Get your Foreign Identification Number (NIE) in 6 steps

28 May 2018 0 Comments Category: blog, expat guide


If you just landed and need to open a bank account, you´ll need a it. If you are here to study, work, buy or sell property or even apply for a business permit to set up a business or get a driver´s license, you won´t get anything done without it.

We´re talking about the NIE, a Spanish tax identification number, assigned by the Spanish authorities to any foreigner. Keep reading to learn how to get one and how it works.

The NIE, short for Número de Identificación de Extranjero (Identification Number for Foreigners), which is unique and personal. It always starts with an X, followed by 7 numbers and a letter and is required for all resident and non-resident foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain, regardless of whether you are a European citizen or from a non-EU country.

You´ll need it to pay taxes too, both income and annual wealth tax, known in Spain as Patrimonio. In other words, getting your NIE is something you should sort out as soon as possible. All you must do is follow these guidelines.

But keep in mind that regulations in Cataluña might differ from those in Andalucía, for example.

What do I need it for?

You will need the NIE for all paperwork relating to: housing, city registration, social security, financial affairs such as opening a bank account, utilities (electricity, water, gas), and to obtain a driving licence.

Here at Caser, we’ll guide you step-by-step through the process of obtaining the NIE.


  1. Currently, you can apply for an NIE on the grounds of financial, professional or social reasons. Three types of application are permitted:
  • Those submitted in Spain by the person concerned
  • Those submitted in Spain through a representative
  • Those submitted in the country of origin at the official consulate
  1. Those submitting the application from Spain may do so via the police or the Guardia Civil
  2. To do so, you should request an appointment in advance in order to get all the necessary paperwork together.

Click here to select the province where you will be living.

  1. As in your case, applicants from the European Community should select the “EU Certificates”


  1. For the NIE to be issued, the following documents must be provided:
  • A copy of the official (EX-15) application form, duly filled out and signed by the expatriate. The application form is available to download HERE
  • Copy of full passport, travel documents or registration card, or ID card if the applicant is an EU citizen.
  • Communication detailing the financial, professional or social reasons justifying the application.
  • All foreign public documents must be legalized beforehand by the Spanish consular office with jurisdiction having been granted in the country of origin in which the document was issued.

NB: documents being presented from other countries must be translated into Spanish or co-official language of the region in which the application is being submitted.

All documents from other countries should be translated into Spanish or the co-official language in the region in which the application is being submitted

  1. In the event you are applying from your country of origin, please send all relevant documentation to:

Comisaría General de Extranjería y Documentación

Dirección General de la Policía

Calle General Pardiñas 90

CP 28006 Madrid


Please be polite. We appreciate that. Your e-mail address will not be published and required fields are marked.