NIE in Spain: 5 important things you need to know
N.I.E.:” Número de Identidad de Extranjeros” (Foreigners Identification Number) is a tax identification number in Spain. The Spanish government have linked the NIE Number to your residence, whereas the NIE Number on the tarjeta de residencia (residence card) is linked to social security in Spain.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT THE NIE IN SPAIN
If you are living in Spain, you probably already knew this. However, there are some important parts of the NIE that you probably do not know:
1. EU citizens do NOT get a Spanish NIE just like that
Unless you own a property in Spain, or live in Spain as a resident, you cannot get an N.I.E. number.
Because the Spanish Government thinks that you only need a NIE if you are:
1. A foreigner who becomes resident for tax purposes.
2. Any non-resident foreigner who buys a property in Spain. If a couple buys a property in Spain together, and they register the property in both their names, then both of them must obtain a NIE number.
3. Anyone who wants to work in Spain, or start a business in Spain.
2. Not to be confused with T.I.E. EU citizens CANNOT get a TIE
NIE (Foreigners Identification Number) and TIE (Foreigners Identity Card) are two very different things that are often confused by foreigners who benefit from them.
TIE is the title that enables you to legally reside in Spain and NIE is the identification number that has been assigned to you for that purpose.
WHY CAN’T I GET A TIE IF I AM A EU CITIZEN?
To understand this, we must make a brief reference to the EU Registration Certificate of Citizen. It is compulsory to be registered for EU citizens who wish to reside in Spain for more than three months (Art. 3.3 del Real Decreto 240/2007, de 16 de febrero, sobre entrada, libre circulación y residencia en España de ciudadanos de los Estados miembros de la Unión Europea y de otros Estados parte en el Acuerdo sobre el Espacio Económico Europeo).
In any case, if you are a EU citizen, you do not need a TIE. Why? Because as an EU citizen, your IDENTIFICATION DOCUMENT is your national ID or Passport. So, since you are an European citizen, you do not need a TIE.
3. Tired of that GREEN SLIP OF PAPER that is supossed to be your NIE?
I am sorry to say you must “tough it out”. I know, your NIE is worn out. It does not even include a picture of you and in some cases it includes an expiration date (usually after 3 months). However, nothing could be further from the truth. As an European citizen, your NIE number does not have any expiration date. In fact, your NIE cannot be renewed or, rather, it doesn’t need to be renewed if you are an EU citizen.
Regardless of whether officers and staff members only ask you to show this document you must always accompany it with your passport or national ID.
BRITISH CITIZENS: if you do not have a Spanish citizenship, all the situations above may change after Brexit.
4. Is NIE necessary for EU citizens then?
The Foreigner Identification Number, or NIE, does not allow you to get a resident status in Spain, but it is necessary for all kind of things such as records, official accreditations and also for economic or professional interests.
- Do you want to work in Spain? You need a NIE
- Do you want to buy or rent a property in Spain? You need a NIE
- Do you want to open a bank account in Spain? Most Spanish banks ask you to have a NIE
5. Still without a NIE? Here is a quick guide on how to get your NIE
A.- Applications must be made in person at the local Police in Spain (“Extranjería” Departments) where you have or have the intention to purchase a property / shares, or where you have any economic or commercial interests.
One of the services that Expat Agency provides is applying for NIE numbers for expatriates. Please, contact us if you need further information.
B.- The Spanish Consulate General does not issue NIE numbers. It only acts as a “courier” between the applicant and the competent Police Authorities in Spain.
● Current valid passport (minimum 6 months) and photocopy of the passport or European Union ID card.
● NIE form, filled in (if possible typed, in black ink and capital letters), but not signed.
● 9€ for the fee, payable either in cash, postal order or cheque.
● A stamped self-addressed envelope with which to return the certificate by post.
● Copy of any document you may have to back up your application.
C.- If you would like us to do this process for you, you can authorise us to apply for it (either in Spain or at your Consulate) on your behalf by granting us the Power of Attorney.
November 4, 2016 @ 6:42 pm
You CAN get an NIE without being a property owner or a resident. You are obliged to get one if you stay in Spain for more than 3 months and for the purposes of car purchase and registration.
September 10, 2018 @ 3:58 pm
Hello Mr. JAVIER,
Myself Mr. Asif Vohra, an Indian Narional, and Founder of CENSURED, i have obtained NIE in the year of 2016 but it was issued on A4 size paper, but i want to change it to Card. Please advise.
I also need some infirmation on my permanent residence procedure. I shall be viaiting spain in this month 3rd week. (i frequently travel to spain on short term visitor visa).
For your kind reference, i possesed below documents:
2. NIF ( I have registered one company in 2015, currently no transaction in it)
3. Bank account (Caixa Bank)
September 11, 2018 @ 7:57 pm
I believe you just have the Indian citizenship, so you have a non-EU passport. Therefore, you would need to apply for a visa or a resident permit depending on your current situation and regardless of your company from 2015.
I hope it helps.
November 20, 2018 @ 5:31 pm
I am a British national. I lived and worked in Spain for the past 2 years (Sept 2016-June 2018) and I have my NIE certificate and residency (green card). I left Spain and went back to the UK to live, and now I am coming back to Spain in January. Is my NIE certificate and residency still valid or do I need to renew? If I need to renew, do you know how I would do this?
Many thanks in advance.
November 20, 2018 @ 6:37 pm
Unless you do not leave the card at the police and inform them you are leaving, the card is still valid and running. Only after 5 years, you can apply for a permanent one.
March 1, 2022 @ 11:17 pm
I lived in a Spain from 2015-2016 and obtained an NIE number (on the small paper green credit card size) I moved back to the UK and am still here now. I am looking to move back to spain – will my NIE still be valid?
March 2, 2022 @ 1:25 pm
You need to apply for the new TIE for UK Nationals. Having that certificate there should not be any issues unless they notice you were not in Spain for the last years through the system.
If you want us to assist you with this, please let me know.
May 4, 2022 @ 6:41 pm
I have the credit card nie/residencia issued in 2012. I lived in Spain continuously until 2019 when I left to take care of a sick relative and then became stuck because of covid. Am I entitled to come back to live in Spain
May 11, 2022 @ 7:36 pm
When holding an old EU residency certificate in Spain (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la UE) as a British citizen, the only one way to know if you can exchange it for a new residency card (T.I.E.) is applying at the police. Their system usually let them know if you are considered as a resident or, instead, they have several evidences you have not been living in Spain for the last years.
Best of luck,
February 21, 2023 @ 2:27 pm
Hi. I am a British student on my year abroad in Spain with a short-term (90 days) student visa. I never got a TIE or a NIE because I was told that I was not eligible for them (or that it was unnecessary) with my visa type. However, I am now hoping to stay in Spain for a further 3 months with an Internship visa but in order to apply I need a NIE number. Can I still apply dspite having been in the country already for 3 months without one?
February 23, 2023 @ 6:43 pm
You will never be request to apply for a T.I.E. (residency card) for a student visa that doesn’t last more than 12 months, indeed.
Therefore, it is correct.