Opening With Banks in Portugal [Remotely]

If you’re looking to open an account with banks in Portugal, you’re not alone. In fact, Portugal is a popular banking hub for foreign non-residents from around the world. And, in recent years it has become the most popular destination for digital nomads.

So, it’s no surprise that foreign non-residents are looking to bank here. Of course, unless you have the right information and know exactly which bank will accept you, the account opening process can be very time-consuming and costly.

Banks in Portugal

Opening accounts with banks in Portugal as a non-resident is possible. However, to unlock the benefits of banking in Portugal, you need to meet bank-specific requirements and know which banks accept your client profile. Additionally, when banking in Portugal it’s important to confirm fee schedules and account closure procedures before opening. 

Naturally, if you go in blind and don’t know which banks accept non-residents, you’re going to have a difficult time opening accounts in Portugal.

Fortunately, in this article, we’re going to share important tips on how you can get started with account opening. We’ll also discuss why non-residents and digital nomads are attracted to banks in Portugal. And, we’ll highlight some of the benefits you can access when you open accounts here.

But, before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-residents open accounts in top banking hubs around the world.

Why Open an Account With Banks in Portugal?

Whether you’re a foreign non-resident, digital nomad, or foreign business owner, opening a bank account in Portugal is possible.

In fact, Portugal is one of the most accessible EU banking options available — if you know which banks and bankers to approach.

And, for the right clients, there are many reasons why opening accounts with banks in Portugal makes sense.

To help illustrate this point, here are a few of the reasons why non-residents and digital nomads consider banking here:

Reasons for Opening Accounts With Banks in Portugal

  • Relatively low fees compared to other EU jurisdictions
  • Access to the euro and multi-currency accounts
  • Accessible option if you’re struggling to open elsewhere in the EU
  • Required if you’re acquiring Portuguese citizenship
  • Remote account opening is possible
  • Deposit guarantee up to €100,000
  • Excellent customer service

While certain non-residents may be drawn to Portugal for the above benefits, the real attraction is Portugal itself. It’s an affordable destination that offers an excellent quality of life and has accessible visa options. Plus, it’s easier for non-residents to unlock the benefits of EU banking through banks in Portugal than elsewhere in the EU.

Additionally, if you’re struggling to open elsewhere or you don’t want the expense of traveling to Portugal, remote account opening is also an option.

However, this will depend on the bank you choose to open with and your specific banking needs. But, with some preparation, opening with banks in Portugal remotely is 100% possible.

In fact, if remote account opening is a priority for you, you should review our free article “Open a Non-Resident Bank Account in Portugal [Remote]” for more information.

Benefits of Opening an Account With Banks in Portugal

Banks in Portugal Benefits
There are benefits that foreign non-residents can unlock when opening accounts with banks in Portugal.

But, it’s important to remember that banking in Portugal isn’t for everyone.

In fact, whether or not you can unlock these benefits will depend not only on the bank you decide to open with but also on your client profile.

So, it’s important to understand why you want to open a bank account in Portugal and what you’re looking to benefit from. This will help you determine the best banks in Portugal that align with your profile.

With that said, let’s take a look at some additional benefits non-residents can unlock when opening accounts with banks in Portugal:

Let’s dive into these a little further…

SEPA Compliant

Foreign non-resident individuals and businesses seeking EU banking are able to access more efficient transactions across the Eurozone through SEPA compliant banks.

And, if you’re a non-resident looking to access simple and convenient transfers, but are struggling to open elsewhere in the EU, opening with banks in Portugal (which are SEPA compliant) may be worth considering.

In fact, if you’re interested in learning more about SEPA compliant banks and what they have to offer to non-residents and foreign business owners, you can review our free article “SEPA Compliant Banks [Free Guide]” for more information.

European Business Banking for Foreign Companies

For some foreign business owners, opening accounts with banks in Portugal may be beneficial. However, it doesn’t come easy. But, with the right information and knowing which banks in Portugal to contact, opening a business account is possible.

In fact, if you’re struggling to open elsewhere and are looking to access EU banking, opening with banks in Portugal for your foreign company may be the solution. However, there are banks elsewhere in the EU that are easier to access and accept a wider range of businesses.

Challenges When Opening With Banks in Portugal

Opening challenges
As we’ve detailed in past articles, banks in Portugal have strict account opening requirements. In fact, some requirements are mandated by local regulators, which means there’s no way to open an account unless you meet these requirements.

Such requirements include obtaining a Número de Identificação Fiscal (NIF), which is the fiscal ID number required to open bank accounts in Portugal. Of course, in almost all instances you’re required to show up in person to obtain this number. However, through GlobalBanks IQ, you learn how to open an account and obtain a NIF without ever stepping foot in Portugal.

That said, while it is possible to open accounts with certain Portuguese banks 100% remotely, not all banks offer this service. And, unfortunately, those banks that do offer remote opening often require significantly higher account opening deposits, though not always.

Some banks in Portugal do allow foreign non-residents to apply 100% remotely with nominal deposits between €300 and €500. We share these banks with our members in the GlobalBanks Database.

How to Open Accounts With Banks in Portugal

How to open
If you decide to go the traditional route and open accounts with banks in Portugal by physically applying at a branch, you still need to prepare. Most importantly, you need to meet all of the account opening requirements and obtain a NIF before applying.

Additionally, it’s important to know which bank will accept your client profile before applying. Unfortunately, most banks won’t confirm this for you ahead of time. Instead, many people end up wasting time and money running around to multiple banks, only to be denied.

Naturally, all banks have different account opening requirements. And, if you don’t have the required documentation when you walk into the bank, the chances of opening are slim. So, to ensure you’re well prepared, we’ve outlined the most common requirements for you below.

Documents Required to Open Accounts in Portugal:

  • Bank-specific application forms
  • Two forms of government identification
  • Proof of address in your home country
  • Proof of income & source of wealth
  • Portuguese NIF number
  • Minimum deposit (varies from bank to bank)
  • Some banks also require a Portuguese address & phone number

Like banking anywhere, documents can vary from bank to bank. But, the documents listed above are the general documents you should expect when opening with banks in Portugal.

However, don’t be surprised if a bank requests additional paperwork than what is mentioned above. Especially if you’re looking to open accounts with banks in Portugal remotely.

Now, if you’re looking to start opening today, you can obviously use the information in this article to guide your search on how to approach banks in Portugal as a non-resident. Or, you can start opening right now with the help of GlobalBanks IQ.

Ready to Start Opening Accounts?

If you’re ready to open an account with banks in Portugal, aren’t sure how to start, or you’re just starting to explore your options, we can help.

You can start now by accessing GlobalBanks IQ, our dedicated international banking intelligence platform.

GlobalBanks IQ gives you everything you need to figure out where you should (and shouldn’t) open accounts. 

When you join GlobalBanks IQ, you immediately unlock the GlobalBanks Database of international banks – home to 250+ banks in 50+ countries.

And, you get access to our library of premium (members-only) reports. These include proven account opening strategies, country-specific banking options, and lists of banks for specific client types.

Plus, you unlock our account opening checklists, dedicated account opening alerts, and much more.

To get started, click here to see if GlobalBanks IQ is the right choice for you to start accessing the benefits of international banking today. 

You can also view all of the account opening solutions offered by GlobalBanks on our products page.

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