How To

How to get your NIE number

A guide for people who are not permanently residing in Spain

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The ‘Número de Identificación de Extranjero’, more commonly known as the NIE, is a requirement for anyone living here for less than 6 months of the year, who is not a Spanish citizen. You certainly need it if you want to open a bank account in Spain, buy property, a car, get utilities connected, and of course, pay taxes (fun times). So, it’s recommended as one of the first things to get organised.

If however, you plan to stay with us here in La Línea for longer than six months, you should get a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (UK and non-EU nationals) or green ‘Residencia‘ (for EU nationals). Your NIE will be assigned to you at that time if you don’t already have one.

So there are 3 different ways to apply for your NIE –

  1. In-person in Spain.
  2. Apply in person via a Spanish Consulate abroad.
  3. Through a representative in Spain.

So, in person, this is fairly straight forward. This has to be done at the Policia Nacional’s Oficina de Extranjeros (in the big police station).


Make an appointment

This can be done easily enough via the Public Administration website.

Choose your provincia: Cadiz, and for the purpose of the appointment: Certificados y Asignacion NIE.

At the time of writing, there were no available appointments left at the office in La Linea. However, there were plenty of appointments available in Algeciras within two weeks.


Bring the following documents to your appointment…


Proof of payment – There is a fee to pay, which is currently 9.74€. Assuming you don’t have a Spanish bank account yet, you’ll need to fill in this online form, then print it out and take it to a bank to pay it. Fill in the top section, IDENTIFICACIÓN, then scroll right down the list of payable items, and select “Asignación de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) a instancia del interesado.” Localidad is La Línea de la Concepción, Fecha is today’s date and you should find that the fee has been filled in for you. Select Efectivo as your form of payment and then print that bad boy out.

Only certain banks accept this kind of payment, and even then, they only accept cash payments between certain times. Check out our best effort at mapping this schedule out here.

The bank will give you a stamped receipt as proof of payment to take to the Oficia de Extranjeros.

Application form – Two copies of the application form filled out, printed and signed. The Spanish name for the NIE form is Solicitud de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) y Certificados (EX-15). Download it from this page. The form is all in Spanish, but here is the English translation.

Proof of identity – Your national identity card or passport, plus a photocopy of that document – but please note, if you are showing a passport, you must photocopy all pages.

It may also be a good idea to also take a small ID card photo, on a white background. Some online sources claim you need it, some say you don’t.

(Frankly, as a rule, I tend to take any personal documentation I have with me to any official application, as experiences seem to vary from person to person. If you have a different experience from what is stated in this guide, please do mention in the comments!)

And that’s it!

The officer in the Oficina de Extranjeros usually speaks some level of English should be able to issue you with your NIE number and document straight away – but you might also be asked to return in some days, weeks (who knows) to collect it.

Of course, if all the above sounds like too much faff, you can always get a gestor to complete the whole process on your behalf for somewhere under 60€. If you are going to do that, check out our list of English-speaking gestors (that our own users have vouched for).


UX designer, hollerer of tunes, ambassador for frivolity, imbiber of quality libations.


Language enthusiast, dog walker, owner of too many Instagram accounts: @lalineadogwalks - - @doggo.iberico - @gibdevs

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