Spain Explained

Can I apply for an NIE number online, in person or by proxy?

Spanish bureaucracy can be complex and unfortunately, you can’t apply for an NIE number online. However, with a helping hand, applying for an NIE is simple. 

If you are moving to Spain or have any economic, professional or family connection with the nation, you will need to apply for a Número de Identidad de Extranjero, or an NIE – which is a Foreigners’ Identification Number. Similarly to a National Insurance number, your NIE number is an all-purpose identification number for taxes and social security, but specifically for foreign nationals. 

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You need your NIE number for a number of administrative purposes, including purchasing property or a vehicle, opening a bank account, or arranging utility payments. Therefore, it is essential that you obtain your NIE as soon as possible when you relocate to Spain. In this article, we explain how to apply for your NIE number.

If I can’t apply for an NIE online, how do I do it?

With so many government services available online these days, it’s likely to come as a surprise that you can’t apply for an NIE online. However, if you’re emigrating to Spain, you shouldn’t let this worry you. With the correct guidance, applying for your NIE is quite straightforward.

How to apply for an NIE in person

Many people will apply for their NIE in person when they arrive in Spain. You can do this at a National Police station in your region. You’ll need to book an appointment and bring all the relevant documentation that day. To apply for an NIE at a police station, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Proof of appointment
  • A completed EX-15 form.
  • Your passport and a photocopy.
  • Two passport-size colour photograph.
  • Photocopy of any document that can support your NIE application, for instance, proof that you’re purchasing a property. Non-EU members will also need to present flight details in and out of Spain, and stamped travel Visa on your passport. 
  • Payment of government fee using a 790 NIE application form.

However, requirements can vary according to region and even town hall so double-check the requirements with your local police station before attending.

Alternatively, if you need your NIE ahead of arriving in Spain, you can apply in person at a Spanish Embassy or Consulate. You’ll need to book an appointment with them and bring the appropriate documentation.

Applying by power of attorney

If you are unable to apply in person, you can authorise a third party to apply for an NIE number in your name. For this, you need to create a power of attorney or poder notarial document. In this document, you will nominate a trusted person to represent you in certain transactions such as the purchase or sale of a property, or indeed, an NIE application. To create a power of attorney, an official letter must be signed in the presence of a notary, which letter will include a legitimised copy of your passport as well. You can arrange this at the Spanish Embassy or a local public notary. Finally, it is validated by the Foreign Office who will stamp it with the seal of the Apostille of the Hague.

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Get a helping hand

Spanish bureaucracy can be challenging, especially if Spanish isn’t your first language. However, if you’re wondering, “how long does a Spanish NIE number last?” you’ll be relieved to hear that your number stays with you for life. At Ábaco Advisers, we can assist you with applying for an NIE number both in person or through power attorney. Although the process is a little more complex than it would be if you could apply for an NIE number online, there’s nothing to be anxious about – Ábaco Advisers is here to help every step of the way. Contact us today and we’ll be in touch shortly.

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14 comments

Zeb Banks

31 January, 2020 9:42 pm

I will being buying a property in mainland Spain this year but prior to that my wife and I will be spending a month in Lanzarote. Is is possible to apply for a NIE number there or will I have be in mainland Spain.
TIA
Zeb Banks

Oscar Paoli

5 February, 2020 2:00 pm

Hi Zeb Banks,
Of course you can apply for an NIE number in Lanzarote as long as you book an appointment in advance and complete all criteria to obtain an NIE number.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Cat D

7 July, 2020 1:50 pm

I have bee trying since the beginning of the pandemic to phone the Spanish Consulate in London as I am unable to book an NIE appointment online. When I do get through all I get is an automated message. Are there simpler ways to get this NIE number? Could my friend living in Spain do it for me if I fill in all the necessary documents? What is the way forward?

Oscar Paoli

7 July, 2020 3:38 pm

Hello there,
You could arrange a power of attorney for your friend in Spain to arrange all necessary documents in Spain.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Helen Bridges

4 August, 2020 11:17 am

If I have a NIE number but canocate the form do I still need to get a firm or can I just use the number?

Oscar Paoli

4 August, 2020 9:25 pm

Hi Helen,
If you have the number you can use it for many different matters, but in some cases like purchasing a property or buing a card the authorities will want to see an original document.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Vanessa Hunt

11 August, 2020 11:49 am

Could you possibly help us obtain a nie number
Regards Vanessa

Oscar Paoli

11 August, 2020 12:09 pm

Hi Vanessa,
Yes of course, please contact us at info@abacoadvisers.com or call us at 0034966703748 and we will be happy to assist you.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

gaynor

12 August, 2020 10:22 am

Hello please can you advise on me giving power of attorney to a solicitor in Spain,,to obtain NIE number can it be used criminally, to access my estate

Oscar Paoli

12 August, 2020 10:41 am

Hi,
You can limit the power of attorney only to the obtention of your NIE number and for a specific period of time. If you do so they will not be able to access any other information such as accounts or estates.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Kelvin

19 September, 2020 9:17 pm

I need to obtain an NIE before relocating to Benidorm, as I need it prior to renting a property, open a Bank account for my utility bills etc, however I’m unable to get through to the Spanish Embassy in London to see if I get one there first? as I don’t have the flexibility/ time at the moment to just go out to Benidorm to sort this out, any advice would be most appreciated. Is it possible to get them through yourselves without physically going to Spain ?

Oscar Paoli

21 September, 2020 7:56 am

Hi there,
You could arrange an NIE number without coming to Spain via a Power of Attorney or Proxy. With this Power of Attorney or Proxy you could give a thir party, such as Ábaco Advisers, the possibility to obtain your NIE number at the Police in Spain.
Should you be interested in this service please do not hesitate to contacta us at info@abacoadvisers.com and we will be more than happy to assist you.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Jennie

24 November, 2020 11:46 am

HI, thank you for this information, very useful. I am looking to apply for an NIE number in Spain for employment purposes. I will need this ASAP, and as you said I would have to go to a local police station after arrival and present my documents. I would be moving to Barcelona, however I have a friend in Malaga. If I go to Malaga first, obtain the NIE number there, is it valid for use anywhere? Alternatively, if I do not go to Malaga, and do this process in Barcelona, how do i book an appointment at a police station in Barcelona? thank you

Oscar Paoli

24 November, 2020 12:40 pm

Hi Jennie,
It does not matter where you apply for your NIE number as it will be valid all over Spain.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers