A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Get your NIE

If you are planning to study or work in Spain, you will need a NIE or a TIE. The process of getting one, however, can be confusing and frustrating especially if it’s your first time doing it and you don’t speak any Spanish. In this detailed blog post, we will breakdown what a NIE/TIE is and how to get one.

What is a NIE/TIE?

NIE (número de identidad de extranjero) refers to the national identification number issued to all non-Spanish persons seeking temporary residency for various purposes. This is a unique and non-transferable number assigned to every non-Spanish resident. When you apply for and receive your NIE, the Spanish government gives you a small piece of paper (see below) with your NIE number and some basic personal information on it. All EU citizens are required to have this number and the process is fairly easy.

A TIE issued to all non-EU citizens with a NIE

TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero) is a card (see below) that has your picture, NIE number, address and where you work/study. If you are a non-EU citizen, you have to apply for a TIE. This process is much more complicated since you need to register yourself at the city hall (empadronarse) to receive your padrón. Once you have done that, you are required to get an appointment at an immigration office which can be a headache. Depending on which police station you are willing to go to or which city you are in, the nearest appointment you can get might be up to a month later. We recommend applying for an appointment once you arrive to Spain.

A TIE issued to all non-EU citizens with a NIE

In short, NIE refers to the number issued to the EU citizens and TIE refers to the card that has the NIE number of it issued to the non-EU citizens.

Why do I need a NIE/TIE?

You will need a NIE/TIE to

What documents do I need to submit to get a NIE/TIE?

In general, it depends on your status and citizenship but these are the common documents needed to be submitted at the police station:

EU citizens:

  • Appointment confirmation (sent to your email)
  • Passport and a photocopy
  • Proof of enrollment in a school or a job offer/contract
  • Receipt of paying the tax fee
  • A copy of the application form EX-18 (read below for more information)
  • A private Spanish health insurance with Europe coverage
  • Sufficient financial resources: an average of 532 euros per month or 6,400 euros per year

non-EU citizens:

  • Appointment confirmation (sent to your email)
  • Proof of enrollment in a school
  • Passport and a photocopy
  • A photocopy of your Spanish visa and entrance stamp
  • 3 passport-size photos, white background, not older than 3 months
  • Proof of registering yourself at the city hall (Certificado de empadronamiento) – Click here to read: What is Empadronamiento and How to Get a Padron
  • A copy of the application form EX-17 (read below for more information)
  • A copy of the tax form 790 Code 012 (read below for more information)
  • Receipt of paying the tax fee (if you pay it at a bank, it will be the receipt)
  • A Spanish health insurance (only if you are renewing your NIE)
  • Sufficient financial resources: an average of 532 euros per month or 6,400 euros per year (only if you are renewing your NIE)

Where to begin?

1. It all begins on the official website of the Spanish Ministry of Immigration. Go to this link: https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/icpplus/index.html

Select your province

2. Select the province where you live from the drop down menu (Barcelona, Madrid, …)

3. Click on Certificado EU if you are an EU citizen or Expedición de Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero if you are a non-EU citizen.

4. If you are getting your NIE/TIE for the first time or if you are renewing it, select POLICIA-TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA) Y RENOVACIÓN DE TARJETA DE LARGA DURACIÓN). If you are an EU citizen, select POLICIA-CERTIFICADOS UE. If your NIE has expired or it’s in the renewal process and you need to exit Spain and still be allowed back in, select POLICIA-AUTORIZACIONES DE REGRESO.

EU: Certificados UE / non-EU: Toma de Huellas

5. Click on the button Aceptar (accept) to go to the next page.

6. The next page has a list of some of the documents you will have to present. You can download the application form EX-17 and Tax form 790 Code 012 on this page as well. Click on the button Entrar to go to the next page.

7. On this page, you need to enter your personal information. Select NIE if you have a NIE number on your Spanish visa. If not, select Pasaporte and enter your passport number. When you are done, click on Aceptar.

Enter your personal information

8. On the next page (screenshot below), you will see your full name and ID number. Click on Solicitar Cita if you want to make an appointment, Consultar Citas Confirmadas if you want to check the status of your confirmed appointment, Anular Cita if you want to cancel an appointment or Salir if you want to exit without any further action.

