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How to get an NIE number in Spain

Moving to Spain can be an exciting prospect but it is important that you know the legal requirements of living in another country.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Spain Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Spain visa or permit, IAS Spain immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Ireland successfully, we can help businesses and individuals achieve their goals.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Expert support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are accredited by the IBA in Madrid and Seville.

    Regardless of what your Spain immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    Who needs to get an NIE number in Spain?

    The NIE number is the Número de Identitad de Extranjero, which means Identification Number for Foreigners.

    It is a unique tax identification number for non-Spanish citizens who undertake certain financial, professional, legal, or social activities in Spain (even if they are not resident full-time there).

    If you wish to undertake some of the following activities as a non-Spanish citizen, you must first obtain the NIE:

    • Buy property
    • Purchase a car
    • Get a contract with utilities and services
    • Pay taxes
    • Buy or sell property
    • Open a bank account
    • Work or establish a business
    • Sign contracts or other legal or tax activity
    • Study on a degree course

    The following groups of people must hold an NIE:

    • Foreign citizens who are resident in Spain for tax purposes
    • Foreign citizens who are not resident for tax purposes but who buy property in Spain
    • Foreign citizens who wish to work or start a business in Spain

    The NIE is not an identification card. It is printed on an official letter from the Ministry of the Interior and contains the following details:

    • Your given name
    • Your surname
    • Your date of birth
    • Your city and country of birth
    • Your NIE number

    If you need assistance in applying for your Spanish NIE number, contact IAS for expert immigration advice and support.

    Alternatively, if you plan to emigrate to Spain, speak to our advisers for comprehensive support and advice.

    How to apply for your NIE number

    There are a number of steps involved in the application process and it is important to ensure that you complete each step accurately to prevent delays.

    Living inside Spain

    1. Gather the documents you need to submit with your application

    There are a number of documents required to submit with the application and to demonstrate why you are eligible to apply for the NIE.

    1. Bring your documents to an immigration office or to a police station nearest where you live/ intend to buy property

    The immigration offices are known as the oficinas de extranjeros, while the police station is called the comisaría de policía.

    Depending on where you live and your nationality, you may be able to schedule your appointment online on the website of the local authority.

    As well as this, depending on your locality, you may have to submit the traditional paper NIE form.

    1. Pay a tax of €10 at the bank to pay for the NIE

    You should also keep a copy of our receipt and provide proof of payment to the immigration office

    1. Collect your NIE number

    When you submit your NIE application form, you will be given a receipt (resguardo) with a scheduled time and date to collect your NIE

    Living outside Spain

    It is possible to apply for your NIE if you are living outside of Spain. If you are living in the UK and wish to apply for your NIE, you should follow the below process to apply:

    1. Identify your nearest Spanish consulate or Spanish embassy (in the UK, the three consulates are located in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh)
    2. Prepare your documents and proof of eligibility for the NIE number
    3. Make an appointment to visit the Spanish embassy
    4. Attend your appointment with your documents (including the NIE application form) and satisfy the immigration officials that you are eligible for an NIE number
    5. Receive information on when you should expect a decision on your application

    Required documents

    What documents do you need to apply for the NIE number in Spain? The below documents are likely to be required as a general rule, but if you have any questions, it is recommended to consult with an immigration lawyer who can advise on your individual circumstances

    • Two copies of the completed application form (Solicitud de Numero de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) y Certificados (EX-15))
    • Documentary evidence showing why you need to apply for an NIE number (e.g., employment contract, mortgage application, deposit contract, deeds of a property you intend to sell, etc.)
    • Valid passport or travel document
    • If you are an EU citizen, you will need a photocopy of the main page of your passport
    • If you are a non-EU citizen, you must provide a copy of all pages of your passport as well as evidence of your immigration status in Spain
    • Two passport-style photos
    • Proof of payment of the fee

    Depending on your circumstances, there may be additional required documents.

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    Can my lawyer apply on my behalf?

    It is now possible for your legal representative or a third party to apply for your NIE number on your behalf in Spain.

    The reason some people choose to do this is because it can be a difficult and complex bureaucratic process to apply for your NIE number.

    Immigration rules can be interpreted differently depending on the location where you are applying.

    If you wish to give the responsibility for applying and liaising with officials to a trusted party, such as an immigration lawyer, you can do so by following the steps:

    • In the presence of a notary, issue your representative with power of attorney (poder) and explicit permission to request your NIE number for you
    • Give your passport to your representative (or a notarised copy of it)
    • If your notary is based outside Spain, you must also have the Hague Apostille

    When a decision is issued on your application, it will be sent to your representative on your behalf.

    How long does a Spanish NIE number last?

    Spanish NIE numbers do not expire so you can be confident in the knowledge that you do not need to renew it or apply for another one in the future.

    However, in the past, some numbers came with an expiration date. In this instance, if you currently hold such a document, you may be required to renew your NIE.

    Depending on the place where you wish to apply for your NIE number, some places will not accept an old certificate with a three-month expiry date.

    How much does it cost to get an NIE?

    Non-EU citizens can expect to pay approximately €10.71 to apply for your NIE certificate.

    Depending on where you apply from, this may cost more. In the UK, it may cost between £8 and £22. It is recommended that you contact your nearest consulate in order to find out the most up-to-date photo.

    If you are considering using a notary or legal representative, this is an additional cost, but please note that this is not a required part of the process.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    The NIE number is also known as the Foreigner’s Identification Number (Número de Identifición de Extranjero).

    It is a unique identifier code that is issued by the Spanish government Ministry of the Interior. It is necessary for individuals to have this number so that they can undertake certain legal activities, including opening a bank account, buying property, getting a driver’s licence, buying a car, inherit assets, etc.

    If you wish to apply for a non-resident NIE number from the UK, you should book an appointment with the Consulate General in London.

    Below are the steps involved in applying from the UK:

    • Email [email protected] for an appointment at the London office
    • Gather and bring the supporting documents with you to your appointment (passport and photocopy of the passport details page as well as evidence of why you need the NIE)
    • If you are living in the UK but you are a citizen of a non-EU country, you should also provide proof of your immigration status in the UK
    • You should also bring the completed EX-15 application form
    • The online payment form (790) should be completed and printed in preparation to pay the fee to the consulate

    The cost of the NIE number is currently £8.85 but this may change in the future. The certificate of non-residence (if relevant to your situation) costs £6.55.

    If you are based in the UK, Spain has three consulates: one in Manchester, London, and Edinburgh. The contact details of these offices are listed below.




    IAS are a firm of experienced immigration lawyers who are highly experienced across the full spectrum of immigration law.

    Contact us for support and advice on not just submitting your NIE form, but any service involving immigration.

    Some of the support we can provide includes:

    • Assess your eligibility for your chosen immigration route/ visa
    • Advise on the available options post-Brexit
    • Assist with a Spanish residency application
    • Support you with your work or family visa application
    • Liaise with Spanish immigration officials on your behalf throughout the process
    • Provide the highest level of legal professionalism and accuracy to help you achieve your goals

    Alternatively, we can help you with the following services:

    Contact our friendly client care team today to find out more information.

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