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You need a NIE in order to…


  • Work for a company

  • Work for yourself

  • Start a business

  • Open a bank account

  • Enroll in studies

  • Apply for a driving license

  • Buy property

  • Contract utilities for a property, such as water, gas, and electricity

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(Número de Identidad de Extranjero)

The foreigner identity number, or NIE, is unique number assigned to foreigners who have established an economic, professional, or social relationship with Spain. It is written on white paper and is composed of one letter, seven numbers, and one final letter – for example Y-4866577-S. Each NIE has an expiry date. Whilst the NIE necessary for any kind of work or economic activity in Spain, it does not on its own provide the holder with a right to stay or reside in Spain and carry out these activities.




(Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión)

The “Green NIE” is required for stays in Spain lasting longer than 90 days. The card states the holder’s name, NIE (identification number), Spanish address, and nationality, as well as the date they became resident and the issue date of the card.




TIE is an acronym for “Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero”, or “Foreigner Identity Card”. As the name suggests, it certifies the legal residence of a non-EU foreigner in Spain. The card lists the NIE and personal details of the holder, has a photograph, and indicates the type of residency permission.

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