No matter what you do in Spain, you will need an NIE number. The thing is that, for many legal procedures like buying a property or opening a bank account, you don’t need to be a resident in the country. That is when you will get a non-resident NIE. And in this article, we will explain everything you need to know about this type of foreign identity number. 

What is the Non-Resident NIE?


In general terms, the NIE number is the document that identifies a foreigner in Spain. It is required to carry out any type of legal procedure or economic transaction. In that sense, there are two types of NIE. The NIE number for non-residents is the one granted to non-EU citizens who either start living in the country or carry out some kind of legal process in Spain. 

Thus, there is no doubt that one of the most important documents you must acquire to start living in Spain is the NIE. You can find a complete guide to the NIE number in Spain here


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Why do you need it?


If you are new in this topic, probably you might be wondering; what exactly is the NIE? Why is this immigration document so useful?

This document is denominated “Número de identificación del extranjero” (foreigner identification number), and is issued by the General Police direction of Spain usually for those who want to get the residency in Spain.

However, this number can be also given to those non-EU citizens who don’t want to live in the country but desire to realize any type of administrative or legal process.

Then, the NIE number is required to conduct many of the activities that any resident would do while living in the country, like:

To sum up, any kind of paperwork you do in Spain as a foreigner will require the NIE number.

And what happens if I am an EU citizen?


In that case, you wouldn’t be granted an NIE as a non-resident. What you would directly receive is the EU registry certificate or just the NIE number. In this case the procedure is much simpler and easier. 



Can I work with this type of NIE?


No. The non-resident NIE does not authorize you to reside or work legally in Spain

It is merely a number that identifies you as a foreigner in the country (for example, for tax purposes). And you should not confuse it with the TIE, the actual residence card. 


How to get the Non-Resident NIE in Spain step by step


There are 3 different steps and requirements that you will have to fulfill to get your NIE as a non-resident:

Getting an appointment


The first step is to get an appointment (day and time) to start the process and submit your application.

If you are in Spain, you must get an appointment at the corresponding Police Station; and if you are in your country of origin, at the Spanish consular office.

Bear in mind that getting an appointment can be a bit complex. That is why we recommend you to start the process in advance (1 to 2 months) so that you can do it without hurrying later on.


Having enough reasons to acquire the NIE


One of the most important parts of the process is demonstrating you have enough justification to be granted the NIE.

Currently, they only accept two reasons: needing it to purchase a property and to set up a company in the Spanish territory. Otherwise, they won’t give you the NIE as a non-resident.

But how can you prove it? You will have to go to a notary and make a notarized letter or statement, stating the reason why you are applying for the NIE.


Submitting all the required documents


Once you have your statement from the notary and your appointment, you must present yourself that day with all the necessary documentation, which is:

  • Passport, which must state that you have not exceeded your 90-day stay as a tourist in the country. If you are in the country illegally, you won’t be able to get your NIE.
  • Proof of payment of the corresponding fee, which is approximately €10.
  • Statement/letter from a notary with the reason why you are applying for the NIE.
  • The NIE application form, EX-15

In this regard, we have mentioned that it is very likely that you do not want to live in Spain to get the NIE. Can you then apply for this number without traveling to Spanish territory?

The answer is yes. There are two ways to get it: by going to the police office yourself, or by conceding power of attorney, for example to our lawyers, so that we can apply for you without you being physically in Spain.


When does it expire?


We find here another important issue that raises many doubts. The thing is that the NIE for non-residents granted for those who do not want to reside in Spain is conceded in a document that expires after 3 months.

Once this period has passed and assuming that the foreigner still wants to carry out any other procedure, he or she must renew it in order to operate with legal validity.

However, this does not mean that you must get a new NIE. The number itself will remain the same. You will only have one for the rest of our lives. If it is necessary, what is renewed is the paper that contains it.


How long does it take to get it?


The NIE as a non-resident is obtained the same day you have the appointment at the Police Office. That is, the only complication and the only thing that delays the process is how long it takes you to get an appointment.

In case you have requested it at the Spanish Consulate located in your country of origin, they will send it to you via email after one week of your application.

If you want to save money and get your NIE as fast as possible, without having to worry about any paperwork needed, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.

We will assist you through the whole process and even help you with the documents that you need (you will just need to sign). We will help you along until you have it. For more information, contact us below!


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