Our simple, quick guide to Número de Identificación de Extranjero or your NIE. Simply scroll down to find out more…
NIE: a white certificate bearing a number. The letters stand for Número de Identificación de Extranjero, i.e. Foreigners Identification Number.
The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is the identification number in Spain for everyone who is not a Spanish citizen. It is the counterpart to a DNI for Spanish citizens. Both EU citizens and non-EU citizens get issued a NIE. The NIE is not a fiscal residency identification; you can have a NIE and be fiscal resident in another country.
Who needs an NIE in Spain?
1. Any foreigner who becomes resident for tax purposes in Spain needs an NIE number in Spain.
2. Any non-resident foreigner who buys property in Spain. If a couple buys a property in Spain together, and they register the property in both their names, then both of them must obtain an NIE number in Spain.
3. Anyone who wants to work in Spain, or start a business in Spain.
N.I.E. is an abbreviation, which translates as Identification Number for Foreigners, or Foreigners’ Identification Number if you prefer. The number itself is made up of an initial letter followed by seven digits followed by a verification letter. The initial letter is an X before July 2008 and a Y afterwards. It is issued by the National Police of Spain.
The NIE is your all-purpose identification and tax number in Spain. You need it for everything that involves a trámite or official process in Spain. For example, you will need an NIE number to buy a property, buy a car, get connected to the utilities and, most importantly as far as the Spanish state is concerned, pay your taxes.
An NIE can be applied for in three ways:
- Present the application in Spain personally, in which case proof of being legally in Spain and documents which justify the reasons for having the NIE.
- An accredited representative in Spain with the correct legal powers, either general or specific, can make the application on behalf of the ´person making the application, and requires documents which justify the reasons for having the NIE.
- Applications made in a Spanish diplomatic mission or consulate located in the country in which the person making the application is domiciled, requiring the documents which justify the reasons for having the NIE.