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How to get a foreign identification number in Spain (NIE)?

If you want to have an economic or professional activity in Spain, you will need an NIE number (Foreigner Identification Number) in order to be in good standing with the local authorities.


The Spanish NIE, abbreviation of “Número de Identificación de Extranjero” in Spanish is a number established by the General Administration of the State (Administración General del Estado) as a tax identification number for foreigners wishing to stay more than 3 months in Spain, and also for people wanting to do some transactions such as the appropriation of property in Spain or the registration of a company.

The NIE starts with a letter, followed by 7 digits and another letter at the end. Each NIE number is dedicated to one person and can not be expired or transferred to another one.

It should be noted that the NIE is not like TIE (Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjero).

EU citizens need only a NIE, while non-EU citizens will need a TIE that is at the same time an NIE and a ID card.


The Spanish NIE is used as an identification code for residents who do not have Spanish nationality and it is necessary for all activities that require identification. Many people are not aware of its real importance. For example: if a person has just moved to Spain, they will need to open a bank account and this requires a NIE.

The Spanish NIE is important for anyone who has an economic or professional interest in Spain, for example:

  • Studies in Spain
  • Buy or sell a property
  • Buy a vehicle
  • Asset inheritance in Spain
  • Start a business or just work in Spain
  • Register for social security
  • Apply for a driver’s license

ASD Group offers a service to obtain an NIE number in Spain. For more information, contact us.

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