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NIE (Número Identificación Extranjero)

The NIE is perhaps akin to the UK national insurance number or the Irish PRSI number and unless you get one assigned to you then you more or less don’t exist. If you don’t exist you cannot get a medical card, or buy anything like a car or property or start a business or get a job or a bank account (on Spanish terms) or rent an apartment long term etc. etc. etc.

Therefore it is vital to have the NIE arranged as soon as possible. Once assigned the NIE number does not expire. However, the certificate on which the number is printed does expire and will need to be renewed.

To apply for a NIE you may choose to apply in the following three places:

  • Local police station (Comiseria) – though check, as not all have a Foreign Dept.
  • Office for Foreign Nationals (Oficina de Extranjeros).
  • Spanish Consulate outside Spain.

You should bring along your passport (valid of course) as well as a couple of photocopies.

You will be required to fill in an application form and you will also have to pay a fee which is payable at a bank. So you will have to take the ‘fee form’ to the bank, pay the fee, get it stamped and return to submit the application form together with stamped proof of fee payment.

It may be that you have to face long queues and will need to arrive extremely early in the morning to be able to be processed on that day. But this will depend on the time of year and where you are making the application.

This can be avoided by requesting the assistance of a gestor.

Should you need to arrange an NIE number Spainwide can assist. For more information go to: NIE Application