Click "Solicitar Cita" to make an appointment

9. When you click on Solicitar Cita to make an appointment, you will be taken another page (screenshot below) where you can pick the police station where you can submit your documents. IMPORTANT: Check all the addresses on Google Maps before you pick as some of the police stations are really far away (We recommend an office near Badalona if you live in Barcelona). When you are ready, click on Siguiente to move to the next page.

Pick a police station

11. On the next page, enter your telephone number and your email address. The confirmation letter will be sent to this email address.

12. If there are any free time slots available, you will see the page below. Select the date and time available. Click on Siguiente to move forward.

Pick the time and date available

13. The next page (below) is going to show you the summary of the information. If everything looks correct, tick both “Estoy conforme con la información mostrada en pantalla” (I confirm that the information shown on the screeen is correct) and “Deseo recibir un correo electrónico con los datos de mi cita en la dirección que he proporcionado.” (I would like to receive an email with the details of my appointment at the address I have provided.). click on CONFIRMAR to confirm your appointment.

Summary of the information you have provided

If everything goes well, you will receive a confirmation letter with all the information you have provided. Now you will need to go to the police station that you selected and present your documents. We recommend showing up at least 30 minutes earlier than your appointment since you will have to stand in a line.

Application Form EX-17 (non-EU citizens) or Application Form EX-18 (EU citizens)

Application form EX-17 for non-EU citizens

This is a short 2-page application form which you need to fill out with your information. Here we have provided the translation of the fields you have to fill out.

Section 1 (2 and 3 if you are guardian responsible for a minor)

  • 1er Appellido = first last name
  • 2º Appllido = second last name
  • Nombre = first name
  • Sexo = H: male / M: female
  • Fecha de nacimiento = birthdate (in the dd/mm/yyyy format, example: 18/09/1983)
  • Lugar = City/town
  • País = Country
  • Nacionalidad = nationality
  • Estado civil = Marital status: S: single / C: married / V: widow / D: divorced / S: separated
  • Nombre del padre/madre = father’s / mother’s name
  • Domicilio en España = home address in Spain (this should match your empadronamiento)
  • Nº = house/building number
  • Piso = Apartment number
  • Localidad = city / town
  • C.P. = postal code
  • Provencia = province
  • Representante legal = ignore this field and Sections 2 and 3 if you are +18, fill out if you are a guarding responsible for a minor

Section 4

  • Tarjeta inicial = if this is the first time you are getting your card
  • Renovacion de tarjeta = renewing your card
  • Modificación de situación legal, laboral o personal = changing your legal, work or personal status
  • Duplicado por robo, extravío, destrucción o inutilización = getting a duplicate in case of losing it
  • Section 4.2 Situation in Spain: Here you will have to pick why you are in Spain. The most common one is the first one Estancia por estudios, investigación-formación, intercambio, prácticas o voluntariado (studies, doing research, exchange student, internship or voluntary work).

Right above the signature box at the bottom of the page, write the name of the city (e.g. Barcelona) followed by the date: dd – mmmm – yyyy. For example: Barcelona, a 10 de septiembre de 2018.

Print the document and sign it. Make sure you take a copy to your appointment.

Tax Form 790 Code 012

Enter your information

This is an online tax form that you have to fill out, print, take it to any bank and pay the fee (depending on your application).

Fill out the first section IDENTIFICACIÓN with your personal information.

Scroll down to the section AUTOLIQUIDACIÓN. First, Make sure Principal is selected. Then, select the radio button that matches your status/application in Spain. In most cases, you will need to select one of these two buttons

  • Non-EU citizensTIE que documenta la primera concesión de la autorización de residencia temporal, de estancia o para trabajadores transfronterizos. (15.76 euros)
  • EU citizensCertificado de registro de residente comunitario o Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de un ciudadano de la Unión. (12.00 euros)
Pick whether you need a NIE or TIE

Now go to the bottom of the page. Write your location under Localidad and pick the date under Fecha. The amount you will have to pay as tax will be shown under Importe euros. At the bottom of the page, write the CAPTCHA code and click on Descargar impreso rellenado to download the PDF file.

Download and print the PDF

Now, print the file and take it to any bank and pay the fee.

IMPORTANT: make sure you don’t lose the receipt. You must present it at the police station.

