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What is NIE Number? What is NIE Card?

What is NIE Number? What is NIE Card?

For EU passport holders, there are two options regarding the NIE: the NIE “number” and the NIE “card.” The NIE number is essentially a numeric code printed on a white document, while the NIE card, also known as a residency certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión) or residency card (tarjeta de residencia), is a compact green card that streamlines various administrative processes in Spain. This card serves a similar purpose to the NIF, the Spanish citizens’ identification card. Refer to the detailed application procedures provided below for both types of NIE.

NIE number (Número de identidad de extranjero)

  • Displayed on a white document
  • Recently introduced with indefinite validity
  • Comprised of a letter at the beginning, seven numbers, and a letter at the end (e.g., Y-3688609-S)
  • Obtainable through in-person application or via a legalised power of attorney
  • Allocated for administrative purposes such as property transactions, investments, and tax obligations
  • Comprehensive application process and prerequisites (in Spanish)
  • Not considered proof of residency
  • Does not include a “número de soporte”
  • Application involves completing the EX15 form

NIE card (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión)

  • A compact green card, previously issued on A4-sized green paper
  • Contains the NIE number, along with personal details such as name, date and place of birth, Spanish address, and date of application
  • Mandatory for stays exceeding three months
  • Application for the NIE card must be made in person and requires scheduling an appointment (in Barcelona)
  • Issuance of the NIE card is contingent upon meeting specific criteria for EU citizens, including:
    • Employment under a Spanish employer
    • Self-employment (autonomo)
    • Enrollment as a student with appropriate health insurance
    • Demonstrable financial means and valid health insurance in Spain
    • Joining a family member already residing in Spain
  • The NIE Card’s validity is indefinite, subject to potential legislative changes
  • Complete list of requirements (in Spanish)
  • Application involves completing the EX18 form

Read more on how to apply for a NIE in Barcelona.

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