Spanish ID Number for Foreigners (NIE)

Basic Information about Spanish NIE’s

The NIE is a tax number that identifies foreigners in Spain. It’s used to register them with the federal, regional and city governments. In English it means ‘Foreigner’s Identification Number’ and in Spanish ‘Numero de Identificación de Extranjero’ (NIE). It’s needed to hire utilities, internet service, accept employment, attend school, pay taxes, buy property, etc. 

Two Types. One NIE is for citizens of the European Union (EU), and some other European countries, who intend to live in Spain. The other type is for everyone else.

A. EU Citizen or Resident NIE. It’s on a document called a ‘Registration Certificate’ (Certificado de registro como residente comunitario). It’s a small paper card with the person’s name and NIE written on it. Only citizens of the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland, who plan to reside in Spain for more than three months, can apply.

Remember, EU Citizens already have the right to live and work in Spain, however, they need this certificate to obtain the NIE.

B. Non-Resident NIE. This is a piece of paper with the person’s name and NIE written on it. It’s for two sets of people:

1) Citizens of the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or Switzerland, who do NOT plan on living in Spain for more than three months during any 365-day period.

2) Everybody else such as all non EU-citizens including Americans like me. This NIE only allows you to do certain acts in Spain; it does NOT allow you to live or work here. If a non-EU citizen wants to live legally in Spain, they must go through the immigration process and obtain a Residence Permit (Visa). We work with a Spanish immigration attorney, contact us for questions.

How Do I Get a NIE

A. EU Citizen (Resident) NIE. You apply for an EU registration certificate at a police station (comisaria) in the Spanish town where you live. You’ll need the following documents. It’s a long list because you will be living in Spain. You can also apply at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your resident country.

1) Copy of the Appointment. You request an appointment online and, if made, you’ll receive a confirmation. You’ll need to show this at the police station.

2) The NIE Application and a copy on form EX-18

3) Your Passport and a copy

4) Your Empadronamiento Certificate. This is issued by a City Government Office in the neighborhood where you live.

5) Health Insurance. You can proof this in one of two ways:

a) Show you have a job contract in Spain, or are registered as an autonomo (free-lance) worker in Spain. If so you are enrolled in Spain’s health program.

b) Submit a full-coverage policy from a private company, preferably one in Spain. We can recommend one.

6) Money. A bank account that shows the funds listed below as of July 2017. A Spanish bank account is preferred.

a) 5,136.60€ for the applicant

b) 8,732.22€ for the applicant plus one dependent

c) 12,327.84€ for the applicant plus two dependents

d) 15,923.46€ for the applicant and three dependents

6) Dependents. If you apply with a non-Spanish spouse or non-Spanish child(ren), you must show:

a) Your Marriage Certificate

b) Spouse’s Passport

c) Child’s Birth Certificate or Passport

B. Non-Resident NIE. You apply at the Spanish Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) in your town or city. You can also apply at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your resident country. You submit the following documents. It’s a short list because you won’t be living in Spain.

1) The NIE Application and a copy on form EX-15

2) Your Passport and a copy

3) A notarized letter from a Spanish Notary Public explaining the reason why you’re requesting a NIE

I Need Help Getting a NIE

Like any bureaucratic matter, the procedure can be complicated and time-consuming. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Mark Carr at [email protected] or 664 665 365.

70 Comments on “Spanish ID Number for Foreigners (NIE)”

  1. Is it possible to get an NIE number/card while in the U.K.? In other words, how can you go about obtaining a notarised letter from a Spanish Notary Public as indicated in B. Non-resident NIE. Thanks.

    1. Frances, Yes you can get a NIE number at the Spanish Consulate in the U.K. You have to ask them if they require a notarised letter from a Spanish Notary Public (carta de motivo). If required, they can issue it themselves. You might ahve to show them the pre-sales (arras) contract. The consulates have their own rules and they change frequently. Thanks.

      1. Hi Mark,
        I’m a Spanish citizen resident in the uk for 25yrs. I used to have a DNI card which expired many years ago and I was told in Spain when I tried to renew it that I no longer needed it as I lived in the uk and have a Spanish passport.
        Recently my mother passed away and I now need to have a NIE but am unsure of what I must do in London to acquire it. Could you please let me know exactly what paperwork /forms I need to apply for one and how to go about it?

