How to open bank account in Portugal for US resident (long-read)

Any American can easily open bank account in Portugal online, if you have following documents below.

1. Proof of income

payslip \ work declaration \ contract 2023 or proof of retirement or investments.

  1. SSN document (tax number)

SSN card both sides \ tax form 2022 with full ssn number.

  1. 1040\ 1099\ w2 of 2022 (address proof)

Tax forms should be with proof of submission to tax office or driving license issued 1 year ago

4. W9 (due to FATCA rules)

Form with your name, date and signature.

  1. NIF (both sides)

Portuguese tax number. Click here to order nif, if you still don`t have it.

  1. Passport

No fingers, all 4 corners visible, 2 pages on 1 scan.

1) What is considered as proof of income?

Document with your name as in passport, issued less than 1 year ago, with amount of your monthly income and mentioning your type of activity or job title. Proof of income can be a signed work contract, company statement or self-employed registration certificate. The best option if you can provide a work declaration like in this link

If you are employed:
  • Payslip (issued within the past 3 months)

(where is written job title, your name as in passport, salary, name of company, year)

Note that W2 is not a work proof as there is no information about job tittle.

  • Employment contract (signed by both parties, issued less than 1 year ago)
  • Statement of employment issued by the company (issued within the past 3 months)

Statement of employment cannot be issued to yourself.

In work declaration should be the following information:  company data, your full name as in passport, job title, salary, date, signer's name, and his superior position, signatures and stamp of the company.
*Accounting, board members and owners are not considered as signer's positions (instead should be CEO, CFO, director of..., the head of... etc).
*Stamp: please put the stamp of the company, NOT notorious. (If you put a notorious stamp, then the paper has to be apostilled as well)
Self-employed :
  • Registration certificate of freelance activity (should be written the codes of the activity and your full name as in passport).
  • Tax declaration issued less than 1 year ago. form 1099

*Note. Service agreements, neither invoices are considered as work proof.

Company owner:
  • Company registration documents (name of the company, codes of activity of the company, your full name)
  • Payslip if you get the salary
  • In Form 1040 of 2022 in 5a, 6a should be declared receiving pension.
  • State pension letter or statement with your full name and type of pension age\ conditions (issued less than 1 year ago)
  • Retirement investment account (Personal Withdrawal Plan letter and other proofs of type of pension

Investor / Property Owner:

  • Signed rental agreement(s) + proof of deposits
  • Financial statements that show your investments (issued within the past 6 months)
  • Form 1040. Part1.N5 (rental real estate, royalties.. etc). Plus Supplemental income or loss page
Housewife / Househusband / Unemployed/ Lives Of Assets:
  • Latest income tax statement 
  • Bank statement (issued within the past 3 months, proving that you are being provided regularly)
  • An unemployment verification letter was issued by the employment office. Form 1040. Part 1.7. Unemployment compensation.
*In this case we recommend the joined account with the partner
Students in Portugal:
  • Student identity card 
  • Proof of enrolment

Documents should be signed manually by pen, if you can`t provide a document with a manual signature, please be sure that your e-signed documents look requirements for EU digital signature and this signature is clickable for the check. Here is an example how it can look:

2) Why i need to provide SSN?

By rules of bank, all clients has to provide tax number document from the country of residence.

For USA passport holders as well as clients with USA tax residency (if in NIF is written USA address)

is required to provide SSN

  • SSN card with your signature (scan of both sides) .
  • Tax form 2022 with full SSN number visible, not XXX.

*It is safe as this data is shared only with the bank.

3) Forms1040 or 1099 or w2 of 2022 only

Requirements for address proof in USA

Forms 1040 or 1099 or W2

    • issued less than 1 year ago
    • the address is the same as in your NIF
    • issued on your full name as in passport
    • have a proof of submission to the tax office.
  • Driving license ( only issued less than 1 year ago and not before)

*No bank statements or bills are accepted as proof of address in USA.

  • First name and surname must match your passport exactly
  • Example: "John Apple Smith" on passport
  • ✅ John Apple Smith
  • ✅ John A Smith
  • ✅ John Smith
  • ❌ J Smith
  • ❌ Johnny Smith
  • ❌ Any other variations

4)Form W-9

W9 form with your name as in your passport (printed, name same as in your passport, signed by you, with date, scanned). Is obligatory to provide it due to FATCA rules.

You can download W9 here.

5) NIF

Below you can see a good example how it should look like.

6) Passport

Your document must meet the following requirements

  • High-quality scanned PDF image or photo of your Passport
  • No fingers on the passport
  • All 4 corners of passport visible, 2 pages on 1 photo
  • Passport is signed
  • Passport is valid

Examples of good and not-so-good images

Link to other article

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