Steps to take to obtain an NISS in Portugal

June 2, 2024

Obtaining a Social Security Identification Number (NISS) is an essential step for anyone wishing to work or benefit from social services in Portugal. The NISS is comparable to the national insurance number in other countries and is essential for accessing social rights and public services. This guide explains the main steps you need to take to obtain an NISS in Portugal.

Documents required

The NISS is required for a number of reasons. You can click on to find out more about this administrative document.  It allows you to work legally in Portugal, is required for access to public health care, etc.

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Before starting the formalities, make sure you have the following documents: a valid identity document (passport or ID card), an employment contract or proof of professional activity (for self-employed workers), proof of residence in Portugal (rental contract, electricity bill, etc.).

Going to the Social Security Centre

The NISS application must be made in person at one of Portugal's Social Security Centres (Centro de Atendimento da Segurança Social). It is advisable to make an appointment in advance to avoid long waits.

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Filling in the application form

Once there, you will need to complete an application form (Mod. RV 1006-DGSS) which includes personal information such as your name, address, date of birth, nationality and details of your employment status.

Submitting the application

Once you have completed the form and gathered all the necessary documents, you will need to submit your application at the counter. An agent will check the information and documents provided. If everything is in order, your application will be accepted.

Waiting for the NISS to be issued

It may take a few days to a few weeks for your application to be processed, depending on the workload of the social security services. You will receive your NISS by post at the address you gave when you applied.

Using your NISS

Once you have received your NISS, you can use it for all administrative procedures requiring this number. It is important to keep it in a safe place and to give it only to the competent authorities or to your employer.

Online procedures (optional)

In some cases, it is possible to apply for an NISS online via the Portuguese Social Security website, especially for EU citizens. However, this option may be limited and it is often simpler and quicker to go directly to a Social Security Centre.

In short, obtaining an NISS in Portugal is an essential step for anyone wishing to work and live in the country. The NISS will open the doors to Portugal's social services and allow you to make the most of your experience in Portugal.