What is NIE and how to get NIE in Spain

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Alexey Nosovsky

A representative of the Legal Department at iWorld. Author of articles on Migration Law.

Update: 19 April 2024 5 minutes read
Landmark in Spain, a country where foreigners get NIE

The NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero, NIE) is an individual unique tax number for foreigners in Spain. With its help, the tax office can identify a citizen of another state. The code is required when buying real estate, founding a business, receiving a salary.

One can obtain NIE in Spain either in person or through an authorized representative at a police station on the territory of the state or at the consulate in the country of residence. For foreigners who do not plan to reside permanently in Spain, the validity of the NIE certificate is 90 days and may be extended. In this article, we will tell you about the procedure for obtaining an ID number in person and through a representative.

What is the NIE for

The NIE in Spain is required in the following situations:

  • purchase, sale, rental and insurance of Spanish real estate and vehicles;
  • opening a bank account;
  • business registration;
  • employment;
  • payment of taxes;
  • obtaining a Spanish driver’s license;
  • drawing up benefits;
  • signing contracts (e.g. for utility connections).

When a Spanish residence permit is issued, the tax identification number is automatically assigned to the foreigner and is indicated on the residence card. If a person needs to visit Spain on a one-time basis to carry out any economic transactions (buying real estate, for example), the NIE is issued separately in the form of a certificate on an A4 sheet.

How to issue an NIE

To apply for an NIE in Spain, the applicant must prove the economic, social or professional reason for requesting the tax number. When applying for an NIE with The Directorate-General of the Civil Guard in Spain, the station of registration or the immigration office, the foreigner must be legally present in the country. It is also possible to request an individual number from the Spanish consulate or embassy in the country of residence. When requesting an NIE through a representative, it is necessary to confirm that the representative has proper credentials.

Obtaining NIE in Spain

The procedure for obtaining an NIE in Spain consists of the following steps:

  1. Making an appointment. Registration is done through the e-office. The applicant must enter in the search box Extranjeria de Alicante cita previa and follow the first link, select the province, the office and the action that is requested (Asignacion de NIE). Then you have to fill in passport information, enter your email, phone number and the code that will be sent to it. When the registration is complete, the applicant will receive a confirmation email.
  2. Collecting the documents. During the period of waiting for the visit, you need to collect a package of documents and pay the state fee of 9.64 EUR (the amount is reviewed from time to time by the government).
  3. Submitting the documents. At the appointed time, the foreigner must come to the previously selected Spanish police station or immigration office with a full package of documents.
  4. Receiving NIE. The application processing time is up to 5 days. The certificate is sent to foreigner’s e-mail. To obtain the original paper version, it is necessary to visit a government agency in person.

List of required documents for NIE:

  • standard EX-15 form in two copies, filled in and signed by the applicant;
  • original and copy of the foreign passport;
  • document confirming the basis for requesting a tax number (contract of real estate purchase, for example).

In order to apply for NIE in the country of permanent residence (outside of Spain), the following documents are required:

  • filled out Form EX-15 (signed in the presence of a consular officer);
  • original and copy of the foreign passport;
  • document confirming the reason for requesting the tax number;
  • completed Form 790-012 for the payment of the fee.

After submitting the documents, the applicant will receive a receipt indicating the time when he/she can come to collect the NIE, and an email will be sent in addition. Anyone with this receipt can pick up the certificate without prior authorization.

NIE through a power of attorney

The Spanish legislation allows to make an NIE through a power of attorney. A foreigner needs to make a power of attorney to a specialized lawyer or gestor (a person who performs actions on behalf of another person) and send him/her a copy of his/her passport, certified by a notary. You can certify the document in Spain or in your home country; in the latter case, an apostille is additionally required. It is more reliable to certify copies at the Spanish consulate.

How to check NIE

The NIE is a sequence of letters and numbers. The first letter can be X (for numbers issued before 2008), Y or Z, followed by a unique combination of 7 digits and a verification symbol.

You can check the correctness of the sign on the NIE by the calculation algorithm:

  1. The letter is replaced by a number: X by 0, Y by 1, Z by 2.
  2. The resulting number is added to the remaining 7 digits.
  3. The result is divided by 23.
  4. The result of division in the range from 0 to 22 is matched to the letter by a special table. This is the check character.

NIE validity period

Similar to the TIN in the CIS countries, the Spanish NIE is assigned once and has no validity period. However, the certificate, which is issued to a foreigner, is valid for 90 days, then it must be replaced. After renewal, the document will contain the same combination of letters and numbers as the previous one.

Renewal and replacement

If the NIE is lost or expires, you can request the certificate again. The procedure is similar to the initial issuance of the document, the package of necessary documents is the same. The cost of renewal is 7,17 EUR (the amount is reviewed from time to time).

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