A fortnight of making progress. Following a little waiting, I’ve now received my NIF number which now enables me to open a Portuguese bank account. Quite a few steps forward. Albeit small ones.
This blog is my personal record of my move to Portugal. Despite publishing it on a public platform, it still feels personal. As someone who is very private, I’ve been reserved in sharing my plans widely.
This week though, I met up with a friend and her partner. Great to catch up, lovely conversation and a fantastic dinner.
Unfortunately for them, I chatted about Portugal. And chatted. And chatted some more. I’m sure they were exhausted and bored by the end. Generously, they didn’t show it. Thank you!
For me though, it was the first time I’ve really talked about my plans in any detail. There are some questions I simply don’t have the answer to. But listening to what I was saying, I’m convinced. In fact, I’m quite excited about it!
Thanks. It’s always great to catch up. Thanks also for your confidence and support!
Following an incredibly swift process to get my NIF application submitted, things ground to a halt.
Everything was going so swimmingly. Progress made and all I had to do was wait for the confirmation. But, as with lots of things in Portugal, there was a delay.
I understand the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF) have undertaken some internal changes, technology upgrades or just process changes. The delay is of no problem to me.
A couple of weeks later. The email arrives. I’ve got my NIF number. The first big step. I am now within the Portuguese tax and immigration system. Albeit just a name and a number. But I’m there.
Portuguese bank account
With NIF in hand, I am now able to open a Portuguese bank account.
Opening a Portuguese bank account from the UK isn’t straightforward. It’s not difficult, but all the checks and balances need to be in place.
I’ve undertaken a lot of research into banks I can open remotely and as a non-resident. There aren’t many but, like the UK bank system, more are transferring to apps and online banking.
Narrowing my options down, I have opened an app-based Portuguese bank account. With all my paperwork and information at hand, I progressed through each step of the application. A few minutes later, a confirmation email was received with all the details required.
Attached to the email were seven documents. Most were versions of the documents I needed to sign digitally in the application process. Although there were three other key documents relating directly to the account.
As I checked the information, my phone number managed to drop a number. Portuguese mobile numbers only have nine digits. Here in the UK, we have ten digits once we drop the ‘0’.
So, let’s pick the phone up and call them. Call completed. As easy as calling a UK bank. The mobile number updated. And confirmation of the next steps.
While the account has been set up, my identification still needs to be approved. I submitted all the documents through the application process, for completeness, they advise send these documents for confirmation. The key document is proof of identity – my passport.
When I applied for my NIF, I needed to provide a copy of my passport which they would validate through a video call. Because all my documents were presented together and, most importantly, my signature is almost identical on every document, there was no need for the video call.
The bank is seeking similar validation. I’ve an option of two ways to do this. Either present my passport at the bank within the next 60 days or get my passport certified by the Portuguese consulate in London.
I’m hoping that my identity can be completed remotely although I might need a trip to London. Worst case, this application will expire as I won’t be in Portugal within the next 60 days so I might need to set the account up on my scouting visit in September.
Fingers crossed it goes through easily. Let’s see how it goes.
Once my identity has been certified and all my paperwork is in order, the final stage is a text message with a temporary password for the app. Thereafter, I should be in business!
This week I’ve taken a massive step towards learning Portuguese.
I know learning Portuguese is going to be tough. Many people say it’s a challenging language to learn. I’m also going to need to put a lot of work into accommodating my dyslexia.
This week, I’ve reflected on some training I had nearly twenty years ago. On joining a new company, I attended a presentation skills training. I was in the latest cohort of new starters and our trainer was our ‘boss’. I recall vividly being picked off in the group that I had a problem with my diction and that I should seek out elocution lessons.
Clearly, I now understand why my diction isn’t great. If it’s a problem, then so be it. In the same training, a colleague was paired with a senior consultant to go shopping to buy suitable business attire. Not sure I’ll ever forgive that ‘boss’ for calling individuals out.
Back to learning Portuguese. I’ve previously bought a Portuguese dictionary and the “first 1,000 words in Portuguese”. It’s a start. Small steps. Realisation kicks in that I’m going to need some help.
This week, I started a 10-week Portuguese course. Week one was an introductory session. Ok. Lots of work to do. It’s a little daunting. Although a great introduction.
As always, if you’ve got this far. Thank you.
Dinner image by kind permission of Katherine Chase
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