How do I obtain an NIE Number in Spain?
The NIE Number, (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) is a mandatory tax identification number for all non-Spanish citizens and is one of the most important documents that you’ll need as a worker, ex-pat, a foreign student or a homebuyer in Spain.
It’s basically a unique code that allows you to pay tax, open a bank account, pay utility bills and purchase a property. Simply put, it keeps track of all your legal and financial activities in Spain. An NIE number is mandatory for all foreigners with any financial affairs in Spain, regardless of whether they are a resident or non-resident.
You can submit your NIE number application to the Spanish National police department responsible for foreign documentation or through the Spanish consulate in your home country.
Though acquiring the number may take several weeks, with perhaps a couple of meetings in between, the process is pretty straight forward and I’ve outlined the steps below to follow:
Book for NIE Number Appointment
You can book the appointment physically in the Spanish National Police department that deals with NIE applications but that could mean waiting in line for hours. So instead, you can go here, fill in the correct details and book your appointment. Make sure you fill in the correct province then provide other personal details such as your name, phone number, passport number, and email address. This service is not available in Cádiz and Malaga.
Once you’ve booked the appointment, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Keep it safe, as it’ll contain important information regarding the address, date and time of your appointment.
If you’re in Spain, you might have to wait for about 3-4 weeks for the appointment. If you’re applying via the consulate abroad, it might take up to 2 months.
- You must fill out the NIE application form (EX 15 form) and it must be submitted in Spanish. Bring two copies of the completed form to your appointment. You can download an English version of the form here to use as a guide. If you’re a Non-EU citizen, fill in the NIE application form (EX 18 form)
- You’ll also need to bring your passport, a photocopy of your passport, two passport photos and a document stating the reasons for your NIE application. If you’re a Non-EU resident you might need to carry an additional document that proves you’re in Spain legally (like a visa).
- A small fee must be paid (normally between 9 and 12 euros) to apply for your NIE. This can be paid at any bank and is done so by filling out and printing the 790 form. Once paid and stamped you must bring this document to your application meeting.
Present Your Documents
On the day of your appointment, make sure to bring all the documents mentioned above (correctly filled) ideally with their copies.
If everything is in order, you should either be handed the NIE number immediately or be advised to pick it up in a few days depending on the province where you booked the application. NIE numbers in Spain last forever, they are valid indefinitely.
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