SIBA in Portugal – Registering your guests with SEF / AIMA

How to register foreign guests with SEF on the SIBA platform?

One of the obligations of owners who host guests or foreign tenants is to report each stay to SEF. *

This obligation applies whether the stay occurs via a short-term rental (Alojamento Local, or AL), a rented property or rooms on a short-, medium-, or even long-term traditional rental contract, and it has a short deadline for compliance.

GuestReady’s experts explain in very simple terms the current legislation, the steps for registering stays with SEF, how to use the (mandatory) SIBA platform, the short deadlines to comply with, and the penalties for non-compliance for property owners. If you are a guest, you can click here to know more about your obligations regarding SEF registration and tourist taxes as a guest.


The obligation to report guests to SEF / AIMA

The latest version of Law no. 23/2007, of 4 July, on the “ENTRY, STAY, EXIT, AND REMOVAL OF FOREIGNERS FROM THE NATIONAL TERRITORY” in its article 16, paragraph 1, stipulates that:

“The operators of hotel establishments, complementary means of tourist accommodation, or tourist complexes, as well as all those who provide, accommodation to foreign citizens for a fee, are obliged to report it within three working days, using an accommodation form, to the GNR or PSP.”

This means that all entities or individuals who accommodate foreigners for a fee, whether in a short-term rental (AL), a room rented to an Erasmus student, or by signing a traditional rental contract with a foreign citizen, have the legal obligation to report that accommodation to the Portuguese authorities.

Over the years, the process has been simplified and has moved to a mandatory digital solution.

Thus, in the previous article (15), paragraph 4, it now reads:

“To simplify the submission of accommodation forms, hotel establishments and similar must register with the Border and Foreigners Coordination Unit (UCFE) as users of the Accommodation Form Information System, in order to proceed with the respective electronic communication under secure conditions.”

Clarifying the law, this means that it is no longer mandatory to fill out and sign accommodation forms on paper and deliver them to the nearest police station, as was done for some years, but it becomes mandatory to register the activity and register the guests or tenants through theAccommodation Form Information System” (Sistema de Informação de Boletins de Alojamento – SIBA), a new digital solution.

NOTE: if you do not have the means to register your guests online, you should contact your local Parish Council for support, as there is an agreement between SEF and ANAFRE for these cases (link in Portuguese).


Who is responsible for reporting stays to SEF?

According to the law, it is the person who hosts foreign citizens for a fee who must register each stay with the Portuguese authorities by sending the accommodation forms (boletins de alojamento) through the SIBA platform. Thus, the entities and individuals responsible for the accommodation are obliged to perform said registration.

Foreign citizens in the process of obtaining their citizenship or residency status, or those who change their tax address to a Portuguese address for some reason, must also report it during their legal processes, but one obligation does not replace or invalidate the other. Owners of properties rented to foreign citizens, the “landlords” or “lessors” of the rental contracts, or the property owners of the rented short-term rental, are obliged to register accommodation forms of their tenants / lessees / guests.

The same logic, for example, also applies if your property is sublet to foreign citizens. If you sign a rental contract and your tenant (Portuguese or foreign) sublets your property to foreign citizens, the registration obligation will be with your tenant as they become landlord to the foreign citizens.


How to report foreign stays to SEF

To be able to register your guests or tenants with the boarder services, you must first register as a user on the SIBA platform. Below, we provide a step-by-step guide.

If you need specific support, the SIBA platform itself provides a user guide, also available in English, with diagrams.


How to register on the SIBA platform

First, you should open the platform’s website:

Unfortunately, the website is almost entirely in European Portuguese. We will guide you along each step, and explain each menu so you can easily follow along.

On the home page, you can see in the top right corner the words “Área Reservada” (Reserved Area, an expression to describe your personal account):

Initial section of the SIBA / SEF website for accessing your reserved area


On the following page, you will also see this option in the top right corner – “Inscrição” (sign up):


Then, you should encounter this registration form for your accommodation: 

SIBA registration form


You must do a single SIBA registration for each property, not for each “owner”. If you are renting more than one room or property, you must create a registration for each accommodation unit.

In this form, you must fill in all fields. Although we mention some details here, this guide has a dedicated section with all the information you need if you’re registering rental contracts instead of stays, you can click here to jump there directly.

  • “N.º Id. Fiscal” or “NIF” (actually not optional if you try to skip it): your Portuguese “fiscal ID”, a mandatory identification number that every person or business must have when performing any business activity in Portugal.
    • You should provide your personal NIF if you’re signing a rental contract as a landlord.
    • You should provide your personal NIF if you’re managing a short-term rental (AL) or other accommodation business under your individual business activity.
    • If you have set up a business/company in Portugal, you must add your company’s NIF and the company’s designation name in the same line.
  • “C. Ativid. Económica” – “Economic Activity Code” (CAE): it must match what is designated in your business activity statement or the company’s permanent certificate.
      • You should click on the binoculars symbol and then search for the closest number or term. If there is an incompatibility between what is registered for the activity/company and the list provided by SIBA, due to updates from the tax authorities on CAE registrations, you should select the equivalent to your current economic activity from the list provided by SIBA.
        • If you’re registering a rental contract, according to SIBA, you should provide the CAE “55900 – Outros locais de alojamento” (other accommodation units).
  • “Tipologia / Classificação” – Typology/Classification”: according to the official registration of your activity / business and/or touristic establishment.
    • The “classification” option only applies to certain categories (example: typology – hotel, classification – 5 stars).
    • The most common are “Alojamento Local/Apartmento” for an AL unit on a flat / apartment; and “Alojamento Local/Moradia” for an AL unit on a detached house, but please check your documentation for the right term for your activity.
    • If you’re registering a rental contract, you need to choose “Alojamento Local/Apartamento” even when you’re renting “rooms, fractions of properties, or whole properties (apartments, detached houses, farms, or others)”.
  • “Unit Name”: the official title of the property or establishment, or how you refer to your accommodation, and how it is known to the general public.
    • If you only have one unit and it does not have a specific name, you can indicate the owner’s name.
    • This field is not tied to an “official” name in many cases, but rather a reference for you and for operations you perform through SIBA for support requests or proper registration of guests during form completion.This means you can change the property name in a listing on Airbnb or without needing to change the registration on the SIBA platform. Another example is when you need to register multiple rooms rented individually in the same property, you can decide the numbering or identification of each as you prefer. However, for establishments operating under a single name, including registered names, the situation is different, and you must provide the “public” name of your business.
  • “Entidade Exploradora” – operating entity: the name of the company operating or providing the service. If you do not use a management company and manage the accommodations or rental agreements directly, you should provide the owner’s full name.
  • Address (“Endereço, Localidade, Código Postal” – address, city, postal code): you should click on the binoculars and search for your property’s postal code, then select your address from the official list shown. Only then can you add details like door number, floor, and fraction in the ENDEREÇO field.
  • “Telefone” (phone number): provide your phone number, without your country code. It only allows 9 numbers. If you have a foreign number, provide the number without the code, and reach out to SIBA support teams once the form is completed to ensure they help you fix your registration, if they deem it necessary.
  • “Fax” – if you don’t use this, you can simply input “N/A”.
  • “Nome contacto” – contact name: the name of the person in charge of this unit registration. It can be the the name of someone from the managing company, or the owner’s.
  • “Email contacto” – email address of the person in charge of this unit registration.
Accessing your accommodation registration on SIBA

Upon completing the registration, you may have to wait up to 48 hours to receive the access details to your account(s). You should not register the same data again to “speed up” the process. This will only result in having multiple accommodations associated with your name, which you can only delete by contacting SIBA directly via email.

If you need to correct or update previously sent information, including the management entity’s information, you should also wait for your access codes to understand which information can be edited and which cannot.

If you lose access to the account or need new access details (esp. the activation key), including if your management team changes and you want to preserve the security of your records, you should contact SIBA directly by sending an email to In this email, you should indicate the NIF associated with the existing unit registration, the name and number of that unit, and a brief explanation of the support request. The response or new access key will also be sent by email.

If there is a change in NIF/management/information that you cannot change directly on SIBA, or if you want to cancel an accommodation registration, you must contact SIBA at the same email address, with the same data (NIF and unit name), and always with a brief explanation of why you need the SIBA team’s intervention (

We remind you that the account belongs to the accommodation, and the information associated with it should be updated instead of creating more than one account per room/property.

Modes of submitting accommodation forms on the SIBA platform

At this stage, you will find several options at the end of the registration form related to submitting the communication to SEF.

