Tips for obtaining your Foreigner Identity Number (NIE)

When obtaining a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) we must bear in mind that in theory it is a very simple procedure, but, in practice, it is a process that takes a long time and in which we find ourselves with several inconveniences every day since the immigration police do not have a single and uniform procedure for obtaining it, what is more, the same police station can modify it several times in the same year to find the better way to answer all the applications filed at any time.

What documents do I need to collect in order to get my NIE?

As a general rule, you need:

  1. EX-15 model. Two copies.
  2. Administrative fee 790 012: click the “asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero a instancia del interesado” box. Currently the amount is €9.84, it usually goes up ten cents every year. If you already have a number assigned and you require a copy, click “Certificados o informes emitidos a instancia del interesado” and point the number of copies required (the cost in this case is currently €7.31).
  3. Original passport and the copy of it. Here, you can find different requirements depending on the police station where you request your NIE. They may require a full copy of your passport or just a copy of your biographical sheet. Our recommendation is to always make a complete copy of your passport.

Where can I apply?

At the several Nation Police Stations that manage immigration procedures or, if you are abroad, in the consulates and embassies of Spain in the country where you are staying.

What requirements do I need to meet?

In addition to the aforementioned documentation, you need to take into account, that, if the applicant is in Spain at the time of the application, it is essential that no more than 90 days have elapsed from their entry into the country, that is, they cannot be in an irregular situation in Spain. This is the reason why a complete copy of the passport is required: to verify the entry stamps into the country.

In addition, it is essential to indicate, on the EX-15 form, the reason why the NIE is requested. Some police stations will ask for a proof of this, for example, if you intend to buy a home, they will ask for a copy of the deposit or signal contract. Others, consider that the mere declaration in the immigration form (EX-15) is enough for this purpose.

Can I request it through a Power of Attorney?

Yes. For this it is necessary to complete the general documentation with a power of attorney with powers to assign the NIE. This power may be granted:

  • In Spain, in which case you must always include a complete copy of the passport to verify that the applicant is not in the country in an irregular situation.
  • Abroad, in which case it must be legalized or apostilled and translated into Spanish.

We can also find different criteria when it comes to demanding requirements at this point. Sometimes, they only ask for a copy of the biographical page of the passport, which seems logical since the applicant is not in Spain at the time of granting the power of attorney, however, in some police stations they request a complete copy of the passport anyway. Our advice, once again, is to incorporate the complete copy of the passport into the power of attorney, in any case.

Another recommendation, based on our experience, is to include the sworn translation of the apostille (or legalization , if that is the case), that is, the power of attorney needs to be apostilled first and translated once it has been apostilled so the translation includes the apostille .

Where can I make an appointment?

In general, you can obtain an appointment through the following link.

However, every police station has its own internal regulations that also change according to the number of requests they receive. Thus, for example, in one and the same police station they have gone from serving on a first-come, first-served basis, which caused endless queues in which you sometimes spent the whole morning; to assign a certain number of appointments per day, which caused queues to form from 6 in the morning, since once the numbers were finished they no longer distributed; to request an appointment through an email in which they gave you an appointment for two months later and, currently, to be requested through the previous link.

This appointment request is usually the most complicated part of the procedure.

How long does it take to issue the NIE?

Again, there is not just one answer. In general,  the NIE is issued right away. However, sometimes instead of that, you will receive a stamped copy of the EX-15 model and you will have to come back later to pick it up. It essentially depends on whether the authority who has to sign the applications is at the police station or not at that moment.

Should you need any help in obtaining your NIE, do not hesitate to contact us!