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.
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.
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.