In this article will be explained how to obtain a NIE number (Número de Identificaión de Extranjeros) The NIE-number is a number you need for most of the governmental bodies in Spain and is comparable with the English SSN-number. Although the main procedure of obtaining the document is the same in the whole of Spain, little differences may occur in different regions of the country.

The NIE-number is required to:

  • work
  • receive salary
  • sell or buy a property in spain
  • get insured
  • get a bank account
  • pay tax
  • apply for social security
  • apply for a driver´s licence
  • apply for a mobile phone subscription

Where to apply for your NIE in Barcelona

Applying for the NIE number can be done at a police stations with a ´Foreigners Office´ (Oficina de extranjeros). In Barcelona it is located on Carrer Balmes 192 (10 minutes walk from Diagonal metro station.) The office is open from 9.00 to 14.00.

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How to apply for your NIE number

If you want to apply for the NIE-number the following steps need to be taken:

  1. Download and print out the NIE-number application form, which you can find here
  2. With the filled in form, a valid passport or ID-card, a copy of your passport or ID-card (if you're not an EU citizen you'll also need to bring 2 passport photos and a proof of legal entry into Spain) and you go to the police station on Carrer Balmes 192 where you'll receive two documents: A form with a proof of application and a form with which you can pay for the costs of the NIE-number.
  3. Go to a nearby bank to pay for the NIE-number (it costs about 9 or 10 Euros), return to the Foreigners Office in order to collect the NIE. For EU-citizens getting a NIE-number is now a lot easier and quicker than it used to be and now things can be done within a day.


  • If you are not an EU citizen you will need two passport photos
  • If you are not an EU citizen you must also bring a proof of legal entry into Spain

Costs of the NIE-number

Costs may vary per province but an indication of the price of the NIE-number is around 10 Euros.

Useful tips

  • In some cities queues for the application of the NIE number can be reasonably long. Therefore make sure you bring along a book, magazine or newspaper.
  • If you're for instance in Spain for a language course which only lasts 4 to 5 months and you don't have the intention to make any other applications at governmental bodies but the NIE-number, there is no need applying for a "Ceritficado de registro como residente comunitario" (residence permit).
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