As many of you are making the move to idyllic Ibiza and are starting to look up information and research possibilities, you will have come across this one: the NIE number aka el número de NIE. So what exactly is this elusive key to living in Spain and therefore Ibiza? Let us break it down for you in a few bite-sized chunks.
What is a NIE number?
Anyone who is not a Spanish citizen wishing to be economically, socially or professionally associated to Spain will need an identification number for foreigners, Número de Identificación de Extranjero, aka the NIE number.
This unique personal identification number is basically what you need when dealing with anything legal, such as employment or setting up your own business.
Spanish citizens use their National Identity Document (Documento Nacional de Identidad or DNI) for the same purposes.
Where to get your NIE number
You can get your NIE number at appointed Spanish National Police Stations, in Ibiza this means you head to the big police station in Ibiza Town which is situated next to the Diario de Ibiza building.
The NIE number ought to be requested either:
- in person
- through a legal authorised person (power of attorney)
The latter often involves finding a good so-called gestor that can apply on your behalf. It goes without saying that applying in person is the most affordable option.
Having said that a helping hand by means of a gestor goes a long way in case you are still struggling with the language and/or wish to save time on procedures.
In Ibiza you will first have to make an appointment, which can nowadays be done online.
What you will need…
- You will most definitely need an EX-15 form, which can be downloaded here.
- In addition to this you will need to bring your passport plus one photocopy.
- You might have to prove where you live, so in some cases you will have to bring your rental agreement for instance.
- It is very likely that non-EU residents will have to provide documents supporting the need for a NIE number.
The fee for obtaining your NIE number varies, at the time of this writing it was to €9.45. But make sure to ask at your at the national police station what you need. From country to country that might be different.
At the Police Station you will be given documentation in order to pay at the bank (not the Post Office), you will then need to return to the police station at a later date, where you will have to provide proof of payment for which in turn you will be given your number
You can use your NIE for the following, among others:
- registering your business
- paying tax
- buying or selling a car
- buying or selling properties
- changing your driving licence into Spanish
- other legal economic activities
What else do you need to know:
- Your NIE expires in three months
- The NIE number and Spanish residency (residència) are two completely different things, avoid confusing them
- should you apply for Spanish residency, you will automatically be given a NIE number which will appear on the card, regardless of whether you had a NIE before or not. In case you already are the proud owner of a NIE, the number will stay the same.
- You cannot obtain your Spanish driving license using your NIE, you will need your Spanish residency for this.
- In case you are seeking employment you will have to register at the Social Security (Seguridad Social) office in Figueretas in order to get a number here after obtaining your NIE. Sometimes your employer will do this for you, make sure to ask.
So… is obtaining your NIE number a hassle? Depends how you look at it. When you are just moving here everything is new and may appear daunting. And there are many services out there were people do all the work for you.
If you like to start your Ibiza life the NIE number is your first step. Feel free to leave any question and comments and we will help you as fast as we can.
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