I'm going to Spain for my year abroad; do I need a NIE?

If the answer is yes, how do I get one?

This question was asked on 23rd July 2014 and has been read 2410 times.

  • Fiona Bingham · 8 years ago

    A NIE is basically the foreigner's version of the Spaniard's ID card (DNI.)  If you intend to open a bank account then you must get one before doing so.  They use the NIE for most things, although it is also possible to use your passport number as a form of I.D.

    The process for getting the NIE varies in different regions and cities.  I lived in Santander, Cantabria and I went to the Oficina de Extranjeros.  However, I had friends in different regions who went to the police station.  The best thing to do is to ask someone.  

    You are required to fill out a form with all your details* as well as provide photocopies of your passport and either your ERASMUS agreement with the university or your nombramiento from your school if you're an assistant.  They may ask you for a few other things, it really depends which funcionario ( civil servant) you assigned to.  Once the paperwork is complete, you will be given a cheque - I think it's 7 euros or something.  You then need to go to the nearest bank and say that you want to pay it.  ( You can pay in cash.) They will process your payment and then you have to return to the office where they should give you your NIE card.  ( In my case, I was told to return a couple of days later to collect it) 

    It's actually relatively simple but Spanish administration is really unorganised in comparision to the UK.  Perseverance is key. 

    *  if you haven't sorted out your accommodation and don't have an address yet, it's possible to use the school's address if you are an assistant.  

  • Lauren Stevens · 8 years ago

    In Melilla (and perhaps the case is the same for other Spanish territories outside of Spain) once you have your residency card, you can get a certificate that entitles you to half price tickets for planes and boats.

  • Global Graduates · 8 years ago

    There are some great articles about the NIE application process on Third Year Abroad! Check them out for tips :)

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