The Foreigners’ Identification Number, NIE (“Número de Identidad de Extranjero”), is an identification and tax number required for every official processes ranging from buying a car or a property to paying your taxes in Spain. Without this NIE, Spanish authorities cannot process your annual tax payments (income and wealth taxes) which have to be declared by all property owners.
Who Needs a NIE and What Is It Required For?
All foreigners who become residents for tax purposes have to obtain a NIE in Spain. Also people who do not reside in Spain and who have bought properties on its territory must comply with the NIE request. Whoever wishes to work or engage in business activities in Spain has to acquire it as well.
NIE certificates are issued for a period of three months. After this amount of time, you are expected to register as a non-resident or apply for residency, because the certificate is no longer valid. In case you consider buying properties in Spain, you must have a NIE before the “escritura”, which means before you sign the documents for purchasing that property. You need to apply a month prior to your signing of the documents and two months if you apply through a consulate overseas. You can contact our attorneys in Spain for further details or counseling with regard to legal matters in Spain.
The NIE is needed for a number of operations, such as:
- opening a bank account;
- paying taxes;
- applying for a driver’s license;
- registering with social services;
- being paid for your work.
Applying for a NIE in Spain
A foreigner can obtain a NIE in Spain by following a few steps. First you need to submit the application form and then, if you are in Spain, you have to register with the Oficina de Extranjeros and file some papers, such as: the now-completed form, a document stating the reason why you need a NIE, copy of your passport etc.
To begin the process and get NIE in Spain, the initial step is to schedule an appointment for a specific day and time. If you are currently residing in Spain, it is necessary to obtain an appointment at the appropriate Police Station. Alternatively, if you are in your country of origin, you will need to make an appointment with the Spanish consular office. Note that securing an appointment can be a challenging task, so it is advised to initiate the process well in advance, ideally with a lead time of 1 to 2 months. To apply for the NIE in Spain, you will need to visit a notary and produce a notarized letter or statement that outlines the reason for your application.
After obtaining the notarized statement and appointment, you will need to bring all the required documents on the appointment day. The documents that are necessary include:
- Your passport, which must indicate that you have not exceeded the 90-day limit for tourist stays in the country;
- Evidence of payment for the relevant fee;
- The notarized statement or letter that specifies the reason for your NIE application;
- The NIE application form, EX-15.
If you are located in Spain and require more information or assistance with obtaining a NIE, our team of Barcelona and Madrid lawyers is available to provide guidance and support.
How to obtain NIE in Spain to buy a property
It is common for foreigners to purchase a property in Spain for investment purposes without intending to reside in the country. This means that the buyer does not plan to become a legal resident in Spain as he/she will not stay in the country for more than 183 days a year. In such cases, the buyer will need to apply for a specific type of NIE in Spain known as the NIE for non-residents or temporary NIE for the property acquisition process.
It is important to note that, if the value of the property is over 500,000€, the foreign buyer may be eligible for a golden visa, which provides him/her with a residence permit. This permit allows the buyer to live and work in Spain and even bring his/her family to this country.
Obtaining a NIE as a non-resident to buy a property in Spain is a straightforward process, similar to the usual process of getting the NIE number in Spain, and can be completed from within Spain or from your country of origin.
The initial step is to provide evidence that you have a valid reason to apply for this identification number. In this case, the intention to purchase a property is sufficient justification, but you must demonstrate that you are in the process of buying the property.
For this, you can provide either of the following:
- A pre-sales agreement that has been signed with the seller;
- A deed from a notary indicating your express intent to buy the property.
If you are interested in learning more about obtaining NIE for buying a property, please discuss this with our specialized real estate lawyers in Spain.
Differences between NIE and TIE numbers
NIE and TIE are two distinct documents that are frequently mistaken or confused with one another. Our Spanish lawyers can assist you in determining which document is appropriate for your particular circumstances.
The NIE number is a unique identification number assigned to all foreigners who have any legal matters in Spain. Any foreigner, whether residing in Spain or not, who has legal documentation to process in Spain, must obtain this number. The NIE also serves as the individual’s Spanish tax identification number.
The TIE Card is a physical identification card issued to non-EU foreign residents in Spain who plan to stay in the country for more than six months. TIE stands for “Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” or Foreigner’s Identification Card. Only individuals who are residents in Spain and intend to stay for more than six months are eligible for a TIE. The card contains the holder’s NIE number.
Our law firm in Spain is well-equipped to provide comprehensive guidance and support for obtaining both NIE and TIE numbers.
How long does it take to get NIE number in Spain
Typically, your NIE will be granted on the same day that you apply for it. However, the process of securing an appointment may take a bit longer.
It’s not necessary to renew the NIE itself. However, it’s important to renew your TIE (foreigner ID card), which can be done at the same location where you obtained it.
In case you need assistance in preparing the documents for NIE, our law firm in Spain can offer you complete services in order to obtain your certificate as soon as possible. With any other legal issues, feel free to contact our Spanish lawyers.