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The NIE, essential for any expatriation to Spain

 

The Número de identidad de extranjero – Foreign National Identification Number or NIE – is essential for all foreign nationals moving to Spain. It takes the form of a small green card and has 9 characters: 1 letter, then 7 digits and finally a letter. But be careful, it’s not an identity document! Your precious green card must always be accompanied by your passport or identity card. So what is the NIE for, and how do you obtain it? We answer all your questions in this article.

What is the purpose of the NIE?
Unique and personal, the NIE is compulsory for anyone wishing to reside in Spain for more than 3 months. It is the first document you need to obtain as soon as you arrive. Once you have it, it will follow you for the rest of your life. You will need to present it for many administrative procedures.

The NIE is essential (except in certain cases), particularly for :
● Work
● Studying
● Opening a bank account
● Finding a rental property
● Take out a water, electricity, telephone or internet contract
● Buying or selling property
● Register for social security
● Declare/pay tax
● Obtain a loan
● Set up a company/register as an auto-entrepreneur (autónomo.a in Spanish)
● Enrol your children in state school
● Claim unemployment benefit
● Register your qualifications
● Register your vehicle…

Good to know: There are 2 types of NIE:
● The provisional NIE, which is valid for 3 months. It comes in the form of a white A4 paper. It will enable you to take a few first steps. You can then apply for a permanent NIE.
● The permanent NIE, which is valid for life. This is the famous green card, the NIE residence certificate, officially known as the “certificado de registro de ciudadano de la unión”.
Whichever NIE you apply for, the procedures for obtaining it are the same.

How do I obtain an NIE?
The process varies depending on your citizenship (European or non-European). In bothe cases an appointment at the police station is necessary. Once you have obtained an appointment, you will need to bring with you various types of document, such as your passport or identity card, a document justifying the NIE application or the official application form.

You must attend the appointment in person.

I can help you obtain your NIE. I’ll be with you every step of the way, from preparing the application to making the appointment and accompanying you. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the NIE, I’ll be delighted to help!

 

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