The difference between an NIE number and a Certificate of Residence


What is an NIE number?

Is it the same as the residence number?

Which one proves residence in Spain?


These are some of the most common questions that a foreigner may have when coming to Spain.

The NIE number means (NUMERO DE IDENTIDAD DE EXTRANJERO). It is basically a Tax Identification Number for foreigners, and is issued at the police

offices. It is a personal number which will always be the same and that will be used when buying for example a property or a car, and when paying taxes. Without this number it is not possible to purchase a property in Spain.

Getting a NIE number does not allow foreigners to live and reside in Spain.

Although EU citizens can live and reside in Spain, people of other nationalities will need to apply for residence in Spain (a different procedure more much

complicated than getting an NIE number).

Please also note that any foreigner who lives and resides in Spain must get a

residence certificate, that is different from an NIE number. This is a legal

document which confirms that the named person is living and residing in Spain. This document is also issued at the police offices.

EU citizens can get this certificate of residence without problems, however other nationalities can only get it by applying for it at Spanish embassies in their own countries.

Using a solicitor can make the difference when applying for any of these

documents as they will know the forms to be completed, the steps to be taken and the right places to submit the applications. A solicitor will guide you throughout this bureaucratic process so your application does not become a nightmare.

Telephone: 952 901 225

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We will be pleased to study your particular case and explain in detail how this process works.