How to apply for a NIE number

When you buy a property in Spain for the first time, you will need to apply for a NIE number. This article discusses how to apply for this number.

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What is an NIE number?

An NIE number is a unique non-resident identification number for Spanish taxes. For example, when you buy a property in Spain, you will initially pay the annual non-resident taxes are due. Without a Spanish identification number, you cannot pay the purchase taxes. If you buy a property together with several people (e.g. with your partner), you will both need a NIE number.

There are four ways to apply for a NIE number.

In Spain

When you are in Spain, you can apply for a NIE number through the local police station. You need to be present in person to do this. This is the easiest way if you are local, know Spanish and have plenty of time.

Find more information on how to apply for a NIE number in Spain here. 

For a purchase, in practice, between signing the reservation contract and compromise are a period during which legal checks on the property are carried out. Within that period, the appointment is then suddenly fixed. It happens that you go to get the NIE number a day before the appointment with the notary.

In your home country (Belgium or the Netherlands)

Another way to apply for your NIE number is through the Spanish consulate in your home country. In Belgium, the consulate is located at Brussels, in the Netherlands to Amsterdam. In practice, this is the cheapest way to apply for the identification number, but also the slowest. Securing an appointment in Belgium usually takes about two months. After your visit to the consulate, you will receive the NIE number via e-mail within 20 working days.

Through a power of attorney in Spain

The easiest way to apply for a NIE number is through a notarised power of attorney in Spain. After signing the reservation contract, for example, you give your local counsel a power of attorney through the notary. 

Via a power of attorney in your home country

You can also obtain a notarised power of attorney in Belgium or the Netherlands, for example, to apply for a NIE number. That power of attorney must then be legalised so that the power of attorney is valid before the notary in Spain. This method is the easiest way to apply for a NIE number, as you will not have to worry about any administration.


What forms do I need to fill in?

You need to prepare Form EX15 and Form 790-12, this per applicant.

What is the turnaround time for an application?

NIE services are very busy at the moment. We notice that the responsible police departments are overloaded. Therefore, you should expect a lead time of several months before you obtain an appointment. Are you planning to buy a property in Spain in the near future? Then start the NIE application in advance. This will save you a lot of time.

Read more about the buying process in Spain.

Get useful tips and information about buying in Spain

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