NISS Portugal

Health in Portugal

Everything you must know and how to get your NISS Portugal

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Brenda L.

08 may 2024 • 5 min read

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Ever heard of NISS? 🤔

NISS stands for 'Número de Identificação da Segurança Social', or Social Security ID Number. Anyone willing to work or start a company in Portugal, including freelancers, must have this primary ID.

Make sure you take your time reading this feature, as we fully dive into the NISS universe and everything you must know about it.

What is a Portuguese NISS?

In Portugal, NISS is the primary ID for any worker or entrepreneur. The Social Security Office (known as 'Segurança Social') grants this 11-digit number.

It's personal and valid for your lifetime. A person can only have one NISS in Portugal for the rest of their life.

Through NISS, the Portuguese government will collect work-related taxes, fund pensions, subsidies, and even healthcare.

NISS is your guarantee that Portugal will grant and protect your worker's rights. 💪

Logo of Seguranca Socia - Entite delivering the NISS in Portugal

Seguranca Socia - Entite delivering the NISS in Portugal

Why do I need a NISS Portugal?

The need for the NISS really depends on your intentions in Portugal.

  • If you plan to work, open a company, or register as a freelancer, you'll need a NISS. ✅
  • If you plan to register in the Portuguese Healthcare System (SNS), it's highly recommended to have a NISS as well. ✅
  • If you think that at some point you may need some governmental help for income completion or social benefits for families, it's essential to have your NISS.

Where will I use a Portuguese NISS?

For the following subjects, a NISS Portugal is required:

  • Working in Portugal for a Portuguese company
  • Opening a company in Portugal
  • Freelancing with tax and invoicing registered in Portugal
  • At Portugal Healthcare System, request a user number
  • At Portugal School System, to request subsidies for children

If you truly don't think you will fit in any of the situations listed above, maybe NISS won't be a necessary document for you.

There is no easy way to answer that; we don't know for sure. 😔

Some clerks at an AIMA Residence Permit appointment may request that you present a NISS; some may not even consider it. Ensure you are prepared should they request it!

How can I get a Portuguese NISS?

To get a Portuguese NISS, you have two options:

  • Directly at Social Security, either online or in person
  • With an intermediary company (us!)

Make sure as you read this article that you understand your urgency and need for this document, as it may be essential to understand which option is the best for you. 😊

What documents do I need to get a NISS Portugal?

As an EU/EEA/Swiss national ✅

To request a NISS, you'll need only one document as an EU/EEA/Swiss national:

  • ID (national ID if EU/EEA/Swiss national or passport for foreigners)

As a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national ✅

To request a NISS as a foreigner, you'll need just two documents:

  • Passport
  • Residence Permit or 'Manifestação de Interesse'

With any nationality at AnchorLess ✅

And to request a NISS with AnchorLess, you'll need just two documents:

  • ID (Passport for non-EU nationals)
  • NIF

Get help with your NISS application with AnchorLess 🇵🇹


Based on +320 reviews

Get your NISS now 🚀

How should a NISS Portugal be requested?

Companies should ideally request NISS Portugal when you secure your first subordinate position.

However, companies tend to either avoid workers without NISS or relegate responsibility to the worker.

Besides that, not all of us come here to work for a Portuguese company and still feel the need for a NISS. Therefore, taking care of yourself seems to be the ideal solution. 😎

But can I do it by myself?

Yes, you can! 😊

Recently (during COVID), the government relaxed the granting of NISS, and now anyone with the proper documents, as well as a great deal of patience, can request it directly from the office.

Can I get NISS Portugal for free?

Yes, you can!

You can either fill out an online form or visit your local Social Security office to request your NISS.

However, keep in mind that if you choose to do it in person, Social Security offices, like any other governmental office, can be quite busy and may ask you to schedule an appointment or direct you to the online form.

Requesting a Portuguese NISS online

You must complete an online form with all the necessary information to request a NISS online.



Said form can be found here.

Take a look at the following steps to understand a bit more about how to do it.

  1. Open the form and provide the necessary information; the English translation will be available in grey.
  2. Finalise your form and receive a confirmation page informing you that it is being evaluated.
  3. Wait for the Social Security to answer.

After completing it, you just need to wait and check your email 📨. Social Security will get in touch through there.

Did they answer? Check what must be done!

How long does it take for NISS Portugal to be granted?

There is no time span. Usually, you hear it back within 2 weeks, but if it takes longer, it's still under procedure because there is no time limit to process it.

NISS Portugal granted

You will receive an email confirming the grant of your NISS. Now it's time to run to Social Security and request your NISS. Yes, really!



Even if you request your NISS online, you still need to go to a Social Security office to pick it up. And only you can do that; nobody else can, unless you provide the right documentation allowing them to do it.

You must visit your local Social Security office and request your NISS number using the ID you provided when registering for a NISS.

If you want to send someone else, you must sign a power of attorney granting them access to your NISS number. But this is pricey. 💸



Be extra careful with scams or high prices when trying to find someone to grab your NISS. At this moment, some individuals will charge up to 300€ to head there for you. Values like this are abusive.

NISS Portugal not granted

Unfortunately, this is common for foreign nationals, especially if foreign names or addresses are not recognised.

But fear not, you haven't ruined your chances 💪; you can either try again, head to your local social security office, or look for an alternative solution.

