Getting a NIE in Britain

Non-resident property buyers in Spain can apply for a NIE (foreigner’s identification number) in any of the Spanish consulates in Britain which could save them having to come to Spain a few days early and endure long queues in an often badly-managed (to put it politely) and over-crowded Oficina de Extranjeros in a Spanish police station.

Anyone intending to sell or buy property in Spain (or indeed anything else which involves paying tax to the Spanish inland revenue) needs a NIE by Spanish law for tax purposes. Applying at your nearest consulate is more expensive than getting a NIE in Spain but it still may be an advantage for alot of non-resident property-buyers.

If you do decide to apply while still in the UK, then you need to get together all necessary documentation and then go to the consulate where you will be asked to sign the NIE application form (here‘s the English not official)version in front of a consulate employee.

Your signature will then be given an official validation stamp (which is where the fee comes in – £22).

You will need the following documents:

  • – A stamped (also at the consulate) photocopy of your passport
  • – 2 recent passport size photos. The background must be plain, and people who wear glasses and/or earrings must take them off for the photo
  • – An original copy + photocopy of a document which explains why you need your NIE. This may be the private sales contract you have signed with the estate agent, promotor or private vendor, if you are going to work in Spain, the job offer… We suggest ringing the consulate beforehand to find out what to take depending on your personal circumstances
  • – A self-addressed envelope
  • – An envelope big enough to contain all the above + NIE application form addressed to the central police HQ in Madrid: Comisaría General de Extranjería y Documentación, Dirección General de Policia, C/ General Pardiñas, 90, 28006 Madrid, Spain:

One the NIE application form with your signature and passport have been stamped, the consulate will send the envelope containing all the above to Madrid.

Then you will have to wait to receive your NIE.

The consulate will not be able to provide you with an application form, so get someone to get one from their local police station in Spain and post it to you or simply download a NIE application form. This form is provided by the Spanish Interior Ministry.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the yellow IMPRIMIR button to print it out (Imprimir means Print).

There are 2 Spanish consulates in the UK (click here for more information)

London office:
20 Draycott Place
London SW3 2RZ
Tel: 020 7589 8989
Fax: 020 7581 7888
E-mail address: mailto:Cog.Londres@maec.es
Web page: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/consulados/londres/es/Paginas/inicio.aspx

Edinburgh office:
63 North Castle Street
Edinburgh, EH2 3LJ
Tel: 0131 220 1843 / 0131 220 1439 / 0131 220 1442
Fax: 0131 226 4568E-mail address:Cog.Edimburgo@maec.es
Web page: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/Edimburgo/es/Paginas/inicio.aspx

There used to be an office in Manchester but it has been closed.

The Spanish Consulate in Britain‘s website gives no indication just how long it takes for the NIE to arrive from Madrid, so check with staff either by phone beforehand or while you are there to get an idea of how long you should expect to wait.

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