How to open bank account for resident of South Africa?

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

  1. Passport
  2. NIF
  3. SARS
  4. Proof of address
  5. Proof of income

1) 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 passport images you can see here.

2) NIF

NIF is a Portuguese tax number. Here you can see a good example how NIF should look like.

If you don't have it yet, you can order it here.

3) Why i need to provide SARS?

For South Africa passport holders and clients with tax residency there is required to provide SARS:

  • SARS .
  • Tax form 2022 with your full name and full SIN number visible, not XXX.

*It is safe as this data is shared only with the bank. All clients have to provide tax number document from the country of residence (address of this country is written in your NIF).

5) Address proof in South Africa

  • Driving license (2 sides)
  • Bank statement
  • House Bills
  • Tax return 2022
    • 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.

6) 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, mentioning your type of activity or job title. Proof of income can be a signed work contract, company statement or tax proof of self-employed registration or pension.

You can open bank account online if you can proof your funds as:

  • Employed
    • work declaration (signed and stamped by head of department)
    • payslip (issued less than 3 months ago)
    • contract (issued less than 1 year ago, signed by both parties)

  • Self-employed (occupation should be written)
    • proof of registration of freelance activity (with activity codes and name as in passport)
    • Plus tax declaration 2022, proving activity still exists
    • Note just the contractor agreement and invoice is not enough as a proof.

  • Company owner
    • company certificate issued less than 1 year ago + written that you are the director
    • payslip if you get salary
    • tax declaration 2022 if you get royalties.

  • Passive income ( investor\ property owner)
    • signed rental agreement(s) + proof of deposits
    • Financial statements that show your investments (issued within the past 6 months)
    • tax Forms (rental real estate, royalties, dividents.. etc).

  • Retired
    • state pension letter or statement with your full name and type of pension age\ conditions (issued less than 1 year ago) or could be retirement investment account
    • Registered Plans for Retirement (tax forms)
    • if you live on your assets (proof of source of funds)

  • Unemployed (housewife or student)
    • If student is in Portugal. Proof of enrolment, student card, bank statement.
    • An unemployment verification letter was issued by the employment office. Unemployment compensation.
    • if you live on your assets (proof of source of funds and tax declaration 2022)
*In this case we open the joined account with the partner, who has funds.

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:

Here you can read more about income proofs and see all requirements, examples.

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