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.

This is where you go. Take the Metro, Line 5 towards Casa de Campo (if you’re coming from the center of Madrid). Exit left, walk up the hill and it’s on your left.


Click here to make the appointment: Appointment for NIE (use Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox).

When you open the page, choose these options:

  1. Click the red box that says “Acceder al Procedimiento”
  2. Choose “Madrid” from the dropdown menu, then click “Aceptar”
  3. Click “Aceptar”
  4. From the dropdown menu, select “CNP- Asignación de NIE,” then click “Aceptar”
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. Click “Solicitar Cita”
  8. Click “Siguiente”
  9. Enter your phone number, then your email address twice
  10. 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!)
  11. Click “Siguiente” and then OK
  12. 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

Tax Form

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!

You can pay taxes, such as the one needed to get your Spanish NIE, at many cash machines.

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 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.


Posted on 16 April, 2016 by Pierre-Alban Waters in Rent - Paperwork - Paperwork - Paperwork - Invest - Buy, New? Start Here


116 responses to “How to get your Spanish NIE in 5 easy steps”

  1. […] If you are trying to get an NIE appointment yourself, here’s a small piece of advice. Be willing to travel. We couldn’t get an appointment in the centre of Madrid, but being willing to hop on the Metro opened up some options. You can get your NIE at ANY office, and when you are in the appointment booking form, the drop-down menu for location often has more than one option. Also, keep trying at different days and times. As I understand it, different offices release appointments on different schedules. For further information, here’s the guide we used. […]

  2. […] office. For Madrid, this is the site to make an appointment, and you can also use this post from for more guidance on making the […]

  3. […] Identidad de Extranjero) is a Spanish Tax ID (equivalent to a US Social Security Number). They are easy to obtain, but you need to make an appointment to get one. As of this writing, it is difficult to get an […]

  4. […] you buy a rental property in Spain but do not reside in the country, you still need to get a NIE. CLICK HERE to learn how to get […]

  5. maryclare says:

    I don’t know your specific immigration status, but my guess is you first need to get a Spanish residence permit. Once you get that, it will have your NIE number on your identity card. People often confuse the two. A NIE is just a tax number, a TIE is your identity card (tarjeta de identificación).

  6. Melody Cordero says:

    Hello, I already have NIE from the Spanish Consulate in Manila, now I am in Spain and I want to get the NIE CARD, how can I do this?

  7. maryclare says:

    Good for you! Spanish banks drive me crazy as each branch acts differently.

  8. Justine says:

    I have done this today, the fee was £9.64 when I paid at the bank. I had problems with Santander who wanted me to have a NIE number for their system to work, so advised me to use my partners, so I went to Interbank they processed it with my passport number. When I got there I had to go upstairs to get the N15 processed, they required it in duplicate with a copy of my passport and the bank reciept, they also asked me to fill out a form providing the bank name and branch address I was getting the account with. Be prepared. I went on my on my own with my pigeon Spanish and I was fine.

  9. maryclare says:

    Yes you can, and just the documentation listed in the article. Good luck!

  10. Lynda says:

    If you don’t have a job here, it is still possible to get an NIE?
    Is there any documentation you need to show?

  11. […] also you do not exactly know what kind of consumption you will have. Moreover, if you do not have a Spanish NIE/TIE, you will not be able to enter into a long-term contract until you obtain legal […]

  12. maryclare says:

    Hi Elizabeth . . . We don’t help people with issues such as this. You can contact these people and say we referred you:

    That said . . . have you gone back and tried to retrieve your card? Or are you just having trouble getting an appointment? Because it sounds to me like you might have missed a step. Anyway, I advise re-reading the blog and/or calling BSI Services. Good luck!

  13. maryclare says:

    So happy it was helpful! Yes, your partner can pick it up for you. Make sure they bring ID (NIE/DNI or passport), and a copy of your passport. Good luck!

  14. Elizabeth Orwa says:

    Hi,I’m a Kenyan citizen seeking for a job applied and was a success later applied for an NIE number which was told was to take three months but the time has way passed can you assist me please?

  15. Sebastien says:

    Hi there, I completed all the steps above and want to say thank-you for providing such a clear and concise tutorial. Now I’m waiting a few days from now to return to pick up my NIE, but because I start my internship I won’t be able to; so I was wondering if my partner could take my form with the stamp and pick it up for me? Is this possible? Thanks again.

  16. […] A NIE is, essentially, your Spanish taxpayer ID. If you need to obtain a NIE, we suggest you read: How to get a Spanish NIE in five easy steps. […]

  17. […] A Spanish NIE (essentially a taxpayer ID number) is required to obtain a Spanish mortgage. If you don’t have one, we recommend applying for one right away as it can take a few days. For the most up to date information on how to obtain a Spanish NIE, read, “How to get your Spanish NIE in 5 easy steps.” […]

  18. […] If you don’t have a Spanish NIE, you need to get one before applying for a social security number, a health card or basically anything else. Obtaining a Spanish NIE still must be done in person. However, the process changed dramatically in 2018. Most of the information on getting a Spanish NIE that you find on the interent is currently very out of date. To learn the current way to get a NIE, please read How to get your Spanish NIE in 5 easy steps. […]

  19. Thanks, it is quite informative

  20. maryclare says:

    Hi Adey,

    That’s really good information- thank you. I renewed by NIE in February and then, it was fine to go pick up my new card at 18h. But they made a lot of changes recently so that’s good to know. Also helpful advice about the ATM. Glad BBVA was helpful- I will update the blog accordingly.

