Resettling In Portugal : Start here!

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Here is a step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to relocate in Portugal, from bank account to tax Id and choosing school for your kids.

As global demand for Portugal's golden visa continues to grow, it becomes more imperative than ever for prospective investors to understand the mechanics of resettling in Portugal.

Moving to a new country, while always a thrilling adventure, can be a challenge for those who have not done their research in terms of how to lay the foundation for the most important aspects that affect their daily lives.

Understanding how to open a bank account, get a tax number, register for social security, enroll children in schools, and open a business. 

Opening a bank account

Portugal's global central location and status as a major EU country have made it a major worldwide commerce hub. With that stature comes the need for simple, quick, and efficient banking, and the financial institutes in Portugal astutely deliver. 

Opening a bank account in Portugal is very simple. Residents and non-residents alike can set up their personal bank accounts in a few steps. All one needs to open a Portuguese bank account is:

  • A valid ID card or, in the case of non-EU nationals, a passport
  • A Portuguese tax number (NIF)
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of income

Issuing a Portuguese tax identification number (NIF) is a simple process. People can refer to any Portuguese finance service office to issue one, or can have it done remotely through a third-party such as a lawyer. Portuguese residents who have applied through the golden visa will already have a NIF issued as it is required to purchase a property or make a fund investment.

The nature of digital payments in Portugal has made having a bank account a neccissity, as many shops, companies, and even apps only accept credit card payments.

There is a wide variety of banks available in Portugal for people to choose from, and foreign investors can also look into banks that offer specific services that can aid them. Some of these banks are:

  • Millennium BCP - the biggest bank in Portugal offers its clients a vast net of offices, ATMs, and service points to utilize. It also allows clients to open bank accounts and make transactions in currencies other than the Euro such as USD, AUD, TL, NZD, and many others. 
  • Novobanco - the second largest private bank in Portugal is one of the best options not just because of its size and wide service network. The bank has a Welcome Account and Golden Key Account for newcomers and non-residents, respectively, making it one of the best options for those who recently obtained a golden visa. 
  • Caixa Geral de Depositos - the second largest state-owned bank in Portugal has been in business for over a century. Caixa Geral de Depositos has a wide array of account options, allows clients to open bank accounts in various currencies, and also has a subsidized online bank named Moey for those looking for low maintenance fees and complete online service. 
  • N26 - as online banking becomes more popular, it is necessary to mention N26 in Portugal. The online bank has a sleek user interface, a multitude of services, and can be used throughout the EU, making it excellent for those looking to explore the Union. 

Issuing a social security number

While Portuguese residents are not required to issue a social security number, they will need to do so if they want to work, open a business, enroll in schools or universities, or access public healthcare. 

Issuing a social security number opens a multitude of benefits for its holders, as they can count on public backing in these cases:

  • Retirement
  • Unemployment
  • Work-related injuries
  • Disabilities
  • Sickness

Social security number holders can directly access the Portuguese public healthcare system. People who do not have a social security number will have to obtain a private healthcare plan to ensure they are covered in case of sickness or injury.

To get a social security number, a person only needs to go to a civil office, or Segurança Social, and submit an application along with the supporting documents, which are:

  1. A residence permit 
  2. An employment contract or company registration. In the case of traders, then, they must submit proof of income. 
  3. ID or passport
  4. A Portuguese NIF (tax number)
  5. Proof of Portuguese address
  6. A completed application form

The process is easy and quick, and the vast network of civil offices means that people will have no trouble finding an application center nearby. 

Enrolling in schools

One of the major aspects of resettlement for families is finding a good school for their children. The weight of relocation can sometimes be weary for younger kids, and finding a good school for them to connect and make friends while getting a great education is vital.

Luckily, Portugal is flush with outstanding public and private schools that immigrants can choose from. 

However, it is crucial to note that for those considering public schools they should know that Portugal adopts a catchment area policy for its public schools, meaning that in order to attend a specifc school, a student must be a resident within that school's designated area.

This is crucial to understand before registering an address, as those who find a school they like then reside outside of its area cannot enroll their children in it. 

Public schools also require students to enroll before the deadline date of July 16th, and parents can enroll their children online via a specialized portal, or by going to the school itself and enrolling them personally. 

Private schools in Portugal are also abundant, with a lot of different schools offering various curriculums. There are Montessori, Religious focused, Waldorf, and other types of international schools scattered throughout the nation. People can choose whichever school they like and apply directly to that school, and they do not have to reside in a certain area to attend private school.

Opening a business

Portugal ranks 39th out of 190 countries on the Ease of Doing Business Report, which is a crucial indicator for those looking to establish a corporate foothold in the country and the EU.

This high ranking is due to the business-friendly environment the Portuguese government has carefully created. Aside from the economic freedom, various trade agreements, and massive open market that the EU offers, Portugal itself makes registering a business and setting up shop within its borders a simple task.

Historically, there was only the traditional way to register a business, the Criacao da Empresa, which did, in truth, require some effort and time. To register a business in the traditional fashion a person would have to:

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Admissibility at the Institute of Registries and Notaries (IRN) to formally identify the company name. 
  2. Apply for a Company Card and a Collective Card at the IRN
  3. Open a corporate business bank account with the entire company capital.
  4. Officially declare the commencement of gainful activities at the local Tax Office
  5. Register the business at the Commercial Registry Office
  6. Register as an employer at a local Social Security office

Since this method was time-exhausting, the Portuguese government decided to streamline the process, introducing two new methods, the Empresa Online and Empresa de Hora.

The Empresa Online is a completely online method for registering a business. All a person has to do is create a user on the designated portal, fill out the forms, register their business, and pay a fee of just 360 Euro. They will then receive an online Certificate of Registration within 1-2 days.

The Empresa de Hora is even quicker. It is a register-on-the-spot process that allows a person to register their business within an hour. This requires a person to be physically present, along with any partners, with the required documentation pertaining to their business and requires the payment of a 360 Euro fee. 

The Empresa Online and Empresa de Hora have made registering a business a seamless process and have taken Portugal to the next level in terms of attracting new business. 

Settling in Portugal has never been easier

Through the simplified golden visa route, getting a residency permit in Portugal is quick and easy. While, with the aid of an astute firm such as Optylon Krea, settling in Portugal has never been easier.

To know more about settlement in Portugal and the golden visa, contact us today to speak to one of our Portuguese resettlement experts. 

Who are we ?

Optylon Krea is an investment management and real estate development company that caters to the needs of international Golden Visa investors, with €1.8 Billion managed to date from Portugal to Turkey.
We have been the first to explore the Golden Visa eligible fund route in 2018 and are currently leading that market segment with more than € 200M under our advisory.


Investors from more than 40 countries


million equity managed for Golden Visa eligible funds


active funds under advisory

We strongly believe that Portugal is shifting from a mass tourism destination to a luxury resort. That is why we are bringing momentum to the main cities by developing high street retail and prime serviced apartment projects.

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San Francisco, Ca