What is NIE?
In my recent article about Empadronamiento, I mentioned NIE (Numero Identificacion de Extranjeros). This is a number issued by the Spanish authorities to identify foreigners. It is only for foreigners as the Spanish have a DNI.
If you plan to reside in Spain, the first thing you should do is get one. Even those who are buying a property but remaining in the UK will still need one.
What is it for?
You will find that it is needed as identification for various kinds of authoritative purposes. You usually need it for the following:
Buying a Property
Buying a Car
Working as an employee or self employed
To obtain a phone line or a contract mobile phone
Bank Account but often a passport is enough
How do I get it?
You need to go to the nearest police station with a foreigners’ department. Be prepared for a bit of standing around and lack of customer service skills. Make sure that you take the following:
Your passport with a photocopy
2 passport sized photographs
They will give you a form to fill in which will be in Spanish so take your dictionary with you. They will give you a copy and return your passport to you there. Depending on the particular office, it can take from a few days to a few weeks to process. You need to collect the NIE certificate in person with your passport and the copy given to you. The certificate is a stamped, white A4 size paper document with your name and NIE certificate.
What if I lose it?
Once you receive it, you should make lots of copies and keep the original in a safe place. If you lose it you need to repeat the application procedure.
Can I get help to do this?
Yes, for a small fee a Gestor or your lawyer can do this for you.