How to Open a Portuguese Bank Account for Non-Residents

Hi Louis

do you need an NIF to be able to open the account ?

I don’t think an NIF is required, only your ID such as a passport.

The requirements shown in their application are:

  • Address proof (e.g. electricity, water, gas, driving license, credit or rental agreements)
  • Proof of profession (e.g. invoice of work as self-employed person, statement of start of activity or last personal income tax return)

I went through the signup process on their app but didn’t complete it since I currently don’t have any proof of profession to show.

Your “profession” can be unemployed. You just need some document from your country saying that you’re unemployed

Probably an automated system managed by the compliance team. They probably just find it unlikely that a foreigner would bother to complain to the central bank and don’t see any consequence for acting illegally. As I said, Activo/Millennium are in a very sorry state right now

Was that for proof of occupation?

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Hi Guys,

I was in CTT Setubal yesterday to open an account (having got my NIF inside 30 minutes in the morning - thanks Thomas) and they were fixated on payment of income tax in the UK, where I have my freelance company.
They were not satisfied with my UK bank statement as proof of address and income and my payslip doesn’t have my job title or address. They wanted HMRC proof of payment of income tax and address.
I pay a small, managed, amount of income tax in the UK and can access my account record with HMRC - their beta site provides summary information that meets all their requirements. CTT is closed today (carnival), so I will be there at 9am tomorrow, to give me time to get my plane in the evening

It’s very standard here in Portugal to ask for an income statement as proof of occupation if you are self employed. There probably isn’t a way around that

Btw, be mindful of CTT’s new pricing, they now seem to have 2 different accounts, a “Banco CTT”, which is new and carries a 15€ yearly fee for the debit card and a “Conta base” which seems to be the same as their old (only) account type and has no fees but has a 100€ mandatory minimum deposit when opening the account.

They basically removed the 100€ deposit and added the 15€ yearly fee to the new account type while the other one is the same as it has always been, just be sure to choose the correct one

@tkrunning Hello! I’m new here, and a new dual Portuguese/US citizen. :portugal: :us: I would like to split my time between the US and Portugal (post-COVID) and buy property :house_with_garden: in Portugal eventually. I have a few related questions:

  • Should I get an international bank account or a local Portuguese bank account? :bank:
  • For what I am trying to do, would there be big advantages to having a Portuguese bank account rather than a local one? Or vice versa?
  • If local, what bank would you recommend currently (since some things have changed since this article was written)? It looks like the top contenders are Activo, Moey, and Banco CTT.
  • I have a Cartão de Cidadão and Passaporte from Portugal. Do I still need an NIF number? If so, is there a way to obtain one remotely from the US?
  • I have heard XE Trade might be a good option for transferring money between banks. Any thoughts or experience with that? :moneybag:
  • I am also curious about how credit scores work in Portugal. If I move to Portugal, would I need to start building my credit score from scratch, or would it transfer from the US?
  • Would it be advantageous to get a credit card from Portugal? :credit_card:

Thank you to anyone and everyone who might have some insight or be able to help!
Muito obrigada!

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Hi @lealinda, :smiley:

I hope you are fine.

If your intention is to buy a property in Portugal I would suggest to open a PT bank account because you will need to pay the taxes for the property acquisition from the PT Bank Account.

All Bank service in Portugal are very lousy. But you may consider MBCP, for example.

Yes. Even having a CC and Passport you will need a tax identification number. Yes.

Kind regards,


Does anyone know about US citizens opening bank account with Millennium bcp in PT?
I am just hearing information that Millennium bcp does not allow US citizens to have bank accounts due to FACTA issues.

This is curious because I have Millennium has raised no concerns about this with me.
There is also this:

I am not sure why this is an issue all of a sudden.

Hi all, maybe someone else already asked for this: is it possible to do it with a UK bank statement and UK proof of address?


Moey looks good but I don’t understand how EU/EEA citizens resident in Portugal can open an account? I just tried and failed because they want either a). a Cartão de Cidadão (which you can only get after living in Portugal for 5 years or more); or b). a Cartão de Residência (which is not available to EU/EEA citizens living in Portugal - we get given paper certificates not physical residence cards).

@mmtravelguy you can open your bank account. But you can´t make investments through the Millenium BCP bank as they are not FATCA compliant.