The number is unique and personal and is used as a way of tracking an individual's financial and official activities in Spain. It is a legal requirement for all resident and non-resident foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain – regardless of whether they are EU citizens or from a non-EU country.
You can apply for the NIE in the local police station or, if you are not still in Spain, you can apply for it in the Spanish Consulate in your natural country. The documents required:
- An filled-in application form, and two photocopies. The form is the Solicitud de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) y Certificados, number EX-15.
- Receipt for payment of the fee, stamped by the bank. Doing this before the application can save time and an extra visit to the police station.
- Identity card or original passport and photocopy
- Two passport photographs
- Proof of current address in Spain
Certified documentation stating the reasons for applying for the NIE may be required. This can be a personal statement, or a letter from a future employee, bank manager, accountant, notary, agent etc.
An NIE number is needed to:
- Open a bank account
- Buy, sell or insure property
- Arrange credit terms or a mortgage
- Pay taxes
- Be paid for employment
- Use short-term employment agencies
- To study
- Apply for a business permit and start a business
- Register with social services and arrange receipt of social security benefits
- Apply for a driver's licence
- Arrange any utility account except for pre-paid mobile phones
- Inherit assets