The image shows the options for sending accommodation forms to SEF. You can report your stays to SEF through file upload, web service, or directly on the portal page
Translation: Send your forms via: file upload, web service, web page


There are 3 ways to report your guests to SEF using the SIBA forms.

The “upload de ficheiros” / “file upload” option requires access to a guest registration or hotel management program designed with a feature that allows you to export a registration file directly from the software (i.e., a document that is saved to your computer) that keeps all the guest data that SEF requires.

You must then access SIBA and upload the files through the right accommodation / unit account to send them to SEF.

The second option, “web service”, involves a hotel management program that sends these documents directly in your behalf. In this case, the management software is designed to handle everything, without the need for manual work, extra files or documents. Typically, these programs also send the forms at check-in to ensure that the legal deadlines for this communication to SEF are religiously met.

Usually, the property and stay management softwares available in Portugal are already programmed to work with one of these two options. The “web service” option will be simpler and require less manual work than the “file upload” option.


DID YOU KNOW? GuestReady handles this operation on behalf of its owners. On our stay and rental management operations, we use our own software, RentalReady, which integrates even simpler and more secure guest communication solutions with SEF.

Through a “web service” submission, our property management software automatically sends a private and unique link to each guest who books with us in Portugal, so they can open their individual registration form, and fill it out securely and in advance.

On each registration form, we also send a brief clarification about this legal obligation and, when appropriate, additional information about local tourist taxes.

Our local teams then proceed to verify and validate these forms to ensure the correct completion of the mandatory information. Only after validating each form do we send the property access details to the guests, including the full address to the entry codes or in-person check-in options.

GuestReady thus complies with all data protection regulations and ensures proper guest communication with SEF for all stays in Portugal.


If you do not use a hotel property, or stay management program, you can fill out the registrations directly on the SIBA platform, which will be the “web page” option.

To do this, you should open the SIBA website (, log in onto the right accommodation account, and fill out an online form to register your foreign guests with SEF.

If you want to change the submission method after completing the accommodation registration, you should also contact SIBA support by email (

If you have an accident and cannot use the usual submission method within the deadline due to force majeure (electronic or internet access issues, for example), you should also inform SIBA by email, explaining the situation and restrictions, and commit to sending the information later, as soon as possible.

For more information about the different submission methods, check this address on the SIBA portal – and although the link is the english version of the page, the content is, unfortunately, only available in European Portuguese. You can click here to access a Google translation of the previous page.


SIBA registration for rental agreements and not AL stays

One of the main questions we receive concerns the registration of properties that are not registered as Alojamento Local (AL) units. This is the case for owners who rent their properties for a few months in the summer, or rent rooms to Erasmus students, or rent long-term properties to foreigners with traditional contracts, or those who opt for flexible and profitable rentals, celebrating short and medium-term rental agreements.


DID YOU KNOW: GuestReady specializes in property management, including short and medium-term rentals. Talk to us and learn about the alternatives to Alojamento Local that are best for you. Contact us directly or calculate the potential income of your property now.


First, on the NIF, the Operational Entity, the contact name and e-mail fields, you should provide your personal information if you’re registered as the landlord of your rental contracts.

According to the SIBA platform, you should select the typology “Alojamento local/apartamento” also when renting “rooms, parts of the house or the whole house (apartment, detached house, farm, among others)” to foreign citizens, including when signing rental contracts.

Regarding the CAE, SIBA officials indicate that you should opt for CAE “55900 – Outros locais de alojamento” (other accommodation units).


SIBA registration for rentals or stays longer than one year

When filling out the stay forms, it is mandatory for owners to report the check-in and check-out dates. However, this becomes an issue when signing a rental contract, which requires a “minimum stay” of at least a year, especially since the SIBA platform does not allow communication of a check-out date that is more than one year away.

In these cases, it is mandatory to report the check-out for the previous year — each year — on January 1st, and at the same time register a new form that includes a check-in for the new year that is starting.


Hosting without financial compensation

If you host foreign citizens in your home without financial compensation, you are not required to report it to SEF.

Only owners or managers who charge money to accommodate foreigners are obliged to register.


How to get more support during registration on the SIBA platform?

If you are wondering which CAE or other items you should for a specific touristic enterprise, company set up, or unusual rental agreement, we advise you to check the best registration method for your legal and tax situation with the Tax Authority, a trusted legal advisor/lawyer, or even with the SIBA platform support team.

