The NIE is essential to initiate a good number of actions and procedures in Spain. It is strongly recommended applying for this document as soon as possible.
NIE: Everything you need to know
What is the NIE?
The NIE is the Foreigner Identification Number. This is a unique personal number that is assigned to you as a foreigner as a part of your residence or your activities in Spain. This number will be your identification and communication key but will in no way replace traditional identity papers (Passport, National Identity Card, etc.) which you must always have.
Why do you need the NIE?
The NIE will come in handy in many situations. Among the main uses for it, which are in some cases unthinkable without it, you will find:
• Housing : purchase or sale of real estate, signing of a mortgage loan, identification in the property register,…
• Taxation : inception of a company, tax declaration,…
• Social security : obtaining the number affiliation to social security, application for registration with INEM, application for unemployment benefits, etc.
• Other procedures : opening a bank account, signing a work contract or an internship agreement, acquisition and vehicle registration, subscription to electricity, water, Internet services, etc.
Who is the NIE issued to?
To be able to apply for a NIE as a resident, you must be in one of the following situations:
• Work for a company in Spain;
• Self-employment in Spain;
• Be a student in a public or private institution and/or carry out professional training (internship);
• Have the nationality of an EU member country and join or accompany a family member (spouse, dependent child) living in Spain in a legal situation.
Another type of NIE, intended for non-residents, can be issued to people who do not reside in Spain but have professional, social or economic interests there. It is valid for a maximum period of 3 months.
Where to apply for the NIE?
If you are resident in Spain, the NIE must only be requested from the police station to which your Spanish place of residence is connected. Please note, the appointment is made exclusively online and you will have to pay a fee (around 10 euros).
If you do not live in Spain, you should also contact the nearest police station to your location or, if you are abroad, the Spanish consular authorities located in your country of residence.
What documents do I need to provide?
Depending on your profile, you will need to read the documents to provide before going there.
First, you will need to present your passport or identity card (copy and original) and complete Form EX-15 (Solicitud de Número de Identidad de Extranjero).
And if you find it difficult to complete, you will find here the form in English. Remember that you must fill and present the Spanish version!
In addition, additional documents will be requested depending on your situation:
• If you work for a company or an individual : employment contract or any document proving registration with Spanish social security as a worker;
• If you are self-employed : registration in the Census of Economic Activities (censo de actividades economicas) or in the Merchant Register (Registro Mercantil) or any document proving registration with Spanish social security as a self-employed worker;
• If you are a student or in vocational training as part of your studies: any document proving your enrollment in a Spanish university or your internship agreement as well as any document justifying your affiliation to a public or private health insurance scheme (the European Health Insurance Card is sufficient if it covers the entire duration of your stay in Spain), without forgetting the presentation of a formal declaration certifying that you have sufficient financial means to meet your needs;
• Finally, if you are a citizen of the European Union and join or accompany a member of your family living in Spain : any document proving the family link with the person living in Spain, any proof that the latter works well in Spain, and also any document proving that you have sufficient financial means to meet your needs during your stay.
Warning ! If you are not working in Spain, you will be asked to present private health insurance!
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