A key part of establishing your resident status in Portugal is to open a bank account.
Whichever pathway you choose - a Golden Visa, a D2 Visa or a D7 Visa, you’ll need to set up a Portuguese bank account.
Fortunately, this is a fairly straightforward process.
What are the benefits of opening a bank account in Portugal?
The principal advantage of opening a bank account in Portugal is that it gives you access to the country’s domestic banking network, Multibanco, with its over 12,000 ATMs and its facility to pay bills and top up your mobile phone.
You’ll also be able to use your bank card to pay for all services in Portugal. Some establishments won’t accept cards issued outside Portugal.
There’s a neat system, too, called MBWay, which enables you to pay other users instantly using just their mobile phone number.
How do I open a bank account in Portugal?
Your first step is to acquire a NIF. The first thing you need for opening a bank account in Portugal is a NIF (Portuguese Tax Number).
The NIF is essential for many aspects of daily life in Portugal, including taxes, rental agreements, buying property, investing, or interacting with government authorities.
What documents do I need to open a bank account?
You almost always need to visit the bank in person.
Some Portuguese banks permit you to open accounts online. However, this can be difficult if you don’t know the language.
You’ll almost certainly need the following documents...
- Your passport
- Your NIF (the original document on which the NIF was issued)
- Proof of address - (such as a recent utility bill or bank statement showing your name and address. If you’re applying as a resident of Portugal, your rental contract or property deed can act as proof of address)
- Proof of income - This can be salary or self-employment income, pension, or dividends. Payslips would be sufficient, or a letter to prove your pension.
- Initial deposit - typically €250
- Portuguese phone number - Many banks require you to activate the account using an SMS. Most of them don’t work with a foreign phone number. You can easily get a pay-as-you-go SIM card from any Portuguese provider.