If you entrust the management of your property to a short and medium-term rental management company like GuestReady, its teams include alojamento local and renting experts, with many years of experience registering foreign tenants, and who are always ready to clarify any questions, comply with mandatory requirements, and automate the obligations you as an owner cannot delegate.

As with all legal obligations, lack of knowledge is not considered a valid reason for exemption from registration on the platform or for forgiveness of incorrect registration.

If you encounter any problems, the platform offers a section for general questions at this address (unfortunately, in Portuguese – but you can click here to open a Google translation), and a technical help section at this address (and here you can also access a Google-translated version), in addition to email support at

Reporting guests to SEF


Mandatory information for reporting to SEF / AIMA

When you create and fill out an accommodation form, you must be prepared to do so for all foreign guests who will stay on your property, including minors, babies, or those with a residence permit or visa. This means that Portuguese citizens are the only ones exempt from being registered with SEF.

You may have come across information about exceptions created in the past to simplify the registration process, before the convention to send these communications through the SIBA system. These exceptions applied when paper forms were still used for this SEF registration. Previously, and according to a Schengen space convention, it was allowed to collect only “the signature” of the parents of minors, one member of a group, or a spouse. However, the SIBA platform dispenses (in fact, does not allow) the use of physical signatures.

According to the new registration methods, and the mandatory use of the SIBA platform, the authorities clarify this issue on the system’s information pages.

Below, the answers provided by the SIBA platform:

Translation: What’s the age limit to start registering to UCFE the arrival and departure of a foreign citizen? You must register the arrival of all foreign citizens, as well as their departure, regardless of their age.
Translation: Who should I register: one person per couple, per group, or everyone? All foreigners’ arrivals and departures must be reported, which means, all members of a couple or group.


During the registration itself, you must collect mandatory data that you may not always obtain simply by checking your guests’ ID.

For example, the country of residence may not correspond to the guests’ nationality or the ID’s country of issuance. To ensure the correct completion of this information, you should maintain good communication with your guests or tenants, and clarify the obligation you have to collect all the mandatory details.

Mandatory data to filling out an accommodation form:

  1. Full name;
  2. Nationality;
  3. Date of birth;
  4. Document number;
  5. Document type;
  6. Country of document issuance;
  7. Country of residence;
  8. Check-in date;
  9. Check-out date.

Optional data:

  1. Place of birth;
  2. Place of residence.


⚠️ We must also add that when filling out countries, you must use the respective code according to the list provided by SIBA! The list and respective codes can be consulted at this address on the SIBA platform. This becomes relevant in some special cases. If you open the page and see a block of white with unreadable elements, click on the “XML” box to make the checkmark (✅) disappear. This will switch the page from example 1 to example 2, below.

The list is in Portuguese and we are not providing an automated translation as the software is also in Portuguese.


Deadlines when reporting guest stays to SEF

You must report all stays, including their arrival and departure dates, and a few days after your guests arrival.

You will have 3 working days to send each form from the check-in date, and another 3 working days after the end of the stay to report the departure of foreign citizens.

However, if you report both dates, arrival and departure, at the time of check-in, it is not necessary to send a second form after check-out.

For reporting stays longer than 1 year, we recommend checking this section, but to put it briefly, new information will need to be sent annually on January 1st since the form does not allow you to register stays longer than 1 year.


Valid documents for reporting accommodation forms to SEF

Not all “personal” documents will be valid for identifying your guests for reporting to SEF.

The list accepted by the Portuguese authorities follows what is stipulated in the same law that obliges this communication (specifically, in articles 9 and 10, no. 3 of Law 23/2007, of July 4).

Here is the list of documents that guests must present during check-in, and this list is also provided in the SIBA platform’s help sections:

  1. Passport or a substitute document.
  2. Identity Card or a substitute document:
  3. Documents issued under relevant conventions between the States Parties to the North Atlantic Treaty;
  4. Laissez-passer issued by the authorities of the State of which they are nationals or the State representing them;
  5. Flight license or crew member certificate;
  6. Seafarer’s identification document, when on duty;
  7. Seafarer’s enrollment card, when on duty;
  8. Residence permit, extension of stay or the identity card assigned to diplomats and their administrative and domestic staff or equivalent, to officials of international organizations headquartered in Portugal, and their family members;
  9. Birth certificate or annotations in the passport of the parents or the person exercising parental authority regarding minors.
  10. Other documents issued by national or foreign authorities when, for valid reasons (theft, robbery, etc.), the person cannot present a passport or any other document.

