How to get NIE number in Spain - In Spain and Abroad

Guide to Obtaining a NIE Number in Spain and abroad


If you're planning to live, work, or do business in Spain, you may have heard about the NIE number. In this article, we'll explain what the NIE number is, why you need it, and how to get one.

What is the NIE number?

The NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is a unique identification number assigned to foreign nationals in Spain. It's similar to a social security number in the US or a National Insurance number in the UK. The NIE number is issued by the Spanish government and it's used for various administrative and legal purposes.

Why do you need an NIE number? You need an NIE number in Spain for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Buying or selling property
  • Starting a business
  • Registering for social security
  • Paying taxes
  • Applying for a job

In short, the NIE number is essential for anyone who plans to live, work, or conduct business in Spain.

How to get an NIE number in Spain?

To get an NIE number in Spain, you'll need to follow these steps:

1. Make a NIE number appointment:

It is recomended to make a NIE appointment online in order to avoid long hours line at the registration office if you are already in Spain. You can also make an appointment for the NIE at the official NIE website by choosing the province you live in, choosing Certificados UE - UE Certificates (if you are from the European Union) or Expedición de tarjeta de identidad de extranjero - Issuance of foreign identity card (if you are from outside the European Union) and then filling in your information.

Normally you would need to wait at least a month to get your appointment, it's recomended to do this as soon as your arrival to Spain. If you are not in Spain yet and are applying for the NIE number via a Spanish consulate in a different country, the process will take longer, often up to two months or more, you can get more information about Spanish consulate in your country here.

2. Gather Required Documentation:

  • Fill out the NIE application form: You can obtain the NIE application form in the Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country, or from the local police station (comisaría de policía) in Spain.
  • Original an a copy of a document that explains the reason to require a NIE. This can be an employment contract, mortgage contract, etc.
  • Your passport (both, original and a copy) and passport-size colour photos. Non European citizens would also need to provide their visa and landing card.
  • Pay the fee: you would need to fill the 790 form online, print it, bring it to a bank and pay it. Remeber to keep all documents to show that you have paid the fee.

You can also find a list of things to bring to the appointment here.

3. Attend an appointment:

Once you've submitted your application and paid the fee, you'll need to attend to the appointment at the police station or immigration office (or Spanish consulate). This is where your fingerprints will be taken and your application will be processed.

What to bring to a NIE appointment?

  • All the forms filled out correctly and copies of them.
  • Your original passport and a copy.
  • Proof of the reason to request a NIE number (employment contract, motgage contract, etc).
  • Colour passport picture and a proof that you paid the taxes of the NIE number.
  • For non European citizens, you must also to bring your visa with and a copy.

4. Receive your NIE number:

After your application has been processed, you'll be issued with an NIE number. This number will be printed on a certificate, which you'll need to keep safe and use for all administrative and legal purposes in Spain.

Conclusion: Getting an NIE number in Spain may seem like a daunting task, but it's an essential step if you plan to live, work, or do business in Spain. By following the steps outlined above, you'll be able to obtain your NIE number.