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Segurança Social NISS

How to apply for a NISS (Social Security Identification Number) in Portugal

If you are planning to live or work in Portugal, one of the first things you need to do is apply for a NISS (Social Security Identification Number). This number is essential for accessing Portuguese Social Security rights and obligations. In this article, we will guide you through how to apply for the NISS and highlight the importance of seeking the help of an experienced lawyer during this process.

What is the NISS and why do you need it?

The NISS is a unique number assigned to each Portuguese and foreign citizen residing in Portugal. It is needed to access a variety of Social Security services and benefits, including health care, pensions, unemployment benefits and other social support.

How to apply for the NISS

Step 1: Gather the necessary documents

Before you start the process of applying for the NISS, you’ll need to gather some important documents. These include:

  • Personal details: Full name, parents’ names, date of birth, gender, marital status, country and city of birth, nationality, passport number and expiration date, VAT number (if any), country of residence, mobile contact and e-mail address.
  • Copy of passport: A copy of your valid passport.
  • Up-to-date proof of address: A document proving your current address.
  • NIF: If you already have a Tax Identification Number (NIF), you will need to provide it.

Step 2: Fill in the online form

After gathering all the necessary documents, the next step is to fill in the online form to apply for the NISS. This form requires detailed information about your identity and personal situation, so it is important to fill it out accurately.

Step 3: Sign the power of attorney

In addition to the online form, you will also need to sign a power of attorney (POA) which will allow a lawyer or legal representative to submit the application on your behalf and receive the document on your behalf, in person. This power of attorney must be sent in PDF format and then the original must be sent by post to the lawyer’s office.

Step 4: Send the documents

After completing the online form and signing the power of attorney, you must send all the necessary documents to the lawyer in charge of the case. This includes a copy of your passport, up-to-date proof of address, NIF (if applicable) and a signed power of attorney.

Step 5: Wait for processing

Once the documents have been sent, the process of obtaining the NISS usually takes around 2 to 3 weeks to complete. During this period, Social Security will process your application and assign the NISS.

Why is it important to consult a lawyer?

Applying for the NISS may seem like a simple process, but it involves dealing with personal and confidential information. It is therefore essential to have the guidance and assistance of an experienced lawyer to ensure that everything is done correctly.

A lawyer specializing in immigration and social security law can help you at every stage of the process, from collecting the documents to following up the application with the relevant authorities. They can also ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the support you need throughout the process.

In addition, the NISS is delivered personally to the person concerned or their lawyer, with the presentation of an original power of attorney for this purpose.


Applying for the NISS is an important step for anyone wishing to live or work in Portugal. By following the steps mentioned above and enlisting the help of a qualified lawyer, you can ensure that the process is completed efficiently and without complications.

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