        1. Ana, You will have to contact the nearest Spanish Embassy or Spanish Consulate. I know there’s one in London. Otherwise you’ll have to hire a Spanish attorney with experience in this. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Mark

  2. Hello,
    can a non-EU citizen with N.I.E. number to stay in Spain for more than 90 days? Thanks

    1. Senka, I’m not a Spanish immigration attorney. You should talk to one for this question. I can tell you that citizens of the USA can only stay in Spain for 90 days. Having a ‘non-resident’ NIE does not allow them to stay longer. To stay longer they must go through the immigration process and obtain a visa and concurrently a ‘resident’ NIE.
      However, other countries might be different. Thanks.

    2. Hello, I’m from the Middle East and I’m trying to apply for the NIE. Basically I’m planning to buy a property this year, but the EX-15 form asks for my address in Spain, which I don’t have. Unfortunately, the counslate here is irresponsive to get my concerns verified… Do you have any idea if it’s ok to leave the address part unfilled, and where can I get a notrized letter. Can it be done online?

      1. Abdul, To apply for the non-resident NIE, needed to purchase property, you must get a letter from a Spanish notary explaining why you need a NIE; in this case to buy property. The notary needs proof you are buying property. So you must show the notary that you signed a pre-purchase contract to buy (called an arras contract). Then the notary can issue the letter. Then you attach the letter to the EX-15 form and apply for the NIE in person in Spain or at the consulate in your country. For an address, you can write your home country address. You are not a resident of Spain so it doesn’t have to be a Spanish address. And you don’t need to show health insurance or money in the bank. You can’t do this online. I do it for my clients who want to buy property all the time. First you need to find the property and sign a contract to buy it. I’m in Barcelona. If you come here I can help you with it all. Mark

  3. Hi,
    I’m American and want to rent a house in Ibiza. I only have my normal 90-day entry as a tourist. Is it possible to get an NIE number for the time that I will stay in Spain?

    1. Lyla, The type of NIE you can ask for is called a ‘non-resident NIE’. To get one, you need a reason and it must be proven by a ‘carta de motivo’ (letter of reason). I get NIE’s for people who want to buy property and the reason is to buy property. So first I need to know why you need a non-resident NIE. If it’s to rent the house, then the owner has to draft a letter saying that he/she requires a NIE to rent the house, etc. Then you fill out a form and apply with the local police station in Ibiza. I’m not sure what they require to be written in the letter. I suggest you contact a local NIE expert or Spanish immigration attorney. Best of luck.

  4. Hello, I am an African married to a spanish. I have lived here in spain with my wife for 3years. My NIE is 5yrs. It is left with 2 yrs to expire. Do I qualify for a Spanish passport and DNI?

    1. Dear Sir, If you are married to a Spanish citizen you probably qualify for an immigrant visa. Please contact a Spanish immigration attorney for more information. Thanks.

  5. I have been a Spanish resident for 20 years and already have an NIE number and an up to date residence permit. For identification I usually offer my driving licence which is always accepted. However, when I no longer drive and my licence expires, can I continue to use this card for identity or must I apply for something else? Thank you for your help.

    1. David, You should use your NIE card for identification, if you have one. If not you should apply for one. I would contact a NIE specialist such as Thanks.

  6. Hi Mark
    As a British joint owner of an apartment for over 10 years with a non- resident NIE, am I eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship to maintain my freedom of movement in a hard Brexit? I don’t have any Irish family links…

    1. Chris, You should talk to a Spanish immigration attorney with direct experience. I can tell you that holding a British passport should allow you to apply for a resident NIE. You need to buy health insurance and show money in the bank (about 5k€). Being an owner of property isn’t relevant. You should move fast to avoid Brexit. Best of luck.

  7. Hi Mark,

    For a British citizen who has overstayed the 90 days and not got a residencia certificate what is the punishment (if any), Would we be denied access back into spain once we have left or is there usually a fine and how much are they?


