NIE IN BARCELONA FOR EU CITIZENS
A detailed explanation on how to get a NIE in Barcelona for EU citizens
Getting a NIE in Barcelona can be a bit time consuming, but it is the most important document you need once you get to Barcelona, so this step cannot be skipped. The first step is to get the “cita previa” – the appointment that is booked online. The waiting time for the appointments vary. It depends on the offices that release the appointments. For example, one office can have an appointment for 1 week ahead of time, another one for 3 weeks ahead of time. To get the appointment for the NIE in Barcelona for EU citizens currently takes around 2 weeks. To this you might have to add 1-2 weeks additional waiting time, as it depends how fast you can find and book an appointment.
How to get the cita previa for the NIE in Barcelona by yourself
The office for Barcelona is located on Rambla Guipuscoa 74 (Nearest metro is Bac de Roda). However you might be given an appointment for another office (Badalona, Sant Adria, Sant Boi, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Vic), and each office has their own peculiarities in terms of what paperwork to show. So before going to your appointment make sure you know what the NIE office want to see from you.
You can make this appointment via the website. In the past there were generally times of the week when you could expect the release of the weekly appointments. But lately this is not the case anymore, so you need to try multiple times and on random times. If you need assistance with booking the cita previa for the NIE and checking your paperwork, you can find the options that we offer on this page: Nie-Barcelona.
Types of NIE
The NIE is separated in 2 types – one that is given for people who won’t stay more than three months, and another one that is given to people who will be staying long term.
NIE for people staying less than 3 months (to make it easier we will call it a temporary one from now one). Staying less or more than 3 months, refers not as much to your general plan, but to what your paperwork can prove.
Example: Pierre is here to find a job, but first he will be taking a course in Spanish. His Spanish course is 2 months (so less than the 3 month requirement). At the NIE office he will be given “temporary” NIE. Once Pierre has found a long term job, he can go back to the NIE office with the supporting documents and get the residency card-format NIE.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind that this NIE is given in rare cases. We mention this as many people contact us asking to get the temporary in order to look for a job. It is not given for this reason. For example, it is given when somebody is planning to buy a property or in some cases when you are planning to register as a freelancer. Or in our example with the 2 month course (same will be valid for a 2 months job). You cannot get it if you are planning to look for a job and you are hoping in the meanwhile to get the temporary NIE – if you are planning to find a job then you have to first find one, get a job offer and then apply directly for the residency NIE.
Depending on the office, another reason for not getting the residency NIE from the start (even though you have paperwork supporting long term employment or studies) is the EMPADRONAMIENTO.
This is why if you already have an “empadronamiento” – we would advise you to bring it – they might or might not ask you for it – but it’s always better to be prepared. It is not technically a requirements for the NIE in Barcelona for EU citizens, but some office might ask for it.
Once they approve your application they will either give you the “temporary” NIE right there or ask you to come back the next day to collect it (more likely). This would depend on which office your appointment is at. Your NIE number and other personal information will be printed on this A4 white piece of paper assigned to you. After the 90 days and once you can prove the long term stay, you can change to a permanent NIE by showing the right paperwork.
Residency certificate NIE
The Registro Central de Extranjeros requires every EU or EEA citizen who is planning to stay in Spain for more than 3 months to register.
This is the NIE that is a small green paper card. It is issued with no expiration date. To obtain the green card NIE, you will have to present: passport (copy and original), EX-18 form and proof of the reasons why you are planning to stay in Spain. There are 6 main reasons – as a student, as a freelancer, as an employee, as a retired person or as a family of another EU citizen. The 6th option is to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to live in Spain without working. Detailed information on the requirements depending on your case can be found here. After this you will obtain your permanent NIE – a green wallet size NIE card. Once you have had this green card NIE for 5 years, you can apply for a new one. The new one will look exactly the same (at least in the moment), but instead of “residente en España” it will say “residente PERMANENTE en España”.
Getting the NIE is definitely not as scary as sometimes people on forums or Facebook make it sound. But you need to know what paperwork you need, to go there prepared and of course you need some patience to book the appointment. If you need to save time and get guidance throughout the process, we will be happy to assist you with your NIE. You only need to fill out the form on this page and we will take care of the rest.