The NIE number, or more formally, the número de identidad de extranjero, is a tax identification number in Spain that’s used in all fiscal transactions involving the Spanish tax office. It is also linked to residence and social security, which means it’s something all foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain must have, regardless of their status as a resident or non-resident.
European citizens living in Spain typically need to apply for an NIE number after three months of residence. Those from outside of the EU will typically receive their NIE number along with their Spanish residency.
What is an NIE number?
An NIE number is an identification number given by the Spanish National Police to all people in the country who are not Spanish citizens. The NIE number comes in the form of a sheet of A4 paper which contains details such as your name, date of birth and city and country of birth. This allows you to carry out legal activities such as:
• Opening a banking account
• Paying taxes
• Buying or selling property
• Being legally employed
• Becoming self-employed
• Registering a business
• Getting a Spanish driver’s licence
• Arranging your utility contracts
Applying for your NIE number
You can apply for an NIE number either by visiting the Spanish embassy in the UK or by applying to the relevant Spanish National Police station while living in or visiting Spain. The NIE number can also be requested by authorised individuals such as solicitors, lawyers or even friends if they hold a Spanish power of attorney. This can be particularly useful for expats who need an NIE to complete the purchase of a Spanish property.
To apply for an NIE number you will need to submit:
• An NIE application form which must be completed in Spanish. You can download the application form here;
• Your original passport and a photocopy;
• Two passport photos;
• A small fee which you should pay at the bank using NIE form 790, which can be downloaded online or collected at any national police station dealing with foreign documentation.
What else do you need to know?
Once the application is complete, if successful, you will be assigned a permanent NIE number. In some regions, the NIE certificate will only be valid for three months from the date of issue, while in other regions you will receive an indefinite NIE certificate.
If you want to exchange your foreign driving license in Spain, you will not be able to do so if you only have an NIE number. You will also need a Spanish residency. If at any time you want to make a police report (here’s hoping you won’t), you will have to take your NIE number to the police station along with your passport.
All the assistance you need
As well as providing a first-class conveyancing service that adheres to strict UK guidelines, we also offer whatever help you need along the way. That includes translating whenever necessary, providing assistance at the notary’s office and assisting in the changing of utilities and contracts into your name. We will even help you obtain your NIE number for you (for a small additional fee). For more information, please with our team.