What is an NIE Number?
An NIE number is a Foreigner Identification Number. NIE is an abbreviation for Número de Identificación de Extranjero. It is a number that is allocated to an individual and they have it for life.
The NIE is a personal, unique and exclusive number that is assigned to foreigners who, for economic, professional, or social reasons, are engaged in activities related to Spain and require identification in the country. You need to have an NIE number to open a bank account, and of course, to buy a property in Spain.
To be clear an NIE number does not entitle the holder to reside in Spain or prove residence there. That is a question we are occasionally asked.
Applying for an NIE number
We apply for NIE numbers on behalf of our clients once they have granted us Power of Attorney. This is by far the most convenient method for our clients to get their NIE number.
Applicants can approach one of the Spanish Consulates in the UK direct and make their application. You will need to present in person together with the completed EX15 form (it is in Spanish), your original passport, the form Model Fee 790/Code 012 completed and the application fee of £8.35. You should receive your NIE number via email (this also must be provided) in about 2 weeks.
You can see, we hope, why clients will nearly always choose the Power of Attorney route to obtaining their NIEs.