The information below has been collected by the Citylife team via intense research. Please keep in mind that we are not directly related to any legal or government departments and the information may be subject to change.

The NIE is the “Número de Identificación de Extranjero” and is assigned to any foreigner who is going to reside in Spain if the period of stay or the nature of it requires so. Below we explain in detail if you need to apply for it or not.

If you are a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Union, the document of identity of your country will be legal in all national territory and you will only need to obtain the “Certificado de Registro,” a green card where your NIE will appear printed together with your personal data.

In the case that you are not a citizen of any country that is a member of the EU, or equivalent, you will need to have a document that proves your identity and that you are recognized legally. In that case, you will need to apply for the TIE, (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) in which in addition to showing your NIE, personal data, and type of authorization of stay, your photo will appear printed.

In brief, if you are a citizen of the European Union or equivalent, your document of identity of your country of origin will be sufficient to identify yourself, while if you come from any other country you will need the TIE in order to do so. The NIE is only a number that you will need in order to submit and carry out paperwork as if you were a Spanish citizen.

A. I am a citizen of the EU or equivalent*

1.1 Do I need a NIE?

  • My stay in Spain will be less than 3 months: You will need a NIE only if you are going to make economic transactions, professional or social actions, for example: Ppen a bank account**, sign a phone contract, work, paid internship, start a business, etc.
  • My stay in Spain will be longer than 3 months: You must register in person at the Registro Central de Extranjeros in order to obtain your NIE.

1.2 Do I need a TIE?

The TIE does not apply to those who are citizens of the EU or equivalent. Your national documentation is valid in Spain. If you will need the NIE or not depends on the nature of your stay or duration of your stay (more information in point 1 above).

How can I obtain the NIE? (EU Members or equivalent*)

To obtain the NIE, you must apply at the Office of Immigration of Barcelona!

Steps to obtain the Certificado de Registro (NIE):

  1. Fill out the NIE registration form (EX-15)
  2. Request an appointment online:
    • Click here to access the website
    • Click “Acceder al Procedimiento”
    • En Provincia disponibles choose “BARCELONA Y Certificados UE”
    • Click enter
    • Enter out your passport data
    • Make your appointment
  3. Application Fee:
    • You will need to pay the 790 fee (model 012) in the amount of 10,71 Euros (December 2017). Open this document here, choose Barcelona and fill out the form with your personal data. Click the section labelled “Certificado de registro de residente comunitario o Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de un ciudadano de la Unión“, and leave blank IBAN data. A PDF will be generated in which you will need to print and pay in cash at the nearest bank.
  4. Prepare your documents:
    • Application Form (point 1)
    • Passport or valid document of identity (original and copy)
    • Receipt of payment made at the bank (original and copy) (point 3)
    • European Health Insurance Card or health insurance (original and copy)
    • Document that certifies the reason of your stay in Spain: Letter of acceptance, work contract, etc.
  5. On the day of your appointment: Present yourself at the designated location and present the documents in point 4:
    • If you live in Barcelona, the police station located at Rambla Guipúscoa, 74 (Monday-Friday: 09am/02.30pm)
    • If you live somewhere else that is not Barcelona nor Hospitalet, directly at the police station of where you reside
  6. Obtain your NIE

B. I am a citizen of a country that is not a member of the EU or equivalent*

If you are from a country that is not a member of the EU or equivalent*, you can legally stay in Spain for up to 3 months with a tourist visa (aka no paperwork or official documents). However, in order to stay longer than 90 days you will need to obtain an authorization of your stay in the form of a visa. However, there is a second step to the visa process once you arrive in Spain, which involved applying for a second document called a TIE.  A student visa + the TIE will permit you to:

  • Legally stay in Spain during your courses of study
  • Travel within the EU and to those countries which have signed agreements with Spain or the EU to permit open travel

Procedures to complete your stay for study purposes:

  • Before your arrival to Spain: Student Visa
  • During the first 30 day after entry into Spain: TIE

How can I obtain the TIE?

You need to apply for the TIE during the first month after entry into Spain!

Steps to obtain the Foreigner Identity Card (TIE):

  1. Fill out the TIE registration form (EX-17)
  2. Request an appointment online
  • Click here to access the website
  • Click “Acceder al Procedimiento”
  • Among the available provinces choose “BARCELONA Y Toma de Huellas (Expedición de Tarjeta)”
  • Fill out the requested information
  • Make your appointment
  1. Application Fee: You will need to pay the 790 fee (model 012) in the amount of 15,60 Euros (December 2017). Open this document here, choose Barcelona and fill out the form with your personal data. Click the section labelled “TIE que documenta la primera concesión de la autorización de residencia temporal, de estancia o para trabajadores transfronterizos”. leave the ‘IBAN data’ field blank. A PDF will be generated which you will need to print and bring to the nearest bank, before paying the relevant fee in cash.
  2. Prepare your documents:
  • Proof of appointment
  • Application form (point 1)
  • Passport or valid document of identity (original and copy)
  • 2 recent photographs in passport format
  • Copy of the granted administrative decision, in the case of initial authorizations
  • Receipt of payment made at the bank, original and copy (point 3)
  • Certificate of residency (Empadronamiento). Click here to find out how to apply for this document
  1. On the day of your appointment: Present yourself at the Office of Immigration of Passeig de Sant Joan in Barcelona with all of your documents mentioned in point 4 (Monday-Thursday: 09.00am/05.30pm – Friday: 09.00am/02.00pm)
  2. Obtain your TIE

If you have any doubts, call for information at: +34 93 520 14 10


C. Frequently Asked Questions:

  • If my program of studies lasts longer than 1 year, can I renew my TIE?

