NIE number: How to apply4 min read

If you’ve never been to Spain, or only on holiday, you have probably never heard of it. The NIE number. If, on the other hand, you have been in Spain for a longer period of time. Or more likely, you are looking for a house in Spain. Then you know what it is and how difficult it is to obtain one. That is why we have listed everything below.

What is a NIE number?

The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) number is a citizen service number. Therefore, you only need to apply for the NIE number once in your life. But in Spain you really can’t live without it. For all official acts you need a NIE number. Examples are:

  • Buying and selling real estate;
  • Entering into a rental agreement;
  • An employment contract;
  • Buying a telephone subscription; Ordering online and purchases above 2000 euro.

How to obtain an NIE number?

There are three ways in which you can apply for a NIE number:

  • The Spanish consulate in your home country (processing time: approx. 12 weeks)
  • Through the local police or policia local, this is the local Spanish police (costs about 10 euros but is an administrative maze)
  • Via an external company/person who helps you (a bit more expensive, but saves a lot of stress)

The Spanish consulate

There is the possibility to do it at the Spanish consulate in your home country. This is not the quickest solution as the consulate sends it to the Aliens Police in Madrid. This process can take up to 8 weeks. Do you choose this option? Then these are the documents you need:

Via the local police

Despite being the cheapest way, this is also the way that will give you the most grey hairs. Since it is a Spanish administrative maze. The steps are explained below.

You can make an appointment via the website of the policia local. The site is in Spanish, but the steps are not difficult. First they ask for the province where you want to make the appointment. At the next step you choose the option “POLICIA-ASIGNACION DE NIE”.

Then it is useful to bring all the documents they need, to avoid having to go back unnecessarily. This can make it take even longer. The documents you need are:

  • Fill in this form (the EX15) twice.
  • Also fill in this form (Model fee 790 Code 012) and decide how you are going to pay (€9.84)
  • A valid identity document (Original and one copy)
  • Passport size photos (colour)
  • Why you need a NIE number. For example, buying property in Spain.
  • A printed confirmation of your appointment.

Once you have gone through all these steps, you can click through and you will be taken to the page where you plan your appointment. It is possible that (NO HAY SUFICIENTES CITAS DISPONIBLES) will appear, then there are currently no appointments available. Please try again on Monday morning at 8 o’clock or at 00.00 o’clock in the evening. That is the time when new appointments are made.

When everything is finished you will get an e-mail with the appointment confirmation. Print this out. Without this confirmation you will not be helped at the police station.

The appointment itself is not very complicated. As long as you bring all the necessary documents with you. It is important not to be late, the police will not wait for you. Then you have to pay the fees at the bank. When that is done, you go back to the policia to confirm the payment. 

You may not receive your NIE number immediately as applications are usually processed later in the day. If this is the case, you should go back in the afternoon to pick it up.

Via an external company/person

There are various companies (which charge a fee) that help you apply for a NIE number. A reliable company for this is Euro Economics Barcelona. Do you need a NIE number in Tarragona? Then we can put you in contact with a service office. (Look at the bottom of this blog.) You provide them with the documents they need from you and they will take care of it. Not the cheapest option, but the least stressful. For the documents you provide yourself, you go to the notary. This costs approximately €50. This is in addition to the price. 

Need a NIE number in Tarragona? Service office NIE number Tarragona


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