A Guide to Getting Your NIE Number in Spain

Many people who are looking to come to Spain to live, work, study will by now have heard those three little letters, ‘NIE’, and some may associate this with difficulties and frustrations. However, it doesn´t have to be this way. This article will aim to give you a step by step guide on how to get your NIE number and the best ways to do this.

Do I really need the NIE number?

The simple answer if you are planning to live here, is yes. There are many reasons you need an NIE number in Spain but here are some of the most common reasons you will need one, if you are planning to stay here for an extended period of time:


  • To apply for a bank account (some banks)
  • To apply for a driving licence or to buy a vehicle
  • To inherit assets or properties in Spain
  • To register for a Social Security Health Plan
  • To legally work and to pay your taxes
  • To set up a company or start a business
  • To buy, sell or insure a property or to purchase any asset over €3,000

Step 1 – Filling in the application form:


  • This can be very difficult if you cannot read in Spanish, so if you have any associates or willing and generous Spanish friends, make sure to ask them for help. You are able to pick this form up at police stations which have a foreigners office (oficina de extranjeros) but it is easier to print it out before hand as it will reduce your waiting time later on.  On the government page it is called the EX – 15 Solicitud de Numero de Identidad de Extranjero NIE y Certificados. Click here to find the form to download, print and fill in.
  • If you cannot find English assistance and are unsure about what exactly all of the points are, click here to find a version in English. (Please note, this is only the translated version of the form and should not be used as the actual form. The Spanish form is the only form that should be used for this).

Step 2 – Make an appointment with the foreigner’s office.

it is crucial that you book an appointment online beforehand, as otherwise it may be very difficult to get one. Follow these steps in order to make an appointment online. Firstly, click on this link which will direct you to an official government website. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the button “Acceder al Procedimiento”.

Click on this link and you will be directed to the appointments page:

  • In PROVINCIAS DISPONIBLES choose which is relevant for example Barcelona
  • In TRÁMITES DISPONIBLES PARA LA PROVINCIA SELECCIONADA choose Certificados UE (if you are from the European Union), or Toma de Huellas (expedición de tarjeta) y renovación de tarjeta de larga duración if you are from outside the EU.
  • Click Aceptar
  • Once you have been directed to the next page, scroll to the bottom and press Entrar.
  • Now you must fill in your information. The first thing to do is to select Pasaporte and enter your passport number
  • Nombre y apellidos = name and surname
  • Where it says por favor, rellene el código de la imagen enter the numbers or letters you see
  • Click Aceptar. 
  • You will be directed to another page where it will give you three options, at the bottom. Choose Solicitar Cita  and you will be directed to the page with the available appointment times.

Step 3 – Prepare all the necessary documents 

This can be one of the processes that leave people most frustrated. When applying for the NIE number, there are a number of forms that you will have to have in order to obtain it. Make sure to avoid any frustrating encounters with the office staff by meticulously checking over your documentation and being sure that you have everything you need. Here is a list of the documentation you should have before going into the office:

  • Current valid passport (minimum 6 months) and photocopy of the passport or European Union ID card.
  • Completed NIE Form (EX-15 Form)
  • Documentation providing information as to why you need the NIE number and you’re your intentions are. In the majority of cases it is:
    • Documentation proving you’re going to have a property or large assets in Spain e.g real estate, a car, etc
    • Your employment contract (if you’re working) and a letter from your employer proving this
    • A certificate of company ownership showing you are self employed
    • Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself if you´re not working
    • An acceptance letter from the relevant institution (school, college, university)
    • If you are currently searching for a job, you will only be issued with a temporary NIE number which is valid for three months. If you are able to find employment within this three month period, you will be able to apply for the permanent NIE number.

Please note – members from non-EU states will need additional proof of legal entry into Spain (this can be a landing card also known in Spanish as a declaración de entrada)

  • NIE application fee €10,60 (as of 2016)

Step  4: Go to the relevant offices with all documentation.

Click here to find a list of the regions of Spain. Select the region you are looking for and you will find a list of all Oficina de Extranjeros (foreigners offices) in your area.

Normal Opening hours (may vary depending on the region):

  • Monday to Thursday from 9h to 17h30
  • Friday 9h to 14h
  • Summer (June 16th to September 15th ) from 9h to 14h
  • A word of warning once you have your appointment, make sure to bring something to read as these offices are renowned for having outrageous queues, which can move at a snail’s pace. Also, aim to get there as early as possible, as there are always many people wanting to get hold of their NIE.

Step 5: Be patient and wait

After you have submitted all of the correct documents and have waited for your appointment, you will then have a meeting with someone in the office. This person will check over your documentation and application form, and will then present you with a form you will have to take to a bank and pay for. This is the fee of €10.60 and can be paid the same day. If you have time, you can go back to the office and show proof of payment and then they will issue you your card, but if you don´t have time it can be done the next day.

Apply for NIE number before you come to Spain

There are other options if you want to apply for your NIE before coming to Spain. These range from going to a Spanish consulate in your country, or using a specialized agency which will use a power of attorney to organize your application. Carbray is able to organize everything you need for your NIE in this case, and is able to assist your application to save time and hassle. It doesn’t have to be so complicated!

If you have any other problems or queries about the NIE number in Spain, our dedicated team is happy to assist you. Enquire today for a free consultation and the best advice with how to obtain your NIE number.

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