electronically. The Portuguese tax office will provide us with a PDF that contains your NIF and we will email that to you once we receive it.

A NIF is essential for anyone who lives in Portugal. You will need it to carry out essential tasks such as opening a bank account or renting an apartment. At the time of this writing, some consulates require that applicants have a NIF before submitting their residence visa application.

If you've been issued a NIF in the past, you cannot request for another NIF.

You need a NIF for any sort of official transaction in Portugal. 


Here are some examples:


  • Opening a bank account
  • Renting property long-term
  • Buying or selling property
  • Setting up utilities (water, gas, electricity)
  • Signing a mobile phone contract
  • Applying for a mortgage or other forms of credit
  • Enrolling in a school
  • Getting hired in Portugal and receiving your salary
  • Receiving social security payments and other benefits in Portugal
  • Filing and paying taxes in Portugal
  • Buying a car
  • Applying for a driver’s license
  • Inheriting Portuguese assets

NIF is short for Número de Identificação Fiscal and is a tax identification number in Portugal. It is a unique 9-digit number assigned to an individual by the Portuguese Tax and Customs Authority (also referred to as Finanças).
Here are other terms that are used interchangeably with NIF:
  • Número de Contribuinte
  • Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  • Fiscal Number
  • VAT Identification Number