NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) or Foreigners’ Identification Number is an identification/ tax number which EU citizens (non-EU nationals need another type of ID called TIE) with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain are required to possess.
If you're staying less than 3 months, and not performing any financial activities, you don’t need a Spanish NIE number. However, even though you're an EU citizen, if you stay over 3 months you need to apply for NIE number. Regardless if you're planning on working in Spain or not!
Despite it being mandatory to have an NIE number, the Spanish authorities do not make the process of acquiring one easy. Seriously, do not be surprised if your application gets denied! That said, if stick to this guide, you should not have any problems in getting your NIE number.
What do I need to get an NIE in Madrid?
If you're not in Madrid this is something you need to ask about at the relevant office where you'll apply for your NIE number. For those of you that are in Madrid, you need the following to apply for an NIE number:
I am an EU citizen (or free to move within the EU) and I'd like to apply for NIE
Ok so I am going to talk you through the steps to obtain your Spanish NIE number. NIE appointment dates are a 2 week wait, so book now and then use the time to get everything into place.
Step 1. Request an NIE Appointment Online
- Click here to book your appointment online
- Under "Provincia Seleccionada", select "Madrid"
- In the next drop-down, select "policia-asignacion de NIE"
- Click "Aceptar" (it will bring you to the next page)
- For the document type, D.N.I is selected by default so click "passaporte"
- Fill out the required information (passport number, your full name, year of birth and country of nationality) and click on “Aceptar“
- Click to request your appointment "Solicitar Cita" and follow the instructions
Step 2. Complete the EX-15 NIE Application Form Online & Download
- Click the link for the EX-15 NIE application form. To help you, here is the NIE application form in Englishto but remember to only submit the Spanish version.
- Enter your data into the fields online and then print two copies of the EX-15 document.
- Make sure you tick "por intereses economicos" (even if you will be working as autonomo) and write "obtener una cuenta bancaria"
Step 3. Complete the NIE Application Fee Form Online & Download:
- Before going to your appointment, you need to pay the application tax fee (model 790 codigo 012) for the sum of 9,64 € (Feb 2019).
- Complete the 790 Código 012 form online with your personal data
- DATOS DE EXTRANJERO/A - just enter your passport no. where it says N.I.F./N.I.E.
- AUTOLIQUIDACIÓN - select principal and click the section labelled "Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) a instancia del interesado."
- DECLARANTE - enter Madrid as the localidad
- INGRESO - select to pay in cash ("en efectivo") as payment option and leave the IBAN data blank.
- Click "descargar impreso rellenado", a PDF will be automatically generated that you'll need to print and take to the bank to pay the fee (see step 4).
Step 4. Pay the NIE Application Tax Fee at a Bank
- Take your 790 Código 012 form to a bank (you do not need to have an account)
- This guide is for Bankia on Calle Mayor, but feel free to try another bank (Santander won’t let you pay)
- Pay in cash (no coins accepted but change is given in notes and coins)
- Walk into Bankia and use one of the 3 ATM machines on your right-hand side
- Follow the bank's instructions below(Instrucciones Pago Tasa Mod 790):
- Keep your receipt safe, it acts as the "stamp" for your NIE fee payment
- Note. If you had any problems with the previous steps, go into the bank. Take a ticket and wait to ask one of the members of staff to help you use the machine when they're free. It's better to go in the morning as Bankia customers are given priority, so you'll need to wait for help.
Step 5. Check & Prepare Your Documents Before Your NIE Appointment:
- Proof of appointment (printed)
- NIE-15 application (x2 copies)
- Receipt of tax payment made at the bank
- Passport (original and copy)
Step 6. Go to Your NIE Appointment
Double check your appointment location, but you should be going to the Comisaria Policia on Avenida de Los Poblados. The building is a large yellow complex with blue windows (everyone will be walking towards it).
Once you've gone through security, you will see a door with 2 queues of people outside. "Entrega Tarjetas" on the left, and "Toma Huellas" on the right. Don’t wait in the queues, just go straight to the main door and show the staff your appointment form. They'll direct you to the staircase on the right that'll take you to the 1st floor.
On the 1st floor, show your appointment form to the receptionist (a table immediately to your left) and you'll be directed to the correct application desk.
Now this is very important, from this point on, the less you say the better! You'll be asked why you want an NIE number so simply say that you need to open a bank account. Really you need it because you are here for more than 3 months and are following the rules, but the Spanish authorties don't seem to understand this. Many EU citizens have been sent away feeling perplexed! They probably won't, but if they do ask why you want a bank account, just say: "I'm here for a while and my bank charges me to withdraw money abroad". Nothing else, say you don’t understand!
If all is ok, the police will take your forms and write on one copy of the application a date and time (without explaining why). This is the date and time to collect your NIE number (usually a week later).
Step 7. Collect Your NIE Number
You nearly have the prized NIE number. Remember to bring your passport and copy of your application form. Don’t wait in the queues outside, just go straight to the front door as you did before and say that you have to collect your NIE (show them the form).
You'll be directed straight ahead, but do not join the main queue in the middle of the room, this is for something else. Look for a small sign to the left of the main front desk where the people are queuing, that says: “retirada de NIE certificados”. Walk towards it and there is a one-man desk hidden behind the cabinets where you'll be given your NIE number.
Simply hand over your NIE-15 copy and passport and you'll be given a piece of A4 papour containing your NIE number. Yes, all that effort and two trips for a piece of paper, so make sure you keep it safe! You'll need it for evertything from this point on and it is a good idea to take a photo of it.
NIE Application Summary
That’s it you should hopefully now have your NIE number which is the hardest part of moving to Spain. Should you now need to open a bank or register for social security etc. you will be able to do so.
If you manage to get your NIE using this guide, or you find something in the process is updated, then please do let me know, and I will update the blog. Remember to share this post with your friends and good luck in Madrid!