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NIF: the first – and super important – step

William Carriello
Posted on Wed Mar 29
3 min read

“Every great journey starts with a first step”. The phrase is attributed to Buddha and, if the walk is an analogy to emigrating to Portugal, the first step would undoubtedly be to get the NIF.

But what is NIF anyway?

The Fiscal Identification Number is the Portuguese equivalent of our CPF in Brazil. This number that identifies the citizen, Portuguese or foreign, with the Tax Authority, the “Receita Federal” of Portugal.

I’ve seen a lot of “influencers” saying that to emigrate to Portugal, you don’t need the NIF. Serious? Guys, can you do anything in Brazil without CPF? So it is. Want to rent a property? Need NIF. Turn on power? NIF. Gas? NIF. Water? NIF. Open bank account? NIF! The NIF needs to be present in the lease agreement, without it it is IMPOSSIBLE to rent the property. Don’t fall for the idea that it’s possible to arrive in Portugal without it.

My recommendation is: start with the NIF. Her, her husband or wife and the children. Yours and your husband/wife’s will be needed for the lease, the children’s to get places at school.

And how do you take it off?

As you know, we did not offer this NIF request service, it was something done only for our relocation clients. We recently decided to start providing a separate service due to a recurring problem: it is very difficult to get an appointment at the Tax Authority, we often get a date 30 or 45 days ahead. Offering the separate service will allow us to speed up the process for those who are starting to plan to move, so when they are ready, this will be a point already resolved, they will already have the numbers in hand and we will not have to go crazy looking for dates.

And when I say crazy I mean it. Many times we need to look for agendas in distant cities, sometimes traveling more than 80km to speed up the process because there were only agendas in faraway places.

To request your Tax Identification Number you need a tax representative, someone who is a citizen or resident (must have a residence document) to represent you at the agency. A series of documents are required, ranging from powers of attorney, passport copies to proof of residence in Brazil. These documents need to be sent from Brazil, we already have a shipping time for Portugal (usually via DHL). Documents in hand and appointment made, the process is relatively quick, taking about 20 minutes per NIF (plus the waiting time at the Tax Authority, I already had to wait 3 hours to be attended even with an appointment made).

In possession of your NIF, we request the password for the Finance Portal and in 15 days or so you already have access to the Tax Authority system.

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