Obtaining a N.I.E. for non-residents

Since Brexit, British citizens who wish to complete certain formalities in Spain will need a N.I.E. Any non EU-citizen who has economic, professional or social interests in Spain, will need this document. This post is a summary of what N.I.E is and the steps for obtaining a N.I.E. for non-residents.

Obtaining a N.I.E. for non-residents. N.I.E. for British citizens who wish to complete paperwork or legal formalities in Spain. Sworn Spanish translator.
Photo by Ralph Ravi Kayden

What is a N.I.E.?

A N.I.E. is a national identity card for foreigners (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) used for tax purposes. It is a unique, personal number that its holder must use every time he or she needs to complete paperwork in Spain (registering with the Social Security Administration, buying a car, opening a bank account, etc.).

There are two types of N.I.E.: resident N.I.E and non-resident N.I.E. The resident N.I.E. is intended for EU citizens residing in Spain permanently (for more than 3 months), whereas the non-resident N.I.E. is for non-EU citizens who wish to complete paperwork in the country.

The temporary N.I.E. for non-residents

If you are a non-EU citizen and you wish to visit Spain temporarily to complete paperwork or legal formalities, you will need a temporary N.I.E. for non-residents.

This is the type of N.I.E. you will need if you want to visit Spain for a short period of time to purchase property, completing legal formalities as the executor of an estate including Spanish assets, opening a bank account or incorporating a subsidiary of a UK limited company.

Applying for a N.I.E. for non-residents

You may apply for a N.I.E. through the Spanish Embassy or a Consulate. There are three Spanish Consulates in the UK: London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

These are the documents you need to submit:

  • EX15 application form (available here). This form can be completed online.
  • 790 payment form. This form can be completed here.
  • Valid passport and a photocopy of the photo/passport details page.

The Spanish Consulate in London provides instructions on how to fill in EX15 application form here and 790 payment form here.

It may take 3 weeks to obtain a N.I.E. through the Spanish Consulate. Once obtained, the N.I.E. is valid for 3 months.

Note that the Consulate route is available only for non-resident N.I.E. applications. If you wish to reside or complete seasonal work in Spain, you can only apply for this number once in Spain, since it is the Spanish National Police that issues it.

You may also apply for a N.I.E. in person while in Spain. This must be done at a National Police station.

You can also choose to apply for this number through a local agent. If you choose this route, you will need to sign a Power of Attorney.

You should receive your N.I.E. within 10 days from submission of the application.

Sworn translation for completing legal formalities in Spain

Whether you are purchasing property in Spain, dealing with Spanish assets as part of an estate administration process or incorporating a subsidiary of a UK limited company in Spain, you will need to submit your documents in Spanish.

All foreign documents required for completing legal formalities in Spain (for example, wills, grants of probate, deeds of variation, articles of association, certificates of good standing, etc.) must be translated into Spanish by an official / sworn Spanish translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

I am a Sworn Spanish translator. Contact me here if you need a quote.