  21. Adey Merrett says:

    The NIE section of the station closes at 14:30, but the rest of the station is open until 19:00. This article is therefore incorrect that you should go at 18:00 to collect you NIE. This is based on my own experience towards the end of May 2018.

    As for banks and pr-paying the tax from. Bankia and Popular branches that I visited would not let me pay in cash or card and told me to go to a cash machine – which require’s the NIE number to complete it. The only bank that I found willing to accept cash was BBVA who were really helpful.

  22. maryclare says:

    The blog was very recently updated. Just last week someone successfully got a NIE following the steps and using the documents we linked to. Why do you not think the information “doesn’t line up anymore?”

  23. Morgan says:

    Great blog, very helpful! But the tax form seems to have channged and the information on this page doesn’t line up anymore.

  24. maryclare says:

    Two minutes- that’s great! Happy it worked out for you. Thanks for letting me know. And yes, the whole country basically closes for Semana Santa.

  25. Luigi says:

    I have just been at the police department, arrived before the time and they took all my documents and said I will get it after Easter (they close for holidays i guess). 2 minutes only and because I asked questions! (when you enter the building take the blue stairs on the right and then go to the info desk, nobody asked for my name or time)

  26. luigi says:

    eheheh! understand and totally agree! btw this morning at santander they havent allowed me to pay because i needed a nie ahaha so i went to bankia and after a loooong wait (there was no queue though) i managed to get the stamp etc to go to the cita this afternoon
    i m quite optimistic i survived berlin and amsterdam bureaucracy and i got to know things that the employees dont know 😉

  27. maryclare says:

    Hi Luigi . . . here are my answers:

    1) That’s for administrative purposes- leave it blank
    2) I would leave the whole table blank. They have those on most all the forms and I’ve never once filled one out.
    3) If you pay in cash you do not need to list your IBAN.

    And don’t worry . . . I have found that the best way to improve my Spanish is doing administrative tasks! But it’s a dangerous day when your Spanish gets good enough that you can offer up an opinion if a bureaucrat does something to annoy you (which will inevitably happen one day- haha).

  28. Luigi says:

    YEs, I think it is because I am Italian.
    By the way I have still just 2 doubts regarding 2 fields to fulfill that are not clear (I still have to practice the Spanish):
    1) Page 2 at the bottom: should I fulfiil the field of “Dirigida a:…”and if yes, what to write in all the fields?
    2) The table “ANEXO 1”: what should I write in Organo, Administración- and if needed on -Fecha de Presentación? (I will provide my passport)
    This is a little bit confusing me and also on the other form (Modelo 790):
    If I choose to pay “en efectivo” do I need any IBAN ?
    (I would obviously say no, but I wanna ask as a confirmation 🙂 )
    Thank you so much!

  29. maryclare says:

    You are most welcome Luigi . . . glad you managed to figure it out. Yes, it would be very helpful for you to post a comment. They recently changed the procedures and, as you will come to learn, there is often more that one way to do things where the Spanish bureaucracy is concerned, so any information/updates you have would be helpful for everyone! And agreed, better to wait on the social security number. In fact, I didn’t know you could even get one without a NIE. Perhaps it’s different for EU citizens? (I’m American and had to get my NIE/TIE first).

  30. Luigi says:

    Hi Maryclaire, thank you so much! I checked better and it seems that if I get the NSS before the NIE I will pay more taxes, so I think I will wait (I have a job already waiting for me 🙂 ). I discovered I can use the hostel address and I am fulfilling the form with it..I If you want I will post a comment after getting the NIE with all the things I had to do.

  31. maryclare says:

    Hi Luigi,

    1) No idea if the NIE application will accept a foreign address. I’d fill out two: one with your Dutch address, and then one with the address of your hotel or Airbnb when you arrive. Bring them both and ask which they want.

    2) Social Security number: Here’a blog post about it: The post makes it seem more complicated than it is. You can go to any SS office and just walk in, without an appointment. When I got mine three years ago (I didn’t write the blog post- the person who handled the blog before me did), it took me eight minutes, from the time I walked in the office until the time I left, with SS Number in hand. The Spanish Government is staggeringly efficient when it comes to pulling in revenue 😉

  32. Luigi says:

    Hello! thank you so much for this post, I am moving within a few weeks to work there and I got already the appointment for the NIE. I just have not understood if I can put my current address from the netherlands in this form because I am looking for a room in Madrid so I cant currently provide yet a spanish address. Another thing is how to get a Social Security Number as I have to provide it to my employers as well. Thank you so much for this blog and the help provided, very usefull!

  33. maryclare says:

    Working on it! The post was updated last month, but they recently changed the polices. So it’s only a couple weeks out of date, not “WAY.” I have emails out to the Oficina Extranjeria that I am waiting for a response for. And we have two people going to get NIEs this week. When we learn the results we will update this post. What I do know is you have to go to the Oficina de Extranjería at LOS POBLADOS S/N (Metro: Aluche) to get a NIE. You can no longer go to Calle San Felipe. You can make an appointment here: Select the item about getting fingerprints.

