NIE number in Spain

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Are you planning to buy a house in Spain? Then a NIE number is necessary. JM Real Estate Consulting Spain explains in this blog more about the NIE number and how to obtain it.

NIE number: important for all your financial issues.

If you want to buy a house, rent a car or take out a telephone contract in Spain, you need a NIE number. Without this number you cannot go anywhere! Obtaining a NIE number can sometimes seem like a hassle, but fortunately it is not – even if you don’t speak Spanish!


What is a NIE number?

A NIE number in Spain is an identification of foreigners living in Spain. It stands here for “Número de Identificación de Extranjeros”. Whether you come to live permanently in Spain or want to buy a holiday home, a NIE number is necessary. You can apply for a NIE number in different ways and fortunately you only have to do this once. This number is and remains your personal identification number in Spain.


Why do I need a NIE number?

If you wish to stay in Spain for more than three months, you should apply for a Spanish NIE number. This is proof that you are legally residing in Spain.
Without a NIE number you cannot build a life in Spain, because you need one to:

  • Do tax returns in Spain
  • Buy a house in Spain
  • Buy a car
  • Rent a house in Spain through official channels
  • Work in Spain
  • Taking out an insurance policy
  • Opening a Spanish bank account
  • Studying at a Spanish university

In short, you need a NIE number for all official acts in Spain.

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Who needs a NIE number?

Anyone who stays in Spain for more than three months and:

  • Will be working in a Spanish company
  • Is doing a paid internship
  • Works as a self-employed person or freelancer in Spain
  • Visiting a friend or acquaintance for a period longer than three months.

If you are not coming to Spain for any of these reasons and are staying less than 90 days, it is not necessary to apply for an NIE. And we strongly advise against it, as it takes a lot of time to make an appointment, as you will read below.


How can you apply for an NIE number?

Through the Spanish Embassy in your country

You can apply for a NIE through the Spanish Embassy in your own country. Preferably do this well before your departure to ensure that your NIE arrives on time. It can sometimes take up to eight weeks before you receive your NIE! Whereas the NIE document was previously valid for only 3 months, it is now valid indefinitely. If you have a document with an expiry date on it, we recommend you go to the Comisaria de Extranjeros. You will then receive a new NIE document without an expiry date. The NIE number of course remains the same, as it is personal.

Through an appointment in Spain

In Spain, you can only visit us by appointment.

  1. Make an appointment at an Oficina de Extranjeros near where you are staying.
  2. Download the forms Modelo 790/código 012 and Modelo EX 15 and fill them in.
  3. Go to a bank with the completed Modelo 790 form and pay the fees.
  4. Take the completed forms (Modelo EX 15 and Modelo 790) to the Oficina de Extranjeros. Do not forget to bring your passport.
  5. In many cases you will receive your NIE number immediately or you can collect it after a few days.


Third-party assistance:

You can also choose to have JM Real Estate Consulting Spain arrange your NIE application. This saves a lot of time and stress. For the application of a NIE number we charge 85,- €, but you will get the following in return:

  1. JM Real Estate Consulting Spain makes an appointment for you.
  2. We fill in the necessary forms for you.
  3. We go with you to the appointment.
  4. Within ten minutes you are outside again, with the guarantee that your NIE application has been approved.

Frequently asked questions about applying for a NIE number:

Can I apply for a NIE number without an appointment??

In principle, this is not possible. Especially after the Corona period you can only visit the police station with an appointment. At the larger police stations in Spain, you may find that you can just walk in to apply for a NIE number, the best chance of this is very early on a Monday morning. You will need to have fulfilled all requirements in advance. The procedure remains the same in all cases, whether you apply for a NIE number with or without an appointment.

Is it possible to apply for a NIE number from abroad?

Of course, you can also apply for an NIE number abroad. This can be useful if you know well in advance that you are going to buy a house and want to arrange everything quietly from your home country. You can do this through the Spanish Embassy in your home country.

You will need to go through the same steps as above and take the same forms with you (filled in and printed out). The difference is that it can take up to eight weeks to receive your NIE number. Keep this in mind when you are arranging your departure to Spain.

Do I always have to apply for a NIE number myself?

When you do not feel like applying for the NIE number yourself, you can ask a lawyer (abogado) or a gestor (legal assistant) in Spain to do this for you. He or she knows exactly how to go about it and he or she knows the people and the mentality. This can save a lot of time and stress. Of course, you will pay for the lawyer’s work. It is up to you whether you think the cost is worth it. Some lawyers or gestors claim to have good contacts at the police stations to arrange faster appointments. But never assume this!

I don’t have a Spanish address yet. What should I fill in on the form?

On the NIE application form it is important that you fill in a Spanish address. Ask your estate agent, future employer or your friends if you can use their address if you do not have a permanent residence yet.


Do you have any questions about applying for an NIE number? Please feel free to contact us. JM Real Estate Consulting Spain will be happy to assist you in the application of your NIE.

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