Yes you can renew your TIE filling out the application of extension, paying the extension fee in the amount of 18,54 euros (section 4.2) following the same steps necessary to obtain the TIE (read above).

  • I have to travel and my TIE is expired. What do I do?

If you have to leave Spain and your card is in the renewal process, you can apply for an Autorización de Regreso (permission to return), which will permit you to return to the country even if your card has already expired. This authorization permits you to leave and re-enter the country ONCE over a period of 90 days (the authorization of return is only valid to enter directly into Spain). If you return through another country in the Schengen zone, you should check in advance if you need a visa and process it before you book your flight. Upon re-entry your regreso paper will be stamped and therefore unusable. If you need to leave the country again and your documents are still expired you will need to apply for another autorización de regreso.


* EU citizens and equivalent refers to : Citizens of the European Union (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Holland , Hungary , Ireland , Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemborg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania and Sweden), the European Economic Area (Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway) and Switzerland.

** In the case that you want to open a bank account and you do not have a NIE, we will help to do so thanks to our collaboration with Banco Sabadell.

– The Citylife Team



27 comments. Leave new

Bagas Septianto Prabowo
25/01/2017 22:42

Thank you so much. This is very helpful since a lot of Spain government’s websites are only in Spanish/Catalan. But, among the needed documents, what is “Copy of the granted administrative decision, in the case of initial authorizations”?

Leah Marie Warner
27/01/2017 17:14

Hi There!

This term refers to documents like a work or internship contract or acceptance letter from a school. Basically any administrative proof to justify why would will be in Barcelona/Spain for the next year!

How do i fill in the form to pay for the tax without my NIE number?
Thank you for your time

Leah Marie Warner
24/04/2017 12:55

Hi Rita,

There should be another line on the form for you to put your passport number instead of the NIE number!

Kay Wainwright
16/05/2017 16:09

I have been living in Girona, Spain for 5 months and my NIH/TIE is in process. If I travel to Italy now, will it be a problem since it will look like I’ve over extended my three month period on my passport? I am an American married to a British and who has his NIE and British passport.

Leah Marie Warner
18/05/2017 14:45

Hi Kay!

In short – You can’t travel with expired papers.

You’ll need to apply for a document called the Autorizacion de Regreso, which allows you to exit and enter Spain ONCE while your TIE/NIE is renewing.

I work for a uk company in the entertainment industry and am working in lanzarote until November. As I’m hired by a uk company they won’t accept my uk contract as sufficient evidence that I’m here for a valid reason.

Is there any way I can get the NIE for people hired by companies outside of Spain but living here for more than 6 months?

Many thanks


Leah Marie Warner
25/05/2017 18:46

Hi Shaun,

Just to clarify, the company that hired you has a location in Lazarote? If so, they should be helping you organise your papers…

I received my TIE but they spelled my first name wrong. Any idea how to get it corrected?

Hello, i am planning to relocate to barcelona, to study spanish and to explore the opportunity of startinga business there, but it is just an idea now as i would like to spend some time there to study the market first.
I am italian, how can i apply for the NiE? If i have nothing to proof my reason to be there? I want the nie to be able to open a bank account and start my life there. Can i use my savings as a garantee? If so, is a bank statement enough?

Samual liberman
21/07/2017 21:51

Dear Sirs,
My TIE/NIE residency card , tarjeta de residencia, will be ready around 25 Aug. My question is how long do I have to pick it up? The reason I am asking is because I left spain and will not return before end of December. I don’t want them to destroy it or assume I will not pick it up, this is my concern. Thanks

Hi there, I am a Canadian and would like to buy a car in Spain and travel around Europe for less than three months and sell it before I return. I understand I do need the NIE, can I get this as a tourist without any ambitions to study or work? If so, do you have any information regarding car insurance policies and the carta verde. Thanks!

¡Hola! ¿Qúe tema tengo que elegir para tener una cita de empadronamiento por primera vez? Baixa empadronament o Altres empadronament ?

Hi! I am an EU citizen and have my NIE number but only on a piece of A4 paper. How do I get the green card with my details on?

Leah Marie Warner
03/10/2017 16:43

In 30 days you should be able to go and pick up your card at the same office you applied 🙂


I’m trying to get an appointment for several days for the NIE number but it’s impossible, it’s always the same message, no available times at the moment. Do you maybe have any idea/suggestion how could I get an appointment? Or how often do they open new dates?


He Barbara, I have the same problem. Did you solve it? What did you do?

Tyler Fisher
09/10/2017 08:23

Good morning,

I arrived in Spain recently and I cannot find any available dates on the website. What do I do?

What is the granted administrative decision and how I get it

Leah Marie Warner
11/10/2017 16:07

This is some proof of work to study here. I.e an acceptance letter, a contract of work or internship etc. You get this from your school or place of work.


I´m a fresh student in Barcelona with a visa for 3 months and in the process of getting the TIE.

My question is does the TIE replace the student Visa? Or do i have to extend my student visa somewhere?

Thanks in advance

Hi — I’ve already applied for my TIE, but I am moving before I go to collect the card. Is it a problem because I will have moved from where I was originally registered? Thanks 🙂

Do you need to show bank statement and if so required balance

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