    The only thing I am waiting on is to see if they are indeed issuing temporary NIEs anymore- there is some confusion about this as (typical of the Spanish bureauacracy sometimes), different people have told us different things. When we get a definitive answer the post will be updated promptly.

    If you have any information to add, kindly let us know.


  34. Steve says:

    You need to update this post… is WAY outof date.

  35. maryclare says:

    Yes, you can use your NIE anywhere in Spain. But they are temporary, even if initially issued in Spain. After three months you’re supposed to register with the Spanish government to make it permanent. That said, from our experience, the NIEs are still valid after three months. Good luck at Calle San Felipe!

    PS: I just sent an email to you at the aol address you gave when you posted the comment.

  36. maryclare says:

    Hi Joanna! Yes, they give it you that day.

  37. Joanna says:

    Hi .Further to my last question . I f I apply in Madrid and received my NIE number from Madrid canines this number ‘anywhere in Spain , I was told by the London Spanish Embassy the number issues outside Spain are only temporary -3 months-
    thank you

  38. Joanna says:

    Hi , We are to visit Calle San Felipe next week Feb 2018 . I I have all the documents needed ( all they are correct ?) Will I get a number on that day .As we will not have sufficient time on this visit in Madrid to return to collect. We can return in a few weeks .or can pay to get the documents / card posted to me in Malaga .?

  39. maryclare says:

    Hi . . . Yes the article was just updated last week. A permanent NIE is different than a temporary one, so sometimes people have appointments at different offices. It can also depend upon the type of residence permit you get.

  40. Jill says:

    This is not the addresses and places I was instructed to go. Has this information been updated recently? I have an appointment for a permanent NIE card at Avda. de los Poblados

  41. maryclare says:

    Yes, it has been our experience that the Spanish bureaucracy has been quite slow lately, when it comes to matters of immigration, etc. Did you try making an appointment? Here is a link:

  42. Jack says:

    This is very useful info however my experience has been that arriving in Tetuan at 7:30am is still too late! In December 2017 I tried three times and each time they only let in the first 30 applicants and I missed out, even arriving at 7:15am on one occasion. I just tried again (January 2018), arrived at 7:30am and I was about #20 in the queue. I thought finally it was my time, but no! Currently they are only accepting the first 10 people per day until January 31st 2018…

  43. maryclare says:

    Hi John! Yes, it does help to go the day before. However, since this article was written, the system has become much more efficient. First, you can download the tax forms online. In fact I went to Aluche yesterday to get a Regreso, and they didn’t even have hard copies of the tax forms. Second, you can pay the tax at many ATMs/cashpoints/cajeros. Bankia and Santander allow for this. You select “transactions without card or passbook.” Then select the option to pay taxes. Then select Agent Trubutaria. After that you scan the bar code on your tax form, then pay the tax. If you don’t have an account at the bank you can pay in cash.

  44. John says:

    Heads up for anyone who might get there late. I arrived at 8:45 and was about #60 in the queue. Got turned away because I didn’t have my tax paid on one of the forms.

    However… people behind me who already had their tax paid got a number.

    So wanted to mention in case it helps!

    Because the above article specifically says to get the tax on the day, and from my experience, doing it in advance would have helped.

  45. maryclare says:

    Hi! The truth is, policies differ greatly by bank. Some banks will even obtain your NIE for you, particularly if you deposit a large amount of money into the account. I’ve never banked at ING in Spain, but I know a number of people that have found it a tricky bank to deal with. I’d recommend a Spanish bank like Sabadell, Santander or Caixa

  46. Amartya says:

    You need to have the residence card in hand to actually have all the banking procedures done and not just the NIE number. I also had a document stating the card is being made but ING Direct insisted on me having the card first before my account was to be activated.

  47. maryclare says:

    I’m assuming you also have a residence permit. Take the document demonstrating that and go to Calle San Felipe. You’re supposed to make an appointment but if you get there early they will help you (at least they do me when I go there). Bring two passport photos. They will have you pay a small tax, take your fingerprints and process the card. They give you a tracking number and phone number to call to see if it has been processed. Once it has you go back to Calle San Felipe and collect it.

  48. Lynda says:

    I got my NIE number last January. It took a week after I applied for it to get it. They gave it to me on an A4 white paper. I thought this was the official document, but now, Im being told that I should have received it on a green official paper or on a card. The procedure is very confusing. Do i need to fill out more forms to get the official card? Or is it just a matter of going back to San Felipe to collect the card?

  49. Admin says:

    Yes it is still relevant, and we are updating thanks to your comments dear readers ! 🙂

  50. Admin says:

    Thanks for the specific update ! We will now include this new info, it is really useful to us to know how things are changing – thanks a lot !

