How to get a Spanish NIE Number: It’s Kind of a Big Deal

What is a Spanish NIE number anyways?

The Spanish NIE numer, short for Número de Identificación de Extranjero, is a Foreigner Identification Number issued by the Administración General del Estado  (General Administration of the State) as a fiscal identification number for foreigners who want to stay more than 3 months in Spain, or in oder to be able to process certain transactions in Spain like buying a property. The equivalent of NIE for Spaniards is the NIF (Número de Identificación Fiscal).

The NIE number is different from the Empadronamiento or Padron Municipal which is about getting registered in your living community.

The Spanish NIE number starts with a letter, followed by seven numbers and another letter in the end (example X – 1234567 – B). Each NIE number is dedicated to one person and it is neither transferable nor does it expire.

Spanish NIE Number

Why it is important?

The Spanish NIE number is basically used as a code to serve people who don’t have Spanish Nationality. It is of essential for virtually every activity that requires your identification. Many people are not aware of the real importance of the NIE number. For example, your very first steps after moving to Barcelona, like opening a bank account and getting internet/phone contracts, will require a NIE.


Spanish NIE number

A quick anecdote: One of our colleagues here at SuiteLife had just arrived to BCN and wanted to get Internet installed in his apartment. He spoke to most all of the Internet companies and there was one that told him he could sign up without having a NIE. To make a long story short, after weeks of back and forth with the company, it turned out they were misinformed and he did indeed need a NIE number. Moral of the story is just get the thing! It’ll make your life a lot easier.

The Spanish NIE number is important for those who have a professional or economic interest in Spain, because for certain they must have a NIE in order to:

  • Study in Spain
  • Buy, sell or insure a property in Spain or purchase any asset over € 3,000
  • Buy a vehicle in Spain
  • Inheritance of assets in Spain
  • Setup a company, start a business or simply work in Spain
  • Pay Spanish taxes
  • Apply for a mortgage or other loan in Spain
  • Register for national Social Security Health plan
  • Register with social services and arrange receipt of social security benefits
  • Apply for a driving license

How to get NIE number – step by step

Step 1: Fill in the application form

The Spanish NIE number application form you need to find is called EX – 15 Solicitud de Numero de Identidad de Extranjero NIE y Cert . Download it here

The actual form is in Spanish, but don’t worry because you’ve reached the right place. We  have the document with the most essential fields translated to English so you can refer to it.

EX 15 Solicitud de Numero de Identidad de Extranjero NIE y Cert English sample

This is sample image of our translation. For higher quality one, download the pdf version here

Step 2: Make an appointment online

You have to make an appointment online first before coming in person; otherwise you will not be served. To do that, click on this link and choose “Acceder al Procedimiento” at the bottom.

  • In PROVINCIAS DISPONIBLES choose Barcelona.
  • In TRÁMITES DISPONIBLES PARA LA PROVINCIA SELECCIONADA choose Expedicion de tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (heulla)
  • Click Aceptar
  • Click Entrar
  • Fill in your information:
    • Choose PASAPORTE and enter your passport number below
    • Nombre y apellidos = name and surname
    • País de nacionalidad = your nationality
    • In Caracteres enter what you see on the picture above
    • Click Aceptar

Step 3: Prepare all the necessary documents (checklist)

  • Passport and copy of all pages
  • Address in Spain
  • Completed EX-15 formula
  • 2 recent Passport photos
  • Document proving why you need a Spanish NIE number, which differs depending on your intentions. In most cases it is:
    • a contract showing that you’re going to buy a property in Spain like real estate, car, etc. or
    • employed:  job contract from the Spanish company or
    • self-employed: a company ownership certificate or
    • persons with sufficient funds: proof that you can live in Spain without working or
    • students: acceptance letter from the school or
    • job seekers: you can go only with passport, but you will be issued a temporary NIE number valid only for 3 months.
  • non-EU citizens will need the additional proof of legal entry into Spain (for instance a landing card, known in Spanish as a declaración de entrada)
  • NIE application fee 10,40 euros (rate in 2014)

Step 4: Go to the authorized office – Where to apply for NIE number in Barcelona

You can apply for NIE number at police stations with a Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners Office). In Barcelona they are located on:

  • Carrer de Balmes 192,  08006 Barcelona
  • Rambla de Guipúscoa 74,  08020 Barcelona
  • Carrer de Múrcia 42,  08027 Barcelona
  • Passeig de Sant Joan 189,  08037 Barcelona

Opening hours:

  • Monday to Thursday from 9h to 17h30
  • Friday 9h to 14h
  • Summer (June 16th to September 15th) from 9h to 14h

#Useful tip: it is possible you will have to wait in queue hours until your turn at the office, so bring something that can keep you occupied for example a book or a magazine.

