If you’re moving to Tenerife or to Spain you probably have read online or heard from other expats about NIE number. It probably came with added recommendation – ‘get it as soon as possible’.

Although there is a lot of information about NIE number available on the internet, some of it is wrong or misleading. Here you can find a complete guide answering questions like what is NIE and how to get yours without a headache.


What is NIE number?

NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) is a fiscal identification number, equivalent of a national ID number, for foreigners living in Spain. It is required for both EU and non-EU nationals that have professional or financial ties in Spain. NIE is required in order to work and study, for buying a property or a vehicle and much more. Basically you need your NIE as soon as possible if you’re considering staying around for a while. For these reasons most expats moving to Tenerife consider obtaining their NIE as a priority.


How to get your NIE number?

The easiest way to get your NIE (for EU nationals that can stay in Spain up to 90 days without any formal documents) is after arriving to Tenerife. You need to fill in NIE application form – called EX-15 form – and print it out or, alternatively, collect it from the Police Station. If you struggle filling it in, you can use an English example for your reference. Remember however that submitted application form has to be in Spanish!

Along with your NIE application form you will have to present a proof of paid taxes with the 790-012 form (9,64€). To do that you can fill it out online here from the official website and print it out. Once you have you form filled in, print it out and head to the nearest bank to pay the taxes. The bank will issue a receipt confirming that your application’s taxes are paid.

Once you have both forms ready you need to go to the Police Station (in the south it’s in Las Americas) or to Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjería). There you’ll have a meeting with a clerk/police officer that will check all your paperwork. Keep in mind that there is no option for booking a NIE appointment beforehand (no NIE cita previa service). You should be given your NIE number straightaway.


Requirements checklist

Make sure you bring all of these documents with you for the appointment:

  • Original of the EX-15 form filled in
  • A copy of your passport/national ID and the original
  • Receipt of the payment of 790-012 form

Alternatively, you can apply for your NIE before arriving to Tenerife in any Spanish embassy. Please get in touch as depending on your current location and nationality the process may vary.

Congratulations! You just got your NIE number and have made your first step to new life in Tenerife!

Struggling with your Spanish? Your work keeps you too busy to spend whole morning at the Police Station? Or maybe do you simply want to go with someone who knows the whole process? Whatever your circumstances, don’t hesitate and get in touch today, here at The Helpers we are here to make it easy for you!


Additional questions

How does a NIE look like?

All NIE numbers follow the same ‘1 letter – 7 digits -1 letter’ format:


The first letter is X- or Y- depending when on the year you applied for your NIE.

Below you can see the official document issued by authorities with your new NIE number.

Spain NIE number example

Does my NIE number expire?

Your NIE number does NOT expire. It is your Spanish identification number for all your future administrative operations in Spain.

I have lost my NIE, what can I do?

You can apply for the duplicate of your NIE at your local Police Station. Make sure you know your NIE and then repeat the whole process again.


Keywords: NIE number, Tenerife, administration, The Helpers