  51. Erika says:

    This is by far the best guide I have seen to getting an NIE in Madrid (and I have read many, most of which are very outdated or over complicate the process). I just want to update a couple things. I a non-EU citizen and just went to get my NIE today (May 31, 2017).
    1. The tax form is no longer given out at Calle san Felipe 7. Instead of going there first either save yourself sometime and fill it out here
    or across the street form Calle San Fellipe 7 there is a sign “Fotocopias”. Go there and tell them you need the tax form for the NIE. They will help you fill it out and charge a small fee for printing (2.50E). Then take the form to the bank – be careful not all banks near there have a cashier/allow you to pay taxes without being an account holder. I went to Banco Sabadell around the corner form Calle San Felipe on C Sor Angela de La Cruz, 30, anyone can pay there without problem.
    You can also save time by filling out form EX15 before you arrive and bring 2 copies.
    if you need help with translating use this website,
    2. You will not get the NIE card the same day. They told me to come back in 2 days. But still a very simple and quick process.
    I arrived when they opened and there was a short line. Most of my time was spent looking for a bank that would allow a non-client to pay the tax. I spent no more than 5 minutes submitting the documents. The entire experience took less than 30min and I was on my way.
    Otherwise the rest of the above is up to date and very useful.

  52. Diane says:


    I’m happy to see that there is a easy way to do it, as everyone told me here that it takes a lot of time to.

    I see that the post was posted in 2016, is the method still working now?

    Thank you so much!

  53. Thanks for this Sara. Yes, we also recommend that if you have time while you are still in your country of origin to get your NIE at the embassy. They speak your language and only takes 2-3 weeks. If you have time, it’s easier to do it at the embassy in your country.

  54. Sara Jones says:

    Hello Thank you
    The best and easiest way to apply NIE number is from the Spanish embassy anywhere abroad. You fill in the application in their office and pay the fee around 11 euros. Then they will email you the NIE number certificate in about week.
    also here is another article to help you to get your nie :.

  55. Laura says:

    My husband and I went today. This site was so helpful and things went almost exactly as explained.
    We arrived before any others (about 8:20) and waited in front of the door with the “7” on it while wondering why others were queuing up at the next door. At the last minute we discovered that they were correct and we were wrong, but they all graciously stepped aside and told us to go ahead.
    Once inside it became immediately clear that our limited Spanish was too limited, but the man behind us stepped up and translated for us. We got the form – went to the bank and returned. The helpful man was still there and when our number was called we asked if he would help and he was happy to. He was there assisting another friend.
    We are leaving the country in two days and were told that we could not pick up our NIE until the morning we leave, so the “translator” offered to pick it up for us when he returns with his friend, and then send it to us in the USA. The clerk had my husband sign a form approving this, and we gave the helpful man our address and some money.
    The entire process took less than 45 minutes once the doors opened.
    Some may think we were overly trusting of the helpful man, and perhaps so, but our instincts were giving the go-ahead.
    Thank you for your clear and helpful instructions.

  56. There is different procedures as EU members have preferential access. Hope it all works out !

  57. Jorris Heijke says:

    Thanks for the update indeed, very useful information!

  58. The numero is valid forever, like an ID number is valid forever. Depending on your situation, you would need to renew your certificate, as you would need to renew your ID. Hope this answered your question !

  59. Yes, we have seen this change ourselves and have updated the article – thanks !

  60. Thanks for the great update ! It is always important to have updates as they change their processes without warning. Thanks on behalf of the community !

  61. David says:

    Hi Everyone – thanks for this advice, I got my NIE this week.
    It is useful to know a little bit of Spanish, but you dont have to be fluent… I only have limited Spanish and managed to do this….
    The current process (as of Feb 1st, 2016):
    1. Arrive at Calle San Felipe 7-9, get the tax form and two copies of the application from the security guard.
    2. Go to the bank to pay the tax form (I went to Santander on Calle Bravo Murillo – 2 mins away). When you pay a tiny little comment is printed at the top of the tax form to indicate payment.
    3. Take the paid tax form, two completed application forms, passport and 2 photocopies of the photo page back to Calle San Felipe 7-9. The security guard will check that you have everything you need and then give you a number.
    4. Proceed to the waiting room and wait until your number is called.
    5. When your number is called go to the desk and give them your documents. They will stamp one application form and give it back to you as a receipt, and tell you a day to return to the office to get the letter with your NIE on it. (My return date was Feb 4 – a 3 day waiting period).
    6. Return on the pick up date with your stamped application form, and your passport. Show the security guard these documents and he will give you a number.
    7. Wait in the waiting room until your number is called.
    8. Go to the desk and hand over your documents. They will print off a letter with your NIE on it, and stamp it.
    9. Relief! you have your NIE!

    Current process as of 01/02/2016.
    PS in Spanish, NIE is pronounced Knee-yeh.

  62. Thib says:

    i did it this morning but they dont give it to you right away anymore. once you’ve filled everything, pay the tax and give your photocopies, they give you an appointment (for me they gave me for 5 days later).

  63. Natalie cunningham says:

    Hi, i already have my nie, from 4 years ago. Do i need to go the office to renew my nie as the certificate has expired or will it be ok. For example if i need to register for the paro can i use my old certificate. Thanks

  64. Lee says:

    I am a UK student here on the Erasmus scheme. I am only here until July 2016. WHislt here I am only going to be studying. I will not be working or buying cars or property.

    Do I need an NIE or can I just complete my placement without one?


