Are you thinking about studying or living abroad in Spain? Getting the chance to experience a new culture first-hand is an exciting opportunity! But one thing that might not excite you quite so much is all the paperwork that you’ll have to sort out. Don’t worry, our experts are going to help you! One important thing you’ll have to get is your NIE. We’ll show you exactly how to get a NIE number in Spain.

Your NIE is something you’ll get once you’re in Spain. Before you get here, you’ll need to get your Spanish student visa sorted out. We’ve got a guide for how you can do that, too.

And if you need something to keep your spirits up while we’re talking about all this paperwork, why not check out the essential things you have to do when you study abroad in Spain? Keep your eye on the prize – in this case, all the great things you’ll be able to do once you’re here.

Now, are you ready to find out how to get your NIE number in Spain?

The basics: What is a NIE? 

NIE stands for “número de identidad de extranjero”, or foreigner’s ID number. The number is used for tax reasons, working, and for just about any bureaucratic purpose.

If you’re from the European Union (or an affiliated country) and spending over 3 months in Spain, you’ll need to get a NIE.

If you’re from outside the EU you can apply for a temporary NIE, and then afterwards will need to apply for a TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero – a foreigner’s ID card). The application depends on the type of visa you have for Spain.

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What do I need to get a NIE number in Spain? 

You need to get a few things ready to apply for your NIE:

  • 2 copies of government form EX-15, which you can download here.
  • A document that shows why you want a NIE (this can be a job contract, proof of funds, or an acceptance letter from a school you’re going to study at).
  •  A Spanish address

If you are an EU citizen, you also need:

  • Your passport and a copy of the page with your name and passport number.

If you are not an EU citizen, you also need:

  • Your passport and a copy of all the pages
  • Proof you entered Spain legally (like a landing card from your airport arrival)
  • 2 recent passport-sized photos

Usually, you need to make an appointment to get your NIE. In Spanish, this is called a “cita previa”. You can do this here. Even if your area doesn’t require one, it’s a good idea to make one anyway.

You will also need to pay a fee of about €10 after your appointment. You can’t pay this at the immigration office. Instead, you’ll need to go to a nearby bank to make the deposit. The bank will give you a stamped receipt, which you will need to take back to the immigration office. Sometimes, you might have to come back to the immigration office the following day to do this.

Where do I need to go to get a NIE number in Spain?

You’ll need to go to your nearest immigration office (“extranjería” or “oficina de extranjeros” in Spanish). These are often located at police stations.
This link has lists of immigration offices for each Autonomous Government (like Andalusia, Catalonia, etc).

What do I need to take to my NIE appointment? 

When you have your appointment, you’ll need to take all the paperwork we mentioned above. It’s always a good idea to take any relevant paperwork, just in case.

Even if you have an appointment, be prepared to wait in line. Take a well-charged phone or some reading material. 🙂

If you have any more questions about how to get your NIE number in Spain, our experts are always happy to help!