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Who needs an NIE?

Any foreigner who buys property in Spain.

If a couple buy a property in Spain together and register the property in both their names, then both of them must obtain an NIE. Foreigners who do not own real estate in Spain but are resident in Spain also need an NIE.

When do you need to have an NIE?

If you are buying a property in Spain then ideally you need to have your NIE number by the time you sign the public deeds of sale before Notary. This is because some mortgage lenders insist on you having the NIE number at this stage, as explained below.

It is not in fact a legal requirement that you have your NIE number on that date of signing the public deeds as you can sign them on the strength of your passport number. However in most cases you will need an NIE number to pay the taxes related to your purchase, such as ITP and AJD, which have to be paid within 30 days (in some regions you can still pay these taxes with your passport number). If you do not pay these taxes then title to the property cannot be inscribed in the land registry and you will face fines for not paying in the mandatory period.

Some people request their NIE number on the same day that they sign the deeds. Given that the NIE number is ready within 15-20 days (in many regions, but always check this in the region where you are buying) this leaves a sufficient margin of time in which to pay the taxes related to the purchase.

However if you are using a mortgage to finance your purchase bear in mind that some mortgage lenders insist on you having an NIE at the time of signing the deeds. This is because they want to be sure that you can pay the taxes related to the purchase, for which an NIE number is required (in most cases), as it is not possible to inscribe the deeds and the mortgage in the land registry if the appropriate taxes have not been paid. Therefore if you are using a mortgage be sure to check with your mortgage lender whether or not they require you to have an NIE number on the date of signing the deeds.

Also bear in mind that some mortgage lenders will not even accept the NIE number and will insist that you provide a NIF number. The NIF number is a fiscal identification number that has to be requested from the Spanish tax authorities. Once again check this with your mortgage lender in good time.

If you are able to pay the taxes related to the purchase using your passport number (as is possible in some cases) then bear in mind that non-resident foreigners who own property in Spain have to submit their Spanish tax declarations before the 31st of December. (Spaniards and foreigners who are resident in Spain have until June of the following year). This means that at the very latest you need to have your NIE number before December of the year in which you bought your Spanish property.

In summary you would be well advised to apply for your NIE at least 1 month before completion if you are applying in person in Spain, and 2 months before completion if you are applying at a consulate abroad.

Applying in person whilst in Spain (recommended)

Applying in person for an NIE. whilst in Spain is a relatively straightforward procedure. The only inconvenience is that you may have to wait for up to several hours in a queue in order to submit your application. It does of course depend upon the office where you apply and the time of day (early is better). With a bit of luck you will be in and out in half an hour or less. The process is as follows: 1) Prepare the necessary documentation: Your passport and a photocopy of the main page of your passport (the page that includes your photo, name, passport number, address, etc.). 2 recent passport size colour photographs with a plain coloured background. This is not required in the instructions issued by the government but it is always better to be on the safe side as some offices may insist. An original document (plus a photocopy) that justifies your reason for applying for an NIE. If you are applying for an NIE because you are buying a property in Spain then you will need to take along the official copy of the deeds of purchase given to you by the Notary (called a copia simple in Spanish). If you have not yet signed the deeds before Notary then you will need to take along the private contract of sale that you have signed with the vendor or developer. If you are a non-EU national you will need to produce a document that demonstrates your legal entry into Spain. This is the document (for instance a landing card) that you fill in at the immigration desk at your point of entry into Spain. In Spanish this document is known as a declaración de entrada. The appropriate application form filled out and signed plus a photocopy. The Spanish name for this application form is Solicitud de NIE.(Ex-14) and you can download this form plus instructions on how to fill it in by clicking on the links below. This will open up a new browser window and display the form in 'pdf' format. Some people report problems viewing these documents when they click the links below. In which case use the right-hand click button on your mouse and choose the option 'save as'. This will enable you to download the documents to your computer and open them there.NIE application form / Solicitud de NIE (Ex-14) for applying in Spain.2) Take all documentation in person to the appropriate place of submission. You have to go to one of the immigration offices (oficinas de extranjeros) that are usually found in designated police stations (comisaría de policía), preferably in the area where you are buying your property. If there is no immigration office in your area then it should be possible to make your application through a local police station. In any event the local police station will be able to tell you the best place to go to apply for an NIE in your area. To see a list with contact details and opening hours of the main oficinas de extranjeros throughout Spain click on the following link and then choose the region that suits you: Ofincinas de extranjeros throughout Spain. 3) Collect NIE after 15 days After you have submitted your NIE application you will be given an official receipt (resguardo). Unless you are told otherwise you will be able to collect your NIE from the office where you made your application anytime from 15 days later. You do not have to collect your NIE in person - anyone can collect it for you if they have the official receipt you were given when you submitted your application. Applying in person outside of Spain You can also apply for an NIE. from Spanish consulates around the world if you do not have the time to apply whilst you are in Spain. Obtaining your NIE. this way will take longer and cost a bit more (there is a fee to pay to the Consulate for this type of application). The process is as follows: 1) Prepare the necessary documentation: Your passport and a photocopy of the main page of your passport (the page that includes your photo, name, passport number, address, etc.).

2 recent passport size photographs with a plain coloured background.

An original document (plus a photocopy) that justifies your reason for applying for an NIE. If you are applying for an NIE. because you have bought a property in Spain then you will need to take along the official copy of the deeds of purchase given to you by the Notary (called a copia simple in Spanish). If you have not yet signed the deeds before Notary then you will need to take along the private contract of sale that you have signed with the vendor or developer.

An envelope addressed to:     Comisaría General de Extranjería y Documentación    Dirección General de Policia    C/ General Pardiñas, 90    28006 Madrid    Tel: +34 91 322 6824 / 26

There will be a fee payable to The Spanish Consulate General (if paying by cheque) of £22.

The appropriate application form duly completed but NOT SIGNED as you will need to sign in the presence of a consular official. The Spanish consulate will not be able to provide you with this form so you must obtain it beforehand. The Spanish name for this application form is Solicitud de NIE. para residentes en el extranjero (Ex-14bis) and you can download it plus instructions on how to fill it by clicking on the links below. This will open up a new browser window and display the forms in 'pdf' format. Some people report problems viewing these document when they click the links below. In which case use the right-hand click button on your mouse and choose the option 'save as'. This will enable you to download the documents to your computer.