How do I open a bank account in Portugal if I’m not a resident?
Portugal has established itself as one of the favorite destinations for tourists, investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. In addition to its natural beauty and rich history, the country offers a number of financial and tax advantages, making it an attractive location for business and personal life.
Consequently, the demand for banking services has increased, especially among those who, even though they are not residents, are looking to establish a financial connection with the country. In this article, we will unravel the process of opening a bank account in Portugal for non-residents, providing a detailed guide and clearing up the most common doubts.
How to open a bank account in Portugal online and remotely
The evolution of digital banking services has transformed the way people interact with financial institutions, and Portugal is no exception to this trend. The country now offers the option of opening bank accounts, allowing even non-residents, who are planning their move or investment in the country, to easily start their banking relationships without the need for physical presence.
This remote approach not only saves time and effort, but also helps to simplify and streamline the bureaucratic process, making the financial transition to Portugal smoother and more efficient.
When choosing to open a bank account in Portugal, local banks require a series of documents that help verify the client’s identity and ensure that all legal and compliance regulations are met. Below, we detail the main documents that are usually requested:
- Updated Proof of Address/Residence: This document is used to confirm your current address, whether it is in your country of origin or wherever you are currently living.
- Proof of Employment: Issued within the last six months, this document must provide information on your current employment situation, confirming your profession and, in some cases, your source of income.
- Last Income Tax Return: This document provides an overview of your financial situation, income and tax obligations over the last year.
- Bank statements for the last three months: Statements help the bank understand your financial history and behavior, as well as prove the origin of funds.
- Contact details: It is essential to provide an up-to-date telephone number and e-mail address. These will be the main means by which the bank will contact you to confirm transactions or for any other communication.
- Information on Political Situation: If you are a politically exposed person or have a family member who is, you must inform the bank, specifying the position you hold.
- NIF (Tax Identification Number): This is the tax number in Portugal, which is essential for almost all transactions in the country. Find out more by clicking here.
- Passport: As an internationally recognized identification document, a passport is essential to confirm your identity.
- Tax Identification Number in the Country of Residence: In addition to the Portuguese NIF, the bank may also ask for the tax number of the country where you are resident, for international verification purposes.
Once all these documents have been gathered, they will be submitted to the bank by a lawyer, who will present them on your behalf. The bank, for its part, will carry out a detailed analysis to ensure compliance with all local and international regulations, focusing on combating money laundering and corruption.
The process may seem intimidating, but it’s important to remember that these measures are taken to ensure the safety of all parties involved. Once the bank accepts your request, your communication will be directly with a designated manager, ensuring that your bank details and information are kept strictly confidential.
The completeness and authenticity of documents is vital. Any inconsistency or lack of clarity could delay or even prevent the account from being opened. From the list of documents above, you can see that you will need to share a lot of important and sensitive data and information about your life and assets.
Entrust this responsibility to a qualified professional. Click on the following link to consult the list of all lawyers registered with the Portuguese Bar Association: https://portal.oa.pt/advogados/pesquisa-de-advogados/
Dr. Vivian Perfeito is a lawyer with professional license No. 56.010P.
Frequently asked questions
-I’m not a resident, can I open an account?
If you are a European citizen, the answer is yes. However, if you’re from outside Europe, the situation is more complex. It is possible, but you must be in the process of applying for a residence or temporary stay visa in Portugal.
-If the bank accepts me, will the lawyers have access to my data?
No. Once the initial process is completed, the lawyers do not have access to any information related to your account.
-Why is the TIN important?
The NIF is essential for any financial transaction in Portugal, whether for residents or not.
-What about the minimum deposit?
The cost varies according to the type of visa you are applying for. Some visas, especially those related to investments, may have stricter requirements.
-Why open an account if my visa doesn’t require it?
Although it is not compulsory, having a bank account in Portugal facilitates many processes, such as renting property, paying bills and even proving your means of subsistence.
-Can I open a joint account?
Yes, you can co-title an account with a family member or partner.
-What if I want a digital bank?
Lawyers generally work with traditional banks, due to their strength and physical presence in the country.
-What about signing the forms?
Once approved, the documents must be signed. This can be done in person or remotely, as long as the notarization and legalization rules required by the bank are respected.
-How long does it take?
It varies greatly depending on the individual situation of each client and the chosen bank, which will be assessed in accordance with the bank’s compliance policies. However, the clearer and more complete the documents, the more assertive the process can be.
When considering opening a bank account in Portugal, it is crucial to be well informed and prepared. The regulations and documentary requirements may seem complex at first glance, but with the right guidance, the process can be simplified and efficient. Understanding the particularities involved is the first step towards a smooth and successful financial transition for the country.
If you have additional questions or need personalized assistance on your banking journey in Portugal, don’t hesitate to seek the expertise of lawyer Vivian Perfeito. With extensive experience in the field, she is ready to guide you through every step and ensure that all your needs are met. Get in touch now and take the first step towards a hassle-free banking experience in Portugal.