Hi, My name is David Wright and I moved from England to Spain over 15 years ago now and below
are some things that you need to know and get if you are thinking of moving to Spain.
If you find this info helpful come over to my facebook page and give me a like thanks. David on Facebook >HERE<
What is an N.I.E Number?
N.I.E. is an abbreviation for Número de Identidad de Extranjero, which translates as Identification Number for Foreigners, or Foreigners’ Identification Number if you prefer.
The NIE is your all-purpose identification and tax number in Spain. You need it for everything that involves a tramite or official process in Spain. For example, you will need an NIE number to buy a property, buy a car, get connected to the utilities and, most importantly as far as the Spanish state is concerned, pay your taxes. Without an NIE number, the Spanish tax authorities are unable to assess or process annual tax payments such as income tax (IRPF), and the annual wealth tax (Patrimonio), both of which are declared by resident and non-resident property owners.
NIE number certificates were being issued with a 3-month validity from the time of issue, after which you were expected to apply for residency, or register as a non-resident. So after three months the certificate was no longer valid, at least in principle. However, in mid-2016 the regulation was changed to eliminate the three-month expiry deadline, so NIE numbers are now valid indefinitely. But this is Spain and the bureaucracy is a bit of a mess, and regulations are not uniformly implemented or even understood. You may find that some notaries refuse to accept a certificate that is older than three months, which could cause problems for property buyers trying to sign deeds more than three months after obtaining their NIE certificate. In principle you can get your NIE number anytime before you buy, but to be on the safe side you might want to sort out your NIE number on your last trip to Spain, when you find a property you want to buy and can complete within three months.
If you are an EU citizen and spend longer than 3 months in Spain after getting your NIE number, you are required to register and get a government certificate that shows your NIE number.
Who needs an NIE in Spain?
Any foreigner who becomes resident for tax purposes in Spain needs an NIE
number in Spain.
When do you need to have an NIE number?
If you are buying property in Spain, then you need to have an NIE number by the time you sign the deeds of purchase before notary, an event known in Spanish as the escritura.
Getting your NIE number in time for escritura means applying at least 1 month before hand if you are applying in Spain, and at least 2 months before hand if you are applying via a consulate abroad. The actual time it takes depends upon where you apply, and the time of the year. You might be able to get an NIE number in person in Spain in a couple of days, but it could also take weeks, so best allow yourself plenty of time.
How do you apply for an NIE number?
The first thing to understand is that dealing with the Spanish bureaucracy is often a perplexing, not to mention frustrating affair. The way they interpret the regulations in Andalusia might differ from the way they interpret the same rules in Catalonia. In one area, for example Barcelona, you need to book an appointment online in advance to request your NIE number, then spend hours waiting in a queue, whilst in other areas you can just turn up and get everything done in half an hour. I have confirmed for myself that the rules are inconsistently applied, which makes it difficult to prepare a guide to NIE numbers.
So keeping in mind that the process and interpretation of requirements might be different depending on how and where you apply for an NIE number, here is a general guide that explains the official requirements and the process as it should work (but might not)
There are three ways to apply for a Spanish NIE number:
Apply in person in Spain.
1. Applying for NIE number in person in Spain
Applying in person for an NIE number whilst in Spain is a relatively straightforward procedure. The only inconvenience is that you may have to wait for several hours in a queue in order to submit your application at a Spanish police station. It does depend upon the police station where you apply, and the time of day (early is better). With a bit of luck you will be in and out in half an hour or less.
The process is as follows:
1) Prepare the necessary documentation:
Obtaining your residence permit
Once you have lived in Spain for more than six months, you are no longer considered a tourist and should apply for a residence permit. Fortunately, the revised foreigner´s law, which went into effect on 1 March 2003, makes it easier for European Union citizens to apply for residence; also, those EU citizens who are working in Spain, do not need to renew their permits.
The normal residence permit is renewed once every five years and renewal is usually a fairly straightforward matter.
Normally, you apply for your residence card at your local police station or oficina de extranjeros. As laws constantly change and vary slightly from region to region, it is best to pop along first and find out exactly what will be required.
How long can you expect to wait before receiving your card? This also varies, but you are talking of about six months. However, you are given a document showing you have applied for residencia, and this can be used in place of the residence permit.
Since 1 March 2003, two groups of EU citizens no longer need to hold residence cards: people legally working in Spain and paying Spanish Social Security; also, retired workers entitled to a Spanish State pension who have lived in Spain for more than three years and have worked in the 12 months prior to retirement.
Everybody else should apply for residencia.
EU citizens no longer need to show proof of income or medical insurance. However, they will need to present:
· completed application form
· four photographs
· passport plus photocopy
Non-EU citizens will need:
· the visa or visado de residencia obtained from the Spanish consulate in your home country;
· proof of financial means;
· certificado de antecedentes penales showing you have no criminal record;
· medical certificate - necessary for obtaining the visa;
· consular inscription;
· medical insurance with a company which has offices in Spain;
· passport plus photocopy;
· three passport-size photos;
· payment of fee (not high);
· Spanish bank statement showing income arriving from abroad;
· deeds to Spanish property or a rental contract, plus photocopy;
· completed application form.
Information on Spain - miscellaneous
Non-EU citizens requesting the unified work permit/residence permit will need further documents relating to their employer.
Your residence permit will include a número de identificatión de extranjero (NIE), which identifies you to the Spanish tax authorities.
Many EU citizens I know shy away from taking out their residencia. This is not a good idea for, if living in Spain, there are tax advantages in being resident and, for EU members, application is not a complicated process.
For those who do not want the bother of dealing with it themselves, it doesn´t cost an arm-and-a-leg to use the services of a gestor (licensed administrative expert).
So ... go ahead and take the plunge! You now have most of the information on Spain necessary to obtain your residencia, so ... get yourself legal!
Driving In Spain