Foreigners' Identity Number (NIE)
What is the Foreigners’ Identity Number (NIE)?
The Foreigners’ Identity Number (NIE) is a personal and unique number assigned individually to each foreigner in Spain in order to identify with respect to any procedures conducted with the Spanish authorities. It starts with a letter, followed by seven numbers and ends with another letter.
Who and what for is the NIE needed?
Article 206 of the Regulations of Organic Law 4/2000, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration, approved by Royal Decree 557/2011, of 20 April, sets forth that foreigners having a connection with Spain for economic, professional or social interests shall be provided with a personal, unique and exclusive sequential number, for identification purposes, called Foreigners’ Identity Number or NIE.
The NIE will be the foreigners’ identification, which will be included in all the documents issued to or processed for them, as well as any records stamped in their identity card or passport.
The NIE is mandatory for all the foreigners living in Spain, as well as those foreigners who, even though they do not live in Spain, plan to have a close relationship with Spain and will be doing transactions with this country.
Where can I apply for the NIE?
In principle, processing a NIE due to immigration purposes because the interested party is going to move to Spain must be done directly in Spain. The application must be done in the Central Registry of Foreigners in the Immigration Office in the province where the person lives or intends to live. The application must be submitted within the 90 days since the foreigner enters Spain. When applying to be registered, a NIE will also be assigned and will be given a Certificate of Free Movement on which will appear their name, nationality, address, NIE and date of registration.
If the foreigner is not in Spain when applying, the application will be sent to the General Commissariat for Immigration and Broders, through the Consular Office of Spain abroad.
Can I apply for a NIE at the Consulate General in Toronto?
Yes. The foreigners who are not going to be residents in Spain can apply for a NIE to be assigned for economic, professional or social interests at the Consulate General of Spain in Toronto.
If a NIE is needed for any reason related to a current or future residence in Spain, it is not possible to proceed with the application from the Consulate General of Spain in Toronto, and the interested party will have to apply directly in Spain.
The Consulate General of Spain in Toronto can only process NIE applications submitted by Canadian nationals or foreigners legally residing in our consular jurisdiction in Canada. In any case, the interested party will have to document the economic, professional or social interests justifying their application.
How can I apply for a NIE at the Consulate General in Toronto?
The application must be submitted in person or through a duly identified legal representative, by enclosing the following documents:
- Form EX-15 duly filled out and signed by the foreigner. The form will be filled out online and then will be printed to be signed. The form will be filled out in Spanish. In the event that the interested party has a NIE and is applying to renew it, please indicate “Certificado” in section 4.1.
- Form 790_12 for the payment of the consular fee duly filled out and signed by the foreigner.
- Original valid passport. The Canadian driver’s license will not be accepted as a piece of identification.
- Photocopy of biographical pages of the passport.
- Proof of “economic, professional or social interests” justifying the application.
- Consular feeYou can find the amount of the consular fee in the section Fees: "​NIE application (Form 790, code 012)"​.​
As a general rule, applications sent by mail or email will not be accepted. However, in order to avoid people from travelling to Toronto from other provinces in the consular jurisdiction, applications to process the NIE will be accepted by mail when they have been previously presented in person or through a duly identified legal representative before one of the Honorary Consuls in our consular jurisdiction, as long as the forms will be signed before the Consul Honorary and they have their stamp and signature.
How can I pay the consular fee?
You can find the amount of the consular fee in the section Fees: "​NIE application (Form 790, code 012)". You can pay in cash, with money order or guaranteed or certified cheque, in Canadian dollars, payable to the “Consulate General of Spain in Toronto”. Personal cheques will not be accepted.
How long does it take to have the NIE processed?
It can take around three or four weeks from the day the NIE application is submitted in person until the applicant receives an email with the NIE.
How can I contact the Department of NIE/NIF?
You can send an email to or call at (+1) 416-977-1661 EXT. 1. We will only answer with respect to information which cannot be found on the website.


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