Steps for Establishing Tax Residency in Portugal and securing 2024 NHR

Greetings everyone. My wife and I are currently debating moving to Portugal in mid 2025 and were GV holders prior to December 31, 2023. It is my understanding we should be grandfathered into the old NHR so long as we secure a place to live by December 31, 2024. With that in mind, would the community mind looking over this plan?

  1. August 2024 - Reach out to Realtor/Rental Consultant to schedule November property tours/appointments
  2. November 2024 (Thanksgiving) - Tour properties to secure/sign rental agreement (I have read 6-12 months duration needed)
  3. December 2024 - Change Tax residency address on NIF to Portuguese address (Online)
  4. Apply for NHR prior to March 31, 2025 (Online)
  5. June 2025 - Move to Portugal and ensure we spend at least 183 days in country

At Step 3 it is my understanding you have 60 days to request the change in address. Then they physically mail a code to the new address to verify residency. The mailed code may have a quick expiration or another code would have to be requested. I would not want to need re-request this code, especially if that pushed the request/confirmation to 2025. I would need to get a lawyer, realtor, or friend to pick this up since we will not be in Portugal at the time.

Does this seem correct as well as feasible? Are there any other in-person steps I may not be thinking of in order to change tax residency and apply for NHR?

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Step 3 - I am not aware of the 60 days rule (and from what point the count starts?). This step was done for me by my lawyer, so somehow there was no code ever sent to my PT address. I do not know what happens if you apply yourself.
Step 5 - why do you think you’d need to stay 183 days in PT? To maintain the PT tax residency it is not necessary.

For step 3 I just read somewhere that the law required you to notify the tax office (by changing the address on your nif) within 60 days of moving to Portugal. Not sure if that’s accurate.

For step 5 and trying to spend 183 days in Portugal it was just to be safe. I’m a U.S. citizen and everything I have read is to show a clean break from the U.S. I was especially concerned about this in year 1 of the move since we were almost moving in the middle of the calendar year.

When you change your tax residency (NIF address change) do you have to get a new Residency Card?

Regarding Step 2 – I urge you to start this process earlier. We started down this rabbit hole in early November 2023 because of the announcement of the NHR change. While my wife was in PT looking at potential rentals, the “corruption crisis” occurred and we didn’t know from day-to-day what the result would be - so she kept at it. While she had an agency helping, we were looking in a non-touristy area without a lot of foreign renters/investors. Landlords were a bit challenging because we didn’t have any rental/credit history and no “Portuguese guarantor” in Portugal. [Side note - some Hungarian friends here in the US had a similar issue upon moving here because they didn’t have a “credit score”]. We even offered up a full year’s rent plus 2-month deposit UP FRONT to one landlord, but were refused (!) because we didn’t have any history and no Portuguese guarantor. We finally found a place and got the lease signed up by mid-December. Had the “grandfather” option not occurred we would have been hard pressed to get everything done by year end (especially with end-of-year holidays). Don’t get in that boat if you can help it. There will be a last-minute rush nearing year-end and you don’t want to be in the middle of that.

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Tommy - your lawyer reported your new address to Financas and you didn’t receive your code in the mail? Did your lawyer then also do the NHR application (so maybe it was sent to them)? We’ve been in a holding pattern because of step 3, so if there’s a way to get the code and apply without having to worry about Portuguese post, I would love to hear about it.


I think thats probably good advice. It would effectively leave me with maybe 3 weeks to do the paperwork for the rental and I would need to receive the code in the mail. That is probably too tight.

I’ll ask a realtor what their thoughts are. If I need to just sign a “blind” rental for 6 months I can handle that being a stopgap as long as it qualifies for NHR (place I intend to inhabit). I just don’t want to sign a 12 month lease for a property I may not be happy with.

your lawyer reported your new address to Financas and you didn’t receive your code in the mail?
- correct, this whole step was done by the lawyer.

Did your lawyer then also do the NHR application (so maybe it was sent to them)?

- no, once my NIF address had been changed to PT, I went ahead and applied for the NHR myself via Portal.

I’m not sure. But if that were true for those of us on the GV path we may have to pay the full fee again (Just like those that lose their card).

So forgive the obvious question, but how did you get the code?

Like I said, the change of my NIF address to Portugal was handled entirely by my lawyer. I did not need to collect/supply any codes.