  65. katrina says:

    Hi!! This is very helpful, and I looked at the spainwide website you mentioned as well. Just one question:
    what is the difference between going as a member of the EU and going as someone else? I’m American.

  66. Louise says:

    Hi May,

    Thanks for getting in touch… And congrats on your decision to move to Madrid!
    As far as I know, the embassy is correct in saying that you need to get the VISA outside of Spain, rather than trying to do it from here. I don’t think it’s necessary to avoid saying that you’re looking for it to work, but as we’re a property search agency rather than a legal advice centre, I wouldn’t want to misinform you. I’d recommend speaking to Spain Wide. They should be able to give you more advice on this! You’re right about August too, the whole city pretty much shuts down.

  67. may says:

    Hi Lily
    Thanks for posting your experience up.
    I am a NON EU, in Madrid looking to obtain a NIE and work permit (My embassy said I can start it in Spain, but will need to return outside of the EU to apply for a full work visa – but they didn’t give me any instructions on how to do this in Spain). Should I avoid saying I need it for a visa application/work/job?
    I am hoping to do it in August – anyone know if it is a good idea as I heard noone works this whole month (loL)?
    Can I do it in San Felipe, 7-9, 28020 Madrid by showing up early or do I need to make an official appointment at Avenida Padre Piquer, 18-28024 Madrid – would you/anyone know?

    Thank you

  68. Louise says:

    Hi Lily,
    Thanks for the helpful tips! It was great to hear that you had a straight-forward experience with the office, but what a pity that the other poor girl had to go through all of that!
    What we’ve learned from our time in Spain is that you should always allow more time for paperwork and you should bring two copies of anything that you could ever possibly need, even if they’re not specifically requested beforehand. It’s always better to have a back-up plan, just in case!
    Welcome to Madrid 🙂

  69. Lily says:

    Hello everyone.

    Thanks a lot for this very useful article.
    It took me 2 hours to get my NIE.
    However, I had a very mixed experience at Calle San Felipe.
    If you do not speak Spanish, you really get a haaaaard time.

    As I was fluent and as the person attending me was understanding, I had no problem getting my NIE. However I would advice people who intend to say for an undetermined period in Madrid not to mention it, because otherwise they will tell you it’s USELESS to get a NIE (which is of course wrong because many employers ask for it).
    So I said that I wanted to open a BANK ACCOUNT quickly so that’s why they accepted.

    There was an English girl who did not speak a word of Spanish. She arrived in Madrid because she got a job but her boss asked her for a NIE (as mine did). I helped her fill the form which was all in Spanish.
    But the woman who attended her started to complain that the girl came without speaking Spanish. She said: “Why didn’t you come with a Spanish-speaking friend” and blablabla. She was awful.
    She refused to give the girl a NIE because her passport was “no longer valid” – though she had a document of the English embassy in Madrid proving she had a one-year extension. But as the document was in English, the woman said it was not valid. “Have it translated by an official translator!” she said. “I would not go to your country and bring my documents in Spanish would I?” Gosh….

    So beware, non-spanish-speakers, you would better come accompanied with a Spanish-speaker otherwise you could have problems.
    An employee explained to me that NIE was “only” for strangers who were here temporary and/or needed to by an apartment etc. So be careful. They will tell you that employers can make a contract with your passport number, that’s it!

    So if the employee questions you, tell him/her that you need to open a bank account and put it in the form….
    Then, if you are a EU citizen and plan to stay for a long time, make an appointment at Padre Piquer office as soon as possible and gather all the documents!

    Good luck!

  70. Louise says:

    Hi Mazzie,

    I spoke to the Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social about this and they told me that as you’re an EU citizen that you can legally begin working with your passport. If you provide your passport number to the place that you’re going to be working, they should be able to register you as an employee. Once you have that contract, then you can apply for your NIE. If you need any more info about the NIE or the legalities around it, the Ministerio will be able to help you out. You can find their contact details here. Anything else, just let us know 🙂

  71. Mazzie says:

    I am from the UK and I went to get my NIE number in Padre Piquer and they wouldn’t give it to me. I was supposed to start a new job but they can’t give it to me without a contract. I explained that I needed it for a job, but they still wouldn’t give it to me, so they sent me to Aluche and they wouldn’t give it to me. I am so confused, because at the office they said I need a contract and then at the place I am supposed to work at they said I need to have the NIE, I am so frustrated and confused. I don’t even think it’s worth it, but I really want the job and don’t want them to delay it any further. Is it worth going to Tetuan or not?

  72. Louise says:

    That’s great that you got your NIE so quickly! Some days the queue can be a nightmare, and other days you might just fly through. We recommend getting there early to try and beat the crowd, and if you finish up extra early, it just means that you’ve got more time to enjoy a relaxing cup of café con leche. 🙂

  73. case says:

    You don’t need to arrive before 9:00

    You get your forms, and go straight to ‘Popular Bank’, across from BBVA (BBCA only takes payments after 10:30)

    Even after queuing for no reason in BBVA, I was all done by 10:05

    Tips – if you don’t speak Spanish:

    * They only tell you one thing, that the number is valid for three months

    * Download a form and check you understand the terms on it – they give you one anyway, and you can fill it out whilst you wait to be called

  74. Sonja says:

    Great, thank you! I will contact him.