Even though it looks super simple, the result was not pleasant! After a few weeks, I received a notification that the system couldn't recognise my name, leading to the denial of my NISS. That's why we've added the NISS service to AnchorLess!

Expat since 2 years

Do I need a Lawyer to get a Portuguese NISS?

No, you don't need a lawyer 🎉.

However, if you are not available or in the country to head to your local Social Security office, a lawyer may be a solution to pick up your NISS Portugal. Just be careful with the prices! 🥵

Getting your Portuguese NISS with AnchorLess

AnchorLess makes it easy, quick, safe, and reliable to ask for your NISS in Portugal. 👋

Our automated process breaks down your application into three easy steps and keeps your info safe.

AnchorLess does your NISS

Our service ranges at 129€, you only need to provide your ID and a Portuguese NIF, also signing a 'Power of Attorney' specifically for your NISS issuance.

Besides receiving your NISS, AnchorLess also requests your access to the Social Security online platform ('Segurança Social Direta'), and, along with your NISS, you'll receive a personal password to manage your obligations.

You can do it from anywhere, with any device, and in a few weeks you'll receive your NISS number and password at your inbox 📨!

Simple, quick, and no stress at all.

Don't waste time and money for your relocation to Portugal 🇵🇹


Based on +320 reviews

Get your NISS now 🚀

What does NISS Portugal look like?

Your NISS will come in a simple white paper letter stating your NISS and your personal information.

Please always confirm that the information is correct!

You can find an example below:

Exemple of a NISS in Portugal

Exemple of a NISS in Portugal

Where can I find my Portuguese NISS?

You'll find either at the top left of your NISS letter or at the right hand of your date of birth. 🧐

I have my NISS Portugal, now what?

It depends on what you intend to do in Portugal.

We will cover that for you! 😊

Wishing to work, be an entrepreneur or freelancing in Portugal?

Register at 'Segurança Social Direta' (Direct Social Security) to prepare to manage your responsibilities.

Just using the NISS Portugal to register in the Healthcare System?

Just keep your NISS number easily accessible and inform it when requested!

Planning to use subsidies in the future?

Register at 'Segurança Social Direta' to be ready to submit your requests when needed.

What is 'Segurança Social Direta'?

Segurança Social Direta (Direct Social Security) is a government platform to streamline the management of your rights, responsibilities, benefits, and subsidies as a Portuguese resident. 💪

The platform covers a wide range of subjects related to the Social Security office, and it's extremely useful to avoid heading to a local office to solve any pendencies.

Seguranca Socia Direta Logo

Seguranca Socia Direta Logo



AnchorLess has got you covered with your 'Segurança Social Direta' access! So, if you choose to do your NISS with us, you can ignore this section. As part of our service, we will provide NISS access to your personal area. Our team will automatically request access and a password to 'Segurança Social Direta', which will arrive in your inbox along with your NISS.

How can I register at 'Segurança Social Direta'?

☝️Registering at 'Segurança Social Direta' is a straight-forward and simple process, whose only challenge is the fact that it's all in Portuguese. 😬

So, while you visit 'Segurança Social Direta', keep your favourite translator open and follow the next steps:

  1. Head to the website and, at the home page, click the centered green button 'Efetuar Registo'
  2. At the following page you'll need to fill the information accordingly
  3. This step is called 'Verificação' or Verification. You'll choose how you want to receive your code: via SMS or email. If none of those were provided when registering, the code will be sent via mail to the address registered.
  4. Select your option and click on 'Pedir Código de Verificação'.


Foreign phone numbers can receive the code via SMS. But it must have been registered when you requested your NISS.

Code received? Return to 'Segurança Social Direta' home page and, below 'Efetuar Registo', at the lower left hand corner, click on 'Ativar a minha conta' (Activate my account)

At 'Ativar a minha conta' fill the necessary information:

  • Your NISS number at 'Número de Identificação da Segurança Social'
  • The code received must be entered at 'Código de Verificação'
  • After all is filled, Captcha and confirm at 'Confirmar código de verificação'

A new page will show where you'll set your 'Segurança Social Direta' password.

  1. Choose your password: At 'Palavra-passe' fill with your desired option. At 'Confirmar Palavra Passe', repeat the chosen password.
  2. Click on 'Confirmar' and you'll be all set!

After that, you can once again head to 'Segurança Social Direta' home page and login into your Social Security account using the login area at the left.

Just remember: all content here will be in Portuguese! 🥵

Can I use my NISS number at the Public Health System?

Local hospitals and clinics do not require your NISS. They require 'Utente'. You mustn't head to a health facility only with your NISS number seeking treatment, you won't be considered a resident, only with 'Utente'.

However, you'll need to present your NISS when requesting a 'Utente' (user) number. 🏥

What is the Utente Number?

'Utente' (User) Number is the ID to use the SNS, 'Serviço Nacional de Saúde', or National Health Service, as a Portuguese resident, either free of charge or with low fees.

Utente Number and NISS are two different IDs with different purposes; however, in several areas, to request an Utente, you must have a NISS.

How and where can I request my Utente Number?

The service is available at your local public health facility, free of charge. 😊

You'll need to present the following documents:

  • ID
  • NIF and NISS
  • Proof of Address in Portugal
  • Valid legal status in Portugal (CRUE, Residence Permit, Visa, or 'Manifestação de Interesse').

Final words

With any luck, this article will help you get your Portuguese NISS with way less trouble. We at AnchorLess are here to help you with every part of your move to Portugal 👋

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