NIE / Certificado de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea

The NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) is a tax identification code assigned to everyone who moves to Spain. It is important to underline the distinction between the NIE Provisorio (temporary) and the NIE Permanente, which for European citizens takes the name of “Certificado de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea” (Certificate of Citizen of the European Union) commonly defined as green NIE, because it is just a green card that certifies the permanent residence of the foreign citizen in Spain, identified through the NIE. In this article we will explain this distinction in detail.

UK citizens who already obtained NIE Permanente before Brexit need to apply for their TIE now (instead of NIE Permanente). UK citizens who will move to Spain for the first time, therefore, will need to apply first for the NIE Provisorio (first assignation of the identification code), and later they will need to apply for the TIE.

Once the foreign citizens decide to move to Spain (UE and non-UE), they will be able to obtain the assignment of the identification number for foreigners (NIE) after having previously booked an appointment. This code is valid for 3 months and generally has an A4 format on a white sheet with a stamp and signature (example in the photo):

In this case, after 3 months, the citizen is expected to move back to the country of residence. UE citizens who decide to reside in Spain for a longer period, will be needed to apply for the NIE Permanente (UK and other non-UE citizens will apply for the TIE).

It is important to underline that a citizen who intends to settle in Spain for more than 3 months could also apply directly for the permanent NIE or TIE without necessarily requesting the provisional first, but in this case it will be required to fulfill a series of requirements (for example a pre-employment contract, etc.) and the waiting times could be slightly longer. Below we see an example of NIE Permanente:

The Nie Permanente has the size of a credit card, although in the past it was released on a green A4 support with the same information now reported in the new format.

Having the NIE is essential in many cases: it is required when we apply for a health card or when we need to open the most bank accounts. It is also possible to sign an employment contract without having the NIE, but this would entail several complications, so that this practice is generally not recommended.

Finally, it is good to remember that the NIE itself is not a valid identification document as it must always be accompanied by a valid document which shows a photo of the citizen (passport, national identity document of the country of origin, and similar).

Obtaining the NIE is often a cause of great concern for the most foreigners who decide to move to Spain: waiting times to get an appointment are often very long and a superficial knowledge of the legislation could cost the rejection of the demand and the consequent need to take a new appointment, increasing furtherly the waiting times.

Globaris360 offers personalized assistance with a consultant with large experience in the Spanish administrative field, helping you in all the phases of the application and analyzing the specificities of your personal situation, avoiding problems with the final granting of the document. Our advisory service includes a comprehensive management of the entire request and also offers you the guarantee of a second application with no costs in case the first one is not accepted by the public official.

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