What does it do , Why do I need one and How do I Apply for one ?
What is an NIE?
An NIE Number (Number Identification de Extranjeros) is an Identification number/Certificate, similar to the UK National Insurance Number, that is issued by the Spanish Authorities to identify foreigners and to allow them to live their lives as easily as possible in Spain. Spanish Nationals have a similar number, but this is called the DNI.
If you are planning on buying a Property, Renting a property, opening a Bank account or working in Spain you need to have one, as simple as that.
This should be your very first task when you are thinking about moving to Spain.
What is it for?
It is basically a means so that the Spanish Authorities can verify who you are, that you are in the country legally, and that you are not involved in any illegal activities. You will often be asked to produce your NIE under some of the following circumstances...
- Buying a Property
- Buying a Car
- Working as an employee or self employed
- To obtain a phone line or a contract mobile phone
- Electricity Account
- Opening a Bank Account
How do I apply for one?
Most Police Stations in the Larger Towns will have a Foreigners Department. You need to turn up in person and bring the following documentation ...
- Your passport with a photocopy
- 2 passport sized photographs
It is best to visit early in the morning, and be prepared to wait as sometimes this can be a prolonged experience, and in many cases each Office will have a certain quota of NIE's that they can submit per day. If you do not speak very good Spanish it is often a good idea to take a Spanish speaking friend with you.
A form in Spanish will be given to you to complete and they will take a photocopy of your. Depending on the particular office, it can take from a few days to a few weeks to process. You need to collect the NIE certificate in person with your passport and the copy given to you. The certificate is a stamped, white A4 size paper document with your name and NIE certificate.
(Keep copies of your NIE Certificate (and also your Passport, Driving Licence and Any Insurance documents) as it is usually difficult to replace this information should you lose it).
If you are not living in Spain this can also be applied for from your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate.
What if I lose it?
Basically you will need to repeat the whole process again, so don't !
Where can I get the application form?
You can collect form EX15 to apply for your NIE from your local Tobacos or download it and print it off by clicking this link here - NIE Application Form (PDF format)
When presenting the completed Modelo EX15 you will be given a further form to complete and take to your bank where you can pay the fee, before returning to the Police station to collect your documents. The form required is Modelo 790 Codigo 012 but because it is a carbonised multi-part form (and therefore assumed that it will be completed by hand, as opposed to by a computer's printer, or downloaded from the net) it is only available for collection from the Police Station. Therefore, if you are collecting an EX-14 (as opposed to downloading it) then make sure that you also collect a Modelo 790 Codigo 012 to save time!
Can I get help to do this?
For a small fee a Gestor or Lawyer will usually do this for you. Whilst the process is usually quite simple, it is the waiting around that will cost the Money – Look for a Gestor who is situated close by to the Police Station as it is likely that they will undertake this kind of work regularly and have a Friendly contact at the Station who can speed things along.
Click HERE to read about changes to the NIE procedure applicable from March 2012.