How to get your NIE to buy in Spain?

Having an NIE is a prerequisite for buying or renting real estate in Spain.

Without a NIE, you will not be able to buy or rent your apartment in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia or Malaga! This is the first step before all others if you decide to invest in real estate in Spain and it costs you … less than 10 euros. You will learn everything about getting a NIE in Spain here.


This is the “Número de Identidad de Extranjero” (in English: foreigner identification number). It is a unique and exclusive personal number that the General Directorate of Police assigns to each foreigner. This number appears on all public documents sent or transmitted to foreign citizens in Spain. But it is necessary also on all requests directed to the administration; and on most acts between private persons of a socio-economic and professional nature. The NIE is therefore indispensable in the case of an acquisition of real estate.

The NIE is composed of a letter (X, Y or Z), seven digits and an alphabetic verification character (another letter). For example X9956748M. This number will be valid all your life for your activities in Spain.

The NIE is not an identity document, the European citizen must therefore have, in addition to the NIE, the personal documentation of his country (passport or identity document of his country).

Attention: if you buy an apartment as a couple, you will both need your own NIE.


The NIE is essential to carry out a large number of actions and transactions in Spain. It is strongly recommended to apply as soon as possible. It can take up to 2 months to get it!

Among the main uses of NIE, which are in some cases impossible without it, you will find:

  • Housing: purchase or sale of real estate, signature of a mortgage loan, registration of a property and various notarial documents.
  • Administration: census, housing permit, taxes on real estate, tax on vehicles with mechanical traction, capital gain, permit for work, civil register, health card.
  • Social security: obtaining the social security registration number, requesting services from the INEM (unemployment management service), exporting unemployment benefits from a member state of the European Economic Area.
  • Economic relations: pay slips, liquidation of national or autonomic taxes, non-resident income tax, incorporation, corporation tax, value-added tax, inheritance tax and donations.
  • Other: opening of a bank account, school registration of minors, certification of diplomas, acquisition or transfer of a vehicle, drivers license, underwriting of electricity services, water, telephone, internet …

In any case, in Spain and abroad, you will have to be patient. The lead time can range from one week to … 3 months!

You are in Spain

If you are in Spain, the NIE must be requested exclusively from the local police stations. The appointment request is made on the official website, making appointments is very difficult!

Procedure for making appointments in provincial capitals:

  • You will first select your home region by scrolling the “Seleccionnar” menu of “Available Provincias”.
  • Then click on “EU Certificados” from the list of available steps.
  • Click on “Despliege para ver trámites disponible en esta provincia”.
  • Then click on “Policia-Certificados y asignacion NIE”
  • You click on “Aceptar”.
  • Do not do anything on the page that opens, just click on “Entrar” at the bottom of the page.
  • Click on “Pasaporte” and write your passport number and your first and last name
  • Click on “Solicitar Cita”

And you have arrived … or not because most often the site indicates that there are more places available for appointments! Then refer to the three tips below.


  • Appointments with the National Police Station in Barcelona or Madrid are very difficult to obtain. If you choose this option, we advise you to connect to the site indicated above on Monday morning at 8 o’clock. This is the exact time when new appointments are available. If they are not there yet, refresh your request every 5 minutes until 9 o’clock.
  • Otherwise, as our reader Jack advises, the trick is to go to a police station in a small town near a big city. They are also authorized to issue NIEs. As there are very few requests, there is little waiting for an appointment in the smallere towns near the major cities. But you have to get there very early, an hour before the opening.
  • There is a third way is to have a lawyer or a NIE service help with the process (cost: about 100 € to 150 € for each person).

Finally, you have your appointment! Fill in the two forms presented in the next chapter, the EX-15 (application) and the modelo 790 codigo 012, ( to pay the tax 9,64 € in 2019). Payment of the tax, can payable by check or cash, when paying in Spain, also you can pay at any Bank. You just need to have all three pages of 790-012 so the payment can be applied. Pay the tax before you go to your appointment or you will have to come back to complete the process.

Bring all the documentation requested on the day of the appointment (the two forms, the original and the copy of the complete passport or identity card, the written documents justifying the request for NIE – investment, promise to hire, internship , student, family reunification, opening bank account – with official translation in Spanish if necessary). Especially do not plan anything within 3 hours after the appointment time because the wait may be long.

In Spain, since you are applying at the Police station, you will need to go physically to pick up your completed card. They may require you to bring your passport or other paperwork. If you submitted paperwork for a dependent, each person will be required to go to retrieve the finished card.

You are not in Spain

If you are not in Spain the NIE must be personally requested by the interested party to the Spanish Consular authorities in the country of residence.

For this, you must make an appointment with the Spanish consulate closest to your home.

