The NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) card is a crucial requirement for carrying out major transactions in Spain. It serves as your tax identification number and is necessary when purchasing a house, car, or even collecting mail on certain occasions.

This article provides detailed information about the NIE card in Spain, emphasizing its importance and explaining how to obtain one.

What is the NIE card in Spain?

If you plan to buy a property in Spain, your first step is to obtain an NIE or Número de Identidad de Extranjero. This is the individual tax identification number for foreigners, which is mandatory when completing significant financial transactions in the country. Having an NIE is not limited to property purchases; it is also required for buying a car or making similar major investments. Additionally, if you inherit or receive a property as a donation, having an NIE in Spain is necessary, and it is advisable for your relative to obtain one before the need arises.

It’s important to note that you don’t need to be a resident to obtain an NIE. Non-residents also require an NIE to purchase property and fulfill their annual non-resident tax obligations. Holding a bank account or engaging in official financial arrangements in Spain is impossible without an NIE. If you wish to become a resident, obtaining your NIE is the initial step toward obtaining your residency card, which involves providing further information about yourself, including income and health insurance details.

The NIE in Spain consists of a letter, followed by seven digits, and another letter (e.g., A-1,2,3,4,5,6,7-B). It displays your name, NIE number, date and place of birth, and nationality. However, it does not include a photo ID, so it cannot be used to confirm your identity. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to memorize your NIE as you will be asked to provide it on numerous occasions, especially if you reside in Spain.

How to obtain an NIE card?

Now that we understand the significance of having an NIE card in Spain, let’s explore how to obtain one. The processes may vary slightly depending on the region where your property is located, as autonomous regions have different expectations regarding requirements and procedures. However, there are general guidelines that apply regardless of your property’s location.

In Spain:

NIE Card Image

If you are currently in Spain or planning to travel there soon, you can apply for an NIE card in person. To do this, you need to book an appointment online at a National Police Station in your region.

The application form is known as the EX-15. You must complete this form, indicating the reasons for applying for an NIE in Spain, such as property purchase or inheritance. You will also need to present your identification document, such as a passport, and provide copies of the same.

Additionally, you should have two passport-sized photos, your Spanish address, and proof of payment for the administration fee, which is currently around €12. The fee can be paid at any bank using Form 790.

If you are applying for an NIE for a child, you will also need to present the child’s birth certificate (original document and an official translation into Spanish) or family record book, along with the valid passport or ID of the parent or guardian.

The processing time for obtaining an NIE can vary depending on the time of year and demand. Typically, you can expect to wait around two weeks, but during holiday periods, it may take longer. It’s important to note that the NIE in Spain does not have an expiration date; it remains valid for life.

From your home country:

It is possible to obtain an NIE card without being physically present in Spain. You can request one from the Spanish consular office in your own country. The application can be made either in person or through a representative with a power of attorney.

When applying through a representative, the representative must present a copy of their own passport along with a power of attorney document that grants them the authority to submit the NIE application on their behalf.

To create a power of attorney, you need to sign an official document in the presence of a notary, and it should be accompanied by a legitimized copy of your passport.

Do I need assistance to obtain an NIE card in Spain?

If you are in Spain and feel comfortable dealing with Spanish officials, it is possible to complete the process of applying for an NIE on your own. However, many people prefer to seek the assistance of a gestor or an individual who regularly handles such applications on behalf of others. In this case, either you or your representative will need to be present in person. It’s important to note that you cannot apply for an NIE online, despite certain websites implying otherwise.

Regardless of the approach you choose, having an NIE card in Spain is essential if you have interests in the country that go beyond being a tourist. If you require assistance or further information regarding the application process, it is advisable to seek professional advice.

We have helped a number of people obtain their NIE card and it is now part of the services we provide if required at Alendda Golf Property.