How to get your Spanish NIE in 5 easy steps
NOTE: The procedures for getting a temporary NIE changed in February, 2018. This blog post has been updated to reflect these changes.
If you are coming to Madrid and want to 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.” In the past you were required to have one to open a Spanish bank account. However there is now some flexibility in this. For example, we have a contact that opened an account in February, 2018 at Caixa Bank without a NIE.
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.
If you are elsewhere in Spain, this link tells you where to go in different cities: Oficinas de Extranjería in other Autonomous Communities. 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) Make an appointment
In the past, you could get a NIE at the police station at Calle San Felipe, 7 without an appointment. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. YOU NOW MUST HAVE AN APPOINTMENT. Furthermore, the appointment will be at Brigada Provincial Extranjería. This is located at Avenida de los Poblados, 51.
Click here to make the appointment: Appointment for NIE (use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox).
When you open the page, choose these options:
- Click the red box that says “Acceder al Procedimiento”
- Choose “Madrid” from the dropdown menu, then click “Aceptar”
- Click “Aceptar”
- From the dropdown menu, select “CNP- Asignación de NIE,” then click “Aceptar”
- This page tells you everything you need to know, if your Spanish is good enough to read it. If not, scroll down, click “Entrar,” then make sure you read the rest of this blog after you book the appointment
- Click “Pasaporte,” then enter your first and last name, year of birth, your country of nationality, check the box verifying you are not a robot, then click “Aceptar.” If you don’t speak Spanish, have Google translate ready because when it verifies you are not a robot, it asks you a question and you have to click all the photos that apply.
- Click “Solicitar Cita”
- Click “Siguiente”
- Enter your phone number, then your email address twice
- Choose your preferred appointment time (you get three options and five minutes to choose between them so have your appointment book handy and stay focused!)
- Click “Siguiente” and then OK
- Click the box before “Estoy conforme con la información mostrada en pantalla.” If you want an email verification of the appointment (trust us you do, just in case), click the box before “Deseo recibir un correo electrónico con los datos de mi cita en la dirección que he proporcionado,” then click “Confirmar”
And that’s it! You have an appointment. Your love affair with the Spanish bureaucracy has just begun . . .
2) 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 4.2, check the first box: Por intereses económicos. Below that it asks you to specify. Write “Get a Spanish bank account (Obtener una cuenta bancaria).”
- 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
- Check the following box (actually it’s a little circle): Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) a instancia del interesado. Once you do this, the form will auto fill the tax amount (9.54€).
- In the localidad box, write Madrid
- When you finish, download and print it
3) Go to a bank and pay the relevant tax
Walk to the counter, with the form. Be ready to pay, in cash, 9.54€. 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- you will need it later! Word of advice for the future: never throw away a form issued to you by the Spanish bureaucracy. Ever.
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!
4) Go to your appointment
After you walk through security, turn left. At the end of the courtyard you will see the entrance to the building. Go to the right and wait in line. They allow people to enter in batches. Make sure you bring the following:
- Your completed application
- Your paid tax form
- Your passport
- A copy of your appointment confirmation
- If you are an EU citizen, your national identity card
Tips: Prepare all your paperwork in advance, don’t forget your passport and be very positive. Also:
- If at all possible, speak some Spanish. Don’t expect anyone there to speak a word of English.
- Stay open minded and positive
- Remember, you will receive a temporary Spanish NIE number. Permanent ones are tied to your Spanish residency permit. If you are an EU citizen and want to stay in Spain more than three months, you need to obtain a Certificado-UE. This will require proof of health insurance, a copy of your work contract or proof you have the financial means to support yourself (at least 600€ per month), your EU identity card, a completed form and proof you paid the tax. Click here to learn more about obtaining a Certificado-UE. If you are not an EU citizen, you will need to apply for a residence/work permit. There are many types of these.
REMEMBER: If you purchase Spanish property in excess of 500,000€, you will automatically get Spanish residency through Spain’s Golden Visa program. CONTACT US TODAY to learn more about this.
5) Collect your Spanish NIE card
After five days, go back to Aluche and collect your card. You do not need an appointment for this. When you clear security, this time go to the left. This is a special line, just to collect your NIE. Bring the paper they gave you when you submitted your application and your passport. The best time to go is around 18h.
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.