  75. The best person to answer in detail to this is Tom Leacy, at He is an expert, and will be able to get whatever paper you need in the timeline you stated. Cheers !

  76. Sonja says:

    The tip with getting the NIE like that is the best advice I found so far on the web, thanks for that! There is so much conflicting information available on the internet that I am confused. I do not necessarily need a NIE but I need to sign on the foreigners list. I suppose that is the “tarjeta de residencia”. I am a EU citizen and will be staying in Spain for a few years. For now I will be staying with enough financial own means. I have a proof of that (bank statement) and also a private medical insurance. Is the residence registration process the same as you described? I will be in Madrid from Monday-Wednesday and need to arrange everything then. I just panicked for a minute because somebody said I need an appointment and that takes a few weeks to get. I would immensely appreciate a reply to my question. Thanks in advance!!

  77. We never have had these problems, as we have obtained NIEs for students, investors, freelancers, retired people.
    To get specific expert help, do contact Tom Leacy at for a free consultation on our behalf !

  78. Niall Prendiville says:

    I went to Tetuan the first time and they sent me to Calle Padre Piquer 18. I got a temporary NIE there after such a fight, they didn’t want to give me one because I didn’t have a job contract yet (even though you NEED the NIE to get a job, Spain…). But then she said I need to come back with a contract for more than three months to get the permanent number. I’m Irish and an EU citizen, I don’t get it. The thing is that in my job it’s 14 day contracts so… ?

  79. Ben P says:

    Hi Ina,
    Thanks for writing us. I would need to see what did the consulate send you first. I believe they sent you the temporary NIE number, which is the final number but some banks might ask you for the actual card that you should be able to get following t”he steps in the article
    “Now you received your NIE number that will never change, it’s permanent. However the common A4 where it’s printed 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 NIE card;
    Go to local bank to pay 10.50€ fee w/ appropriate form;
    And finally go to Calle Padre Piquer 18 on the day of your appointment with the form and fee receipt in order to get your final NIE Card; which is a soft plastic business card sized, green card.”

  80. Ben P says:

    the option you selected is correct Julia, bring everything your brought the first time, so Passport + photocopy, nie temporary sheet, rental contract.
    Good luck! you can always contact for help who is our official specialist

  81. Julia says:

    Hi, thanks for your advice, I got my NIE very easily following this method. However, now I am in a position where I need to get my NIE card and I was wondering if there is anything else I need to take along with me e.g. a passport photo or a certificado de empadronamiento? And when I am making an appointment online do I choose the option EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA DE IDENTIDAD DE EXTRANJERO or another? Thanks very much.

  82. Ina D says:

    Hi ! I just moved to Spain and I am planning to apply for a scholarship, but for that I need NIE. I obtained it in London via Spanish Consulate, they have sent it to me via email and told me that I can do everything I need with this NIE. Right after I moved to Spain I have realized that I cannot open a bank account anywhere and my certificate is not good enough to apply for the scholarship because it is missing the issue number. In Oficina de Extranjero they told me that the next step is to apply for certificado UE and I cannot get the standard temporary NIE on a green paper, because I already have one and its still valid (I got it 2 weeks ago). I am so confused and stressed, I have no idea what to do next…

  83. Ben P says:

    Hi Scott, no it won’t be a problem, however you do need a temporary address. It can be an office, or a friend’s. You can always change it later. You won’t receive anything by mail anyhow, it’s just an address for the City Hall to know where you are staying.

  84. Scott says:

    Thank you for the post it had a lot of helpful tips. I noticed however, that you will need to list your address on one of the forms. I was planning on applying for my NIE as soon as I arrive in Madrid but the problem is that I will be searching for an apartment during that time and therefore may not have an address yet. Do you think this will be a problem? Thanks.

  85. Ben P says:

    I assume you are not an EU citizen, as for EU you are not required a job for NIE.

    NIE is a unique number that never changes. so you cant just repeat the procedure to have a new one.

    Either you try to request it for a different reason (NIE Status change) either you will need to prove differently that you can support yourself in Spain (Official Bank Account Statement proving you have sufficient funds to live here for some time).

    Also contact Tom Leacy from Spain Wide that can guide you further,

    Please let us know how it went and we will update this article!

  86. Ben Palizban says:

    Hi Maggie, We are glad you found our tips and our Blog useful! We are to help 🙂

  87. Emma says:


    I was given a temporary NIE number in April this year through the offices at my local police station, when I returned today to get a permanent NIE, the lady said it was not possible as my work contract was only for three months and I needed to be earning more than 500euros per month. Is it possible to go to Calle San Felipe and ask if they would issue a permanent NIE for me or should I start again?


  88. Maggie says:

    Confirmed, it works! They’ve turned me down in another Oficina de Extranjeros and told me that I needed to get an appointment (with the only dates available not working for me at all). But I went today to the place that you’ve recommended and I had no problems whatsoever 😀 Got my NIE in 30 minutes. Thank you!

  89. For specific & urgent questions, I recommend you contact directly a trustworthy professional who has helped foreigners settle in Spain for 20 years: Tom Leacy –

    Say you come on behalf of and you will be well treated.