    1. Dear James, Please contact a Spanish immigration attorney who specializes with British citizens. Thanks.

  8. Hi,

    I have moved from the UK to join my husband here in Spain, I’m currently living in Barcelona, my husband is a Spanish citizen so I am thinking to apply for a residence through marriage, I have been trying to get an appointment in Barcelona but there are none available, so I am wondering if I can book the appointment in another city (for example Madrid or Tarragona)? even though I reside in Barcelona?

    Thank you so much for your help


    1. Mel, Thanks for your message. Please contact a NIE specialist or better a Spanish immigration attorney. The NIE’s rules change continuously and you need someone who specializes in it. Best of luck.

  9. Hi. My student visa expired last week and I just got an appointment at the police station to file for my NIE card. However since winter break is coming up, I wanted to know if I could travel around Europe specifically from Barcelona to Paris without a NIE card and an expired visa. Can I still come back to spain after that?

    1. Rina, Please contact a Spanish immigration attorney. They will need to see your visa, passport, etc., and ask you some questions before they can say yes or no. It’s important to get professional advice. Best of luck.

  10. I would like to register SL company here in spain and i have my NIE and residence but i want to include one more partner from india so for company registration he need NIE so is there any lawyer who can help us to get NIE from spain and he can give power of attorney from consulate in india. Please let me know if anyone can help. Thanks

    1. I would have to refer you to the Spanish attorneys I work with.I’ll be in touch. Thanks.

  11. Hello

    I am from philppines but now i am here in barcelona and my wife was a spanish citizen
    . And i want to apply for may nie id
    But my wife dasn’t have a job . Do You think that there is a possible way for me to get a NIE id?
    Thank you and i hope that you can answer me ..

    1. Dear Sir,

      Thank you for your message. I think you can get a NIE. Since your wife is a Spanish citizen, she can file papers to immigrate you so you can get a visa with the NIE number. You should talk to a Spanish immigration attorney. I’m a property advisor and do not practice in immigration. You might also try the website They are specialists in NIE’s: Best of luck.

  12. HI Mark,
    I’m looking to buy in Inland Andalucia in about 3-5 years (I inherited my Moms’ home and the will is still in probate & I will be selling her home) I want to buy a home for Cash.I’m American, 64 and have a U.S. BF of 64 also.We do not intend to work since we both have SSDI which can be bank transferred every month.We are on Permanent Disability.Do you suggest Married couples are better treated since I understand we will need an temporary NIE to buy property and start a bank acct.I don’t want to get stuck in a lease forever as I’d rather buy and move-yes with about 50% of my furniture (I have a vast Mid-Century furniture collection) by freighter and we will also travel by freighter since we hate to fly.Once in Spain I won’t be traveling outside of Spain -we just want to get out of the U.S. I know we will need to get private insurance and we want to bring our cats as well.I own property in the Netherlands Antilles as well that I rent as well as a pension.Can you recommend someone in Inland Andalucia/Coin area (friends live there but from E.U.) The price of admission is quite high and can these monies be refunded when property is purchased or do they sit in an “Escrow” account.Since we don’t intend on going to and from Spain can we just get a temporary NIE ? We are moving there for our health and apart from Arthritis do not have ongoing health concerns or diseases. I’ve already done enough travelling since I lived outside of the U.S. for 25 years and was a French citizen.

    1. Dear Debbie,

      Thank you for your comment. You will need a NIE when you sign the deed for the property. Are you applying for a visa to live in Spain? If so, you NIE will be granted with the visa. Otherwise you must apply for a non-resident NIE. It’s to pay taxes on the property, but does not grant you the right to live in Spain. If however, you have a Fench passport, you are an EU citizen and can apply for a ‘resident NIE’ and do not need a visa. Much easier. You’ll need private insurance to obtain a resident NIE. Do you have a Spanish immigration attorney? You should start there, preferably one in the area where you will live. I don’t know of one in Andalusia. Further, you can normally open a bank account with just a passport. There is no escrow account in Spain. The deposit goes to the seller. They must sell or they have to pay back double the deposit. Best of luck.

  13. Hi there.

    I would like to know if I’m able to apply for an NIE as a 17 year old with my legal guardians living/working outside of Spain. I have an EU (Italian) passport and I would like to attend school in Spain.

