How to get your Spanish NIE in 4 easy steps
If you are coming to Madrid and want to stay for more than 3 months, open a bank account, get a mobile phone contract, buy a property or start a company, you are legally required to get a Spanish NIE. This stands for “Número de Identificación Fiscal de Extranjeros,” or “Foreigners Registration Number.”
Please be aware that the number itself is very different from getting a visa or residence permit. Simply, it is a number used for tax purposes, such as a US Social Security number. It can be obtained at the same time as residency, or before. In this article, we will explain how to get the number in Madrid. There are many other ways to get a Spanish NIE, but the following is the quickest and easiest based upon our experience.
If you are not in Madrid, ask your Spanish Consulate.
Or if you want a professional to make your move or property purchase easy, from helping obtain your NIE to learning how to get a Spanish mortgage as a foreign buyer, make an appointment today to speak with someone.
1) Go online and print the necessary Spanish NIE forms
You will need two forms: the Spanish NIE application and a tax form.
Spanish NIE application
Here is the NIE application form. Here are some tips for filling out the form:
- If you don’t have a second last name, leave the 2º Apellido field blank
- Section 4.1, check the first box: Número de Identificación Fiscal de Extranjeros (NIE)
- Section 4.3, check the second box: Comisaría de Policía
- Section 4.4, check the first box: Estancia
- Don’t forget to sign it
Here is the tax form (Get used to them if you’re planning on living in Spain! The good news is the taxes are usually quite cheap on these forms). Some tips for filling out this form:
- In the NIF/NIE (*) box, write your passport number. And don’t ask why they want your NIE on a form to pay the tax to get a NIE- just keep your eye on the ball! The Spanish Government sometimes works in mysterious ways.
- The Municipio and Provincia are both Madrid
- For Importe, write 10,90€
- Check the following box (actually it’s a little circle): Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) a instancia del interesado.
- In the localidad box, write Madrid
- When you finish, download and print it
2) Go to a bank and pay the relevant tax
Walk to the counter, with the form. Be ready to pay, in cash, 10.90€. Many banks only let non-customers pay taxes at certain times, usually early in the morning. Different banks have different times they let non-customers pay taxes so if one counter is closed for your transaction, try another. We’ve found Banco Santander to be the most flexible. After you pay the tax they will stamp your form. Keep this! Word of advice for the future: never throw away a form issued to you by the Spanish bureaucracy.
Many banks, including Santander and Bankia, let you pay taxes at their cash machines any time of the day. They are all a little different so if you need help, go into the bank and ask for assistance. If you are polite, smile a lot and are persistant you can (almost) always get someone to help you. Once you pay the tax the machine will print a receipt. Keep this!
3) Go to Calle San Felipe, 7 with your passport, completed application form and tax receipt
Our advice: GET THERE EARLY! No appointment is needed. It’s the one official place where you can obtain your Spanish NIE quickly. It’s official name is the “COMISARÍA GENERAL DE EXTRANJERÍA.” The closest Metro stop is Tetuán.
There might be a queue. Opening hours are from 9:00 to 13:00. We recommend getting there at 8:30. Make sure you bring your passport and 2 photocopies of its first relevant pages.
As strange as it might seem, they have neither a public phone number nor email address. However, you can get all your questions answered when you’re there (provided you speak Spanish).
Upong entering, tell them you would like a NIE to get a Spanish bank account. It’s the “secret password.” The Spanish Government is shockingly efficient when it comes to receiving money. Show them your documentation and you’ll get your NIE!
Tips: Prepare all your paperwork in advance, don’t forget your passport and be very positive. Also:
- If at all possible, speak some Spanish
- Stay open minded and positive
- Always ask for specific actions to solve problems that arise
- Remember, you will receive a temporary Spanish NIE number (which in fact will not change afterwards).
This number will suffice for all your needs, such as getting a mobile phone contract. If you need to obtain a permanent certificate, you will be given simple and specific steps at the office where you obtain your temporary NIE.
4) Get the final Spanish NIE card
Once you receive NIE, the number will never change, it’s permanent. However the temporary paper is valid only for 3 months. Within these 3 months you need to:
- Make an appointment to go to Calle Padre Piquer, 18 and get your final Spanish NIE card
- Go to a bank (with the appropriate form, of course) and pay a 10.50€ fee
- Go to Calle Padre Piquer, 18 on the day of your appointment with the form and fee receipt. You will receive your permanent Spanish NIE card. This is a green card, the size of a standard business card.
Remember, if you need professional help for your move or property purchase in Madrid, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you with things such as optimizing your apartment budget, learning the best neighborhood for your lifestyle, or learning what to be aware of when signing rental contracts.