What does NIE mean?
NIE stands for "Número de Identidad de Extranjero" (Foreigner's Identity Number). In other words, it is the tax identification number for foreigners in Spain.
What is the NIE for?
The NIE is a document that will allow you to prove that you live legally in Spain and, therefore, to be able to carry out any contractual activity in Spanish territory, among others:
- Buying a home in Spain
- Buying a car in Spain
- Taking out insurance in Spain
- Opening a bank account in Spain
- Doing your tax return in Spain
In other words, if you are thinking of living in Spain, you will absolutely need the NIE to take any step in the right direction.
How do I get the NIE?
There are several ways to apply for a NIE. We explain the quickest ways if you are already in Spain or if you are still in your country of origin.
Method 1: From the Spanish consulate in your country of origin.
The common method of obtaining the NIE is through the Spanish consulate in your country of origin. If, for example, you are from the United Kingdom, you will need to go to the Spanish consulate in London.
You will need the following documentation to obtain the NIE at the Spanish consulate:
- Valid and valid identity document (copy and original)
- Form 790 Code 012
- Document EX-15
- Photocopy of passport in colour
Once the fees have been paid and the application has been made, the consulate will inform you of the next step, which is normally to send these documents to the General Office of the Aliens Police in Spain and wait a few weeks for them to send us by post the precious NIE and proof of non-residence in Spain.
Consulate of Spain in London
Spanish Consulate General
20 Draycott Place
London SW3 2RZ
Method 2: Granting a power of attorney to a legal advisor in Spain
If you are in Spain, the power of attorney is the easiest way to obtain the NIE. Basically, it consists of granting legal validity to a legal advisor, gestoría or lawyer to act on your behalf before a notary. Not only can you grant a power of attorney to obtain the NIE, but you can also grant it for the contract of sale of a property. It costs around €100, depending on the notary's office.
Method 3: Going to a police office in Spain
If the Power of Attorney is the simplest method, going to a police station in Spain to obtain the NIE is the cheapest method, but perhaps the least straightforward method, because of the typical bureaucracy involved.
The 3 steps to follow in this method are:
Step 1: Paying the tax at the bank
Before you make an appointment at the police station, you must fill in the following form Model 790 Code 12. You will need it to make the payment at any bank. Use it to go to any bank to pay the tax. Fill in your personal details and tick ASIGNACIÓN DE NÚMERO DE IDENTIDAD DE EXTRANJERO A INSTANCIA DEL INTERESADO (ALLOCATION OF FOREIGNER IDENTITY NUMBER AT THE INSTANCE OF THE INTERESTED PARTY.)
The amount will appear at the bottom of the page. The fee is adjusted annually, but for your guidance, in 2022 the fee is €13.05. Please indicate below the method of payment you wish to use and then download and print the document. Keep this form that you have now printed carefully, as it is one of the forms that you will need to hand in at your face-to-face appointment at the Police Office.
Step 2: Make an appointment online.
You can make an appointment to apply for a NIE at this link.
The form is only available in Spanish, but don't worry, here's a little guide on how to fill it in.
- PROVINCIAS DISPONIBLES (AVAILABLE PROVINCES): Select the corresponding province (e.g. Alicante). Click on OK.
- OFICINA (OFFICE): Choose the office for which you wish to make an appointment.
- TRÁMITES OFICINAS DE EXTRANJERÍA (PROCEDURES AT FOREIGNERS' OFFICES): Unless you wish to make an appointment for any additional services, you do not need to fill in this field.
- TRÁMITES CUERPO NACIONAL DE POLICÍA (NATIONAL POLICE PROCEDURES): Select Assignment of N.I.E. and press ACCEPT.
- Below is a list of all the documents you need to present on the day of your NIE appointment:
- Proof of the appointment at the police station (printed)
- Document EX-15. Print it out in duplicate, fill it in and bring it with you.
- Photocopy of complete passport, travel document or registration card, or identity card if you are a citizen of the European Union.
- Document MODEL 790 Code 012 completed and signed by the bank.
- A valid identity document: original and copy.
- Detail the reason why you need a NIE number. For example, acquiring a real estate property, staying in Spain for a period of time longer than 90 days or the relevant case.
- Select ACEPTAR.
- On the next page, fill in the information with your Passport, Name and surname, Year of birth and Country of origin, respectively. It is important that the details appear exactly the same as in your original passport, otherwise the NIE appointment will be cancelled.
- NOMBRE Y APELLIDOS (NAME AND SURNAME): Enter your name and surname as it appears in your passport.
- AÑO DE NACIMIENTO (YEAR OF BIRTH): fill in the year of your birth.
- PAIS DE NACIONALIDAD (COUNRTY OF ORIGIN): Enter your nationality.
- Click in ACEPTAR.
- On the following page, you can manage your NIE application appointments. As this is the first time we ask for it, we click on SOLICITAR CITA (REQUEST APPOINTMENT)
- Sometimes it happens that no appointments are available (En este momento no hay citas disponibles (No appointments available at the moment). In this case, we advise you to choose another police office or try again on a Monday morning at around 08:00, as this is when new appointments are usually scheduled.
- If appointments are available, select the desired date and click NEXT.
- Now confirm the appointment by ticking the checkbox I AGREE WITH THE INFORMATION DISPLAYED ON THE SCREEN. Also tick the checkbox to receive the appointment confirmation by e-mail I WISH TO RECEIVE AN EMAIL WITH MY APPOINTMENT DETAILS and click CONFIRM.
- Remember to print out the proof of the appointment, as without it you will not be able to obtain the NIE at the time of the face-to-face appointment.
Step 3: Go to the Police Station
It's time to get your NIE! With all the documents filled in, fees paid and appointment in force, go punctually to your face-to-face appointment at the Police Office of your choice.
It will not be a long appointment and you will normally be able to pick up your NIE within a few minutes.
It will be a short appointment and you will be able to pick up your NIE within a few minutes.