Is it absolutely essential to get the spanish NIE whilst on your year abroad?

Living and studying in madrid for my third year abroad

This question was asked by Lucinda Riding from King's College London , asked on 5th September 2014 and has been read 3228 times.

  • Siobhan Elward-Jones · 7 years ago

    I would say yes. When living in Galicia, I needed the NIE to open my bank account, get a flat, get a library card and as my main form of ID for alcohol and to rent a car etc (because I didnt want to lose my passport). I also used it for a phone contract and internet package

    but if you are using a british bank account, your flat already has wifi, you have a british phone that can be used abroad, and are sharing with students, I dont suppose it would be essential to do. 

    However, I would advise you to do it, it doesn't cost much, about €10 or less (?) and should be done within a week, and could help you with a lot of situations. :)

  • Anonymous Answer · 7 years ago

    No. I lived in Spain for a year and never needed it. I used a post office money travel card instead of setting up a spanish bank account. Didn't need it for a flat or anything else. A drivers license works fine as ID if you have one not that anyone really ever ID'd us in Madrid/Seville. I got a phone contract fine with Orange for my phone. 

  • Anonymous Answer · 7 years ago

    Having just got back from a year abroad in Madrid I can tell you that it's definitely not absolutely essential, but probably does have some benefits. I opened a bank account with BBVA, the only bank (as far as I'm aware) that doesn't require you to have a NIE and there are plenty of them in Madrid. I didn't need a NIE to rent my accommodation, as a form of ID or to get a Spanish sim for my phone. If you want to take out a phone contract you will need one, otherwise passport or driver's licence will do and you just need to remember to top up monthly online (orange/vodafone or whoever you're with usually send you a text as a reminder). You may need it for registering with a doctors, but I got around this by saying that I was an ERASMUS student. Overall I wouldn't bother unless something comes up that means you have to have it because, from what I've heard, you have to pay, it's a little time-consuming and takes a while to come. Hope that helps, have an amazing time in Madrid - you will love it (NIE or no NIE!).

  • Romy Higgins · 7 years ago

    I was there for a semester but even if I'd been there for a year I wouldn't have needed one.  Maybe if you're working and are getting a wage you will because you need it for most bank accounts but I used the endsleigh prepaid currency card and the toggle mobile Spanish sim so didn't need to go through the hassle.  I'd say don't bother until you're asked because the hassle is so huge to get one.  

  • Lucinda Riding · 7 years ago

    Hi guys :) thanks so much for your answers! They've been a big help! Xx

  • Lauren Stevens · 7 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.

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