  90. For specific & urgent questions, I recommend you contact directly a trustworthy professional who has helped foreigners settle in Spain for 20 years: Tom Leacy

    Say you come on behalf of and you will be well treated.


  91. For specific & urgent questions, I recommend you contact directly a trustworthy professional who has helped foreigners settle in Spain for 20 years: Tom Leacy –

    Say you come on behalf of and you will be well treated.


  92. For specific & urgent questions, I recommend you contact directly a trustworthy professional who has helped foreigners settle in Spain for 20 years: Tom Leacy –

    Say you come on behalf of and you will be well treated.


  93. June,

    To reside in the EU, you do not need anything else as you are a EU citizen.

    A NIE is just a fiscal number. However.what you can get along with it is residency and rights to social security in some cases.

    In general, for residency (which is more than NIE) they ask for 2 things:
    1) do you have enough money to support yourself ?
    2) do you have health insurance ?

    With papers demonstrating these 2, you are usually ok.

    The process I explain is the classic one for EU citizens. Of course, as always with bureaucracy, there are many other variations !

  94. June says:


    Looking at the documents required…..

    3.- Documentación que acredite:

    – Ser trabajador por cuenta ajena (declaración de contratación del empleador, o certificado de empleo, o contrato de trabajo registrado en el Servicio Público de Empleo, o documento de alta o situación asimilada al alta en el Régimen correspondiente de Seguridad Social o consentimiento de la comprobación de esos datos en la propia solicitud).

    – Ser trabajador por cuenta propia (inscripción en el censo de actividades económicas o inscripción en el registro mercantil o documento de alta o situación asimilada al alta en el Régimen correspondiente de Seguridad Social o consentimiento de la comprobación de esos datos en la propia solicitud).

    – Ser estudiante (seguro de enfermedad o manifestación de que dispone de él en la propia solicitud, así como documentación de que acredita recursos suficientes para él y sus familiares en el período de residencia en España o aportación de una declaración responsable en ese sentido, y también matrícula del centro de enseñanza público o privado, reconocido o financiado por la Administración educativa competente). Se considera suficiente la presentación de documentación acreditativa de participar en un programa de la Unión Europea que favorezca el intercambio educativo para estudiantes y profesores. o,

    – Tener medios económicos (documentación de que acredita recursos suficientes para él y sus familiares en el período de residencia en España y, además, contar con un seguro de enfermedad o manifestación de que dispone de él en la propia solicitud)

    Does this mean that I either need a work contract or to prove that I have enough money to support myself for 6 months?


  95. Hello, I attempted to apply for the NIE in Barcelona although I will be studyng in Madrid. At first I planned to take the train to Madrid last week then I spoke to a police officer at the police station here in Barcelona and he told me its possible to apply in Barcelona if i have empadronamiento in Barcelona so I went and got that done. I went back to the station the next day, sat down with my appointment and the woman told me the police officers don’t know what they are talking about and I have to go to Madrid to apply. I have now contacted the legal professional contact you provided to figure out a more economical way to get this done, hopefully something cheaper than traveling back and forth to Madrid. Why do they ask that you apply in the first 30 days of your student visa? That is why I am in a rush to get this done asap. I plan to go to Madrid 20-Sep but my first 30 days of my VISA were up as of 23-Aug, trying to avoid having to fly out to Madrid in the next couple of days. Eeek any advice you could give me would be wonderful. Thanks.

  96. Imbu says:

    thanks this post helped a lot!

  97. jaime gamell says:

    I am British, live in Madrid and have a NIE. I am retired. I have a Certificado de Empadronamiento.
    The NIE dates back to 2002.
    I am currently renewing my driving license from the UK one to a Spanish one.
    All the documentation was approved.
    However, the police said I need to renew my NIE. (it is a paper document, not the plastic card)
    How do I do this?
    Help much appreciated!

  98. Marc says:


    I have my appointment for NIE tomorrow, and I just figured out the two last points:

    –> Is it possible just to download the “modelo 790 (Cod. 12)”?
    –> I don t have health insurance in Spain and I am an entrepreneur. Should i do sthg before tomorrow?


  99. Juanita says:

    So confusing…… just finished study abroad program and have fell in love with Spain and a guy. I am going to return to the states to finish my degree this December, than I plan to return to Spain. I am here in Spain for a couple of months to look for employment that I can do when I return. How do I get a residency visa? Looking on the internet it seems so complicated. Now this NIE number yish. Seems like sooo much paperwork (not my fave) but I do want to live in Madrid I just feel this is where my home is. Do you have any advice or where to begin? I started to contact the Spanish Embassy here in DC. I would need the residency visa first than the NIE number process or will I be able to do both at the same time? Will I be able to do both through the embassy here before returning or I will have to do when I arrive back to Spain? Is it possible to get a job in Madrid while I am in the states so I have one before I return?

  100. The normal procedure is the one described in the article.

    However, if you are in Spain for less than 3 months in total, you can get a quicker procedure to just get the number – not the card.
    This is not standard and requires convincing the person in front of you at the police station.

