One of the most important documents for doing business or working in Malaga is the foreigner’s identity number, known as a NIE. This number is used as your identification to the Spanish tax authorities. In this article, we provide a guide to getting a NIE in Malaga and answer some FAQs about this important piece of paper.
What is a NIE?
The foreigner’s identity number (número de identificación de extranjeros/NIE in Spanish) provides proof that your fiscal and legal transactions in Spain belong to you. The NIE consists of an X or Y followed by 7 or 8 digits and another letter. For example, X-12345678-A. Despite its importance (see below), it’s little more than a piece of paper with your full name on it with your NIE in a box below. However, it’s vital!
Why do you need a NIE in Malaga?
A NIE is essential for foreigners in Malaga for a long list of reasons. For instance, you need it to:
- Get Spanish residency (note that you also need health insurance for a residence permit).
- Register a business in Malaga.
- Get an employment contract (you can’t legally work in Malaga without a NIE).
- Open a bank account, a key element to setting up a business in Malaga, for example.
- Buy a vehicle.
- Obtain utility supplies.
- All property transactions (rental, purchase or sale).
- File tax returns and pay taxes or receive a rebate.
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Do you have to be resident to get a NIE in Malaga?
Your foreigner’s tax ID number has nothing to do with actual residency in Spain; it’s a fiscal and legal document. You don’t need to be resident to do any of the activities listed above, BUT you do need a NIE.
How to I get a NIE?
Getting a NIE in Malaga is a reasonably straightforward process as follows:
Get your paperwork together
As you’ve probably discovered, Spain loves its bureaucracy. Red tape has got a little easier in recent years and you can now source forms and apply online. But there’s still a lot of paperwork involved in complying with official requirements and a NIE is no exception.
Fill out the form
The first step for your application is to download and fill out form EX15. You can do that online here. You must complete the form in Spanish (and in block capitals) so if your Spanish isn’t too good, get some help.
Pay the fee
To get a NIE in Malaga you need to pay around €10 (€9.64 in 2020) at a bank using form Tasa 790-012.
Make sure you’ve got everything
You need the EX15 form, proof of payment, your passport (minimum validity is six months) plus one photocopy and two small photos. It’s also a good idea to take proof of why you need a NIE. For example, your application to set up a company in Malaga, an employment offer or property contract.
Need to know: any documents you provide in languages other than Spanish (except your passport) may need translating.
Apply for the NIE
You can only apply at National Police stations with foreigners’ departments. In Malaga, the station is located in Plaza de Manuel Azaña (at the western entrance to the city) and operates an appointment system. To get yours, click here and proceed as follow:
1. In the drop-down provincias disponibles select Malaga and click Aceptar.
2. In the drop-down trámites disponibles select Policia Certificados y Asignación NIE and click Aceptar
3. The next page gives an overview of the procedure for getting a NIE in Malaga. Read it and click on Entrar.
4. Select passport and enter the number. Then enter your full name. Tick the Captcha box and click on Aceptar.
5. Click Solicitar cita button. Select CNP Provincial, Plaza de Manuel Azaña and click on Siguiente.
6. Enter your phone number and email address. Click on Siguiente.
7. Choose the appointment date and time that suits you best. Click on Siguiente.
8. Click on OK and make a note of your appointment. You’ll get a reminder on your phone and/or email.
Applying at a Spanish Consulate
If you don’t intend to live in Malaga, you can apply for a NIE at a Spanish Consulate abroad. Check the website for one in your country for details of application and appointments.
Can someone else get you a NIE in Malaga?
You can appoint a third party to apply for a NIE on your behalf. This person might a lawyer, fiscal representative, friend or family member. You need to authorize them to represent you on the EX15 form.
How long does it take?
Sometimes your NIE is issued on the spot when you apply; sometimes you have to go back to the police station to collect it in a few days.