If you have recently moved to Spain or are planning to purchase property here it is vital that you apply for an NIE number. The NIE (or Número de Identidad de Extranjero to give its full title) is an essential piece of paperwork, since it registers the holder for tax purposes and must be obtained before the deeds of purchase (known in Spain as the escritura) are signed. Indeed, its essential to have an NIE to buy anything of significance. The good news is that it is a fairly straightforward process and once you have obtained your NIE you will find it useful in all manner of situations!
You can apply for this document at the immigration office at one of the designated police stations. Most towns with significant foreign populations will have such a facility, along with resident translators to assist the process for non-Spanish speakers. Once you have submitted your application you will be given a receipt that you will need to bring with you when you return to collect your NIE certificate – usually about two weeks later. Continue reading