The NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) or Foreigners’ Identity Number is a unique and exclusive personal identification number assigned to foreigners who have economic, professional or social interests in Spain.
Foreigners can apply in person to the Directorate-General of the Police, directly or through Spain’s consular offices abroad.
It is easier to obtain the NIE in the country of origin, preferably requested one to two months in advance. One only needs to contact the embassy and once the appropriate documents have been sent and the application has been processed, the NIE will be sent to your home.
To apply for the NIE in Spain, it is necessary to first arrange an appointment, both for citizens from inside and outside of the European Union.
The documents necessary for an NIE application for citizens of the European Union are the following:
- Proof of prior appointment
- Passport or identity document from your country of origin (copy and original)
- Form EX-15 of application for the NIE.
- The completed and signed Modelo 790-012 form.
For citizens outside of the European Union, in addition to the aforementioned documents, must bring a certificate of legal registration.
In addition to this documentation and depending on the particular applicant, one may have to present additional documents to justify one’s NIE application, depending on whether one is working, studying or training.
It is very important to bear in mind when presenting documents from other countries, that they must be translated to Spanish or the joint official language of the region in which one is applying.
Once one is in possession of all these documents, one may visit the Directorate-General of the Police or a Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjería) to have the application processed.