You’re always going to need a NIE

You're always going to need a NIE

: POLICIA NACIONAL: Responsible for issuing NIEs Photo credit: CNP

YOU can’t do much in Spain without a NIE.

The abbreviation means Numero de Identificacion de Extranjero (Foreigner’s Identification Number) and whether Brexit has excluded you from the European Union or if you are from an EU member country, you’ll still need a NIE.

Without a NIE it is impossible to buy, sell or rent a property, work, buy a car or a mobile SIM card, pay utility bills or open a business, amongst other things.  Even the Amazon delivery person is likely to ask for your NIE and not your name before handing over your parcel.

How to go about obtaining a NIE?

First make an appointment at your local Oficina de Extranjeros or the nearest Policia Nacional station.

This can be done in person or online on the official website (in Spanish only).

Choose the province where you live, click on Certificados UE” for EU residents, or “Expedición de tarjeta de identidad de extranjero” if not, before completing the form.

Next, download the Modelo 790 / código 012

and Modelo EX 15 forms.

The government website kindly provides an English translation for Modelo EX 15 but emphasises that this form is NOT valid when applying for a NIE.

Take the completed Modelo 790 form to your bank, pay the €9.84 fee and get a stamped receipt.

Complete Modelo EX 15 and keep your appointment at the Oficina de Extranjeros or Policia Nacional station, taking the original of this form and a photocopy as well as Modelo 790 and the receipt.

You will also need to take  your passport, plus a copy of the passport’s biographical data page

Depending on the municipality or region where the application is made, your NIE number could be ready immediately or you might need to return a few days later.

If this is all too daunting, or if your Spanish isn’t up to it, get a Gestor to do the legwork and, although the process is in-person, you can authorise someone to collect your NIE.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at