If you are planning to move to Spain long term or short term or buy a property here, then you will need to obtain a NIE Number (Numero de Identidad de Extranjero). You will need this NIE number to pay taxes, obtain utilities such as electric, gas and water, open a bank account, get a mobile phone contract etc
If you are buying a property then you will need the original NIE certificate to take with you to the Notary however for most other purposes, you can use a photocopy or simply quote the number.
You must apply for your NIE number at the foreigner’s office in the National Police Station. Unfortunately the process for applying varies from office to office and this is why there is often such confusion and you will hear conflicting stories of people’s different experiences. Quite often the staff will only speak Spanish and no translator is available.
In some offices the process is to apply for an appointment, in others it is the case that you must queue from early morning to obtain a ticket. Some offices require that you present two application forms, one for them and one to be stamped for you to use when you return to collect your certificate. Certain offices require one photograph, some two, some will allow payment of taxes before handing in your paperwork, some will not and so on. In most offices, certificates are ready for collection up to two weeks after your initial application.
Up until July 2011 it was possible for a third party to obtain your NIE number on your behalf using a Power of Attorney. Unfortunately the National Police have now stopped this and require that everyone presents themselves in person to have their identity checked.
A lawyer or company such as NIEin1Day can help you obtain your number with the minimum amount of fuss.
Once you receive your NIE certificate, you will notice that it states on the bottom of the certificate that it is valid for three months. Your actual number is valid for life (or until the Spanish Government decide to change the system!!) however if you intend to remain inSpainafter three months, then you should consider applying for your Certificado de Residencia.
The Certificado de Residencia replaced the old style residency cards in 2007 and up until recently was a green sheet of paper stating your NIE number and personal details. However this has also recently changed and is now a small green paper card. This is not acceptable as ID so you should continue to carry something else for this purpose.
Contact NIEin1Day at www.niein1day.co.uk or email on firstname.lastname@example.org for more details of the same day NIE number service or help in obtaining your Certificado de Residencia.