The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero), meaning – Foreigner Identification Number, is the counterpart to a DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad), the ID card issued to Spanish citizens. The NIE is an identification number issued to people in Spain who are not a Spanish citizen, and not permanent residents.
An NIE is assigned by the Spanish authorities (Cuerpo Nacional de Policia), to any foreigner, whether resident or non-resident, with interests in Spain or who may be planning to carry out a transaction in Spain.
The NIE identifies you whenever you do something official or which involves the authorities. For example buying a property; signing a document at Notary; starting a business, or taking shares in, becoming a director of a Spanish company; or registering as a student on a Spanish university course.
The NIE is not a fiscal (tax) residency identification – you can have a NIE and be fiscal resident in another country, however it is used to link payments to you that may be due, including tax amongst others. Both EU citizens and non-EU citizens are issued with NIE’s, and if you become resident, you keep the same NIE when you apply for your residence certificate.
Please contact us for more details on how to apply for these documents or see our Guide.