NIE Number in Spain

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Spanish NIE Numbers

An NIE number (Foreign Identification Number, Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is a necessity in all fiscal or legal matters in Spain . Most commonly for foreigners this means when you purchase your property and sign for your mortgage in Spain . These identification numbers are used to track an individual's financial and official activities in Spain . Spanish citizens have a NIF number (Fiscal Identification Number / Número de Identificación Fiscal) which is their DNI (National Identity Document/ Documento Nacional de Identitidad) followed by a letter. The NIE number always starts with "X" and is followed by seven numbers and a letter. Your number is personal to you; it is not transferable nor does it expire.

Your NIE Number is needed to:

.  Apply for a business permit
.  Apply for a mortgage or other loan in Spain
.  Buy/sell property in Spain
.  Buy a vehicle in Spain
.  Employment in Spain
.  Inheritance of assets in Spain
.  Insure your Property in Spain
.  Pay Spanish taxes
.  Sign onto the national Social Security Health plan

The taxes that are due when you buy a property and sign for a mortgage in Spain are withheld on your behalf and paid over to Hacienda (Inland Revenue). If you don't have an NIE number, then the taxes cannot be paid and you may incur some fines. Many banks in Spain will now refuse to complete on a mortgage if the client does not yet have the NIE number.

How to get an NIE number in Spain

The application process is quite easy. Go to your local National Police Station, to the Departmento de Extranjeros (Foreigners Department) and ask for the NIE application form. The following documents must be submitted to the police station to obtain a NIE number:

.  Completed and signed original application and a photocopy (original returned)
.  Passport and photocopy
.  Address in Spain (you can use a friend's)
.  Written justification of why you need the NIE (issued by an accountant, a notary, a bank manager, an insurance agent a future employer, etc.)

If you have any questions, call the National Police Station, the Departamento de Extranjeros (Foreigners Department) Tel: (+34) 952 923 058

When you turn it the documentation, a stamped photocopy of the application is returned to you along with your passport. Ask them when you should come back to pick up the document. The turn around time fluctuates and your NIE can take one to six weeks. You are not notified when it is ready; start asking two weeks after you have dropped off the application. You must present the stamped copy along with your passport to pick up your NIE number. The NIE document is received as an officially stamped, A4 size document which bears your name, address, date of birth and your NIE number. Keep track of this NIE document, as different bureaucratic processes require the original. Always turn in photocopies - keep the original in a safe place.

Getting an NIE number in the UK

It is possible and may be a time-saving alternative to apply for your Spanish NIE numbers in the UK .

Anyone intending to sell or buy property in Spain (or indeed anything else which involves paying tax to the Spanish inland revenue) needs a NIE by Spanish law for tax purposes. Applying at your nearest consulate is more expensive than getting a NIE in Spain but it still may be an advantage for alot of non-resident property-buyers.

The taxes that are due when you buy a property and sign for a mortgage in Spain are withheld on your behalf and paid over to Hacienda (Inland Revenue). If you don't have an NIE number, then the taxes cannot be paid and you may incur some fines. Many banks in Spain will now refuse to complete on a mortgage if the client does not yet have the NIE number.

If you do decide to apply while still in the UK , then you need to get together all necessary documentation and then go to the consulate where you will be asked to sign the NIE application form in front of a consulate employee. Your signature will then be given an official validation stamp (which is where the fee comes in - £22):-

  • A stamped (also at the consulate) photocopy of your passport

  • 2 recent passport size photos. The background must be plain, and people who wear glasses and/or earrings must take them off for the photo

  • An original copy + photocopy of a document which explains why you need your NIE. This may be the private sales contract you have signed with the estate agent, promotor or private vendor, if you are going to work in Spain , the job offer... We suggest ringing the consulate beforehand to find out what to take depending on your personal circumstances

  • A self-addressed envelope

  • An envelope big enough to contain all the above + NIE application form addressed to the central police HQ in Madrid: Comisaría General de Extranjería y Documentación, Dirección General de Policia, C/ General Pardiñas, 90, 28006 Madrid, Spain:

  • One the NIE application form with your signature and passport have been stamped, the consulate will send the envelope containing all the above to Madrid. Then you will have to wait to receive your NIE.

The consulate will not be able to provide you with an application form, so get someone to get one from their local police station in Spain and post it to you or simply download an NIE application form

This form is provided by the Spanish Interior Ministry. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the yellow IMPRIMIBLE button to print it out

There are 3 Spanish consulates in the UK

If you live in:-
Northern Ireland, Cheshire, Cleveland, Clwyd, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Durham, Manchester, Gwynedd, Humberside, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, the Isle of Man, Merseyside, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Tyne & Wear or Yorkshire, please apply to:
The Spanish Consulate General, 1 Brooks House, 70 Spring Gardens, Manchester, M2 2BQ. Tel: 0161 236 1233

Scotland or the Scottish Islands , please apply to:
The Spanish Consulate General, 63 North Castle Street , Edinburgh , EH2 3LJ . Tel: 0131 220 1843

And if you live anywhere else within the UK apply to the London office: 20 Draycott Place, London SW3 2RZ, Tel: 020 7589 8989, Fax: 020 7581 7888

The Spanish Consulate in Britain's website gives no indication just how long it takes for the NIE to arrive from Madrid, so check with staff either by phone beforehand or while you are there to get an idea of how long you should expect to wait.
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