NIE NUMBER and Residence:
As Spain is a member of the EU, we, as Europeans, can live and work here without problems, but there are some things that will make life easier here.
As a starting point, you must at least have a NIE number, which makes it possible to work here, buy a house, car, etc. And it will probably be very difficult to get a phone line, internet connection or a bank account without being able to provide a NIE number.
A NIE number is what corresponds to a social security number for foreigners. NIE stands for Número de Identificación de Extranjeros and means directly translated “number identification of foreigners”. You need a NIE number for all the more important things, such as buying a car, setting up a bank account, buyin property etc.
The procedure for getting a NIE number changes all the time, but it is expected that it costs a smaller amount (under 20 Euro) and that it takes place at the national police station (Comisaria) – not the local. If you live in a small town, you may risk going to the nearest big city to get it.
There is nothing else to do but to ask, but do not expect anyone to speak anything but Spanish.
You can download the form, “EX-14 bis”, in advance, from the web and fill it in, or get a copy at the police station. (The document is available here:
It is a good idea to have this done in advance, so you do not stand at the police station and have to do it. You must bring a valid passport and a copy of this.
In some cities, especially at certain times of the year, you have to book an appointment in advance to get a NIE number – in some cities with many foreigners there can be up to a couple of months waiting-list, therefore it’s a good idea to do this immediately after your arrival or maybe have done it in advance. It is also possible to apply for a NIE number from your homecountry via the Spanish Embassy, or you can get a “Gestoria” to do it for you.