What is the NIE? – Function and importance of the Foreigner Identity Number

Having a count of the number of people residing in a country is vital for its economy, that way the Budget items They are consistent with reality. For this reason, we will obtain the NIE in Spain, in order to regularize foreigners who live in the country for work or social purposes.

This type of document gives you an identification number that must appear on all your papers. In this way, the foreigner is endowed with contractual capacity and other economic and professional benefits. Since, you can process a bank cover or other important contracts.

In this article we will show you some relevant details to process the NIE, and its similarities and differences with the NIF and DNI. You will also discover other benefits of regularize your status within the European Union.

What does NIE mean?

Its initials indicate ‘Foreigner Identity Number’ and it’s a code which is granted in Spain to residents who come from other countries in the world. But, that due to work, social or economic circumstances has decided to stay in the European Nation indefinitely.

So, it is a document that identifies the foreigner during his stay in Spain, so that he can do some paperwork. Thus, it is possible to sign papers, contracts or request permits. Which are exclusive privileges of the citizens of the territory.

These figures arise in order to safeguard rights of foreigners. In addition, it is a way of giving them the opportunity to lead a normal life while residing in Spain legally, for months or permanently.

For this reason, through this document, they are assigned a nomenclature, composed of a letter and a seven-digit number, plus a control code. In this way, the State can keep track of the number of foreigners residing in the country and make economic adjustments based on population growth.

What type of document is the NIE?

It is a kind of identification meat, similar to the ID or identity card that each person has in their country. Since, contains all your personal data and accredits him as a citizen in his Nation. In the case of the NIE, it offers a clear identification as a foreigner and empowers you to carry out various procedures.

For this reason, it is an identity document that bears a certain similarity to the DNI and has a close link with the NIF. Because the first is the National Identity Document, where all the personal data of Spanish citizens rest, giving them full capacity from the age of majority.

In the case of the NIF, we will see that it is the Fiscal Number and Identity, attributed to all companies or legal entities in general. In order that they can carry out its commercial activity in a legal and organized manner. Similar to Rut in Mexico and other countries.

Consequently, they are similar to the NIE, in the granting or accreditation to exercise their right, in the latter case, as foreigners, but that legally reside in the country. Taking into account that it is a unique code for each person and that it is granted by the General Directorate of the Police.

What is the NIE used for?

By its nature, its main function is to identify the person before any authority of the nation. Well, like the passport, the NIE serves as identity document within the European Union.

However, Spanish law presents some limitations for foreigners, therefore, they need to process their NIE, in order to be able to do some paperworkas we will mention below:

  • On the one hand, it is a document that is used to execute any type of economic operations or tax related. In this way, you will be able to sign contracts that involve the purchase of real estate or vehicles in general.
  • Similarly, it is vital to apply for a driver’s license or access any health service or social security program. Also, if you want to form your own company or associate with a Spanish citizen, you need to have the NIE.
  • It is a requirement to identify yourself at the time of sign a contract for rent. As well as when you receive a job offer and proceed to sign the labor agreement.

It is vital that we are clear that this type of document does not replace the rights granted by the Spanish residence. But, it is a way to regularize foreigners in the national territory.

How to request the NIE?

There are different ways to process the NIE; however, the most common is to do it in person at the General directorate of police. It does not matter if you are in Barcelona, ​​Madrid or Valencia, from any city you can make your request online.

There is the possibility of assigning a NIE to a foreigner who is about to be expelled through a departure administrative file. Likewise, it can be obtained by any foreigner who begins the process to request a permit to stay in Spain.

The important thing is that there are interests from the social, economic or professional point of view within Spanish territory. In the same way, what is relevant is to comply with the requirements established in the law to make the request, either online or in person before the General Directorate of the Police.

But, if you are in Mexico or any other nation, you can make your request before the consular offices of Spain, located in the country where you are. Also, it is pertinent to find legal advice and appoint a proxy if necessary, the same may make the request in the absence of the owner.

NIE requirements

If you are a foreigner and you want to apply for your NIE before the General Directorate of the Police, it is important that you enter their website principal and ask for your respective appointment. Then, you must meet the following legal requirements:

  • In principle, you must print the application that you have made online, verify that you have filled out all the required information and correctly signed.
  • Make sure you get one photocopy your passport and bring it in original. Any other identity document with a passport-size photograph is also valid.
  • Finally, don’t forget the accreditation that encourages you to make the request. Consequently, this statement of reasons must contain the causes that justify the procedure, be it from a social, economic or professional point of view.

Also, keep in mind that the NIE may have an expiration date, depending on the type of Foreigner Identity Card you have. Consequently, you will have to renew it complying with the same previous requirements, justifying the reason for the renewal.

Where to process my NIE? – Online

The execution of this process must be carried out personally before the General Directorate of Police. But in principle request an appointment online through the website of the aforementioned office.

In addition, the approximate term for carrying out the aforementioned procedure is two weeks. However, due to the number of requests, currently getting an appointment can be take a little more time.

In the same way, keep in mind that requesting this type of document carries a cost. The rate must be paid once you fill out the form and they assign you the appointment.

Examples of the NIE

As is evident, this nomenclature is unique for each citizen, in fact, it is made up of seven digits, it also has a letter at the beginning and a code at the end. In this way, it is possible to keep track of foreigners residing in Spanish territory.
Consequently, an example of a NIE usually begins with the letter ‘X’ or ‘T’, as follows: T7564893F. It is important that the referred nomenclature do not include hyphens or symbols.
We will also get some that start with the letters ‘Y’ or ‘Z’, after the year 2008, always accompanied by the alphabet check symbol at the end of the numbers. In the same way, as it happens with the DNI, which has that terminal code.

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