The process of opening a bank account in most countries can be quite complicated, particularly in financial centers such as the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Indeed, many EU countries have many hoops that you’ll need to jump through in order to open a bank account with them. However, if you are looking to open a bank account in Portugal, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the process. The country is one of the easiest countries to open a bank account in, whether you are an EU resident or a non-resident.
If you are contemplating applying for Portugal’s Golden Visa program – before the program comes to an end, opening a Portuguese bank account is essential.
Stay tuned as we delve into how to open a bank account in Portugal. In this article, we will cover the following:
- Before you open an account
- Required documents
- How to open a bank account in Portugal
- Useful resources about Portugal
- What you can do with a Portuguese bank account
- List of banks in Portugal and the best banks in Portugal to consider
- Important information about banking in Portugal
- Bank account for Golden Visa holders
- Speak to a professional advisor in Portugal
Before You Open an Account
Before you open a bank account in Portugal, you will need to obtain a Número de Identificação Fiscal), known as a NIF number. This is your Portuguese Tax Number, and you will require this to open a Portuguese bank account and carry out any financial transactions in the country.
You can easily get a NIF through a representative in Portugal. This representative can either be a fiscal representative or a lawyer who will be able to apply for a NIF number on your behalf.
If you would like to get your own NIF number yourself, and you are already in Portugal, then you will need to go to a Finanças office. The process is quite straightforward, although we recommend arriving early to avoid long waits.
As we mentioned, having a NIF number is essential when moving to Portugal and you will need to have this number to partake in any governmental activity, run a business, make an investment, or pursue any legal matters.
First, get your NIF number, and then open a bank account. These are the typical steps that you’ll need to take to get set up in your move to Portugal or when applying to the Portugal Golden Visa program.
So, you’ve got your own NIF number, and you’re ready to open a Portuguese bank account. Regarding the required documents that you’ll need to present, most are pretty easy to collect.
You’ll need to show the following documents, although this may differ depending on your Portuguese bank of choice.
- Proof of ID (e.g., passport)
- Proof of address (e.g., recent utility bill or letter received in the previous three months, with your name and address both visible)
- NIF number
- Proof of income or employment (e.g., recent payslip or employment letter). If you are not employed, you can still open a Portuguese bank account. You will need to show proof of registration with the Portuguese employment center (Centro de Emprego) or that you have an assured work contract.
- A Portuguese phone number for SMS activation: This may not be required and is dependent on the bank. Some banks also accept international phone numbers.
- A deposit of €250-300 in cash is common, although this will depend on the bank.
Note that some Portuguese banks allow you to open a Portuguese bank account online. However, you will need to visit their local branch in person in most cases.