What is the NIE?

Foreigners in whose favor a procedure is initiated to obtain a document that enables them to remain in Spanish territory other than a visa, those for whom an administrative file has been initiated by virtue of the provisions of the regulations on immigration and those who, due to their economic, professional or social interests, are related to Spain will be provided, for identification purposes, with a personal, unique and exclusive, sequential number called NIE.

N.I.E stands for “Número de Identidad de Extranjero” meaning foreign identity number.

It is important not to confuse the N.I.E. with the T.I.E. o Foreigner Identity Card, which is the physical document that contains identification data, photo, NIE number and type of stay or residence authorization held in Spain.

This personal number called N.I.E. It will be the foreigner’s identifier, which must appear in all the documents issued or processed, as well as in the procedures that are stamped in their passport or similar document, except for visas.


The foreigner’s identity number must be granted ex officio by the General Directorate of the Police and the Civil Guard, in the aforementioned cases, except in the case of foreigners who relate to Spain due to their economic interests. professional or social, which must interest said body in assigning the indicated number, provided that the following requirements are met:

  • Not being in Spain in an irregular situation.
  • That is requested by the economic, professional or social interests of the foreigner.
  • That they communicate the reasons why they request the assignment of the number.
Place and form of application

Foreigners who have a relationship with Spain due to their economic, professional or social interests may request the NIE in person or through a representative from the General Directorate of the Police and the Civil Guard, directly or through the Immigration Offices or Police Stations. police. In the event that the foreigner is not in Spanish territory at the time of the application, he or she will request the assignment of an NIE to the General Commissariat for Immigration and Borders, through the Spanish Consular Offices abroad.

The procedure must be resolved within a maximum period of five days from the entry of the application in the registry of the body competent to process it.


If requested through a representative, the representative will provide a certified copy of the applicant’s passport.

The representation must be justified by means of an apostilled notarial power in which it is clearly specified that the power is granted for the processing of the NIE and the agent and principal are unequivocally identified by full name and identity number (matching the documents provided).


Documents that must be provided:

  • Application form on official model (EX-15) in duplicate, duly completed and signed by the foreigner.
    Copy of the complete passport, travel document or registration card, or identity document if the applicant is a citizen of the Union.
  • Communication of the economic, professional or social causes that justify the request.
  • The fees for assigning a Foreigner Identity Number (N.I.E.) must be paid prior to the resolution of the procedure.
  • Form 012 “assignment of Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) at the request of the interested party”.
Basic regulation of the N.I.E.
  • Organic Law 4/2000, of January 11, on the Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and their Social Integration (article 34.2).
  • Regulation of Organic Law 4/2000, approved by Royal Decree 557/2011, of April 20 (article 206).