February 13

What is a “NIE”? What do I need it for? What do I need to do to obtain it?


A NIE is a Número de Identidad de Extranjeros which, translated, means “Identity Number for Foreigners”. This number appears on all documents issued in Spain.

An NIE number is needed to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Register with social services and arrange receipt of social security benefits
  • Be paid for employment
  • Pay taxes
  • Use short-term employment agencies
  • Apply for a business permit and start a business
  • Apply for a driver’s licence
  • Arrange credit terms or a mortgage
  • Buy, sell or insure property
  • Applications for an NIE can be done at a national Spanish police station (comisaría) that has a Foreigners’ Department (Oficina de Extranjeros)

The following documents are required:

  • An application form, the NIE para residentes en el extranjero (form EX14), filled out and signed
  • Receipt for payment of the fee, stamped by the bank
  • Identity card or original passport and photocopy
  • Two passport photographs


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