Who needs an NIE in Spain?

1. Any foreigner who becomes a resident for tax purposes in Spain needs an NIE number in Spain.
2. Any non-resident foreigner who buys property in Spain. If a couple buys a property in Spain together, and they register the property in both their names, then both of them must obtain an NIE number in Spain.
3. Anyone who wants to work in Spain, or start a business in Spain.
4. If you are moving to Spain or planning to stay longer than 3 months, customs will ask you for your Spanish NIE number.

To avoid delays in customs, please apply for it before traveling to Spain.


NIE applications can be submitted while living or visiting Spain to the relevant Spanish National Police station dedicated to foreign documentation (click for an official list). You can also apply for an NIE number at the Spanish embassy located in your country.

In Spain, the NIE number can be requested either by you or via an authorized figure (lawyers, solicitors, relatives, or friends) holding a Spanish power of attorney. The processes may differ slightly depending on the region.

You should check the requirements regarding the legalization and translation of foreign documents; we provide a guide to preparing official translations in Spain.

This is something you need to first ask about at the relevant office where you will apply for your NIE number. The type of requirements can vary from one office to another, although you will generally need:

  • NIE application form (EX 15 form); click for an English translation of the NIE application form, although the submitted NIE form must be in Spanish.
  • Original passport (current and not expired) and one photocopy
  • Two small photos
  • Government fee (€10.71 in 2018, this may have increased), which you should pay at the bank using a 790 NIE form.

Note: Although the NIE form 790 is available online, some police stations may request the traditional paper NIE form, which you can collect at any national police station dealing with foreign documentation.

You can see further information on applying for an NIE here: