Número de Identificación de Extranjero

If you consider buying property in Spain, you will need to apply for Spanish Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE). Read further to find out what the Spanish number is and when and for what purpose it should be applied for.


What is the NIE identification number?

The Spanish Número de Identificación de Extranjero is the so-called Foreigners' Identification Number. It is a personal and exclusive number that a foreigner can apply for in order to complete the necessary formalities required by public administration procedures. The NIE number is required for longer stays to ensure legal residence in Spain.


Where to apply for a NIE number?

The application may be submitted not only in Spain but also outside of Spain, in embassies or consular offices in the country in which one lives in (e.g. the Spanish Consulate in London). Keep in mind, however, that consulates are not directly responsible for issuing numbers, but only mediating in the transfer of documentation.  However, most often the documents are already submitted in Spain. To recieve the number you should go to the nearest police station in the area where you are going to live or buy a property.


What conditions must be met to obtain a NIE number?

Several conditions must be met, including the following:

  • a legal stay in Spain
  • having economic, social or professional interests in Spain
  • justifying why we need the number. Such reasons may be, for example, the desire to take up employment or buy a house in Spain.


How does the formal procedure of obtaining the NIE number look?

To obtain the number, you must submit the following documentation:

  • the EX15 application form
  • evidence of payment made for the number
  • for non-EU citizens, it is necessary to provide copies of documents that justify the need for obtaining the number (e.g. relating to the purchase of property in Spain)
  • a copy of an identity document (identity card or passport)

How long does it take to issue an N.I.E. number?

A person usually waits 1-3 months for the visit, depending on which region they live in. The N.I.E. number is issued on the day of the visit.


Under what circumstances is the NIE number needed?

Obtaining the NIE number is necessary to carry out different types of administrative procedures. For example, it is required for activities carried out in Spain, such as:

  • creating a bank account
  • business establishment
  • property purchase
  • car purchase
  • registration
  • work

The NIE number is also very helpful if you plan to stay in Spain for more than 90 days. The EU citizens are not obliged to register for short term trips to Spain. However, for longer stays it is necessary to obtain a certificate of registration, which a person can get if they have already obtained the NIE number. For longer stays, the NIE number can be extremely helpful as it is required for most administrative activities.




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