Residency certificate (NIE) home
* Thanks for all the comments - we are currently revising the information in this article. Unfortunately we are not able to give advice in individual cases.
All visitors spending three months or more in Spain are legally required to sign on to the Registro Central de Extranjeros and are given a Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Union. This sheet of green paper, which cannot be used for I.D, details your name, nationality, address, and issues you with your personal Numero de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) or ‘Foreign Identity Number’.
The NIE is required for a number of legal and other transactions, including:
* Opening a bank account
* Buying, selling or insuring property
* Arranging credit terms or a mortgage
* Paying taxes
* Being paid for employment
* Using short-term employment agencies
* Applying for a business permit and starting a business
* Registering with social services and arranging receipt of social security benefits
• Applying for a driver's licence
All EU citizens can get a NIE that lasts for three months with just their passport. For a NIE that lasts for longer than three months they will need proof of one of the following: a) That they have employment or work for themselves. b) That they have sufficient financial resources to look after themselves, including private health insurance. c) That they are enrolled as a student and have sufficient financial resources to look after themselves, including private health insurance. d) That they will be joining a family member according to the conditions in the Agreement on the European Economic Area. See here for details of what documentation is needed in each case and the forms that you need to fill out. See here for the different forms that need to be filled out.
Applying for the NIE is relatively straightforward if you are an EU national, with just one or two visits to your local Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners' Office—usually located at a police station). In Barcelona this is located in C/Rambla de Guipúscoa 74. You will need: your passport and two photocopies of it, plus the required documentation according to your status in Spain (student, employed etc).
You need an appointment (cita previa) for the Oficina de Extranjeros. You can get this here. Click on 'Barcelona' then 'Certificados EU'.
Assuming all your forms are correctly filled out and you have the correct documentation, you will be givenpayslip, which must be taken to a bank to pay for the associated taxes (this is around €10.60). Be aware, however, that many banks will only deal with this transaction between 8.30am and 10.30am, so be prepared to either get to the Foreigners' Office early, or complete the process over two days. Once paid, you must take your stamped slip back to the office, where you will be able to process your NIE. You will be given the your number, but will have to return in approximately one week to pick up the official paper.
The process for non-EU residents is generally more complicated, and you will also be required to take the declaración de entrada, or any other document which proves your legal entry into the country. Non-EU residents can usually expect to receive their NIE within two to six weeks. For more information, you should contact the Spanish Embassy in your home country or go directly to your nearest Oficina de Extranjeros for advice on the necessary paperwork.