Now take all your documents to the police station, wait in line and wait for your name to be called. Keep in mind that in most cases, not a single person speaks English at the police stations. If you do not speak any Spanish, we recommend taking someone who can understand and speak Spanish.

If you wish to avoid all this work and let a professional immigration lawyer do all this for you, fill out this application and our professional lawyers will get back to you as soon as possible.

The NIE process in 7 Steps

Let us know in the comment section below about your experience going through the NIE process. What worked well and what didn’t?

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.

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This Post Has 62 Comments

  1. Hi and thank you for the detailed information! I already have my NIE (applied for and received it while still in Canada), but it sounds like I will still need the TIE. Am I correct in thinking that having my NIE in my passport is not enough for setting up a bank account, getting a phone plan, making doctor appointments, etc? If so, how do I go about getting only the TIE since I already have my NIE?

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Warren. Unfortunately, having a NIE in the passport alone isn’t enough and most probably, your visa will expire in 3 months so if you are staying longer than that, you will actually run into issues since you won’t have a valid visa to do anything. You must get a NIE which is issued for all non-EU citizens. Your NIE is just a number and it will be mentioned on your TIE (which is just the card). You need to follow the steps mentioned here to start. Everyone who gets a student visa gets a number but without the TIE, many places may refuse to open a bank account. You may open a bank account or get a phone plan just with your passport number until your TIE is issued. Thanks

  2. I finally made an appointment on the 17th of December.
    The problem is the limit date on my visa is the 8th of December.
    And the police station is not in Barcelona, it is in a small town called “VILANOVA I LA GELTRU”. It is one hour by train from Barcelona. But I live in Barcelona and my empadronamiento is in Barcelona.
    I can make the travel, but I just want to know if the date and the address of the police station would be a problem in the administration level.

    1. Hi Lin. It shouldn’t be an issue since recently the government has made it even more difficult to get an appointment. If they ask why, you can explain that it was impossible to find an appointment any time sooner. You should be ok. Thank you

  3. Hi, I’ve my TIE appointment tomorrow and I know that it’ll take 30 days to receive the physical card but is there a way to get the card sooner ?

    1. Hi. Unfortunately, no. Even if they have it ready, they wouldn’t give it out before 30 days. Thanks

  4. Hello, can I fill out all the forms by hand (print it and then fill it out by hand) or it has do be done by computer (typing)

    1. Hi Robertas. It doesn’t matter by hand or computer but it needs to be legible. We ourselves recommend doing it on a computer and then printing it just to avoid any issues. Thanks

  5. Hello! I have a question. In Valencia you need empadronamiento in order to get NIE. Is it ok if I get the empadronamiento from the city, but I get the NIE card from an office in another town, in the same province? I’m asking this because there are no appointments left in Valencia and I only managed to get one in another city (I’ve tried unsuccessfully for a few weeks to get one in the city)

    1. Hi Marinh. Yes, you can get your NIE/TIE from the same province where you are registered (empadronado). It doesn’t matter which city it is as long as it’s in the same province. Thanks

  6. I already got my student NIE card last year and it expired in January 2019. Then I applied for a 6-month student visa extension. I got the visa, but I did not get an NIE card at that time. Now I have reapplied for another 6-month student visa extension and i want to get the card at this time. Will there be any problem because I did not get it last time?

    1. Hi Yash. We have never heard of a case like that before so please contact info@barcetip.com, say that you are coming from Studentfy and explain the case and they will help you with it. Unfortunately, we do not know the answer to this particular case. Thanks

  7. I had my appointment and now need to go get my card. I know I need to wait 30 days for the TIE, but is there a time limit on when I need to go or will they hold the card for some time? I’m at about 45 days, but will not have a good day to go get it for a few more weeks.

    1. Hi Jessica. I’m sure they would hold the card for a while but try to go as soon as you can. Otherwise, they might think you have left. Thanks

  8. Hi, I had done my NIE in September 2017, do you know if it is valid and in case until when?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Laura. The number itself won’t change so even if it’s expired but you should have the date written on the card. If you are from the EU, there won’t be any expiration date but you need to register yourself every 2 years (non-EU) and every 5 years (EU). Thanks

  9. Hi Studentfy. What happens if I don’t manage to apply for my TIE card within the first 30 days of arriving in Spain?

    1. Hi Theo. Nothhing. In practice, it’s impossible for anyone to get their TIE within the first 30 days especially in September and October since the soonest appointment you can find, if you even find one, would be more than a month from now. As long as it’s not more than 3 months, you should be ok.