    1. Enza,

      Thank you for your message. You should contact a Spanish immigration attorney. I specialize in real estate. Thanks again.

  14. I want to apply for Spain self employed visa, Can my uncle who resides in my home country sponsor me?

  15. Hi, my mother is living in LA… so I would like move her from US to Spain and get residence permit. She is 73 years old. Which possibilities/Options are realistic?

    1. Hovo, Your mother might qualify for a visa to live in Spain. However, it requires the assistance of an immigration attorney. I help people buy property in Barcelona. Please email me and I can recommend an attorney for you. Thanks, Mark ([email protected])

  16. Dear Mr. Mark,
    My case is, I am undocumented living here in Spain for 6 months now, am I entitled now to apply for the NIE since I am also contributing tax everytime I buy something from the stores. I am waiting for 3 years to process my legal documents here.

    1. Bryan, Thank you for your message. You should contact a Spanish immigration attorney to help you. You need a specialist. I help people buy property in Barcelona and I help them get NIE’s to buy the property, but I am not a Spanish immigration attorney. It’s a different area and can be complicated. Thanks again, Mark

  17. Hi Mark
    My husband and I along with my 25 year old Son plan to move to Spain within the next few months. We intend to buy a small property, take our x2 cars with us and our x2 dogs.
    We are looking to apply for jobs in the meantime but have been advised its always a good idea to get settled, a permanent base, then at least employers can see we are serious and there. I can see how to apply for passports for our dogs. I know we need ID in order to buy property, 30 days to transfer cars to Spanish plates and have an mot?is that right? my concern is obtaining the ID number. do we definitely have to go over to spain to get that and will they refuse if we haven’t already bought a property? although we need an ID in order to buy a property? we have funds to buy property but most of those will be used up when buying property but I can see there is an amount we should have in the bank account at the point of applying? can that be in there to apply then use it to buy property? its chicken and egg!! ideally just want to buy somewhere, having already applied for work – start as soon as we move over etc

    1. Shaz,

      If possible, you should apply for a Spanish ID number (called a NIE) at the Spanish embassy in your home country before you come to Spain. It’s easier than applying in Barcelona. You’ll need the NIE to sign the final deed for the property, and you might need it to register your car in Spain and other things. Here are some important points about buying property in Spain:

      Total Cost of Property. In Catalunya, add 12%-14% to the property’s purchase price to cover taxes (10%), notary, legal and other fees. You will need a NIE and a bank account in Spain. You just need a passport to open a bank account. I can help with this.

      Mortgage. Banks in Spain normally grant 50% – 80% of the purchase price. We recommend a service to help you with this.

      Property Search. You can see properties for sale at the websites below. Prices are normally inflated by 5 to 20%. Most of the best deals are sold before they are listed.

      Our Search Service. We look for unlisted properties through market contacts and send you details of six properties for sale. We visit three of them, alone or with you. We make a video and send it to you with advice.

      Our Purchase Service:
      Help you secure mortgage financing
      Due Diligence on the property, analyze its legal documents, its physical condition, etc. A local architect might be required.
      Resolve issues related to zoning law problems, liens on the property and property defects
      Negotiate the price
      Negotiate the sale’s terms in the pre-sales contract
      Prepare the deed with the notary
      Taxes. We provide general tax advice. For more complex tax issues, we work with a Spanish tax attorney

      Fees. Once we know more about your plans we can quote a fee. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks again.

  18. Hi Mark,

    I am living in Spain and I have a six months student visa (including the NIE number), I am doing the last semester of my master studies. However, I want to continue my Ph.D. studies in Spain. Do you think it is possible to renew the visa I am holding now or I should return to my country to apply for another visa?

    Thanks in advance,

    1. Yara,

      Please contact a Spanish immigration attorney or They have helped people in yur situation in the past. Baest of luck, Mark

  19. Hi, my husband and I have just obtained separate NIE numbers to buy cars via an EX15 form, we also want to apply for residency here in Spain as my father who is English has been a resident here for 13 years. Please can you advise if we will keep the same NIE numbers we have just been given to buy a car when we apply for residency or will we be given a different one. Many thanks. Karen

      1. Hello sir,
        I’m living in Spain for the past 2years now. I came from Italy but I’m African how can i get NIE

        1. Peprah, Thanks for the message. Unfortunately, I don’t specialize in NIE’s. I recommend you contact They might be able to assist. Best of luck.

