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Foreigner Identity Number (NIE)

October 3, 2022

Applying for a NIE​​​ 

Only two categories of residents in Ireland may apply for a NIE at the Spanish Embassy: 

a) Those who do not plan to settle in Spain.
b) Those who are due to move shortly to Spain for work reasons and should arrive into the country with a NIE (when applying for their NIE at the Embassy, they should produce a letter of their employer in Spain to that effect). 

The Embassy will not accept applications from other categories of ​residents in Ireland.​

Get an appointment​ at the Spanish Embassy in Dublin if you need a NIE and you don't intend to move to Spain. Please note that you may experience some difficulties in getting an appointment. Our appoint​ment system puts forward slots only gradually, for just the next few days. All appointments just made availabl​e are sometimes taken in a short period of time and interested applicants have to wait until new slots are offered on the system to get their appointment. ​

The application may be submitted in person or through a duly accredited representative. 

The physical presence of the applicant or of their representative is mandatory in every case. 

More information on how to apply for a NIE may be requested by email (emb.dublin.cesp@maec.es) from this Embassy.

Documentation required to apply for a NIE at the Embassy​​ 

  • EX-15 standard​ a​pp​licatio​n ​f​orm​It opens in new window (original and one copy), completed and signed by the applicant or representative. The form should preferably be completed online and printed. The application form must indicate the economic, professional, or social reasons that justify the NIE application. Please find here a ​template with indications on how to fill out the form.
  • Original of the applicant's valid passport. Nationals of Member States of the European Union may identify themselves with their identity document. If the application is presented by a representative, only the certified copy of the document should be provided
  • Copy of the passport's biographical data page or copy of the identity document (front and back).
  • If the NIE is requested via a representative, the original and a copy of the representative's identity document or passport must also be presented, together with a power of attorney in which it is expressly stated that this representative is empowered to present the NIE application.​
  • If the applicant is a minor or is incapacitated, a copy of the family record book or the birth certificate or the guardianship document must be presented. In addition, the valid passport or ID of the parent or guardian must be shown.
  • Document proving residence in Ireland. GNIB card/ IRP valid until the end of the applicant's planned stay in Spain. Since UK nationals who reside in Ireland do not have a GNIB card, they should submit as proof or residence their driving license, tax receipts.
  • Form 790, code 12It opens in new window, completed.​
  • Payment of an administrative fee. The current fee is 9.8​4 euros. 

Processing time​​​​

NIEs are issued by the General Commissariat for Immigration and Borders, of the Spanish Directorate-General for the Police. As a rule, a NIE is issued in up to four​​ weeks after submission of the application. But in certain cases its issuance may take longer. The Embassy cannot shorten the document's​ processing time. The NIE is sent to the applicant by email. Therefore, an email address for notification purposes must be provided on the application form. 

Important information about the NIE​ 

The NIE is a personal, unique and exclusive number that is assigned to foreigners who, for economic, professional, or social reasons, are engaged in activities related to Spain and require identification in this country. It consists of nine digits: a letter, followed by a seven-digit number, and another letter.

A NIE is compulsory for all foreigners who reside in Spain. Foreigners must apply for their NIE within 90 days after entry into Spain at the Foreigners Office of the province in which they reside or envisage residing. Get an appointment at a Foreigners Office before travelling to Spain.

A NIE obtained via this Embassy of, for that matter, any Spanish ​Consular Office identifies the bearer before any Spanish public administration, but does not entitle the holder to reside in Spain or prove residence there. 

Foreigners who wish to become residents in Spain must be aware of the possible need to obtain a visa beforehand. Citizens of the European Union, once established in Spain, must register at the Central Registry of Foreign Nationals. 

Although a NIE never expires, some authorities may require their holder to produce an updated certification of the data in the Central Registry of Foreigners. Should you need a fresh certification of your NIE, get an appointment​ at the Spanish Embassy in Dublin.​

Relevant legislation 

  • Organic Law 4/2000It opens in new window, of 11 January, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners and their social integration.
  • Royal Decre​e 557/2011It opens in new window, of 20 April, regulating the implementation of Organic Law 4/2000, on the rights and freedoms of foreigners and their social integration, as amended by Organic Law 2/2009. ​