Getting A Bank Account In Portugal from United States without traveling to Portugal

Guys what you are all relying on is if the process goes smooth if you are doing it on your own, which it rarely does due to bureaucracy and being in a foreign language.

Yes, you could find someone who speaks English but thats not really the point because even if this person speaks English, the paperwork still needs to go through other people, where the 2 points I mentioned will occur.

If you don’t want a headache, get a lawyer.

Are you a lawyer @Buh?

@masta No I am not but I work with partners in every country to support in any matter.

Feel free to message me if you need help with something.


Can anyone share their bank opening times between Bison or BiG? Trying to estimate accurately the time from “hi, good to meet, fill in the forms and send over”. to “your money is here and ready”. Thanks.


A big update… We received an official Visa denial from Portugal - with the Bank Account being the major issue. Two smaller issues that the Portugal contact just asked for a letter to explain. We were told we have 10 business days to complete the requests. That gave us a deadline of Friday February 26th.

As we mentioned, we got the documents notarized at the local bank, and we were able to get the documents to the GA County Clerk in Atlanta for the Apostille service. It took about 6 days. 2 up, 2 weekend, 2 down. We JUST missed having it ship out of Friday. :frowning:

We took the documents, scanned them in, and attempted to send them overnight to Portugal. The fastest we saw was a 2 day priority. Of course with Covid and the Texas storm - which is a major hub :frowning: it is not that straightforward! We had to use Fedex… long story. Fedex onilne says the delivery that shipped out on Wed should (could, maybe, hopefully) arrive Friday night! :slight_smile:

Due to the very high anxiety timeline, we contacted our Millennium bcp contact and explained all of our timing. He stated that if he received the documents Friday that the account will be open by the 23rd, which is Tuesday. Since the delivery looks like it will be later Friday, I am guessing he will open the account on the 24th.

For the people who have asked me if I could share the contact information for Millennium bcp, we did ask him for his permission to share. He agreed… :slight_smile: Because it seems frowned upon to share others contact information online, I would ask that you reach out to me via private message and I will gladly pass it along. [Moderator edit: Personal email address removed, use the PM feature instead]

I will update everyone as we iron out the last details.

Thank you for all of your help!


Hi Richard,
I am not clear the relationship between Visa (Golden Visa?) denial and the bank account thing. Would you mind elabrate a bit more?

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Good morning… yea, the bank account issue for us stemmed from a Youtube video misunderstanding.

It seems the process pre-covid would require you to travel to Portugal to open a bank account in person.

Early Covid we watched a Youtube video from Expats Everywhere that clearly stated that they were able to get their Visa by writing a letter explaining the impacts of Covid not allowing them to travel, and allowing them to open the account as soon as they arrived in Portugal on their Visa.

We submitted our Visa package with the letter. Fortunately, Expats Everywhere posted a video of them getting their bank account in Portugal and they noted this process had changed and you were once again required to have a bank account before you could get the Visa. As soon as I saw that video, we began the process of getting the bank account. It looks like we may have barely beat the time delay. :open_mouth:

Hope this helps…

This sounds like a D7 visa and not the golden visa process.

For sure… there is a difference!

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With Bison, I’d say the submitting application for account opening took us about 7-8 business days. Our lawyer had all required documents from us before submitting the application to Bison bank. We filled out the application and scanned and sent it to our contact at Bison to make sure everything is in good order before physically mailed them via UPS express (this took 3 days). For funding the account, it depends on how you send your money to Bison, it took 2 days for us for the money from our bank in the U.S to get to our account at Bison.

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Could you share your contact at Millenium ? We are planning to move to Portugal by spring of 2022 and are beginning the process for NIF , etc. Thanks.

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Best of luck!! The information is below!

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Hi! I may be missing something, so my apologies if so! I didn’t see your contact information at Millenium on your message. Did you have that posted somewhere? Much appreciated, as good references are golden! :smile:


We are finalized and we have our Visa! Whoooo Hooooo…

I wanted to create a final post with an overview of the process - I swear I thought I did this earlier, but I can’t find the post. Not sure if I did not submit or if it was deleted.

Here is the successful overview of opening a Bank Account in Portugal from the US.

  1. We had to acquire the NIF - We used Allfinance Matters
  2. When we received the NIF we contacted the bank. We got a contact name through ExpatsEverywhere
  3. The bank sent official paperwork through Email.
  4. We printed and filled it out.
  5. We had to have them notarized and apostilled - 2 separate processes!
    a) Notarized at the local bank
    b) Apostilled at the Georgia County Clerk In Atlanta (this will be different by state, you will have to google) (note, there were private Apostille services but they were really expensive… like $150 per document)
  6. We mailed the documents to Atlanta and back.
  7. We made copies and mailed the original to Portugal through DHL (Fedex serviced them as well)
  8. The bank received them and took about 10 days to open the account.
  9. We had to wire transfer funds per the request of the bank.

Again, we do have permission from our contact at Millennium BCP to share his name. Please contact me by message if you need it.

Good luck to all!


Wow, congratulations!

Are you open to posting a timeline of the end-to-end process in a relevant thread? My ARI application was submitted two weeks ago and I’m most curious about how long the rest of the process may take. The theory is well known, but the facts on the ground are what they are. There are glimmers of hope that the process is accelerating, and other signs are less encouraging.


Hi Richard,
Congrats! Is this a D7 visa? Did you have to go to a consulate to do biometric?

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Yes, this is the D7 Visa. We did not have to go to the consulate during the whole process. We did everything by email, phone, and snail-mail.

I have not heard of the biometric requirement at all… we had to provide fingerprints. That was the closest.

Our latest dilemma is we have booked two different flights with United. They canceled them both. We are probably going with TAP today.


Good morning! Rough timeline:

  1. Acquiring NIF - about 3 weeks - Slow correspondence and We had to snail-mail (DHL) our signed limited power of attorney, but it did happen.
  2. Getting paperwork from the bank (bank is not lightening fast on replies on questions), printed, filled out and notarized about 1 week.
  3. Apostilled - mailed to and back from Atlanta was about 1-2 week.
  4. Mailed to Portugal, a few days.
  5. Account Opened by the Bank about 2 weeks.
  6. A new final step - we had to send our passports to the consulate to add the Visa… I am guessing this will take a couple of weeks as well.

So, I would guess about 8-10 weeks. Of course overnighting documents can save a few days here and there.

We had the privilege of a snow storm that added about a week :open_mouth:


That’s interesting. I know people who are under San Francisco jurisdiction still have to do in-person interviews.

he is a bit vague on the process. I believe the process steps he laid out are for the D7 visa. The D7 is a temporary visa to allow you to travel to the country. He will still need to do an in-person interview/ biometrics once he gets to Portugal in order to get a residency card. It is just that he has not communicated this part of the process.