    1. Dear Pressman, If there is no expiration date written on the piece of paper with the NIE number, then it has no expiration date.

  20. Hi,

    I would like to ask you a question concerning the NIE.
    I live now in Spain and my NIE will expire in some months. However, I need to return to my country to apply again for a visa with another job contract. In this case, I will have the same NIE or the NIE number will change?

    And is it possible to apply for another visa from my home country if I have already the NIE?

    1. Clara, Your NIE number never changes and it will not affect your ability to apply for another visa. However, regarding whether you may apply for another visa in your home country, you must speak to a Spanish immigration attorney. Spanish immigration law is tricky with deadlines and pitfalls. I recommend you seek a Spanish attorney specialized in immigration law and procedure.

  21. Hi a friend of mine has come here to a job, the company sorted out all her paperwork nie etc, what will her husband need to do and show to get a nie for himself?

    1. Is your friend’s husband from a EU country? Will he be living in Spain? If so he should apply for a ‘resident’ NIE. See below for the document requirements.

      Form EX18 (the application)
      Appointment confirmation
      Your original passport plus a copy of the photo page.
      A recently dated, signed and stamped bank statement in your name only that shows you have at least 5,164.60€ in the bank. This figure as of July 2017; it’s subject to change. If you have dependents the amount is higher. A local bank is recommended.
      Health Insurance. The policy must include ambulance, hospital and have no co-pay. You’ll need the full original policy, dated, signed and stamped by the insurance company. A local company is recommended. USA policies are almost always rejected. If you have a job or job offer, ask your employer if you have a work contract. If so, you should be enrolled in Spain’s public health system so you won’t need to show insurance. 
      Resident Registration (Empadronamiento) certificate. To get this you register as a resident with the city government (Ayuntamiento) in the neighborhood where you live. You must prove you live there by showing a signed rental agreement (lease) with a duration of at least 6 months and proof that you’re paying rent. They will check to make sure that the person on the lease is the owner of the property. If you don’t have a lease, go to the nearest Ayuntamiento and ask how you can prove your residence.

  22. Hi I have been living in spain for 30 years I am legally married to a spainish person but sprayed, I have children from another relationship and I need to get them identication papers but as they were born in spain and have never traveled they do not have passports, so how can I get them nie they have literally birth certificate and family book would this be anoth regards Julie

  23. Hi sir, I am a Nigerian with Job offer from Spanish employer but still presently residing in my home country.
    Do I need to get my Visa approved before for i can apply for NIE in the Spanish Embassy in my home country?
    Thanks for your response in advance.

    1. Dear Olatuja, The Visa should have the NIE written on it as they are granted at the same time. However, you can always apply for a non-resident NIE at the Spanish Embassy as long as you provide a good reason for why you need it. I would contact the Spanish Embassy in your home country for advice. Thanks. Mark

    1. If you applied at the police station on Rambla Guipuzcoa it should be ready the next day. It will be at the front desk, just show them your stamped application and passport. Make sure you paid the fee. If you applied at Extranjería on Pª Joan, it will be ready at the end of the week.

  24. Hi Mark, your page is a very useful guidance. I’m Hungarian, living in the UK for 15 years and now about to move to Spain for purposes of work. I still need to find a job though. I’m a bit confused whether to choose the EX15 or the EX18 form: I see the EX15 is easier to obtain in my situation, but it is the temporary one and I’m not sure if it is good enough for applying for jobs later? Surely I plan to stay longer than three months, and it seems applying for an EX18 could take me further, but as I don’t have a job prospect in sight at the moment, I guess I cannot apply for that? Could I have your advice on this please? Thank you.

    1. Dear Sir, Since Hngary is in the EU you can apply for a permanent NIE. You must have health insurance and about 5,000€ in a bank account. If you don’t have these things you can apply for a non-resident NIE, then a permanent NIE later. Many people do this. You can apply at a Spanish Embassy in the UK. It might be easier because in Barcelona it’s hard to get an appointment online. Thanks.

