When moving to a new country you have to do a number of administrative steps to settle completely and become an expatriate and follow certain steps. This is even more true in Portugal where the different authorities issue various important documents, and where it is sometimes difficult to make the administrative steps in the right order. Procedures to become a resident, tax identification number, registration of his pet, formalities to register his car, many are the mandatory steps for those who wish to live in Portugal and it is not clear how to go live in Portugal and be in good standing. Moving to Portuguese territory entails a certain number of obligations towards the various state organizations and it is important to be in good standing in order to avoid any worries and to do all the necessary formalities. Any self-respecting expatriate must make these administrative steps to settle fully. What are the steps and administrative formalities to go to live in Portugal ? How to be in good standing and follow the steps to register to live in Portugal ? Lisbob, the expatriate assistant in Portugal, tells you all about the 9 administrative steps to take when you decide to live in Portugal.
1. Contribuinte number - NIF
The contribuinte number is the tax identification number in Portugal. Everyone has one, even babies, and this is a mandatory step to gain access to many services, including registration at the health center. This is simply the first step on the list of the steps and administrative formalities to do to live in Portugal. The Portuguese tax identification number NIF is required in any office Finanças with an identity document and proof of residence, whether for a Portuguese or foreign address. It's an administrative process that Lisbob can do for you.
The number of the contribuinte is important because it makes it possible to identify you from a tax point of view and it is obligatory to communicate it during your purchases. This allows you to deduct bills from your tax return. You even participate in a draw organized by the Portuguese tax authorities to win a car! You can find out more in our article about the contribution number.
2. Open bank account
Among the steps and formalities to live in Portugal, opening a bank account in Portugal is one of the first steps when you move there. Indeed, the opening of a bank account makes it possible to domiciliate its incomes and to benefit from banking services like debit or credit card, loan real estate or international transfers. It's an administrative process that Lisbob can do for you.
The bank account cannot be opened without a NIF (fiscal number) in Portugal. It is also necessary to provide documents in order to open an account, for example :
• ID card : valid national identity card or passport ;
• NIF contribution number : This is the tax identification number communicated to you by Finanças. You have normally obtained an A4 document that you will need to submit ;
• Tax notice ;
• Proof of address : electricity, water or telephone bill ;
• Proof of occupation : employment contract, pay slip.
But if you want you can make it way more easier. As an expat, it is sometimes difficult to find a bank that is convenient, online, cheap and is suitable for expats. Lisbob highly recommends Revolut Bank : a free Visa card and an IBAN in less than 5 minutes. In addition, you can benefit from travel insurance as well as fast transfers. In short, the best bank for expats. You can download the application by clicking here.
3. Attestation of Residency
The residency attestation in Portugal is not to be confused with the Certificate of Residency, the CRUE. Indeed, the attestation of residence proves that you live indeed in Portugal, while the CRUE authorizes you. Although the nuance is subtle these are two very distinct documents. The attestation of residence in Portugal makes its entry into your life of expatriate after having obtained the formalization of your right of residence thanks to the CRUE (your certificate of residence as a European citizen living legally in Portugal) . If the latter gives you the right to live and work legally in Portuguese territory, the residence certificate proves that you are actually and permanently settled in the country. Do not wait very long after you moved to Portugal because it can be an issue for some other topics ISV Tax exemption), specially if you decide to move to Portugal with your car.
The steps and administrative formalities to obtain your certificate of residence in Portugal are detailed in this article in 6 steps : just click here !
4. CRUE - Certificado do Registo of Cidadão da União Europeia
The certificate of residence in Portugal is more commonly called CRUE: it is the Certificate of The certificate of residency in Portugal is more commonly called CRUE : it is the Certificado do Registro of Cidadão da União Europeia. This document is one of the most important documents you need to get when you go to live in Portugal. Indeed it is your residence permit in Portugal. Even if the country belongs to the European Union and the Schengen area, and even if you are a European citizen, you will need to have this residence certificate in order to prove your identity and your right to reside in Portugal.
As a European citizen, you have the right to reside in Portugal without taking any particular steps (you must of course be able to prove your membership of the European Union and therefore have in your possession an identity card or a passport valid). However, if you wish to move permanently in the country, you will need to register among the European residents of Portugal. The Certificado do Registro of Cidadão da União Europeia (CRUE) is to be requested maximum 30 days after the end of the 3 ”free” months.
