NIE Number

28th February 2023
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Identification number for expats

If you are planning to move to Spain in 2023/2024 or have already made the big move, one of the first things you will need is a Spanish NIE Number. You'll need this number for everything if you're thinking of buying a property in Marbella or want to take a job.

WHAT IS A NIE AND WHAT TYPES ARE THERE ?


A NIE number ( Número de Identidad de Extranjeros ) is an identity number for foreigners in Spain, which the authorities use to identify you. Once you have a NIE number it stays with you for the rest of your life, it does not change. The validity of the document issued will expire but the NIE number will not change. It's like an ID number in Hungary, it never changes.

There are three types of NIE document issued to EU citizens:


  • NIE NUMBER CERTIFICATE
  • EU REGISTRY CERTIFICATE ( CUE - Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea )
  • PERMANENS NIE ( Documento de residencia permanente )

1) NIE NUMBER CERTIFICATE


The NlE number certificate is an A4 sheet of white paper, the "white" NIE is named after the document issued and is valid for 3 months. It contains the person's name as it appears on their ID card or passport, place and date of birth and their unique NIE number. The NIE number consists of two letters and 7 digits : X1234567-X.


The NIE Number certificate is issued for 3 months and always for a specific transaction. This could be the sale of a property or the formation of a company. It is not suitable for applications such as employment, business licence or tax.

If you need a NIE Number

  • you do not have to give up your resident status in another country
  • you do not have to file a tax return in Spain
  • you do not qualify for free health care ( linked to employment)

2) The EU REGISTRY CERTIFICATE (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la UE)

Anyone staying in Spain for more than 180 days must apply for a Union Registration Card. This is a green, thin sheet of paper the size of a bank card and is valid for 5 years. When we get it ready we feel the urge to have it laminated, but the authorities warn us that this is not allowed. Includes name, date and place of birth, NIE number, nationality, place of residence. If you change your place of residence you must(should) register and apply for a new registration card. This is also advisable as this is our official notification address registered with the authorities. It also includes how long we have been living in Spain, i.e. how long we have been residents, but it is still NOT a residence card.

 

3) PERMANENT NIE

The so-called resident card, which looks practically the same as the EU registration card, is a thin sheet of green paper the size of a bank card. It is automatically granted to EU citizens who have lived in Spain legally for at least 5 years. It is not compulsory to apply for it, it is registered with the authorities as to how long you have had resident status. It is important to stress that this does not make anyone tax-resident in Spain. If you live and work here, it is worth considering where you will be taxed and where you will become a financial resident.

WHEN DO YOU NEED A NIE NUMBER ?

In all cases, you will need a NIE number if you...

BUYING OR SELLING A PROPERTY
BUYING A CAR OR MOTORCYCLE
YOU SIGN A BANK ACCOUNT AGREEMENT
TAKE OUT MOTOR INSURANCE
GET A WATER, ELECTRICITY OR ANY UTILITY CONTRACT
YOU WANT A SPANISH TELEPHONE SUBSCRIPTION
WORK WITH
RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
PAY TAX
START A COMPANY OR BUY SHARES

To get a NIE Number you will need to be confident in Spanish as all paperwork will need to be presented/filled out in Spanish and it is highly unlikely that the person dealing with you will speak any other language. You may have friends ( amigos as the Spanish call them) who will take the burden of the paperwork off your shoulders for a fee. 
If you don't speak Spanish well, it is a good idea to consult a professional. 

If you are buying property or plan to buy in the near future, our professionals will take care of the formalities.

We suggest 2 ways to do this:

1) We will make an appointment and personally accompany you to the Immigration Office.

2) You only need to give a power of attorney in front of a Spanish notary or at the Spanish Embassy in Hungary.

If you are trying to get your NIE number yourself, you may be surprised by the maze of Spanish bureaucracy: often you fill in the wrong form or put the "x" in the wrong place on the form, or you may not pay the exact amount of duty you need to pay at the bank. It's worth consulting a professional who knows the pitfalls, saves you time and avoids a lot of hassle.


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