Calle de José Abascal 58, 2º Derecha. 28003 Madrid|Llámanos (+34) 91 564 32 94|

How to obtain a NIE number in Spain?

Are you a foreigner thinking of emigrating to Spain to embark on a new working adventure? Don’t have a European passport? In this case, you need to obtain the NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros), which will be your identification number in Spain.

Because, unfortunately, with a tourist visa, which is valid for three months, you cannot get a work permit. En este caso, necesitarías encontrar una oferta de trabajo en tu país de origen, y desde allí, iniciar los trámites para sacar el NIE.

Aware of the doubts that can arise, at Lawyers & Accountants we are going to tell you how to obtain the NIE in Spain through the different channels available, and we are at your disposal to accompany you throughout the process.

What is the NIE number?

The NIE is the identity number issued to foreigners, which is necessary for identification upon arrival in Spain.

The NIE number for foreigners does not change, and it will be the identification number until the definitive Spanish citizenship is obtained.

It is essential to carry out any bureaucratic or legal procedure such as buying a house, buying a car, setting up a company, looking for a job.

Likewise, applying for the NIE in Spain is the first step to get your residence permit, as the foreigner’s identity number does not allow you to live legally in Spanish territory for more than three months.

Difference between CIF, NIE and TIE

As mentioned above, the NIE or Foreigner’s Identity Number is a code for the identification of foreigners in Spain. This document is composed of a first initial letter – X until 15/7/2008, or Y, for NIEs assigned after that date), accompanied by seven digits and an alphabetical verification character.

On the other hand, there is the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero), which is the physical document that contains the identification data of foreigners: NIE number, photo and type of authorisation to stay or reside in Spain.

And finally, there is the CIF (Código de Identificación Fiscal ‘Tax Identification Code’), which was the name of the tax identification system in Spain for legal persons.

Who can apply for a NIE in Spain?

The NIE in Spain can be applied for by any foreign citizen, both from the European Union and from outside the EU.

NIE for EU residents:

Although EU citizens can work and live legally in Spain for more than three months, they need the NIE to carry out the above-mentioned procedures.

NIE for non-EU residents:

The NIE for non-resident foreigners from the EU allows them to carry out any formalities in Spain, but not to live there on a long-term basis. To obtain it, it will be necessary to justify the reason for the trip to the country, through a notary.

How to obtain the NIE in Spain?

The first step is to apply for the NIE, and you can do this in Spain or abroad:

Apply for the NIE in Spain:

At the Government Delegations and Subdelegations, through their immigration services and offices corresponding to the place where the procedure was initiated.

Applying for a NIE abroad:

At the diplomatic mission and consular post located in the foreigner’s country of residence, where the reasons justifying the request must be communicated.

Documents required to obtain the NIE for foreigners

  • Official NIE application form.
  • Identity card or passport, the original and a copy of all pages.
  • Passport photo.
  • Document certifying the reason for applying for the NIE.
  • Empadronamiento in the place of residence in Spain for EU residents. In the case of foreigners, proof of entry into Spain.

How long does it take to obtain the NIE?

Although it will depend on the availability of the foreigners’ office, in general, obtaining the NIE is quick, and sometimes it is even obtained on the same day that the application is submitted. What can lengthen the time it takes to obtain the NIE is the time it takes to make the appointment to make the application, which is currently approximately two months.

In short, the NIE is necessary to carry out any formalities in Spain and to start the process to obtain residency. Therefore, it is an essential document if you are a foreigner and you are planning to emigrate to Spain to work, establish your residence, set up your own business, buy a house, etc.

At Lawyers & Accountants we help you to obtain the NIE in Spain, and we will take care of all the paperwork for you. We will organise all the documentation, fill in the forms for you, accompany you to the Immigration Office and collect the NIE with your authorisation, without you having to worry about anything.

If you want to obtain the NIE for foreigners, contact us without obligation.