Moving to Barcelona – NIE

Getting the NIE or Número de Identificación de Extranjero is probably one of the first things you will do. At least if you are planning to actually move to Barcelona and planning to stay for more than 3 month.

Me and my family are from Germany so I will describe what you will probably need as a EU citizen, since that’s what we went through.

The NIE is basically needed as a foreigner to work, pay taxes, receive benefits or do anything with contracts, you will even get asked for your NIE when you receive a parcel. It is basically your identification number in Spain where Spanish nationals have the corresponding NIF.

If you want to stay longer than 6 month, you have to have one.

There are three different kinds you can have, just the NIE number for when you are planning to stay up to 3 month, the NIE card for long-term like actually living and working here or after 5 years the residency.

I will describe what I had to do get the NIE card for me, my wife and son. Hopefully all that information is still valid, but don’t take it for granted.

In order to get the NIE you have to prove:

  • that you have a job or that you are self-employed
  • that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and have private health insurance
  • that you are a student (again with sufficient funds and private health insurance)
  • that you are joining a family member

Basically you have to prove that you will not require the assistance of the Spanish Social Security.

So that sounds kind of simple right, well it is but there a few things you need to know.

First you need to get an appointment at the police station to apply for the NIE and then you need to bring all the different documents required. 

If you think getting an appointment is easy, not really. You can try to get one online here but its actually difficult to get one there, they are mostly gone immediately so you have to be lucky.

Another much easier way to get one is via an agency like NIE Barcelona . They will get you an appointment and also tell you exactly what you need and how it should look like. Yes, some documents need to be in a certain format etc. They will also go with you to that appointment and make sure everything goes fine. They come with a cost, its 90€ per person but its really worth it I think. I used them for me and my family, simply because I didn’t want the problem with the appointments and also wanted to make sure that I have all the documents. Later you will see why, you actually need quite a few.

NIE with employment

For me getting the NIE was straight forward, because I already had my job offer and was not looking for work, basically I could prove that I will be employed. In order to start your work or get your contract you need the NIE, so you will need a special letter from your future employer to confirm your future employment. You need that letter in original and a copy.

You also need your passport and a copy from it. Then you need the form EX18, which the agency would provide if you choose one. If you don’t use an agency you also need to bring your appointment confirmation you got from the website I mentioned earlier.

Then you also need 12 € which is the fee you need pay for the actual NIE. If you use an agency they will bring you the receipt for it, if you don’t use one, then you will have to go a bank after your appointment to pay in those 12€ and you will get that receipt. You see using an agency is so much simpler.

To recap whats needed:

1. Appointment confirmation
2. Form EX18
3. Passport + photocopy
4. Original letter from the employer with the signature of the employer (scanned and printed document is not good) + photocopy
5. 12€ for the administrative fee in cash 

NIE without employment

I didn’t go that route but I know that you can get the NIE with a private health insurance and enough funds in your bank account. As far as I know the amount is 5500€. The health insurance must be taken out in Spain and without copayment. The health insurance must be already effective on the day of the appointment. The other option is to show the form S1, that proves that you are paying social security in another European country.

NIE for your spouse

Getting the NIE for your spouse is a bit annoying because you actually need to get the marriage certificate. And if that isn’t multi language you also need to get it translated properly. If your spouse will work soon, I would go the route via employment.

Documents needed without employment as a spouse:

1. Appointment confirmation
2. Form EX18 signed by both parties 
3. Applicant´s passport + photocopy
4. NIE holder´s passport + photocopy
5. NIE holder´s NIE card + photocopy
6. Marriage certificate that is:
        – Actualized – reissued less than 3 months ago
        – Apostilled – if issued in Non-EU country
        – In international (plurilingual) format or sworn translated to Spanish by a registered translator
         + photocopy of the reissued original, apostile and the sworn translation
7. Document “Vida Laboral” or IDC or Resolucion de Alta (I needed the work contract too)
8. 12€ for the administrative fee in cash 
 
You see you need quite a few documents, basically proving that you have the NIE, are working and your marriage.
 

NIE for children

Getting the NIE for your child or children is basically like getting it for your spouse, you will need loads of documents like the birth certificate. That also needs to be multi language or translated.

Documents needed for your child/children:

1. Appointment confirmation
2. Form EX18 signed by both parties 
3. Applicant´s passport + photocopy
4. NIE holder´s passport + photocopy
5. NIE holder´s NIE card + photocopy
6. Birth certificate that is:
        – Actualized – reissued less than 12 months ago
        – Apostilled – if issued in Non-EU country
        – In international (plurilingual) format or sworn translated to Spanish by a registered translator
         + photocopy of the reissued original, apostile and the sworn translation
7. Document “Vida Laboral” or IDC or Resolucion de Alta (I needed the work contract too)
8. 12€ for the administrative fee in cash 

Summary

You can see that you actually need quite a few documents and copies. They have to be correct and for example translated if they are not already multi language. If you need a translator I can give you the one I used, just comment or send me a mail. It only cost 25€ for the translation of the birth certificate since our marriage certificate was already international.

I can also send you the example of the letter from the employer, because it has to include certain things otherwise they might not approve it.

If you wonder how long all this takes, well it doesn’t have to take long. Via an agency you can get an appointment very quickly in like a few weeks. Also the police doesn’t like to give you the NIE earlier than 2 weeks before actually starting your employment, which makes getting an appointment close to your starting date, if you have one, really difficult.

All in all I would recommend using an agency, if you want to do it on your own to save the money, good luck and hopefully my advice will help you through this.

If you have any questions or need help, just leave a comment or look into my other posts about “Moving to Barcelona” .

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