Nie & Tie

card, identification, identity card

Nie, nie, nie … when someone starts looking for what documents they need to live in Spain, they will end up finding this acronym all the time.

But … what exactly is the nie?

Nie stands for Número de Identidad de Extranjero. The Nie is a personal, unique and exclusive number that all foreigners (EU and non-EU) who want to stay in the Spanish territory must have. It is issued by the Police (Extranjería).

Processing the Nie will be one of the first things you will have to do when you come to live in Spain. The Nie is required for all types of operations and economic transactions, such as the purchase or sale of a huose, payment of taxes, to obtain a driver’s license, to work, to open your own business …

When people talk about Nie, they can refer to the Nie’s number or the Nie’s card.

Nie’s number is a number written on a white sheet of A4. This number will be valid for all procedures but it is NOT the residence card.

The Nie card is a green card the size of a credit card (with the Nie number written on it) and is also called “residence card” (Union Citizen Registration Certificate). This card will be the residence certificate for citizens of countries from the European Union.

Citizens of countries not members of the European Union, after obtaining the Nie number, to obtain residency will have to apply for the Tie (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extrajero).

When I arrived in Barcelona in 2006, requesting the NIE was very simple. You just had to enter the police station and they would process it for you. After a while, people had to book an appointment, but it still was  quite quick to obtain it. In the last years, there is so much demand that just getting the appointment has become a nightmare.

It takes a lot of patience .. but you will get it !!!

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