Spanish Nie Number and Residence

NIE Number and Residence

GMS - What is an NIE Number and who needs it?

The NIE Number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is a Spanish tax id number assigned by the Spanish authorities to any foreigner, it is also known as NIF Number (Numero de Identificación Fiscal).

The NIE number is unique and personal and is used as a way of tracking an individual's financial and official activities in Spain. It is a legal requirement for all resident and non-resident foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain - regardless of whether they are EU citizens or from a non-EU country.

The NIE Number is the equivalent of a Spaniards Número de Identificación Fiscal (NIF) which serves as a fiscal identification number.

The NIE / NIF Number is essential for any fiscal transactions in Spain where money is paid to the Spanish Inland Revenue office. The NIE should be quoted in all dealings with tax authorities. The number appears on all documents issued in Spain and always starts with an ‘X’ or ‘Y’ followed by seven numbers and a letter. The number is non-transferable and expires after 3 months but it is till assigned to the person that requested it.

An NIE number is required to: Open a bank account - Buy, sell or insure property - Arrange credit terms or a mortgage - Pay taxes - Be paid for employment - Use short-term employment agencies - Study - Apply for a business permit and start a business - Register with social services and arrange receipt of social security benefits - Apply for a driver's licence - Arrange any utility account - Inherit assets

Registration and the Residencia Certificate

Spanish Residence - Under Spanish law any EU citizen intending to stay in Spain for more than three months is obliged to register to be added to the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (Registro Central de Extranjeros) Foreigners office (Extranjeria) or at a National police station (Policia Nacional) in the area in which they intend to reside.

A Registration Certificate as an EU Resident (Certificado de registro como residente comunitario) is issued. This document certifies residence in Spain and includes the holders name, address, nationality, and foreigners tax identification number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero - NIE) along with the date of registration. Once issued this certificate is valid indefinitely as long as the applicant’s personal circumstances stated on the application remain the same. If for example the applicant is to change home address, get married or divorced, a new application is required.

It is important to note that more documentation will be required in accordance with the applicant’s circumstances.

    Employees / Postings abroad:

  • Valid identity card or passport
  • Certificate of employment or confirmation of recruitment from employer


  • Valid identity card or passport
  • Proof of self-employed status.


  • Valid identity card or passport
  • Proof of comprehensive health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to support themselves

The Residence Certificate is a card showing the NIE number. It is not an identity document and the certificate should always be shown with identification (such as a passport) in order to be considered valid.

Nie Residence

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