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Foreigner Identity Number (NIE)

January 2, 2024

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. 

A NIE obtained via the Consular Office identifies the bearer to all levels of the 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.  

Obtaining a NIE​​ 

Applications must be submitted in person, either by an applicant or a duly accredited representative​

A NIE may be requested directly in Spain or at the Consular Office of the applicant's country of residence. The consular jurisdiction of the Spanish Embassy in Ottawa covers only the National Capital Region (Ottawa and Gatineau). If you live in a city other than Ottawa and Gatineau, you should apply for your NIE at the Spanish Consulate General in TorontoIt opens in new window or the Spanish Consulate General in MontrealIt opens in new window, according to their consular jurisdictions.​

Applicants must obtain an IN PERSON appointment to submit his/her application. To book an appointment, click HEREIt opens in new window. On-line applications are NOT accepted. 

Documentation required to apply for a NIE​​ ​

  • EX-15 standard applic​at​ion formIt 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 t​hat justify the NIE application (Instructions to fill it outIt opens in new window)​

  • Original of the applicant's valid passport and a copy of the passport's biographical data page. Nationals of Member States of the European Union may identify themselves with their identity document (original and one copy, front and back). If the application is presented by a representative, only the certified copy of the document should be provided.

  • 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.
  • Supporting documentation that warrants a​ need to obtain a N.I.E., as the case may be. For example, copy of will and death certificate for an acceptance of an inheritance, written communications with a real estate agency for the purchase of a property, etc.

  • Proof of residence in the National Capital Region (original and a copy).​

  • Form 790, code 12It opens in new window, completed and signed.
  • Payment of the fee: CAN $14.4​0 (year 2024). Only cash, money order or certified cheque payable to the "Embassy of Spain" will be accepted.

Document processing and delivery time​​​​

A NIE is assigned by the General Commissariat for Immigration and Borders, within the Spanish Directorate-General for the Police. The Consular Office cannot shorten a NIE processing time. The NIE is normally issued within two weeks, but this period may be extended by factors beyond the control of the administration. The NIE is sent to the applicant by email. Therefore, an email address for notification purposes must be provided on the application form.

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 Decree 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. ​