Residencia & NIE   

Getting your NIE and Residency in Spain

NIE - Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros

An NIE number is essentially a tax number for foreigners in Spain. You need one if you are going to buy a house or a car, if you are going to work for a Spanish company or if you want to apply for residencia (a residency card). If you are an EU citizen, you no longer have to apply for your NIE number separately - you will be given one when you register as a foreign resident as detailed below.

Non-EU citizens still need to apply for an NIE number. To get one, you need to go to the extranjeros department at your nearest Comisaria (the police station for the national police force, not the local police).You will need to take your passport. The forms are fairly straightforward and you will have your NIE number within 2-6 weeks of applying.


The rules on residencia cards in Spain have been changed several times recently.

Briefly, if you are an EU citizen, you must now register at your local Oficina de Extranjeros - usually in the local Comisaria (main police station). You will need to complete a form and pay a fee, and you will be rewarded with a certificate which shows your name, address and NIE number.EU citizens no longer need a residencia card.

If you are not an EU citizen and you are not married to an EU citizen, then you will need:

  • Proof of income (a job, pension etc. a healthy savings account will probably also work, but the actual amnount you need is likely to vary from place to place.)
  • Proof of social security registration or private medical insurance
  • Your passport
  • Finally if you are married and one of you will be dependent on the other, you will need your marriage certificate.

You may also need official translations of your documents. It's a good idea to check.

See Secretaria de estado de Inmigracion y emigracion for more details (site in Spanish)

See also:
Spanish Healthcare
Social security in Spain


Site last updated July 2017.
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