NIE Number

If you are planning to move to Spain in 2023/2024 or have already moved there, you will need a Spanish NIE Number. This number is necessary for any important tasks such as buying a property or taking up a job in Marbella.


The NIE number, which stands for Número de Identidad de Extranjeros, is a personal identification number assigned to foreigners who live in Spain. This number is used by the government authorities to identify you. Once you have been assigned a NIE number, it will remain with you for the rest of your life and will not change. Although the issued document that contains your NIE number may expire, the number itself will remain the same. It is similar to the identity card number used in Hungary, as it never changes.

There are three types of NIE documents issued to EU citizens:

  • EU REGISTRATION CARD ( CUE – Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea ) 
  • PERMANENT RESIDENCE CARD ( Documento de residencia permanenete )

The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) certificate is a document issued on an A4 sheet of white paper, also known as the “white” NIE. It is valid for 3 months and includes the person’s name, place and date of birth, and a unique NIE number. The NIE number is made up of two letters and 7 digits, with the “X” being a placeholder for a letter or a number.

It’s important to note that the NIE A certificate is only issued for a specific transaction and is valid for 3 months. This means it’s not suitable for applications such as employment, business license or taxation. Instead, it’s typically used for activities like selling a property or starting a company.

If you need a NIE number, it’s important to note that:

– You don’t have to give up your residency status in another country.

– You don’t have to file a tax return in Spain.

– You won’t be eligible for free healthcare in Spain related to employment.

2.) EU REGISTRATION CARD ( Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la UE )

If you plan on staying in Spain for more than 180 days, you are required to apply for an EU registration card. This card is green, thin and has the same size as a bank card. It is valid for 5 years and contains your name, date of birth, NIE number and place of residence. It is important to note that laminating the card is not allowed, even though it may be tempting to do so. If you change your place of residence, you must register yourself and request a new registration card, as this will be your official notification address registered with the authorities. Additionally, it will indicate how long you have been living in Spain.


It’s worth noting that there is a type of card called the “residence card” in Spain, which looks very similar to the EU registration card and doesn’t expire. While it’s not mandatory to apply for this card, the authorities do keep a record of how long you’ve had resident status. However, it’s important to clarify that this card doesn’t automatically make you a tax resident in Spain. If you live and work in Spain, it’s recommended that you consult with a tax expert for guidance.


You will always require a NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) number in Spain if you intend to buy or sell a property, purchase a car or motorcycle, open a bank account, get a motor vehicle liability insurance, sign up for water, electricity or any other utility service, obtain a Spanish telephone subscription, get a work social insurance, establish a company that pays taxes or buy stocks.

Having a confident knowledge of Spanish is essential for NIE number administration. All papers must be presented and filled in Spanish, and the administrator may not speak any other language. If you do not speak Spanish well, it is advisable to seek professional assistance. You may also have acquaintances or friends who can help you with the administration for a fee.

If you plan on buying real estate or are already in the process of doing so, our office’s professionals can assist you with official matters.

We have two recommended ways to obtain a NIE number:

1) We can schedule an appointment and accompany you to the immigration office in person.

2) You can give a power of attorney either before a Spanish notary public or at the Spanish Embassy in Hungary.

Trying to obtain a NIE number on your own may be challenging due to the complexity of Spanish bureaucracy. You may fill out the wrong form or make mistakes while filling out the form. Additionally, you may not pay the correct fee at the bank. It is advisable to seek help from a professional who is already familiar with the process to avoid wasting time and experiencing unnecessary frustration.