What is the NIE and what is it for?

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N.I.E. Foreign Identity Number and Foreign Certificate

People who for economic, professional or social interests, are associated with Spain, may obtain, upon request and for the purposes of tax identification, a Foreign Identity Number (NIE).The NIE is the personal document that allows the foreign citizen to carry out those procedures that require his tax identification with the Spanish Tax Agency (acts such as: signing an employment contract, opening a bank account, etc.). The number assigned to you will be your Foreign National Identification Number (NIE) and at the same time your Tax Identification Number (NIF).

What do I need to do to apply for an NIE?

Normally, in the exercise of economic activity natural persons may need to obtain an NIE on a temporary basis.

What types of NIE are there?


Obtaining NIE on a temporary basis.

This NIE has a validity of only 3 months, and is planned for those foreigners who at no time plan to reside even briefly in Spain but who, without moving to live in our country, must perform a punctual act with fiscal relevance in Spain. Something they will do in just one or several days of travel and stay (for example: appear before a notary to receive an inheritance, or to sign the purchase of a house, etc.).

They may also, if they wish, submit their NIE application (on the occasion of some temporary trip to Spain) directly at a Foreigners’ Office, and without having to register as residents in the Register of Foreigners in this case of the Police in that city.

Another possibility is to file your NIE petition with the Consulate General of Spain in whose consular demarcation you reside, for which you must appear in person or through a representative properly accrediting their identity and the reason why they need the issuance of this NIE.

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This NIE that is issued with a permanent certificate is for those foreign citizens who will reside for a time in Spain (because they will follow a course of study, they will sign an employment contract, exercise a paid activity, enroll in a professional school, etc.) and it is necessary that the period of residence is longer than 3 months.

These citizens can apply for their NIE, at any time before the first 90 days of arrival in Spain, personally or through a duly authorized representative.
In the case of non-EU citizens it will take a week or ten days to process their expedition.

In general, the NIF of natural persons who do not have Spanish nationality is the foreigner identity number (NIE) assigned to them or provided in accordance with Organic Law 4/2000, of January 11, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration, and their implementing regulations.

Natural persons who are not resident in Spain and need to have a NUMBER, must provide the following documentation:

  • Photocopy of the applicant’s passport or other document from his/her country of origin proving his identity, age and nationality.
  • Justification of not being obliged to have a Foreign Identity Number (NIE) granted by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior or to have requested it but not temporarily available thereof.

In addition, in all cases, where the application is submitted by proxy, either by legal obligation or voluntarily, a photocopy of that representative’s NIF should be attached , and the documentation proving the representation.

COMPANIES must not apply for a NIE, they must apply for a NIF
Legal persons, companies operating in Spain, must apply for a TAX number (tax identification number), denominated NIF.
Documentation to be provided by legal persons or entities without foreign legal personality
The documentation to be submitted by foreign entities, along with model 036, to obtain a NIF (starting with the letter N) is as follows:

  • Document attesting to the existence of the entity. This document may be the deed of incorporation in your country and the statutes of the entity registered in any official register of your country or certification of a notary or registry or a tax authority proving the existence of the Company.
  • Photocopy of the card or document of proof of the tax identification number, attributed by the Spanish Government, of the person who signs the model 036 as a representative of the entity.
  • Photocopy of the document proving that the person signing the form has sufficient power to do so. The Spanish tax authorities, if the documents provided are not provided in Spanish language , may require a legalized copy, containing the apostille of The Hague, translated, where appropriate, by an official translator or through the Spanish Embassy or Consulate.


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Currently, is possible to process the application and assignment of a Spanish tax identification number (NIF) for non-resident persons and entities through the Consular Offices of Spain abroad, without the need to make a trip to Spain.

In addition to the documentation detailed above , they must provide the following information:

  • Whether or not you have legal personality.
  • Denomination or social reason.
  • Tax identification number or code attributed in the country of residence.
  • Tax Address which will generally be the Social Address.

Tax Representative, in the case of employers established outside the European Union, they must appoint a representative with tax domicile in Spain for the purpose of complying with the obligations imposed by Law 37/1992 on Value Added Tax, unless there are mutual assistance instruments similar to those instituted in the Community (currently only in Norway).


Our team can guide and guide you in the preparation and presentation of all the necessary documentation to obtain your NIE or your NIF.Once obtained we can act as your tax representatives to the the Spanish Tax Authorities, fulfilling on your own all the tax obligations to which you or your company is oblique.



The UK’s exit from the European Union will lead to British companies being regarded for legal and tax purposes as non-EU foreign companies.
This change will have an impact in many areas that significantly concern companies. It is appropriate to ask, and most importantly, to have answers to the following questions:

  1. What taxes do I have to pay for the transactions I carry out in Spain?
  2. How can I pay for them?
  3. What tax obligations do I have to meet?
  4. Can I move my workers to Spain?
  5. What are the effects of this commute for my workers?
  6. What if they have an accident?
  7. Can I have a representative in Spain, who acts for all purposes as if it was me?
  8. Can my workers drive vehicles in Spain?
  9. Who can help me in translations?
  10. Who will help me prepare the necessary legal documentation for my activity?
  11. Can I open a bank account?

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