An NIE (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjero) and a Tarjeta de Residencia (residency card) is required if you intend to stay in Spain for more than 90 days. It is possible to stay without applying for residence, but it is required for many purposes, including buying/renting property, opening a bank account, signing a telephone or internet contract, working or setting up a business. It is commonly used when people need proof of your address in Spain.
The NIE is shown on your Tarjeta de Residencia and is the number you need to provide for any of these purposes. Both EU and non-EU citizens are issued with a Tarjeta de Residencia which includes your NIE number and personal details and in the case of non-EU citizens the card also has your photo and fingerprint. Non-EU citizens are given residence for one year, which is normally extended to five years when it is renewed. No notice will be given when the residence expires so it is important to apply for renewal on time. EU citizens’ cards do not expire.
Applying For Residence
You can apply for residence at Oficina de Extranjeria and Comisaria de Policia or Spanish national police stations. The Tarjeta de Residencia will generally take three months although you will generally receive you NIE number at the time.
You can apply in person or can use a legally authorised person to apply on your behalf.
The precise requirements can vary from one office to another and the time taken can vary enormously. Documents required by all applicants:
- Two passport photographs with your name written on the back.
- Current passport and a photocopy
- A completed form EX 18 plus three photocopies
- Form 790 completed by you bank confirming your Spanish bank account and the funds you have in it. This form can be obtained from the local Comisaria de Policia.
- A padrón certificate issued in the last three months. These can be obtained from the local town hall. Generally the town hall will require your passport and a copy, but some may have other requirements and so it is best to check the requirements before you go.
Additional documentation can be required in some cases:
- A medical certificate, depending on your country of origin and where you have been resident recently.
- A Vida Laboral and a photocopy if you are employed or self-employed. The self-employed will need additional documents.
- If you are not seeking employment you will need proof that you have adequate finances and medical insurance. Pensioners will need to prove their pension entitlement and this may need to be paid into a Spanish bank account. Requirements can vary and so it is best to enquire before you go to the office where will be applying.
- If a member of your family is Spanish or already has residency you will need to provide your Libro de Familia and DNI (national identity document), Empadronamiento and medical insurance.