  25. Hello. Im confused. Please help. I’m a us citizen who has just married a Spanish citizen by birth. It took over 6 months to get permission to marry so I have overstayed my 90 day visit period. I now want to apply for residency. I know I need marriage certificate, Spanish health insurance, etc. I went to a bank which offered me insurance but the said i needed an nie number to pay for it through a bank account, I cant simply pay for it with my credit card monthly. I went online to register at the extranjero office for an initial appointment, no appointments available. I’m in Madrid, retired have great travel insurance and w visa letter saying insurance meets eu requirements. I just got married 2 days ago and am going to w as lm into an office tomorrow, hope it’s the right one. What can I expect? Thx

    1. Marshall, You should contact an immigration attorney in Madrid (abogado de inmigración). These immigration cases present a lot of issues and are time sensitive, thus require the assistance of an experienced attorney. I’m in Barcelona and don’t know an immigration attorney well enough in Madrid to make a referral. Best of luck.

  26. Hi how much money do you have to show for a NIE residence card in your bank account?I am from London UK ? Any help will be appreciated as am on the urge to do it this week

    1. The latest I have is:

      a) Need a statement from a Spanish bank, signed, stamped and dated. If it’s from a foreign bank you need a certified translation.
      b) The account must be in the applicant’s name only.
      c) Amount. As of July 2017, the balance must be:
      i) 5,164.60€ for 1 person
      ii) 8,780.22€ for 1 person and one dependent (special rules for students)
      iii) 12,396.84€ for 1 person and two dependents
      iv) 16,011€ for CL and three dependents

      (For updates see Ley de Presupuestos Generales del Estado)

  27. Hello good day Mr Mark.
    My name is Marcus i have be in spain for 6 months now, and i come through sea to spain. the question is that how can i get temporary NIE that allows me to do certain things in Spain

    1. Marcus, What used to be a temporary NIE is called the ‘Non-resident NIE’ and it’s no longer temporary. Where to apply for it depends on your home country. If you are from an EU country you apply at a Spanish police station (comisaria) and need to make an online appointment (cita previa) in advance. They’re hard to get as the system is overloaded. If you’re from a non-EU country you don’t need a previous appointment and it’s faster. I can help you with either one. The cost depends on where you’re from. Thanks, Mark

  28. Hello good day. My name is jomarie. I had NIE and it will expire on 2021. I live here in barcelona spain for almost 3 years. My husband is a spanish citizen. How to be a spanish citizen? What should i do to obtain the national card anyway i am from the philippines.thank you so much for your help

    1. Jomarie,

      I help people buy property. You should talk to a Spanish immigration attorney. You can try a friend of mine: Alessio Ricagni at: [email protected]
      He is an immigration lawyer. Thanks, Mark.

  29. Dina,

    Thanks for your comment. You can apply for a NIE at the Spanish Embassy in London and get it with your Romanian passport because Romania is in the EU. If you are coming to Barcelona, I can help you.

    There are two types of NIE’s: permanent and temporary. People normally apply for the temporary NIE first because it’s easier to get. Then buy the property. Then, when they are sure they will live in Spain for more than 6 months a year, they apply for the permanent NIE. Please see this page for more info.

  30. Hello my name is Dina , how can i get a NIE card in Spain?I live in London,I have a roumanian passport.I and my husband want to buy the house in Spain and we need this card.i waiting for your response,thank you.

  31. Hello,

    I am from the U.S. looking to immigrate to Spain. I would like to know if I need to show I have a VISA in order to apply for the NIE. My boyfriend is a Spaniard and we are going to file for pareja de hecho, so I will need an NIE. card. I know I can legally reside in Spain for 90 days without a VISA, and I will have to apply for my NIE within the first 30 days. This brings me back to my question. Is a VISA required for receiving an NIE card?

    Muchas gracias!!! 🙂

    1. Dear Amanda,

      Thank you for your email. You do not need a Spanish visa to apply for a NIE. You can get a temporary NIE that allows you to do certain things in Spain. All you need is a notarized lettter explaining why you need th NIE. Please call or email me for more details. Thank you.

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