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What is a NIE in Spain?

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NIE in Spain

NIE is an individual tax and identification number for foreigners in Spain.

A Spanish NIE can look like a simple number on an identity card (Residency card, Spanish: Tarjeta de Residencia) or an A4 certificate. It is issued to foreign citizens in two cases:

  • When a foreigner receives a Spanish residence permit or a long-term student visa;
  • When making various transactions, for example, when buying property in Spain.

Where is the NIE issued?

Spanish NIE can be obtained:

  • at the embassy or consulate of the Kingdom of Spain in the country of residence. For example, Moscow residents can apply for it at the Consulate General in Moscow;
  • at the local migration authorities (Spanish: Extranjería) at the place of residence;
  • when buying a home - through a notary representative of the selected real estate agency (most large agencies provide this service). Such a NIE is also absolutely legal and is no different from those that are issued in the usual way.

NIE obtaining time in Spain

The terms for obtaining NIE in different cities and provinces are different. As a rule, this process takes from 2-3 days to a couple of months.

In the case of real estate transactions, NIE is issued after the deposit agreement is signed, but, as discussed in the material above, most large agencies have their own notary representatives who will help the buyer obtain NIE in advance. Obtaining of such NIE will take 30-40 minutes to complete.

What else is important for a NIE recipient to know

In the case of obtaining a NIE in Spain (through notaries or in the Extranjería), we recommend that you control the receiving of a border crossing stamp (preferably in Spain, but any other EU country is also suitable) in your passport: this stamp will be required when applying for a NIE. In addition, the NIE will not be obtained if the stamp is blurry or illegible. The absence of a stamp may entail the need to re-apply to the airport migration services to confirm that the person has actually arrived in the country.

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