The one document you will DEFINITELY need when buying property in Spain
Have you already found your dream property in Spain?
If yes, congratulations! Now it’s time to go through the purchase process, and to do so you’ll need the document called: “NIE certificate”.
We’ve prepared a mini guide to explain what the NIE certificate is and what the number is used for.
Definition of the NIE number
It’s a one-page certificate which stands for: “Número de Identificación de Extranjero” (Identification number for foreigners).
The NIE number is for legal and fiscal purposes, as we’ll explain next.
In which scenarios would you need an NIE number?
Here are the most common ones:
- Buying/selling a property
- Paying taxes
- Registering a business
- Buying/selling a car
- Health card
- Spanish wills
However, since your NIE number will be your fiscal number in Spain, the list goes one and on, so be ready to present it many times in Spain!
Where can you obtain your NIE certificate?
Generally, at the following two Spanish institutions:
- Spanish National Police stations with foreign affairs divisions.
- Spanish embassy/consulate located in your country of origin.
The NIE number must be requested:
- By the applicant, in person.
- Through a power of attorney (somebody else will do it on your behalf).
Some more useful information about the NIE
- Your lawyer will be able to apply for the NIE number through power of attorney as part of the home purchasing process.
- The NIE number on its own will not be a valid document to identify yourself for a number of procedures (police reports for instance). Until you have a Spanish driving licence (or a Spanish ID if you become a Spanish citizen), you’ll need to use your NIE number along with your passport.
- Many people tend to confuse the NIE certificate and the Spanish residency card. They are different documents and have different legal natures.
- The Spanish NIE number will be printed on the Spanish residency card.
- Most Spanish banks will require an NIE certificate to open an account.
The good news is – once you have obtained your NIE number it is yours for life and will never change – so keep it it safe!
Our thanks to Sun Lawyers for this article – scroll down for more details.
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