To carry out any type of legal procedure as a foreigner in Spain, you must obtain an NIE. And, of course, buying a property is no exception. In this article you will find everything you need to know to get your NIE in order to purchase a property if you do not want to become a legal resident in Spain or if you buy for less than 500,000€. Requirements, deadlines, and key recommendations for an easy and fast process.


What documents do I need if I want to buy a property but not become a legal resident?


On numerous occasions, we have talked about one of the great advantages of buying a property in Spain as a foreigner. In the case that the investment is, at least, 500.000€, the foreigner would get obtain a residence permit under what is known as the golden visa scheme (an investor visa).

But this raises a general concern.

What happens in those cases in which the foreigner simply wants to buy a property (either to invest, or for whatever reason), but does not wish to obtain residency in Spain or to become a legal resident?

What documentation will you need in those cases where you do not want to go through the residency process?

The answer is very simple: the only thing you will need is your NIE number, in this case what is known as non-resident NIE.

This will be the only procedure you will have to complete in order, first of all, to acquire the legal capacity to sign the property purchase deed.

In addition, you will also need this NIE number to pay the taxes associated with the house/flat purchase: the VAT and the Property Transfer Tax.


How can I obtain an NIE to buy a property in Spain?


The first thing you must take into account is that, if you apply for this NIE directly from Spain (in the following section we see how to do it from abroad), you cannot be in an irregular situation. You must be within the 90-day period of your tourist visa (otherwise your application will be rejected).

One of the most important requirements to apply for this NIE is to demonstrate that there is a justified cause or reason that puts you you in a position of needing that NIE.

In this case, we are talking about your willingness to buy a house in the Spanish territory.

To do so, you have several options, such as signing a document before a notary declaring your willingness to complete such purchase; or presenting documents such as the pre-sales agreement.

Once you have one of these proving documents, you will have to visit the nearest police station to complete the procedure.

To do this you must make an appointment, which you can do here (first selecting your province, and then checking the option Policía Nacional – Asignación de NIE).

On the day of the appointment, you will have to submit all the documentation (which we will see below), and you will be given a document containing your NIE number (certificate accrediting it), but in no case will you be given a residence card or TIE.

Finally, keep in mind that this NIE is temporary; it will be valid for 90 days from the moment it is issued.


Can I get this NIE to buy a property if I am outside Spain?


Yes, that is completely possible. In fact, it is one of the most common options that many foreigners follow.

To get your NIE while you are outside Spain you will simply have to grant a power of attorney to a law firm such as Balcells Group so that they can go to the immigration office on your behalf to apply for your NIE number as a non-resident.

To do this you, as the main applicant, must first go to the Spanish consulate or embassy located in your country of origin.

This will save you this first step (visiting the immigration office), and you will be able to enter Spain directly to sign the sales contract and finalize the purchase process.


Detailed requirements


To obtain this NIE as a non-resident required to buy a property, you must submit:

  • Application form EX-15
  • Justification of the reason for which the NIE is requested, such as the sales agreement (“contrato de arras”) or document from the notary expressing your willigness to buy
  • Passport, which must be valid and up to date
  • Payment of the corresponding administrative fee


When should you start your application? Deadlines


Finally, let’s analyze one point of great relevance, and that has to do with the timings or deadlines in which you should carry out this procedure.

Our recommendation is that you apply for your NIE as soon as possible, since you will not be able to sign the sales agreement unless you have this number.

Thus, we suggest that once you make the decision to buy a property in Spain, you should immediately start the process of obtaining the NIE.

However, keep in mind that the resolution period is very fast: you will get the NIE the same day you go to the immigration office to submit the beforementioned documentation.

The main challenge will come from finding an appointment with the police, something that can get complicated and take longer than expected.

Also, remember the fact that the validity of this number is 3 months; period in which you will have to materialize and finalize the purchase of the apartment or house.


If you need legal help getting your NIE, so that you don’t have to worry about anything, our team of immigration lawyers is at your complete disposal.


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and let us help you:


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