Do I Apply For NIE or RESIDENCY When Moving to Spain?

NIE or RESIDENCY ? The Answer Is Easy …

When we talk about moving to Spain and applying for NIE or Residency,  there still remains a lot of confusion. In this article, we will make it very clear for you.

The NIE number should only be applied for if you’re looking to buy a property in Spain, for example, and you do not plan to stay in the country for more than three months of the year.

  • If you are moving  to Spain and wanting to enroll children in schools, you need to apply for what they refer to as residency.
  • If you are moving  to Spain and planning to spend more than three months per year, you need to apply for what they refer to as residency.
nie or residency

Now, when we say residency, in relation to EU citizens, what we’re actually referring to is a small green piece of paper that you are given upon submission of a successful application (See our videos). This is a residency certificate that simply means you spend more than three months a year in Spain. This is actually to prove you are registered as a foreigner in Spain on the foreigners register. It is not an official form of identification.

This does not necessarily affect your tax status.  Tax residency is a completely different issue.

So, if you are planning to move to Spain and are planning to register your children in state schools, or even in private schools, who will ask you for an NIE number, you will actually need to follow the procedure explained in our guide.

There are two important financial aspects with regards to applying for residency rather than NIE in Spain:

  • Proof of Funds in Spain – A Letter from a Spanish Bank/ Work Contract

The first involves having what is currently an amount of approximately €5500, per family member who are applying for residency, in a Spanish bank account.  Just prior to applying for your residency your need to ask the bank manager to supply you with a letter from the bank stating your reference number, as in your passport, your names, the current  date and the amount of money actually in the account. This proves that you have funds in Spain to cover your living and also proving that you will not become a burden on the State.

UPDATE April 2016: Recently, in some areas of Málaga, including Estepona, a work contract providing proof of sufficient funds (currently €523 per month, per family member) is being asked for, instead of a letter from a Spanish bank.

In some areas, including Estepona, they are now also insisting on a Padron Certificate. This is to prove that you are registered with your local town hall.

  • Proof of Adequate Private Health Insurance – A Certificate in Spanish

The second point is health insurance. Unless you are employed in Spain, and have a valid Spanish work contract, you are required to have a private health insurance policy that provides the same level of coverage as a Spanish person receives from the public health care. That is to say that your healthcare insurance must cover hospitalisation.  If you’re not certain please get in touch and we will put you in contact with a reputable  insurance broker who will provide a no-obligation quote.

It’s very important that you have a certificate in Spanish showing what your insurance policy covers. Without this, your application will be rejected.

PLEASE NOTE: This does not apply to Pensioners as there are currently reciprocal health cover agreements between Spain and some other countries.

What’s My Next Step?

For a clear and accurate step by step explanation of what is required and how to apply for NIE or Residency In Spain, including filling in the application forms, read our Guide: More Details Here

PLEASE NOTE that it is extremely important to check procedures in the area you plan to live. Procedures are changing all the time. Each area of Spain requires varying paperwork.

If in doubt, get originals of everything, make copies, make more copies, put a smile on your face and don’t forget your stapler … see video below!