For example, if you host American guests who usually present their driver’s licenses as identification documents, you should try to request the passport for proper form completion, except in case of theft. We also emphasize that in the absence or refusal to present a valid identification document, it is mandatory that the owner or stay manager contacts the local police and/or consular authorities to handle the situation.


Reporting stays of irregular citizens to SEF

If you host a foreign citizen for financial compensation, you must always register it. This is also the case when hosting citizens in an irregular situation.

It is not illegal to host or rent your property for monetary compensation. However, you will be in breach of your legal obligations if you do not report a stay to SEF under these conditions. As we explained before, this registration responsibility lies with the owner, and so do the consequences of non-compliance.


Consequences of failing to report to SEF

The same law we have been citing (23/2007) has an article dedicated to the consequences of failing to report accommodation forms to SEF using SIBA, which amount to financial penalties.

The fine for failing to report to SEF is paid according to the number of forms omitted or sent after their legal deadline, ranging from 100 to 2,000 euros.

Here are the conditions and fine amounts, translated by our team:

Failure to report accommodation
1 – The omission of electronic registration of foreign citizens, in accordance with paragraph 4 of article 15, or the non-presentation of the accommodation form, under the terms of paragraphs 1 or 2 of article 16, constitutes an administrative offense punishable by the following fines:
a) From €100 to €500, for 1 to 10 forms or citizens whose registration is omitted;

b) From €200 to €900, for 11 to 50 forms or citizens whose registration is omitted;

c) From €400 to €2000, in the case of more than 51 citizens not reported.
2 – In case of negligent failure to meet the deadline for reporting the accommodation or departure of the foreign citizen, the minimum and maximum limits of the fine to be applied are reduced by a quarter.
However, the SIBA platform also warns property owners of a second situation — hosting foreign citizens in a vulnerable situation in exchange for money — which could lead to prison sentences.
According to the SIBA platform, failing to report a stay to SEF in such circumstances may infringe paragraphs 2 to 4 of article 183, the article on “Assistance to illegal immigration,” for it may be interpreted as “facilitating the illegal stay of a foreign citizen in national territory for profit”:
Assistance to illegal immigration
2 – Anyone who favors or facilitates, in any way, the illegal entry, stay, or transit of a foreign citizen in national territory, for profit, shall be punished with imprisonment of one to five years.
3 – If the acts are committed by transporting or maintaining the foreign citizen in inhumane or degrading conditions or endangering their life or causing them serious physical injury or death, the agent shall be punished with imprisonment of 2 to 8 years.
4 – The attempt is also punishable.


In any of these situations (fine or imprisonment), additional penalties may also be applied.


Summary of reporting stays to SEF

  • Reporting is mandatory for owners or managers who accommodate foreign citizens for money, regardless of the duration of the stay (1 day or even more than 1 year);
  • This reporting must be done online through the SIBA platform (either directly on the website or through compatible property management software);
  • You must register each accommodation unit under your management, whether they are full properties, rooms, or parts of a larger unit;
  • You must issue a form for each guest, and are required to register all foreign guests who pay for a stay without exceptions;
  • In the absence of valid document presentation by your guests, you should seek support from the local authorities (PSP or GNR);
  • The registration must be done within 3 working days after the guests’ arrival. If the arrival form contains the departure date, only one form per guest is needed;
  • Failure to send or sending late forms may be punished with fines from €100 to €2,000 and, in certain cases, imprisonment.


A management company that takes care of everything

GuestReady is an expert in these matters, as it handles the legal obligations of its owners and also offers management and registration software to property owners directly, RentalReady.

Contact us and find out how much you can earn by entrusting the management of your property to our teams, in addition to all the time and peace of mind you will gain by knowing that all the legal obligations of your activity will be carefully fulfilled.

To clarify your doubts and get in touch with our team, you can also use the form below.



* SEF (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) was transformed into the Agency for Integration, Migration, and Asylum (AIMA). However, for simplification (familiarity with the SEF organization by our readers and the retention of the term “SEF” in the support materials provided by the registration system itself, contact emails, and registration address), we have kept the name SEF throughout this article.

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