Brit expats in Spain unhappy over new NIE requirements

Published:  14 Oct at 6 PM
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British expats’ confusion over the new requirement for getting an NIE number is now turning to outrage.

The recent modification of the rules for obtaining the essential NIE identification number is causing confusion and anger across UK expat communities in Spain. The NIE is a foreigner identification number issued to all expats wishing to stay in Spain for over three months, but the new requirements include a revamp of the original application procedure. Due to come into force on the first day after the UK leaves the EU, the rules will affect every UK citizen wishing to spend time in the country.

The number will need to be shown when expats need to open a bank account or get a mortgage, but it’s vaguely possible they’ll be requested for almost every transaction, however straightforward. One Spanish lawyer located on the Costa de Sol is advising expats as well as tourists and business travelers to get the number, saying foreigners won’t be able to cross the road without it. Perhaps a little on the side of exaggeration, but no-one really knows.

It’s likely to be challenging for those who don’t speak Spanish, even although there’s a non-Spanish speaker version of the application form. The first step is to visit your local police station with the completed form and your passport in order to make an appointment for another day. At the second appointment you’ll attend a hearing and present your birth certificate, passport, employment contract if relevant and other proof such as your driving license. A fee of 12 euros will be collected and, hopefully, you’ll receive your NIE number.
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