Getting an NIE in Barcelona: any foreigner with financial affairs in Spain will need a Número de Identificación de Extranjero

Any resident or non-resident foreigner with financial affairs in Spain will need a foreigner’s tax identification number, a Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE). This includes both EU citizens and those from a non-EU nation. Spaniards have the equivalent Número de Identificación Fiscal (NIF) and companies have the Certificado de Identificación Fiscal (CIF). Both serve as a fiscal identification number. Once you have arrived in Spain, you have 3 months in which to acquire your NIE. The application process can be inconsistent, often changing from area to area.

You must have an NIE number to:

  • Be paid by an employer
  • Pay taxes
  • Open a Spanish bank account
  • Attain a Spanish driver’s licence
  • Buy or sell property
  • Insure property
  • Attain a business permit with which to start a business
  • Take out a mortgage
  • Arrange any credit terms
  • Register with an employment agency
  • Register with social services to begin recieving social security benefits

You can find useful information online on the Government page and on the Police website.

Schedule an Appointment

You can schedule an appointment by visiting this page and following the steps:

  1. Click “Acceder al Procedimiento”
  2. Choose your province from the first drop down menu
  3. Select “Expedición de Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (Huella)”
  4. You will see a list of necessary documentation to take to the appointment (see below)
  5. Click “Entrar”
  6. Fill in the form (passport, passport number, name, place of birth)
  7. You will have three options: “solicitor cita” (apply for an appointment), “consultar citas confirmadas” (consult confirmed appointment) and “anular cita” (cancel appointment)
  8. You should be given several options for dates to choose from in order to book your appointment
  9. Print the confirmation (you will need this as proof on the day of the appointment)

Before you go

Fill in the Application Form

Download the relevant form here (Modelo EX-15)

Pay for the Application

Download this form and take it to any bank and pay the €9-10 fee (you can do this after your appointment, but it is more efficient to take it with you in the first instance).

Acquire a Certificado de Empadronamiento

If you already have an address in Spain, or are planning to reside in the country for more than 6 months, you must get a Certificado de Empadronamiento. This means registering with the Town Hall of the district where you live. The Certificado de Empadronamiento is a separate process from residency applications, but is usually required in order to proceed with an NIE application (as well as buying a car, getting married, voting or applying for a local health insurance card).

  • In most Spanish towns, registration for the Certificado de Empadronmiento must be made in person at the Town Hall or an administrative office (Junta Municipal)
  • Locate your Town Hall here for Barcelona
  • The documents required are the application form (available at the office where you are registering), passport and a photocopy, proof of address such as a bill, rental contract or escritura (property title deeds)

Checklist of What to Take to an NIE Appointment

  • 2 completed application forms (Modelo EX-15)
  • Proof of the appointment (it is vital to print the confirmation page when you book your appointment)
  • Full passport (where appropriate a travel or registration certificate)
  • 2 additional copies of your passport or travel documents
  • 2 recent passport photographs if you are from outside the EU (EU citizens may or may not need these depending on the area)
  • European Health Insurance Card or equivalent and a photocopy
  • Copy of a work contract (must have a tax identification and contribution account code), a university acceptance letter or proof of the reason for the application
  • Document proving that you dispose of sufficient economic means to support yourself throughout your time in the country, as well as proof of sufficient health insurance
  • Certificado de Empadronamiento
  • Apartment rental agreement (if you have one – the more documentation the better!)
  • Form stamped by the bank proving you have paid the fee
  • In case of renewal, bring the expired card
  • In the case of minors, come accompanied by an adult representative
  • In case of family reunification, the sponsor should accompany the family

*All documents must be original copies and in Spanish