Step 5: useful Spanish terms

Some simple Spanish phrases that you might need:

Hello! I would like to apply for NIE number = Hola ! Me gustaría obtener mi número de identidad de extranjero (NIE) .

Where can submit my NIE application? = ¿ Dónde puedo inscribirme?

I have an appointment to get my NIE = Tengo una cita para obtener mi número de identidad de extranjero (NIE).

Step 6: keep calm and wait for it

After submitting all the documents, a photocopy of the application, a paper indicating when the card is available (keep it safe, you will need to show it to them later when you pick up your NIE card) and your passport will be returned to you. Usually after two weeks the NIE card should be available to pick up, but the process can sometimes take as long as 6 weeks. So stay patient!

Keep calm and wait for it

Apply for NIE number before you come to Barcelona

It is also possible to apply for Spanish NIE number before coming to Spain, either by asking the Spanish consulate in your country or using a specialised agency of which many are available online, and the fees vary as well. But since you have read our guide, getting it all on your own won’t be such a pain. It’s not so complicated, right?

Beside this we also have many other helpful tips if you’re moving to Barcelona like a piece of cake. Check it out

Is there any other problem you have in Barcelona? Do tell us in the comments below, we would love to help!




Bus Transportation Guide for IESE Students in Barcelona

Bus Transportation
Guide for IESE Students in Barcelona


IESE Students in Barcelona

We want to say Welcome to all IESE students in Barcelona, and answer that very common question of how do I get to IESE anyways?We made this article for you, so you will be able to navigate through the city more easily. We know that your campus isn’t very near to the center of the city, but we did a research and wanted show you that regardless of its location, the buses can be very helpful and you can really live in quite a wide array of Barcelona neighborhoods and still get to school in no time. Be aware IESE students in Barcelona, this is for you.

Lets begin with Line 68 , the bus stop is near the IESE Campus and it goes all the way to Pl de Catalunya, which is just above La Rambla, the whole route takes 33 minutes, and you will find yourself in one of the liveliest places in the city. What’s interesting to note is how many neighborhoods the bus line passes through. As you’ll see with the other routes, taking the bus to IESE allows you to greatly enhance the scope of your apartment search to include neighborhoods such as Borne, Gótico, Eixample, Gracia, Sant Gervasi, and Sarria!

IESE Students in Barcelona

View Route on Google Maps


Another good options for all of the IESE Students in Barcelona is bus Line 22 , For 40 minutes you can get to the center of the city. Very near to El Barri Gotic, and also during this route, there are many stops near metro stations and the bus passes through in many people’s opinion the best district of the city Gracia, so it is very useful. An easy way to reach Parc Guell as well.

IESE Students in Barcelona

View Route on Google Maps by Clicking Here

A bus that can take you to the heart of the city is 63. Which stops at Placa Universitat, which is very central and near Macba, Placa Catalunya and many other places . IESE Students in Barcelona using this route can go from the campus to the Placa for 37 minutes.

IESE Students in Barcelona

Clich Here to See the Route on Google Maps

And finally a map where we mixed these 3 very mobile routes, so you can know exactly which one will help you the most in reaching your destination.

IESE Students in Barcelona


We hope IESE Students in Barcelona will find this article helpful. Enjoy your stay in one of the best cities in Europe guys!!

If you are new in the city you might also want to check out our article on The Top Experiences That You Need to Have Whilst in the City



Business in Barcelona – Le Regioni d’Italia Gourmet

Great Business ideas by Expats in Barcelona

business in barcelona

Le Regioni d’Italia is a great ethnic food shop in Barcelona, located in Gracia. Specialized in Italian products, it was created with the intention to deliver the surprising variety of regional food and wines from the “Bel Paese”. The shelves are divided per region, so if you still remember that great bottle of Cannonau you had on holiday in Sardegna, probably you’ll be able to find it here. Of course there’s not only wines, but many different kinds of pasta, olive oil, cookies, cheese, coffee…the best from each Italian region!