  101. Josephine says:

    Hello! I tried to get my NIE in one day as I have already started working as an auxiliar in a high school and need to get the number so I can get paid asap. The lady who set up my job for me told me that I only need to get a NIE, I don’t need to get the card as i’m not here for over 6 months, so I went to the embassy place near metro Tetuan. The man at the desk told me that anyone here more than 3 months needs a card, and that I have to come back another day with the forms he gave me, the bank slip and with a photocopy of every single page of of my passport (50 pages!) and then I need to make an appointment – which as you said can take up to 3 months. And I only will be here for another 3 and a half months. I already have a visa until June, which he saw, so i’m really confused as to why this is necessary. Did I miss something? Do you have any idea what this is about? Or if this might be a mistake?

  102. Thank you Jonathan. I will investigate this and report on it, as last time I went there, I was forced to get an appointment. Thanks again !

  103. Jonathan says:

    No. No appointment was required.

  104. Thank you Jonathan for this advice. I have done this for clients. However, if I remember well, you need an appointment.

  105. Jonathan says:

    Go to C/ San Felipe 7, metro Tetuan, take your passport and copy of photo page with you. Take a form from the desk when you arrive, the man at the desk will give you another form when you have completed the first form. You take this form to any bank and pay 10 euros, the bank stamps the form, then you return to the office, take a number and wait your turn (about 10 minutes in my case), and you will be given your NIE.

  106. Julie says:

    Thanks for that . Do you know which office I can apply for a N.I.E .in person in Madrid and get it in one day?


  107. Hi Julie,

    Yes, you can get a NIE quickly via professionals. But in this case, there’s also the topic of demonstrating income.

    I recommend you get in contact with Tom Leacy . He will for sure solve your problem.

    Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any kind of question !

  108. Julie says:

    I have an appointment for an application for Residency on the 4th December however without a N.I.E Imy partner is unable to put my in thier Bank Account to show more financial security since I am not working since moving here? Can I get an N.I.E number quickly?

  109. Pierre-Alban Waters says:

    Use whatever address you can prove. A rental contract or padron or another official paper is enough.

    For questions, go the link I give to take appointments, and take an “información” appointment.

    Or just go to the office indicated for the NIE renewal appointment and try and saks the person at the entrance. No one else will answer your questions.

    Hope it helps, All the best

  110. Espy says:

    Hello, I need to renew my NIE. I am now in Madrid but used to live in Sevilla and current NIE address is for Sevilla. I don’t have an address in Madrid yet because I’m still looking for a piso. When I fill out the Tasa form and the other forms, EX-00 or something what address do I use? Or should I wait until I have a piso? I am a North American Language & Cultural Assistant so I was thinking of using my school’s address, but that is also in a city outside Madrid, so maybe could cause issues. I need to drop my papers off and then I will get an appointment for a later date, which is when I need to have empadronamiento or proof of residency, so as long as they are ok with me using different addresses I should be fine. Any word on how strict they are? I would just wait, but I plan on travelling in less than 2 weeks, so I will need an autorizacion de regreso and for this, the renewal of my NIE needs to be in process.

    Who/which office do I check with (since there are many involved in the process)?
    Thank you so much!

  111. Anonymous says:

    Hi Fabie,

    Thank you for your comment !

    Yes, the different names the administration gives to differents papers is confusing.

    To put it simply:

    1) NIE means “Número de Identificación de Extranjeros” – It’s just a fiscal number, like an ID number so the Spanish state can register you. It is mandatory after 6 months in Spain.

    2) The NIE is just a number, it’s not a visa, a residency or work permit, it’s not even a valid identity proof. However, it’s the number that comes at the end of a process and confirms you’re legally in Spain. For instance, you got your visa, and then your NIE number.

    3) If you are a EU citizen, the law says you have the right to live wherever whenever in other countries of the EU (exceptions apply).
    The certificate which is valid for UE citizens to get a NIE is then called “CERTIFICADOS UE”.

    As a conclusion, and the Spanish administration being what it is, I strongly recommend you:

    – Prepare all the papers you may need
    – Get an appointment
    – Go as soon as you can to the place where you will have your appointment to ask all your questions
    – Always be very positive and always say the bureaucrat in front of you is right. Just ask nicely and professionally, “What is then the solution you have to this requirement sir”.

    I hope this helped. The truth is this administrative processes depend on procedures which have not been well defined by the state, and depend on the interpretation of the person you will have in front of you.
    No worries, this is Spain and is quite normal. Preparation, asking open questions, speaking a bit of spanish and being always positive should get you through.

    All the best,

  112. Fabie says:

    Are the CERTIFICADOS UE and NIE the same thing ? If not how could i obtain the NIE number ?

  113. Thank you Abigael for your question !

    Yes, of course, you can apply in a different city. All you need is to find the right place to ask for an appointment – ask to any “Oficina de Extranjeros” o “Comisaría de Policía” where you can do this.

    Hope it helps ! All the best,

  114. Abigael says:

    Can we apply for a NIE in a different city, even if I study in madrid?

  115. Moving and Living in Spain says:

    For what it’s worth, I enjoyed your article very much. You make sound points and this is clear content that’s easy to understand.

  116. Hi Andrea – thanks for the comment ! Indeed, calling a 902 number is sometimes impossible from some countries and/or telcommunication providers.
    I will try to get another regular phone number for people calling from abroad and having issues contacting them.
    Read soon,

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