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/obtaining an nie number in spain: procedure, nuances and complications

Obtaining an NIE number in Spain: Procedure, nuances and complications

Spain, with its sunny climate, beautiful beaches, and rich cultural heritage, attracts many foreigners who want to move and start a new life in this wonderful country. Have you ever wondered why? Well, quite simply - favorable climate, European standard of living, open and friendly people, architecture, and real estate by the sea, the prices for which here are some of the most budget-friendly in Europe. Many people see Spain as an investment vehicle, investing their capital in property and business. However, first, you need to get an NIE number, without which you will not be able to do any financial or economic transactions. If you want to know how to get an NIE number in Spain and what the nuances are, stay tuned and read this article to the end.


What is an NIE number and why do foreigners need it?

In simple terms, an NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is a foreigner's number in Spain, and its main function is tax and financial control. Through this document, the Spanish authorities calculate taxes and control their status. Moreover, the NIE number is involved in many procedures throughout your life in Spain. Even if you apply for a monthly pass, you will still need your NIE number.

The Foreigner Identification Number in Spain consists of 9 characters (2 letters and 7 numbers). This is an example of the NIE number: Y0000000-X. This is not just a mixed set of characters, the first and last letters have their own meaning and the numbers are unique for each number holder.

What does a foreigner need an NIE for?

All financial and even domestic transactions in Spain require an NIE number. An NIE number is required for the following purposes:

  • Tax activity

  • Opening of a bank account

  • Purchasing and selling of real estate

  • Getting a driver's license

  • Legal Employment

  • Getting an education

  • Drafting contracts

  • Applying for a mortgage

However, many people confuse the NIE with a residence permit document (TIE card), but this is not the case. The identification number certifies the identity of a foreigner in Spain, but does not grant you the right to be legally present in the country. However, it is the first investment in your future residence here.


Current list of documents required to apply for an NIE

We have covered the purpose of an ID number in Spain, so now let's move on to the actual package of documents you will need to apply for one.

Completed form (Form EX-15) for NIE registration. This is a standard form that can be obtained from your local police office (Comisaría de Policía), from the national website or downloaded here. IMPORTANT: The form must be completed in duplicate and you should sign it when you submit it.

Identity document.You have to prove your identity with an appropriate document. Most often people use a passport (copies of all pages must be made) to apply for an NIE, but it can also be a registration certificate, EU card, and even a travel pass.

Proof of the basis for obtaining the Foreigner Identification Number. You must provide one of the following grounds:

  • work invitation

  • rental contract

  • documents confirming your studies

  • temporary residence permits


Full guide to obtaining an NIE number

Well, we've already covered what you need to have in order to obtain the document. Here's a step-by-step guide to getting an NIE number in 2023:

Collecting the documents listed above. By now you know the complete list of relevant documents that you need to collect. As a rule, the foreigner in Spain already has all these documents. The most important thing is to fill in the application form correctly in duplicate.

Going to the local police department. All government offices in Spain operate on a ticket, which you will also need to take. Read below what difficulties you will encounter at this stage.

Paying the state fee. You may need to pay the Tasa modelo 790 Código 012 state fee before submitting your application. The fees are usually paid by special bank transfer or via local ATMs/outlets. The current cost of the state fee for the issuance of an identity number is EUR 9.84.

Submitting the documents and application form. You submit all documents personally by submitting the original papers. A little spoiler alert - don't worry, all the original documents you hand in will be returned to you straight away on the spot.

Proof of arrival in Spain. If you came from another EU country or by car, your passport will not have a border stamp. In this case, fill in a Declaracion de entrada at any Policia Nacional office. It is important to do this within 72 hours of crossing the border, otherwise the document will not be issued to you.

We looked above at the case of a foreigner living in Spain. But what if the foreigner is thousands of kilometers away but still needs an NIE number?

Fortunately, we live in the 21st century and today almost anything is possible! If you are outside of Spain, but have all the necessary documents and justification to obtain an ID number, you can easily obtain one from the Spanish embassy. See which countries have Spanish embassies.


Nuances and possible difficulties

There can be difficulties and nuances in obtaining any document, so obtaining an NIE number in Spain is no exception.

Firstly, information about a foreigner is entered into the system by live people who may make mistakes. Therefore, try to immediately check all the information that is entered by employees of public authorities. If mistakes in the identification number are not noticed in time, it may become an unpleasant surprise after a while. For example, when buying a car or applying for a digital nomad visa. We told you about all the details and how to apply for a digital nomad visa in Spain earlier.

Secondly, it is quite common in Spain to queue for a ticket, be it a visit to the town hall, a bank or even a restaurant. This is why it can take much longer to obtain an NIE number than the Spanish authorities promise. But this experience of "fighting" for a ticket will certainly not be unnecessary, and will only add to your skills for life in Spain.


How can we help?

We are aksis - a migration agency with a professional team and dozens of successful cases behind our shoulders. Our guiding principles are assistance, service, and maximum transparency. We will help you obtain your NIE number in Spain, providing you with a personal manager, advice and support at every stage of the process.

We don't just do the paperwork for you, what you get is invaluable experience and skills for living in Spain that will benefit you in the future. aksis - tell, show, teach and help you apply for an NIE number. Start your life in Spain with aksis!


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