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How to obtain the NIE and residence status in Spain

NIE is the Foreigner Identification Number given to non-Spaniards in order to identify them. This number is used in all bureaucratic proceedings and is required if you wish to buy a car, rent or buy a home, open a bank account, and other cases in which you need to identify yourself.

The Residency card incorporates the NIE, personal data, and fingerprint

You can apply for a NIE number at a local police station or foreigners office in Spain. You can also submit an application at a Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country, although that process takes more time. Here you can find the foreigner offices and police stations where you can apply for a NIE.

In order to complete an application for a NIE you need to present a number of documents, both originals and photocopies. Please note that different foreigner offices and police stations may require different documents, but there the most commonly required are the following: current passport, filled application form and the tax already paid.


apply residence nie spain


Empadronamiento or registering at the Town Hall

Empadronamiento is the process of registering yourself at the municipality where you live. This registration will be required in the future when you need to present proof of your current address and it also gives you the right to vote at local and European elections.

In order to obtain an empadronamiento you need to present a paid utility bill, a water or electricity bill or a rental contract. Nearly anything that serves as proof of where you live will do, but please check with your local town hall exactly what documents are accepted for this procedure.