  10. Is there a private agency that could help fill out forms and get an appointment for a TIE in Madrid. The 30 days is almost up!

    1. Hi Danean. Please contact info@barcetip.com and tell them that you are coming from Studentfy. They mostly operate in Barcelona but they can help you get an appointment. In theory, everyone should get their TIE within a 30-day period but in practice, that’s almost impossible. You don’t need to worry about the 30-day period. You can do it within 90 days or as long as your student visa is valid. Make sure it doesn’t go beyond 90 days or you might run into some issues. Thanks

    2. I can help you get an appointment

  11. Hi, I made an appointment with my passport number and not my NIE number. Will that be a problem when I go to the office for the TIE? Thank you.

    1. Hi Mary. As far as we know, no. It shouldn’t be an issue. Thanks

  12. This blog is superb! Thanks for creating such a helpful guide.

    I do have one question. I’m trying to get my TIE in Malaga (I’ll be living in El Palo), and there are several options for the ‘oficina’ to make a TIE appointment in the Malaga province. Does it matter what oficina in the Malaga province I go to? The oficina closest to the Malaga city center has a very long wait time, but I can make appointments sooner in other offices (e.g. Velez-Malaga).

    Thanks so much for your time and help!
    Trevor

    1. Hi Trevor. Thank you. We are glad the guide is helpful. Honestly, we have heard conflicting comments about this. Some immigration offices have refused people from other provinces or neighborhoods and some are ok with it. It’s impossible to tell whether they would be ok with it in a particular office in Malaga but you should go to their front desk and ask. It doesn’t make sense if you make an appointment but then they reject you. Double check first. Thank you

  13. I have one question more,
    I paid for TIE in the bank, they just put a sello on it, didn’t give me a receipt,
    Will it be enough for my application?

    1. Hi Ecenur. As far as we know, you must hand over that receipt to the officer, because there wont be another way to know that you have actually paid. We recommend double checking with the bank one more time to see if they can give you a receipt. otherwise, you need to prove that you have actually paid the tax. Thanks

  14. Hi there, I was wondering – all of the information says that I need to have a TIE appointment within a month of arriving in Spain. However the first appointment I can get in Madrid is at the end of November (I’ve arrived at the end of September) is this ok? The 3 month temporary visa in my passport lasts until January?

    1. Hi Jacqui. Yes, all the documents say that you should have applied for the NIE/TIE within a one month period. However, realistically, that’s impossible. Many people come here looking for a flat first and it’s impossible to get everything done in less than 45 days, let alone 30 days. With thousands of foreigners going through the same process and applying, the process is very slow and unfortunately, unless you go through a lawyer and end up paying, there isn’t much you can do about it. Keep trying and you will be ok.
      Thanks

  15. Hola buenas, I have a spanish estancia visa, I got 1 cita for ”expedicion de tarjeta” too. But I don’t have a NIE number on my visa, so I made the appointment with passport number. Is this a problem not to have a NIE for TIE?

    (Some of my friends have it on visa)

    1. Hi Ecenur. Yes, most student or work visas already have a NIE number on them. However, depending on your nationality, place of issuing the visa and visa type, it might not have the number. The government will assign you a number anyway once you are here and apply for the NIE/TIE.
      Thank you

  16. Does it matter if the application form EX-17 and the tax form 790 Code 012 are typed, then printer or are written ink ink?

    1. Hi John. No, it doesnt matter. We usually recommend having them typed instead of hand written as it is more legible if it’s typed and then printed. It will not make a huge difference though. They accept hand written applications as long as the hand-writing isn’t too bad.

  17. Hello i am married to spanish, under family reunification visa, i dont know if i need to get NIE? I directly did the appointment for TIE which next week Or do i need to get fist the appointment for NIE? Thanks

    1. Hi May. You don’t need a separate appointment. NIE and TIE are the same. NIE just refers to the number (e.g. Y12345678B) and TIE refers to the card that has your information on it including your NIE (T stands for Tarjeta which means card).
      Thanks

  18. Hello what happens if I pass the first month yo apply for tie/ and the region I live in has not a option for tie appointment in online

    1. Hi Tuba. That’s quite strange because every region must have at least one. Maybe go to a police station in your city and ask them about an immigration office in the city/region. Thanks. Studentfy

  19. Hi, I applied and received or my NIE number before moving to Barcelona; I used Lawyers in Spain. However I only received the paper copy not the card. Do I still need to book an appointment at the immigration office to go and order a TIE card ???

