The NIE is a unique and personal number certifying your legal residence here in Spain. The residence card is a card containing your NIE number. It is valid for 5 years and must be renewed before it expires. Do be aware that if you decide to live permanently in Spain, this document containing your NIE will be asked for during the numerous administrative processes.
The NIE is essentially your identification number in Spain. If you decide to stay and live in Spain as a tax resident, employee or to start your own company there, it will be a huge advantage to get this ID number. Ask for it upon your arrival in Spain. The residence card contains your NIE, photograph and fingerprints and you will only need it if you are planning to stay for more than 3 months. The NIE and residence card bear the same functions: proof of tax residence in Spain.
To simplify, a member of the EU must: • Arrange a work or employment contract or business activity (entrepreneur, manager etc.) • Be a registered student in Spain • Join a family remember residing in Spain whose economic resources are sufficient The necessary documents are: • A Social Security affiliation number • Have a home and be registered at the Town Hall of your city or district • Passport
Once you have your resident NIE and tax residence card you can prove your residency in Spain and therefore do the following: • Buy a property • Open a bank account • Do your tax return • Get an internet connection • Pay gas, electricity and water bills