We are always being asked questions like this in our office: what is a NIE? What’s a TIE? If I have one, do I have the other? Is a TIE the same as a NIE?
At Bennet & Rey we are always here to help! So we’ll try to explain.
What is a NIE?
NIE (NÚMERO DE IDENTIFICACIÓN DE EXTRANJERO – “Identity Number of a Foreigner”)
It is your identification number – in Spain everyone is identified by an official, unique number.
What number will I be given as a foreigner?
It will be a letter, followed by seven numbers, then another letter at the end: e.g. : X 0299991 Z, or Y 0203456 M
And if someone is Spanish?
If you are Spanish, you have eight numbers followed by a letter: e.g. 50777333B
Is it true that there are two different types of NIE – for residents and non-residents?
Yes, it’s true.
What is a non-resident NIE?
You need it if you do not live in Spain but you want to be involved in some kind of financial activity – e.g. buying a house or giving money to your children. To obtain this you have to apply for a non-resident NIE. This will then let you make individual transactions, BUT it does not allow you to be resident in Spain.
It consists of a piece of white paper, with no photo!
What is a resident’s NIE?
When you apply to live in Spain the authorities give you a NIE number (unless you alrady have one!).
Is the format of the number the same as for a non-resident NIE?
Yes. (So, if you apply for a non-resident NIE and later change it to a resident’s NIE, the number stays the same.) The difference is that with the non-resident number you cannot live in Spain. With the resident’s one, you can!
Will my NIE always be the same? Yes.
We hope that it’s clear what a NIE is!
TIE (TARJETA DE IDENTIDAD DE EXTRANJERO – “Identity Card of a Foreigner”)
What is a TIE?
It is a card. It is the physical proof of your NIE as a resident – a plastified card (or previously a piece of paper or a card) where your TIE is printed. If you are not a resident, you just have the piece of paper – no TIE, no card!
What is there on a TIE?
Your TIE will have your photo, your basic personal details, a registry number (top right) and your NIE number.
Is there any difference between the TIE card of UK citizens after Brexit and those of other foreigners?
The TIE of a UK citizen will say that it is subject to the BREXIT agreement, and it will have a photo for identification purposes. It looks rather like a driving licence.
By the way you now don’t need to carry your passport for purposes of identification in Spain. Your new TIE will do!
Remember: ‘TIE’ begins with T – because it is a Tarjeta!
We hope that this helps! At Bennet&Rey we are here to help you!