The shop has also cozy lounge area where you can relax and enjoy your food, if you can’t wait to eat it at home! Plus, every month the owners organize themed tastings, so it’s a very interesting place to visit.

business in barcelona

I was curious to know the stories of expats running their own business in Barcelona, so I met the awesome Giulio and Luca and asked them 3 questions!

1. How did you start your business in Barcelona?

We were already living in Barcelona when we opened, in 2005. We were looking for a change, in our professional career, we had a passion for food and wines and we realized that there was a lack of Italian food shops in Barcelona so we decided to give it a try. We chose Gracia because it was quite strategic  at the time, there were just a few Italian restaurants and no shops.

In the beginning it was hard, of course. It took a long time to choose the best suppliers. And the products: we started with less references than we have now, but we tried to understand what people really want, which products  are the most requested. Little by little, listening to our customers, we found a way to order their favourite products…and stuffed our shelves!

business in barcelona

2. How is it going now?

Considering the crisis and the fact we are into a niche market, it’s going well! Our clientele is really eclectic, we have local people shopping here quite often, Italians, Americans, Australians… Anyway it’s better to be proactive, and evolve as the demand grows. So we are expanding our business in Barcelona, soon we’ll open a second location in the Eixample.

In general we are quite active: every month we organize events, like tastings, in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute of Barcelona. Join us anytime, you are very welcome!

business in barcelona

3. Leave an entrepreneur’s tip!

To the expats in Barcelona that would like to start a business , we can just say this: have a clear project in mind and run it with determination. Keep strong until you accomplish it. Good luck!

business in barcelona


There are many interesting stories – like this one – about expats in Barcelona who bet on their passions, on their talent, people who literally invented a business in Barcelona because of the desire to live in this beautiful city. We are now collecting entrepreneurs’ cases to share with you every week. So guys we need your help!  Do you know any expat who made it in Barcelona?  Let us know!

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.” (J.F.Kennedy)


- Elio



Featured Barcelona Flat of the Week: Hidden Paseo Palace

SuiteLife’s Featured Barcelona Flat of the week: Just imagine living here.

Barcelona Flat

Hidden Paseo Palace is one or our most luxurious, comfortable and modern flats in Barcelona.  It has a beautiful interior and has been fitted with comfortable and elegant furniture.  It is clear that the owner has taken great pride in fitting out this flat.

Barcelona Flat

This 2 bedroom flat is in a brilliant location.  In the Eixample area, and right next to Rambla Catalunya, you are right in the centre of the city.  You can also find one of Barcelona’s best shopping streets, Passege de Gracia, only 2 minutes walk away.

Barcelona Flat

The flat is 90m2 with a tranquil little balcony and two bedrooms.  There is a large open plan living/dining room, with a huge flat screen TV and a very comfortable couch.  The Kitchen has a very sleek and modern design and is fully equipped with everything you would need.  The flat has hardwood flooring, heating and air-conditioning throughout, just to make sure you are extra comfortable.

Barcelona Flat

This Beautiful flat is Available now for rent at €1700 per month. Click here to see the full listing.

For more information, or if you just feel like telling us how much you love this flat, leave a comment below or contact us anytime.

Cheers, Matt


Featured Barcelona Flat of the Week: Victoria’s Dreamy Attic

SuiteLife’s Featured Flat of the Week – You could live in this large luxury apartment

Victoria’s dreamy attic is a large gorgeous attic apartment in the Gracia neighbourhood in Barcelona.  This apartment is not only big on the inside; it also has a huge and very beautiful terrace.  The owners have taken very good care of the terrace and planted lots of greenery to make it look and feel more like a garden.  The terrace is 45m2 and has high walls for extra privacy.  It even has some self-watering plants.

The Interior of the flat is 141 m2 making it one of the largest flats we have.  It has a stunning living room, with lots of light and sliding doors that lead to the terrace.  The kitchen is very modern and fully equipped with all the appliances that you would need.  There are two double bedrooms one of which has an en-suite and a balcony which also happens to be huge.  As an added bonus there is Tarima hardwood flooring and heating/air conditioning throughout the flat.

This Attic is in a great location in Gracia and is very close to diagonal and Passeig de Gracia, one of the best streets in Barcelona for designer shopping. The flat is available from the 1st of April 2012 for €2000 / month.  You can see the full listing by clicking here. How much do you want to live in this flat?  Send us a mail or give us a ring anytime to set up a visit. Cheers Matt

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