NIE Numbers in Spain
A NIE (número de identificación de extranjero) is a Spanish ID number for foreigners. A person that obtains a residency permit in Spain will automatically be assigned an NIE, which will be printed on their residency card and operate as their ID number in Spain.
On the other hand, in the case of a person not resident in Spain, but that wants to invest or have other economic interests in Spain, he or she will have to apply specifically for an NIE to be assigned to them, since the NIE will be required for most transactions made in Spain, allowing the authorities to identify them for tax purposes and others.
This is why we distinguish between two different types of NIE:
NIE as a residency permit: as mentioned above, this is the number automatically assigned when a residency permit is granted and therefore it implies residency rights of diffrent types, depending on the permit it is associated to.
NIE for other purposes: this NIE does not come with any type of right to reside in Spain and is a number designed to identify a person before the Spanish authorities. It will be demanded for most transactions or economic operations and has to be applied for explicitly providing documentation that shows why the applicant needs the NIE. The application may be submitted in Spain or through the Spanish Consulate, and can be presented by a different person than the applicant if they hold a Power of Attorney.
Once a person obtains an NIE, the actual number will always be the same, independently of if the holder decides to change his or her status, applying for the relevant residency permit.
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Related Services to NIE Numbers
If you are a highly qualified worker form outside the EU and you’re planning to come to Spain, then you may be interested in the Blue Card.
Are you investing or buying a property in Span? Then you may be interested in the Golden Visa residency permit.