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Moving to Spain

How to Get a NIE in Spain

January 24, 2024

If you just landed in Spain and need to open a bank account, you'll need it. If you are here to study, work, buy or sell property or even apply for a business permit to set up a business or get a driver's license, you won't get anything done without it. We're talking about the NIE, a Spanish identification number, assigned by the Spanish authorities to any foreigner who has economic, professional o social interests in Spain. Keep reading to learn how to get a NIE in Spain.

how to get a NIE in Spain


The NIE, short for Número de Identificación de Extranjero (Identification Number for Foreigners), is unique and personal to you. Your NIE in Spain always starts with an Y, followed by 7 numbers and a letter and is required for all resident and non-resident foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain, regardless of whether you are a European citizen or from a non-EU country.

As we said before, when living in Spain (or even if you have close economic ties to Spanish companies), you'll need the NIE in order to carry out many basic tasks in your daily life. For example, you will need the NIE in order to apply for a residence permit, to open a bank account, to begin a business or even if you want to buy a house or a car, or to pay your income and annual wealth tax, known in Spain as Impuesto de Patrimonio. In other words, getting your NIE is something you should sort out as soon as possible, because not having it will severely limit your daily life agency while in Spain. All you have to do is follow these guidelines.

How to Apply for a NIE?

Before taking all documentation in person to one of the immigration offices, usually in designated police stations, you must apply for an appointment online. Make sure you seek assistance from a friend or lawyer in case you have trouble reading or understanding it, because although you can translate the appointments page into English by selecting the drop down menu at the top right (look for ‘Bienvenido’), some parts of the website seem to not work when translated, so you will have to rely on the Spanish version.

Quick Guide on How to Get a NIE in Spain

First of all, where do you apply for your NIE number? You can do it in person, whether via a Spanish Consulate abroad or by yourself if you are legally in Spain, or through a representative in Spain. Whether you are a EU citizen or not, everyone must fill out two copies of the Ex-15 application form and sign them, stating the reasons why you want to have a NIE number assigned to you. One basic requirement is that the applicant is not an illegal alien in Spain. By the way, you would like to know the name in Spanish for application? It is Solicitud.

Together with the solicitud, you must attach an Original and a copy of your complete passport, or identity card, or travel document or valid registration card. If you are a non-EU national, proof of your legal entry into Spain is required.

Also, a statement about the economic, professional or social causes that justify your request is also needed.

Administrative fees for the request (Tasa model 790).

When the solicitud is made through a representative, the representative will have to show that (s)he has been empowered by you (a document to be produced by a Public Notary) to present such application.

Other Steps for Getting a NIE Number

Other documents you need are a valid address in Spain and a document proving why you need a Spanish NIE. This could very well be a real estate contract showing you are going to buy property, a job contract from a Spanish company or a company ownership certificate. You can also attach a bank letter proving you have sufficient funds to live in Spain without working.  Students just need a school acceptance letter.

There is one more thing you will need in order to complete the application process: pay a small tax (Tasa 790) at the nearest bank after completing your application. In return you will be given a stamped receipt, which is proof of this payment.

How to get a NIE in Spain


The Final Step for How to Get the NIE in Spain: waiting...

Once you present all your documents, it's time to wait. The process can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks so just relax and be patient. In the meantime, you will be given a resguardo (an official receipt and proof that you are waiting for your NIE) and a date after which you can collect your NIE. Remember, the time you wait depends on the region you live in and the time of year.

Obtaining the NIE will allow you to live in Spain like any other citizen, and you will be able to carry out many of the formalities mentioned at the beginning of this article. For complete peace of mind for you and your family, remember that you can take a look at the Caser Health insurance Adapta for Residence permit. As you can imagine, medical cover is often another headache when moving to another country, especially if you also need dental cover. With Adapta + Dental + Repatriation, you can forget about these problems. You will get health insurance without co-payment plus dental insurance with special prices on treatments. However, if you are in doubt about what type of insurance you need, you can try the Caser rate calculator.

Moving to another country always brings with it a lot of changes, and having your documents up to date is essential to have peace of mind. You can get your NIE on your own with a bit of help, patience and time. Remember, if you can afford it, you can always hire an immigration lawyer who will make the entire process a breeze. For more detailed information on documents and processing, visit the Government Website.

All of this information can get very confusing. Download our free, easy guide on how to get a NIE in Spain

Download Free Guide: How to obtain the NIE


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