Click here to access a map of consulates. Then click on the continent concerned, “America del Norte” for example. Enlarge the map and click on the consulate closest to your home. Then click on the line “Consulado en …” in the small window that appears. There is an English button so the information will be translated for you.

You are now on the website of the Spanish consulate closest to your home. Here it is up to you to find the access to the “Cita Previa” (making appointments) because all the consular sites are different!

Nevertheless, we have pity on you. And we give you access to making appointments in the main consulates (click on the corresponding city when it is in blue):

Paris and click on NIE

Brussels, appointments from 9am to 1pm on the telephone 02 509 87 72 or by email:

Geneva without appointment from 8:15 am to 1 pm (53 Avenue Blanc, 2nd floor, 1202 Geneva / tel: 0041 (0) 22 749 14 60)

New York, Consulate General of Spain in New York, 150 East 58th St., 30th Floor, New York, NY 10155  Phones: 212 355 4080

Chicago, 180 North Michigan Ave., Suite 1500.- Chicago. Illinois 60601. MAPPhone: 1 (312) 782 4588.

San Francisco, 1405 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109-5417  1 (415) 922-2995

Houston,TX, 1800 Bering Drive, Suite 660, Houston. Texas 77057, USA.   Telephone: +1 (713) 783-6200

London, 39 Chesham Place, London SW1X8SB, Phone: 020 7235 55 55

Dublin,  17 A, Merlyn Park, Ballsbridge. Dublin 4. Ireland (353-1) 269 1640

Montreal, 1200 Avenue McGill College. Suite 2025, Montréal (Québec). H3B 4G7 Phone:1 514 935 52 35

The day of your appointment at the consulate, you will need to bring both forms EX15 and 790 (which you will find links to both below).

Applications must be submitted at the Consular Post of the district in which the foreigner resides, either personally or through a duly accredited representative, and the application must be accompanied by a copy of the biographical page of the passport containing the holder’s information (EU citizens can provide a copy of their identity card), and by proof of the economic, professional or social interests justifying the application. 

If you are paying the tax in your home country, contact the embassy or consulate to determine what payment methods they take.

Some Embassies or Consulates may mail the finished documents to you, so you may need to bring a stamped envelope in the name of the person to send the N.I.E. by mail. If they will not mail them, you will have to go and pick them up when ready. Be sure to check if you need an appoitment for the retrieval or you can just show up.

Allow 2 to 4 weeks to receive your NIE.


You have two forms to complete, the EX-15 and the 790. Be careful, they must be completed in CAPITAL letters, directly on your computer or by hand.

Form EX-15, in Spanish

Form EX-15 in English

You can fill in or download the EX-15 form here: Formulario NIE EX-15

This form is in Spanish and you must fill it out in Spanish! 

  • Remember that “nombre” in Spanish is the first name and not the family name (“apellido” in Spanish is the family name).
  • Filling question “Estado Civil” (Civil Status)
    • H = male (h of hombre)
    • M = female (m of mujer)
  • Filling question “Estado Civil” (Civil Status)
    • S = single (soltero in spanish)
    • C = married (casado in spanish)
    • V = widowed (viudo in Spanish)
    • D = divorced (divorciado in spanish)
    • Sp = separated (separado in Spanish)
  • Do not forget to enter your email in the “e-mail” question
  • Do not complete parts 2. and 3 unless you are filling it out for a dependent child. You are the resposible party and they need your information and how to contact you. Each adult should fill out and submit their individual application.
  • In section 4.2 Motivos, you must check one of the reasons offered, economic, professional or social
    • If you wish to buy a property, check “Por intereses económicos” and write under capital “compra de una vivienda en Espana”, or specify the name of the city or region, “in Barcelona” or “in Andalucía” or where appropriate.
Form 790 Code 012

Form 790 is used to pay fees for obtaining the NIE. You can download it here:

Form 790-012: We also provide a tip sheet in English to help you in filling it out.

Follow these instructions to complete it (in capital letters):

  • NIF / NIE: identity card number or passport number
  • Apellidos y nombre o razón social: last name and first names
  • Calle / plaza / avda:  type of road (street, square, avenue)
  • Nombre de la pública: name of the street
  • Número: street number
  • Piso: Floor Number
  • Puerta: Door Number
  • Escalera: Stairs
  • Teléfono: Phone number
  • Municipio: city / town
  • Código postal code
  • Provincia: USA, UK Ireland. Canada, etc. If in Spain, use the Spanish City and Postal code.
  • Check the box “Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) has instancia del interesado”

Bravo, you have your NIE!

Partial or complete reproduction of this document is authorized with mention of the source below

© buyinghomespain.comNovember 2019 – How to obtain the NIE?

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