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If you are an EU passport holder and would like updated information about NIE and Residency applications in Spain, the following information is taken from the How To Apply for NIE and Residency in Spain Guide that we offer FREE to anyone signing up for our Moving to Spain Hints & Tips.
What is an NIE Number and do I need one?
An NIE number is a “Número de Identificación de Exrenajeros” ie a “foreigner’s identification number” in Spain. If you wish to open a bank account, buy a car, set up a mobile phone contract in Spain, you will require an NIE.
An NIE number is also required to work in Spain, take out private Spanish health insurance and apply for Spanish state health cover.
The Decree (Real Decreto 338-1990) March 9th, establishes that anyone, of whatever nationality, resident or non-resident, who has any “official business” in Spain, must have a fiscal number (NIF/NIE).
To avoid confusion, if you apply for an NIE only, you will be issued with a white certificate that will assign you your unique foreigner’s ID number that is in the format of:
A-1234567-Z (ie letter-7 digits-letter)
Previously, foreigners arriving in Spain had to firstly apply for an NIE and then later apply for residency in Spain. However, rules are often changing and applying for an NIE may not now be the right decision for you.
Should I apply for NIE or Residency in Spain?
There is one simple question to ask yourself, which will provide you with the correct answer to this question. That is “How long do I intend to stay in Spain?”
If you intend to stay in Spain for more than three months then you should apply directly for Residency, using the EX18 application form (accurate at the time of writing this article).
If you plan to stay in Spain for less than three months, then you should apply for an NIE number, using the EX15 application form (accurate at the time of writing this article).
The “NIE or Residencia ?” question is no more complicated than that.
How to apply for an NIE…
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