Update (November 30, 2023): The state budget has been approved and the government has announced an NHR transition period. Anyone who can show proof of intent to reside in Portugal by the end of 2023, will be able to apply for NHR status throughout all of 2024.
You might have heard that Portugal’s NHR tax program is going away. Well it’s not. Not yet anyway.
Fortunately, there’s still time to apply and get grandfathered in under the NHR transition period (announced on November 29, 2023).
You just need to show proof of intent to reside in Portugal by December 31, 2023. This could be any of the following:
- Having a residency visa appointment booked at your local Portuguese embassy or consulate
- Having your SEF/AIMA biometrics appointment scheduled
- Having acquired your CRUE (European residency document) if you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss national
- Proof of property purchase, e.g. your deed
- Proof of having a tenancy agreement that’s registered with the tax authorities
Once you have a Portuguese address linked to your NIF, then getting NHR status is an easy process. You can apply online via the Portal das Finanças website – no need to pay anyone to do it for you.
Follow the steps below to apply for NHR and secure your special tax status before it’s too late.
How to Apply for NHR in 2023 (An Easy 8-Step Guide)
#1. Make sure you meet the requirements
To be eligible for NHR status, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be legally resident in Portugal
- Have a Portuguese address
- Have NOT been tax resident in Portugal, within the previous five years
NHR is a tax status, not an immigration status. Your citizenship has nothing to do with being eligible for NHR.
Portuguese citizens can be eligible, provided they’ve lived outside of Portugal for the last five years.
If you’re a foreigner living in Portugal, you’ll need proof of residency.
- EU/EEA or Swiss citizens: EU residency certificate (CRUE)
- NonEU/EEA and non-Swiss citizens: Residency card issued by SEF (now AIMA), as part of your residency visa process.
#2. Ensure you can access Portal das Finanças
You’ll be applying for your NHR status online, so first make sure you can access the Portal das Finanças (tax authority website).
You’ll need your NIF and an access code to get into the portal.
You should already have your NIF. But if you’ve never used the portal before, then you’ll need to request an access code.
Go to the Finanças homepage and click “Register-se” in the top right-hand corner.
From the two options available, select the tab for “Registo NIF”. Then enter your NIF in the box where it says “No Contribuinte” and click the blue button.
This will create a request for a new access code (“Senha de acesso”), which will be sent by physical mail to whichever address is currently attached to your NIF.
Yep, even if it’s an overseas address. Because of this, it may take several weeks for the letter to arrive, especially if your NIF is registered to a foreign address.
To avoid this situation, it’s best to change your NIF address to a local one before attempting to access the Portal.
#3. Link your Portuguese address to your NIF
The main prerequisite for getting NHR status is registering a Portuguese address for your NIF (tax number).
When you first moved to Portugal, you probably applied for a NIF using an address in your home country.
You now need to update this to your Portuguese address before you can start your NHR application.
It’s possible to update the address online via the Finanças portal (Portal das Finanças), but the process can take several weeks.
You need to submit an electronic copy of your lease or property deed, then wait for them to update your data.
To make this happen faster, I recommend going in person to your nearest Finanças office. For best results, go there early, at least 15 minutes before it opens (normally 9am).
Take your passport, residency card or CRUE, plus your original lease or property deed with you.
Then ask the employee to change your NIF address. They’ll change it on the spot, so you’ll be ready to move forward with your NHR application.
#4. Login to Portal das Finanças
Once you’ve got your access code and have updated your NIF address to a Portuguese one, then you’re ready to apply for NHR.
On the Finanças homepage, click “Iniciar Sessão” in the top right-hand corner.
This will take you to the below screen. Enter your NIF in the first box.
Enter your access code (“Senha de acesso”) that you received in the post in the second box (check “Mostrar” to make it visible and make sure you’re entering it correctly).
Then click “Autenticar”.
#5. Locate the NHR section of the website
Using the search box is the easiest way to reach the right section without getting lost.
First, type in “residente não habitual” to get you to where you need to be.
Then, from the search results, look for “residente não habitual” (it should show up first on the list), then click “Aceder”.
That will take you to the main Residente Não Habitual page.
#6. Submit your NHR request
First, choose “Entregar Pedido” from the Residente Não Habitual page.
On the next page, you’ll have the chance to confirm your address.
This should already be automatically filled in under the section titled “Dados de Morada do Cointribuinte” (Address data of the taxpayer).
The section should display your full Portuguese address, as shown on the NIF document you were given at the Finanças office.
If anything is incorrect, I suggest going in person to your nearest Finanças office to get it fixed.
Next, let’s fill out the NHR request form, shown below.
Under “Dados de Pedido”, fill in the following fields.
|Form field||What to do|
|Ano do início (Start year)||Choose the year that you updated your Portuguese address with Finanças. If you’ve just done it, select 2023.|
|País de Residência Estrangeiro (Country of foreign residence)||Select your country of residence before you moved to Portugal|
|NIF Mandatário (Proxy NIF)||Leave this blank (it’s asking for the NIF of your fiscal representative, not yours. You no longer need a fiscal rep because you now have a Portuguese address).|
|Declaro, sob compromisso de honra, que reúno os requisitos para ser considerado não residente nos cinco anos anteriores ao ano pretendido para o início do estatuto não habitual. As falsas declarações são puníveis nos termos da lei.|
I declare, on my word of honor, that I meet the requirements to be considered a non-resident for the five years prior to the year in which I wish to begin my non-habitual status. False declarations are punishable under the terms of the law. (translated via DeepL)
|Tick the box to make your declaration.|
Once all fields are filled out, click the blue “Submeter” button in the top corner to send your NHR application to Finanças.
#7. Export proof of submission
Next, you’ll see the below screen, which states that your application has been submitted to Finanças (AT) for approval.
It also shows your unique code for your application.
Save proof of your application to your computer by clicking “Exportar” to open the confirmation screen.
You can then download the confirmation screen in PDF format and keep it for reference.
It should take approximately two business days for your application to be processed.
You won’t receive any notification, so make sure you manually check the portal to see if you’ve been approved.
#8. Check if you’ve been approved
Here’s how to check if you’ve been approved.
After at least two business days, go back to the Portal das Finanças homepage.
Go back to the NHR section (follow Step 5 again).
In the Consultar area, click the “Consultar Pedidos” button.
Here you’ll see your NHR request listed. Look for the word “Deferido” next to it.
That means you’ve been approved for NHR status. Congratulations!
The word “Deferido” translates as “Deferred” in Google Translate, but that’s not correct (and has confused many people in the past, including me). The correct translation is “Granted”.
That’s why I always recommend using DeepL for translations in Portugal, rather than Google Translate.
The great news is – you can now access Portugal’s preferential tax treatment for the next 10 years, even if the NHR scheme is discontinued in 2024.