Author: Victoria Ludwig
Publication date; 18.09.2023
Spain has long been a popular destination for expatriates, students, and travelers. Its beauty is incomparable with its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and vibrant lifestyle. So, if you're planning to move to Spain, one essential document you'll need is the NIE, or Número de Identificación de Extranjero. This identification number is crucial for legal activities such as work, study, and even opening a bank account. In fact, the process of obtaining an NIE might seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it can be a manageable task.
What is the NIE?
The NIE is a unique identification number assigned to non-Spanish citizens. It is required for various transactions and legal processes, such as buying property, paying taxes, and registering for social security. It's important to note that the NIE is distinct from the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero), which is a physical residency card. While both are necessary for different purposes, the process of obtaining the NIE often precedes that of acquiring the TIE.
Types of NIE:
There are two primary categories for which you might apply for an NIE:
1. Non-Resident NIE (NIE de No Residente): This is typically for individuals who do not plan to reside in Spain but require the NIE for specific activities like property purchase, business transactions, or certain short-term contracts.
2. Resident NIE (NIE de Residente): This is required if you're planning to live in Spain for an extended period, whether for work, study, or other purposes.
Applying for the NIE
The process of obtaining an NIE involves several steps, and it's recommended to start well in advance of your intended activities in Spain. We will provide you with a checkpoint guide to aid you through the application process:
1. Making an Appointment (Cita previa)
Depending on your location in Spain, you'll need to schedule an appointment at the nearest National Police station (Comisaría de Policía) or Foreigners' Office (Oficina de Extranjería). Many larger cities offer online appointment booking, making the process more convenient.
2. Required Documents
Gather the necessary documents, which may include:
- NIE application form:
Obtain this form from the police station or download it from the official government website (EX-15 Form ).
Original and a photocopy of the entire passport.
- Proof of Reason for NIE:
Depending on whether you're applying for a non-resident or resident NIE, you might need to provide documents such as a job contract, university enrolment letter, property purchase agreement, or other supporting evidence.
- Proof of Fee Payment:
There's usually a fee associated with the NIE application process, which can be paid through a bank or online payment platform. Keep the receipt as proof of payment.
The fee is less than 15 Euros. Click here to see How to get NIE in Spain .
3. Attending the Appointment
On the scheduled date and time, attend your appointment at the designated police station or Foreigners' Office. Then, present your documents and application form. You had better bring both the original and photocopies of your documents.
4. Processing Time
The processing time for your NIE can vary. In some cases, you might receive it on the spot, while in others, it could take a few weeks. It would be beneficial to ask how long they predict the processing time for your appointment could take.
5. Collecting Your NIE
Once your NIE is ready, you'll need to collect it in person from the same office where you applied. Bring your identification documents and any receipts you received during the application process.
Tips for a Smooth NIE Process:
- Be Prepared:
Ensure you have all the required documents before your appointment to avoid any delays.
- Patience is Key:
The bureaucratic process can be time-consuming. Be patient and plan ahead.
- Language Assistance:
If you're not fluent in Spanish, consider bringing a translator to help during the appointment.
- Double-Check Information:
Verify all information on your application form and documents for accuracy.
- Keep Copies:
Make photocopies of all submitted documents and the NIE once you receive it. These copies will be useful for various administrative processes.
How to get a NIE in Spain
Obtaining an NIE in Spain might involve some paperwork and patience. However, it's an essential step in ensuring your legal status and smooth interactions in the country. Whether you're planning a short visit or a more extended stay, following the steps outlined in this guide will help you get your NIE. After doing so, you can fully enjoy all that Spain has to offer.