SNS and número de utente

My spouse and I have our 2 year ARI residency permits. Are we eligible for health coverage by the SNS immediately? I know we need to have Portuguese phone numbers. We don’t have a permanent Portuguese residence (our lawyer’s address is on the residency cards.) Has anyone done this. We arrive in Portugal in 2 weeks.

1 Like

I have done it, but so after moving to Portugal. I still have lawyer’s address on my residence card, but I created numero de utente pretty easily. But you need to prove you real address with rent contract and some utility bill.

Yes you are eligible to get both the Permanent Utente and NISS(Social Security) along with the European Health Insurance cards as we have done that already. You don’t have to be in Portugal to get the Permanent Utente numbers, all you need is to email the copies of your passport, mobile numbers and título de residência to the nearest health care center’s email. The health center you should pick based on the area you are most likely to stay during your visits to Portugal and the address printed on the Residency cards doesn’t affect them in anyway. However, the Healthcare Centre needs one address to be entered into the system which needs no proofs whatsoever. The Portuguese phone numbers are quite important to receive the SMS updates, OTPs and to use the SNS24 mobile app.

Once you register into the public healthcare system, you shall be eligible for everything inside. Your first visit to the Family GP should be scheduled in advance or you can walk-in early in the morning to get the open ticket. The GP shall takedown all the medical history and series of questions and then you shall be redirected to your family nurse who verifies your mandatory vaccination History of MMR, Tetanus and Diphtheria. Carry the proofs if you have any from your home country, else they shall give you the shots for free and schedule you the followup shots.


As far as this link goes, only Tetanus and Diphteria are mandatory in specific scenarios:

  • To enrol in an educational establishment, you must have up to date diphtheria and tetanus vaccinations.
  • In order to take an exam at an educational establishment, you must also have up to date vaccinations against diphtheria and tetanus.

@TommyReine Do you know if a non-PT mobile phone can be registered for the Utente? Like some PT banks can use non-PT numbers for sms.

And the registration with the GP - is it automatic upon receiving the Utente, or a separate process?

In principle any EU number is accepted, I haven’t tried any non-EU numbers so far.

Regarding the second question, a GP shall be assigned to you automatically and there’s no separate process to it. However, you are the one who should initiate the first appointment and make a visit to a GP and the family Nurse to validate your Health and Vaccination history. There are some extra vaccinations recommended for the elderly (if you qualify) like Gripe, those shall be administered as per your convenience and stock availability.