    1. Hi Jaelyn. As far as we know, yes. You need to have the TIE card itself as some places may not accept a paper copy of it. We recommend checking with your lawyer one more time just to be sure. Thank you for asking. Studentfy

  20. Hi, what are the steps to cancel an already existing TIE appointment

    1. Hi. Usually there is no need to cancel the appointment but it’s the same process as making an appointment, however, you will have to click on Anular La Cita to cancel it.

  21. Hello. My son is 16 and studying in San Sebastián until June 2020 but the student visa is only valid to November 2019. Are youth required to apply for residency and/or TIE?

    1. Hi Peggy

      Most probably, yes. All non-EU individuals who plan to study in Spain must apply for the TIE which is the residency card. It might be slightly a different case since your son is a minor. We recommend contacting the immigratin firm BarceTip just to double check with them. Please contact info@barcetip.com

      Thank you

  22. How do I apply for the renewal of the TIE? School provided me with papers to extend it. As I found out first you have to apply for the permit and then the do the new TIE. How do I extend the permit?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Nicolas. That is correct. You first need to submit your documents and wait (up to 5 months) for a response. Once you are approved, you need to go to the immigration office for signing the documents and then wait 10 to 30 days to have your new TIE card ready. We are working on a detailed blog explaining how to renew the NIE/TIE. Please stay tuned.

  23. Hi,
    We have a residency card after being here 2 years, my husband works, I don’t. How do I apply for my TIE duracion temporal if my husband supports me?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Michelle

      Thank you for your comment. We recommend contacting our partner BarceTip regarding that question. Please contact info@barcetip.com

      Thanks
      Studentfy

  24. Is it true that you can’t do the NIE process in August because they colse?

    1. Hi Salma. We have never heard of that. It’s true that a lot of the governmental agencies work half-time and that causes everything to take longer but you can still submit your documents in August.

  25. Hi there thank you for this helpful guide.

    When I go to book an appointment this is coming up and it will not let me book something:

    “En este momento no hay citas disponibles.
    En breve, la Oficina pondrá a su disposición nuevas citas.”

    Do you know how I can book an appointment another way?
    Thank you,
    Taylor

    1. Hi Taylor. That means there are no available appointments at the moment. We have heard lots of stories about how to get around it like trying between 08:00 and 08:05 in the morning!! Unfortunately, you constantly have to refresh the page until there are time slots available. You could also contact our legal firm partner and they will find a time slot for you. You can find more information here: https://www.studentfy.com/landing-services/legal-help
      Thank you

      1. Hi thanks for the response. I haven’t even been able to get to the page where you can choose the location (step 9). That is coming up right after step 8. I did try refreshing a few times, but there’s no option to even choose a location or time yet (like you mentioned above 8 to 8:05, etc).

        Is there another way to book an appointment? Can I go into a police station in person?

        Thanks,
        Taylor

        1. Hi Taylor. That’s correct because the page where you can pick the location appears only when there are free time slots available.
          Before, you could go to a police station and see if you can get lucky but now almost all the locations require an appointment. You could try your luck by going to a police station without an appointment but most likely, you will get rejected. Keep trying online as well. Keep us posted.

          1. Hi there,

            I still haven’t been able to get an appointment for my TIE. I am just wondering if anyone can assist in getting an appointment?

            Thanks

  26. How I will know my NIE status. Already 4 month gone.

  27. Hi, is it very necessary to get a empadronamiento to get my TIE? I only book a room and my name isn’t in the house contract. How can I do?

    1. Hi Eduardo. You may have to go with the landlord/landlady to the empadro office. Please stay tuned for the detailed blog about how to get your empadro.

  28. I have a question is it possible to get a empadronamiento with a room rent contract?

    1. Hi Adrian. As long as you have your name on the house contract, you should be able to get your padron. We are currently working on a detailed blog on empadronamiento and how to get it. Please stay tuned.

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