How to: Apply for a NIE

What is a NIE?


To be able to reside and/or work in Spain you need to have an NIE. However, it extends further than that and you need an NIE to buy a house, buy a car or get a phone plan in Spain. NIE stands for “Número de Identificación de Extranjero” which translates to “Foreigner Identification Number”. Once you have this number it doesn’t change unless, once you have lived in Spain for long enough, choose to obtain Spanish nationality. The NIE is only necessary for people who do not have Spanish nationality. The NIE is also not a fiscal residency identification, you are able to have a NIE and be fiscally resident in another country.


What does a NIE look like?


It is an A4 certificate that states your name, surname, date of birth, city and country of birth and, most importantly, your NIE.

If you apply for the NIE card, it might be a green paper version or a red plastic card.

Make sure not to lose either of these as they are valid indefinitely!


How do I get a NIE?


Firstly, fill out the NIE application form ( Application Form EX-18 )

Here is the English version as a guide but do not fill this one out or take it with you to your appointment as you will not be allowed to submit it!

Pay the government fee (which is approximately €12) at a bank using the 790 NIE Form

If you don’t want to wait hours in a queue even from the early hours of the morning, we suggest making an appointment. This can be done at the Spanish-language website here by choosing the province, choosing Certificados UE (if you are from the European Union) or Expedición de tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (if you are from outside the European Union) and then filling in your information.



What do I need to take with me?


1. The completed application form (in Spanish)

2. A spare copy of the application form (printed)

3. Your current passport (with a minimum validity of 6 months)

4. A colour photocopy of your passport or European Union ID Card

5. Proof of why you need the NIE (e.g. a job contract, an acceptance letter from a school, etc.)

6. Two passport photos

7. A receipt from your payment of the government tax




Where do I have to go to get my NIE?


Applications for a NIE must be made in person in Spain. They are only issued in Police Stations. The Spanish Consulate General does not issue NIEs.


Do I have to book an appointment?


As mentioned above, it is highly recommended that you book an appointment to avoid waiting for multiple hours to be seen.


Click the link below and choose the province you are going to be residing in, buying in, working in or studying in. Then choose Certificados UE (if you are from the European Union) or Expedición de tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (if you are from outside the European Union) and fill your information in.

Book an appointment for your NIE



How long will it take for me to receive my NIE?


Providing everything is paid, you should receive your NIE within approximately 7 working days. You will then need to go back to the Police Office that you applied at and collect it from there.


For more posts about living in Spain, check out the rest of our blog!

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