NIE – legal overview


“NIE” stands for “Número de Identificación de Extranjeros” that means identification number for foreign nationals. It is a number which is unique and personal to each non-Spanish national and similar to the “DNI” for Spanish citizens. It is composed of 9 digits, two of which are letters (one at the beginning and another at the end) with the remaining ones being numbers, e.g. “A111111B”.

The NIE is required for any foreign national (including European State Member citizens) who intend to live and do business in Spain. In particular, the NIE is necessary for any economic activity in Spain, even if the NIE holder is tax registered in another country. Those activities include but are not limited to acquiring or selling a house, obtaining a driving licence, registering with the Tax Office, owning a company or shares, accepting an inheritance, accessing national insurance services, contracting household utilities, opening a resident bank account.

The NIE is issued in the form of a sheet of paper and without a photograph. Therefore, foreign nationals are advised to have their passport or other forms of ID in their possession when being in Spain.

Please note the NIE does not grant permission to be a legal Spanish resident.

If you think you are required to obtain the NIE, do not hesitate to contact PENA FRAGA LAW FIRM. We would be pleased to assist.