Who needs a NIE?
You need a NIE if:
- You are staying in Spain for over 90 days
- You are staying less than 90 days but wish to work, open a bank account, pay taxes etc. during these 90 days
- You do not live in Spain but want to buy Spanish property
In some ways, there is no rush to get a NIE; the authorities will not check to see if you have one, but you will not be able to do some simple tasks - such as open a bank account - without one. Some companies will not even offer you a work contract if you do not have one, so it’s better to get it sorted sooner rather than later.
How to get a NIE
Citizens of EU/EEA member countries (and Switzerland)
You need to apply for a NIE using the EX-15 form. Find out the process in detail here.
Citizens of non-EU/EEA member countries (and Switzerland)
If you need a visa to stay in Spain, you do not need to apply for a NIE as it will be issued on your entrance visa. In this case, you need to apply for a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (Foreigner’s Identity card) within one month of your arrival in Spain.
Not living in Spain?
If you need a NIE but do not reside in Spain, you can apply at the Spanish consulate in your home country or grant someone in Spain power of attorney to apply on your behalf (lawyer, notary etc.). You can also apply in person in Spain using the EX-15 form.