Your Spanish NIE number

A Spanish NIE number is a personal, unique and exclusive number that is assigned to foreigners who, for economic, professional, or social reasons, are engaged in activities related to Spain and require identification in this country. It consists of nine digits: a letter, followed by a seven-digit number, and another letter.

The first step when you want to buy a property in Spain is getting the NIE Number. This number (“Número de Identidad de Extranjero”) is the basic identification with which you will be able to conduct any kind of legal procedure in the country, such as opening a bank account, buying a house or car, starting your company or getting your residence permit. 

How to get a NIE number in Spain

When you move to Spain, there are certain papers that you are going to need in the Spanish bureaucratic jungle to work, study or buy a house. It can get quite overwhelming trying to figure it all out, but we are here to help you with the most important thing you are going to need as an expat: the NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero, or Foreigner’s Identification Number). So, what documents do I need for NIE in Spain? How about booking a NIE appointment online? We have all the details. 

The NIE tax identification number is mandatory for all foreigners living in Spain and it is necessary for dealing with any legal, financial, professional or social affairs in Spain, regardless of whether you are a resident or non-resident. If you want to work, pay taxes or buy property in Spain, you need a NIE number.

As a citizen of the European Union you will need this number within 3 months of arriving in Spain, while non-EU citizens will normally receive their tax ID along with their Spanish residency. It’s best to start the NIE application process as soon as you can because Spanish bureaucracy can sometimes be a little dense and daunting, so here we explain how to get a NIE in Spain. Take note that if you are from the UK, you will have to apply for residency in Spain like other non-EU nationals and you will get a different card known as a TIE.

1. Make the NIE number appointment

It is necessary to make a NIE appointment online. Trust us, you really want to book a NIE appointment online instead of waiting in line for hours at the office early in the morning. You can make an appointment for a NIE on the official Spanish-language website by choosing the province you live in, choosing Certificados UE (if you are from the European Union) or Expedición de tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (if you are from outside the European Union) and then filling in your information.

Normally you need to wait at least a month for your appointment, so it is best to do this as soon as possible after you arrive in Spain. If you are not in Spain yet and are applying for the NIE number via a Spanish consulate in a different country, the process will take longer, often up to two months or more.

2. Get all the paperwork together

What documents do I need for NIE in Spain? Before you make a Spanish NIE number appointment at your closest police station that deals with NIEs, you must make sure you have filled in all the relevant application forms and brought together all the necessary paperwork:

  • You must print out this NIE number Spain form (EX-18), complete it and take two copies with you to the appointment. It must be written in Spanish, but you can see the same NIE application form in English just as a guide. Do not bring the English form with you to the appointment because only the Spanish one is valid!
  • All applicants for the Spanish NIE must also have an original and a photocopy of a document that explains their reason for wanting a NIE. This can be a property purchase agreement, mortgage contract, employment contract or any other official document that certifies you have financial or professional interests in Spain.
  • Take along your passport, both the original and photocopies, and some passport-size colour photos. Non-EU citizens would also be advised to take their landing card, visa or other proof of legal entry into Spain.
  • How much is the tax for NIE? In 2023, you will also have to pay 9.84 euros in taxes for your NIE number. You need to fill in a second form online, the 790, print it, bring it to a bank (they’ll know what to do) and pay. Some banks even provide the possibility to pay this tax on an ATM, so it couldn’t be easier. Be very careful when filling in the form, however, not to mix instructions for EU citizens with those for non-EU citizens, because the boxes you have to tick are different.

3. Take all your documents to the appointment

What to bring to NIE appointment: for the appointment, you must bring all the forms filled out correctly and copies of them, your original passport and a copy of it, proof of why you need the NIE number (e.g. a job contract, a contract that shows your intentions to buy a house in Spain, an acceptance letter from a school…) and proof that you paid the taxes of the NIE number. As for citizens from non-EU member states, you must bring all of the above, plus your visa with copies. The Spanish officials at the police station or Oficina de Extranjeros Immigration Office will take care of the rest for you.

Your NIE number may either be ready immediately or you might have to go back in a few days to collect it, depending on the city and region where you make the application.

A word of advice

Things don’t always go very smoothly when it comes to navigating Spanish red tape, unless you are very lucky, so try to remain calm and don’t worry. The level of professionalism and knowledge among officials and civil servants varies radically from province to province, as do the processing times and procedures. It’s advisable to research carefully how to obtain a NIE in your local municipality, as things can vary from region to region. Bring photocopies of everything, as it’s better to have too many papers with you than have to wait for another month for an appointment if you don’t meet all the requirements.

Once you understand how to get a NIE number in Spain, it’s best to start the process straight away as it’s the most important document you will need as an expat in Spain. How long does a Spanish NIE number last? NIE numbers in Spain last forever, being valid indefinitely, so whether you have a green paper version or a red plastic card, make sure you don’t lose it and always keep photocopies of it.

Or…. let us and our LAW firm help you with this process.

Ge in touch with us.

When you’re in need of obtaining  a NIE number in Spain, just contact us and we start helping you today.

Red Rose Property Spain
Call +34 602 627 580 WhatsApp

Real Estate Agent in Spain.

Red Rose Property Spain is a family business based in Caleta de Velez, Malaga and has more websites and we work with the biggest international Real Estate Platforms in the world. Next to that are our social media pages our strongest point.

Avenida de Andalucia 118, 29751 Caleta de Velez, Malaga. Telephone and WhatsApp – +34-602 627 580

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