The N.I.E. number: essential to buy or live in Spain

Belgians and residents of other EU countries are free to go to Spain with a valid ID. Don’t forget a valid passport or kid ID for your children, too. Want to buy a house or move to Spain? Then you need an N.I.E. number!

Apply for N.I.E. number

What is an N.I.E. number?

N.I.E. is the abbreviation for the Número de Identidad de Extranjero. You will then be assigned a personal tax identification number by the Immigration Department to use on all official documents. You can compare it to your national registration number in Belgium. Note: the N.I.E. in itself is not sufficient as identification, you still need to carry your Belgian identity card. The N.I.E. serves to complement that.

When do you need an N.I.E. number?

There are three reasons why an N.I.E. number is needed:

  1. If you want to stay longer than 3 months in Spain
  2. To perform legal acts in Spain (such as buying a house, for example)
  3. When you want to work in Spain

How to apply for an N.I.E. number.

You can request the N.I.E. number at a Spanish National Police Office or at the Office for Foreigners (Extranjeria). Here’s what you need to do:

  • Fill out the EX-15 form. Feel free to do this ahead of time so you have the necessary information for sure. You can download the EX-15 form here.
  • Make sure you have the appropriate documents with you, such as a copy of your valid ID card and a document that proves the reason for your application (deed of the property, bank request, etc.). Remember: if you as a parent want to apply for an N.I.E. for your children, you must be able to present a marriage certificate along with a valid ID of your child.
  • You will still have to pay taxes on the spot, which amount to €9.54.
  • For your proof of non-residency, you pay €7.10.
  • Please note: you must pay these amounts in cash on the spot!
  • Depending on how busy and where you apply, you will receive your N.I.E. immediately or up to a maximum of 2 weeks after application.

If you want a permanent N.I.E. number, you have to apply for it in Spain. Your application for a temporary N.I.E. number can also be made in Belgium at the Spanish consulate:

  • Make an appointment at the Spanish Consulate: Rue Ducale 85-87, 1000 Brussels at Francisco Molero (02/509.87.72) between 9 am and 1 pm. More information.
  • Complete the EX-15 form in advance and bring it with you to the embassy including all necessary documents. On the spot, you will have to sign the document. Be sure not to forget the copy of your identity card!
  • Also at the Spanish consulate you will have to pay €9.54 (taxes) and €7.10 (proof of non-residence), cash and on the spot.
  • For an application from Belgium, you must also complete the Modelo 790 document , proving your permanent residence in Belgium.
  • The consulate will send all documents and your application to the Commissariat of Immigration and Documentation in Madrid for processing and approval.
  • That Commissariat, once approved, will send the N.I.E. number to you via e-mail.
  • This can take up to two months, so be sure to submit your application on time.

Temporary or permanent N.I.E. number

A temporary N.I.E. number is valid for 3 months and is intended for applications for legal actions. So if you need an N.I.E. number to buy a house, you choose a temporary number. Anyone planning to emigrate or stay in Spain for more than 3 months needs a permanent N.I.E. number. This number is valid for up to 5 years, and must be applied for in Spain at a police station or the Office for Foreigners.

The EX-15 form

You must complete this form in triplicate to apply for your N.I.E. number. This is a very important document that forms the basis of your application. As a resident of an EU country, the main consideration is the reason for your application. So be sure this information is complete, and supported as best you can by the necessary additional documents.

N.I.E. personal data

  • Personal data
    • Id.
    • First name(s) and last name(s)
    • Gender
    • Date, place and country of birth
    • Nationality
    • Marital status
    • First names of your parents
    • Your current domicile address in Belgium (street, number, zip code, city, country)
    • Contact information: phone number and email address
    • If necessary the details of your legal representative (if you are having the application done by someone else, or if you are a parent applying for your children e.g.)

N.I.E. representative

  • Personal and address information of the representative (to be completed only if a representative is submitting the application)

N.I.E. correspondence address

  • Correspondence address to which all information may be sent

N.I.E. reason for request

  • Reason for request
    • Confirm that you want to apply for an N.I.E. number. Do you live in Spain or not? Then indicate if you need proof of residency/non-residency?
    • Is your application for economic, professional or social reasons? And specify your answer.
      • Economic reasons: purchase of a house, country home, …
      • Professional reasons: you want to work in Spain
      • Social reasons: long vacation, family visits, …
    • Indicate where you are applying: at the police station, at the Office for Foreigners or at the Spanish consulate
    • Will you be staying or living in Spain? Here is the difference between a temporary or permanent N.I.E. number.
  • Attachments to support your application, including copy of ID card and a passport photo

In this video, you can see step by step how to fill out the EX-15 form:

What all do you need an N.I.E. number for?

When you need an N.I.E. number, we described above. Now we give some examples of what you all need such a number for:

  • Your registration with the municipality
  • If you want to join a sports club or the library
  • When you want to open a bank account
  • To buy a house or car
  • To take out a GSM subscription
  • On your tax return
  • If you want to buy large items online such as, e.g., a washing machine
  • Those wishing to establish a company also need an N.I.E. number
  • You must also include your N.I.E. number on all official documents
  • If you want to work in Spain you need an N.I.E. number to receive your salary
  • When you want to take out insurance or a mortgage
  • For your enrollment with Social Security



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