If you want to work in Portugal you will need to get a Portugal Social Security number or NISS. NISS stands for Número de Identificação de Segurança Social. It is the next most important thing that you will need as a working expat in Portugal after a NIF.
Why is a NISS important?
A NISS is important because it means that you will be paying into the Portuguese social security system which will cover pension, family benefits and unemployment benefit should they be needed. State pensionable age in Portugal is 65.
A NISS will also allow you to work in Portugal both as an employee and as self employed.
How to get a NISS – Employed
If you are offered an employment contract then it is likely that your employer will apply for the NISS for you or at least help you with the process. If they don’t then you will need to take your work contract along with your NIF and passport ID.
One of the problems people sometime have when moving to Portugal is that they can’t get a job until they have a NISS and they can’t get a NISS without a job. So you can kind of get stuck in a vicious circle! Hopefully you will get a good employer who can sort it out for you or issue
Alternatively, there are other ways of getting your NISS which include being self employed or being a full time student.
Getting your NISS as Self Employed
If you are self employed in Portugal you can set up your own freelancing business and register as a freelancer. The term “recibo verde” (green receipt) is the common term in Portugal that is used to talk about self-employed. Once you have been registered as self employed for 6 months and paying tax on your earnings you can then register for your NISS at your local social security office.
Getting your NISS as a student
Full time students can also apply for a NISS. Along with your passport ID and NIF number you will need to submit proof of being enrolled in a Portuguese educational institution.