Getting your NIE

So you’ve bagged a new job in sunny Spain…what now? Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS! But wait…don’t you need to get an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero or Foreigner’s Identification Number)? You must have heard the difficulty and effort in firstly getting an appointment set up, and secondly obtaining the NIE card. But fear not…I have been through it all and I am here to offer my advice and support in the blog below! Find out how I obtained my NIE in virtually half a day!

Firstly, from personal experience, I would definitely say don’t stress! It may seem like a daunting experience and very last minute, but that is generally how the system works. It is more laid back and it will get sorted as long as you have all the documents required. In most cases (but not all!), you will need the NIE application form (EX-15) – there is also a translation in English but remember that the form you submit must be Spanish! – passport, photocopy of passport and 2 small passport-sized photos. Normally, you will also need a letter from your workplace office to confirm your employment. You will also be required to pay a small fee. Check the website for up-to-date requirements –

Once you have all the documents, you are one step closer to getting your NIE! One option to obtaining your NIE is to book an appointment online. This is often tricky, but it can be done! Use the official website – – which will show you any available appointments. Make sure to check very early in the morning as the appointments will go very quickly!

I was unable to get an appointment before I went to Spain, so I took the more daunting route. I was due to work in Barcelona the week after and I really needed to obtain the NIE as soon as possible. I was very stressed! The way I obtained my NIE in a day was to queue outside at a police station very early in the morning. I woke up at 3am and caught a taxi to Sant Adrià de Besòs (a police station in Barcelona that I had been told about previously). When I arrived at around 4am, there were already 4 or 5 people in the queue ahead of me. We all waited until 9am when the police station opened. Approximately 10/12 people in the queue get seen for an appointment on the day. We were issued a ticket with a time to come back for our appointment. Mine was 11am so I headed to a local café to indulge a little. At 11am, I arrived back at the police station, where I was taken to a waiting room with a number. After waiting, a lady called out my number and my appointment began.

I had to hand over all my documents, including my passport, photos, a letter from work and my UK student status letter as I was on my placement year. After this, it seemed I had met all the requirements and I was told I had to go to a specific bank close by to pay the fee that they had given to me on a piece of paper. I took this and paid the fee. Then, I had to come back to the police station. I was finally issued the NIE and was able to leave and take the rest of the day off to relax and recover.

Although this seems like a long process, it only took up half a day and once I had it, I was able to begin my employment. My top tip: make sure you get to the police station very early as there is a heavy demand for NIE appointments! I hope that this has not put you off but instead, given you hope that it can be done very quickly and easily!

Happy Friday blogging! x

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