In order to obtain this Certificate of Regency from Cidadão da União Europeia, Lisbob has prepared a guide in 8 steps so that living in Portugal can be done without a hitch : just click here.
If you decide to go live in Portugal with your pet then you will have to do some steps for your 4-legged friend and follow some steps. Indeed, Portugal, like other European countries, impose certain regulations for pets and those that you will take during your move to Portugal will not escape.
In Portugal the registration and the license of authorization are obligatory for all the dogs aged 3 to 6 months. The registration of a pet must be done at the Junta da Freguesia (Town Hall) of the area of residence of the owner or the keeper of the animal. Your pet has the right to move to Portugal with you, but he has to follow some rules.
All dogs born on or after July 1, 2008 must have an electronic identification chip and be vaccinated against rabies. In order to proceed to the registration and obtain the license of authorization for your pet in Portugal you will have to present:
- Animal Health Bulletin (Up-to-date Rabies Vaccine) ;
- Electronic identification chip.
Some dog breeds fall into special categories and require special procedures and formalities. You can find out more in our article with everything you need to know to live in Portugal with your pet : just click here.
6. Registration to the National Health Service SNS (health insurance) and Centro de Saude
Health is an essential part of a successful expatriation. To live serenely in Portugal, it makes you up-to-date and above all registered with the authorities responsible for public health. Registration to the National Health Service SNS is the equivalent of health insurance. Access to health care that is provided by the SNS is via the Centro de Saude, health centers. You have to go to the person whose residence is in order to register, simply by presenting a piece of identification, your Resident Certificate and your Portuguese Social Security beneficiary card. A family doctor will be assigned to you and a Portuguese health insurance beneficiary card will be given to you.
If you have not yet registered for Portuguese health insurance, Lisbob advises you to use your European Health Insurance Card. It allows you to get treatment and access to health care in Portugal, whether it is with local doctors or at the hospital. You can read our books to find out more.
7. Health insurance
Even if the public health system in Portugal is well ranked, it is recommended to subscribe to health insurance if you decide to live in Portuguese land. Indeed, although public hospitals and clinics provide the same quality of care as the private sector, it is unfortunately not rare to have to wait 5 months to have a consultation with a specialist. Private insurance are only subscribed by 30% of Portuguese. Moving to Portugal is a matter of choices sometimes, but health hasn’t to be a choice.
By subscribing to a private mutual you will have access to consultations very quickly, sometimes the same day, and for a reduced cost. It takes 30 to 50 euros per month to have a mutual that covers a wide range of benefits and institutions.
8. Car registration
This is one of the most important points to consider when deciding to move to Portugal and one of the most complicated steps to take. Take your car, or sell it before leaving ? This is a question that is far from innocuous. Indeed, Portugal imposes an import tax, the ISV, on vehicles imported on its soil, and the registrations of foreign cars are not spared. This tax can easily reach 20.000 €, depending if your vehicle is a little old and a little polluting. Fortunately, there are criteria to be exempted. You will have more information using our simulator to be more serene in these steps and administrative formalities by clicking here.
Once you have made sure you can benefit from the ISV tax exemption, you still need to make the car registration process in the right order and especially with all the documents. Indeed, too many foreign car owners who have been forced to pay the ISV tax or take their car to the pound because of a missing document, a misunderstood step or a form poorly filled.
Let professionals do it : Lisbob and his team take all the steps for you, from the registration of your car to the ISV tax exemption application.
9. Driver's license exchange
You hold a Foreign driving license without administrative validity (pink license) and are resident in Portugal. Did you know that you had to exchange your Foreign driver's license for a Portuguese after two years of residence ? Indeed the pink license will no longer be recognized by the Portuguese authorities and you must start the process to proceed with its exchange for a Portuguese license.
Attention because if you are controlled with a Foreign driver's license not valid in the eyes of the Portuguese authorities you risk fines up to 3.000 €, and bigger worries in case of accident responsible !
To exchange your Foreign driving license for a Portuguese license you can read our complete file. It's an administrative process that Lisbob can do for you.
We went through the steps and administrative formalities to go to live in Portugal. Nevertheless, each expatriation being different some steps do not appear in this article. You can contact Lisbob and his team for more information on other formalities to move in Portugal.