How to obtain the NIE in Spain if you are a EU citizen

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ciudadano comunitario

Updated 04/29/2020

Even if you are a “communitarian” citizen (that is, a national of a member State of the European Union, another State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, Great Britain or Switzerland), if you wish to carry out certain activities in Spain, you must have a foreign identification number (NIE). Below we explain how to obtain the NIE in Spain. 

I- If you are going to reside in Spain for more than three months

In this case, you will have to process the European Union Registry Certificate. The document that you will obtain is a certificate, on a green paper (which is different from the identification card of foreigners that is granted to non-EU citizens)  that does not have expiration date. The certificate will contain the foreigner identification number (NIE).

How to obtain the NIE in Spain. Where it is processed

The European Union Registry Certificate is applied for at a National Police Station of the province where you are living in Spain. For most provinces, you must request the appointment online. In Barcelona, for example, it is quite difficult, as there are many requests. If you live in a small city or town, it is best to try to obtain it at the National Police Station, since they usually attend on the same day, without a prior appointment. 

Which requisits and documents are required for obtaining the European Union Registry Certificate

1. Application form (model EX-18).

2. Valid and complete passport or national identity document. In the event that it has expired, a copy of it with the renewal application must be provided.

3. Proof of economic means, depending on the case:

-If you are an employee, any of the following documents: Employer hiring statement or employment certificate, including, at least, the name and address of the company, tax identification and contribution account code. Or Employment contract registered in the Public Employment Service, or communication of the contract and its conditions through the platform CONTRAT @. Or Registration document or situation assimilated to the registration in the corresponding Social Security system or consent to the verification of the data in the files of the General Treasury of the Social Security.

-If you are a self-employed worker:
Registration in the Economic Activities Census; Or justification of its establishment through Registration in the Commercial Registry; or registration document or situation assimilated to the registration in the corresponding Social Security system, or consent to the verification of the data in the files of the General Treasury of the Social Security or of the Tax Agency.


-If you do not have work activity in Spain:
-Medical public or private insurance policy, valid in Spain.
-Sufficient annual income derived from rents, payments, etc., or sufficient cash assets during the time of residence (bank deposits, for example). The reference amount  is 5,160 euros per year.
-If you are a student, besides what was indicated in the previous case (insurance and financial means), the enrollment in the teaching center.

4. Pay a fee of 12.00 euros.

II- How to obtain the NIE in Spain If you are going to reside in Spain for less than 3 months

There are cases in which although you do not intend to reside in Spain for more than 3 months, you may need a foreigner identification number (NIE) to perform certain activities, such as opening a bank account, buying a property or participating as a partner in a company or legal person.
In these cases, you can obtain a provisory NIE (which is given in a white sheet of paper).

The petition is presented at the National Police, too, and you must present the EX-15 form, with a copy of your passport or identification document, and state the causes for which you require this NIE, as well as pay a fee of 9.45 euros. 

Remember that this “special” NIE is only for these cases, and in principle you will not be able to use it to sign up for Social Security, neither as a self-employed worker nor as an employee. Nor can you sign up at the Treasury to develop activities on your own as a freelancer.

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