NIE Renewal, or “Spain being disagreeable”

To live and work and study in Spain, foreigners need to get a document called the “NIE” – Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros. Like most things that involve bureaucracy, this experience can be hit and miss. One friend spent eight months in the country in visa hell. Other people have zero issues. I am in the middle.I had my NIE renewal appointment yesterday, and have decided to post my experiences here. The rules have changed in the last months, apparently, since the advice and instructions given to me by the program I work for, BEDA, were… a little off.

My original NIE expired on September 1st, so on July 20th, before heading back to Canada, I called to make an appointment to renew it so I could stay another year. They gave me the appointment for October 11.

In September, I got a call from a hidden number, saying that my appointment location had been changed, from Padre Piquer to to C/Faustino, 23, at Canillejas, where there is a new Oficina de Extranjeros.

Today I took the metro across the city, and was seen within five minutes of arrival at the office.

… This is practically unheard of in this country. For comparison’s sake, last year my appointment was at 9:00. I arrived at 8:15 to line up, went in at 9:00 when the office opened, took a number, and waited 15 minutes or so. The line behind me by 9:00 comprised upwards of a hundred people.Back to today. I got a charmer of a lady. At one point, she actually sighed and rolled her eyes at me when I had only one copy of a form instead of two. Oh, nothing if not professional.

Before this appointment, they might not tell you anything about what to bring, or what they do tell you may be wrong, but let’s face it, that is your problem and your fault, not theirs, and you really should have known better.

Be prepared to spend a lot of money on photocopying.

¡OJO! If you’ve changed addresses since you got your original NIE, you need a Certificado de Empadronamiento. A housing contract is NOT enough. Nor are utility bills. Nothing else works. If it were that easy, the bureaucracy would collapse and people would lose their jobs and DO YOU HATE PEOPLE? Go register in your neighbourhood and make like you really live here.

Never mind that last year, all you did was use your friend’s address and they didn’t ask any questions. No more talking.

So really, well before your NIE appointment date (OOPS!) make an appointment with your friendly neighbourhood empadronamiento office.

You can make an appointment for this online.Select: Tipo de servicio “Atencion al ciudadano” –> Gestión “Padron” –> Office in your neighbourhood.

Finally, we have now arrived at the actual appointment itself.

You will need:

1. The paid tax: Tasa Modelo 790

(You fill this out online, print all 3-4 pages of this form, bring it all to the bank, and pay the tax – BEFORE they will even see you for an appointment.

For student NIE renewal, it was 16,32.)

2. 2 copies of form EX-00 “Solicitud de autorización de estancia y prórrogas”

Note – these are new forms – anything from last year or perhaps even a couple months ago are no longer valid. Bring EX-00.

3) Your current passport and 2 photocopies of EVERY page in the passport.

4. Your NIE (and student card if you have one) and 2 photocopies of these.

5. Photocopy of your health insurance policy (seguro médico) and póliza de repatriación – to show that if you die in Spain, your insurance covers repatriation of remains, or whatever.

(BEDA-ers, photocopy the first 4 pages of your Caser Salud Activa booklet and the whole Repatriacion document.)

6. The original document of your current contract, in colour, stamped, signed. And a photocopy, just because.

7. Evidence that you completed your studies/contract in 2010/2011, ie, a colourful, stamped, signed letter from your school. (“Certificado del centro de estudios que acredite que ha prestado servicios durante el curso 2010/2011”)

8. Bank statement from the last 6 months showing all transactions – stamped by the bank. (“Movimientos bancarios de los 6 ultimos meses, sellado”)

 9. Your certificado de empadronamiento, which people smarter than me will actually have by the time their appointment rolls around.
There. It all seems so simple laid out in order in a nice list, doesn’t it? Yeah. Take a hint, Spanish government.


Filed under Madrid

7 responses to “NIE Renewal, or “Spain being disagreeable”

  1. lauren

    oh my goodness… thanks! what happens if we don’t have a spanish bank account. can i show them my transactions from my american bank? obviously it won’t be stamped…

    • I’m not sure what they’d ask for if you don’t have a Spanish bank account. You need to somehow prove, in Spanish, that you can support yourself for the duration of your contract in Spain and get yourself out of the country once you’re done.This is what it says in the “Documentación requirida” section:
      “Documentación acreditativa de disponer de medios económicos necesarios para el periodo que se solicita y para el retorno al país de procedencia debidamente traducido por un intérprete jurado autorizado por el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de cooperación. Las traducciones hechas o revisadas por las Misiones diplomáticas u Oficinas consulares deberán estar posteriormente legalizadas por el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y Cooperación.”
      Sorry I can’t help more beyond that!

  2. So… for #7, will last year’s contract be enough? Or will I actually have to request a signed letter from both of the schools I worked at last year?

    Gah, this is so annoying! Thank you for blogging it all out for us!!!

    • For me, having the contract wasn’t enough. I needed a letter from the school. So based on that, I would expect you’d need a letter from both schools, saying that you completed your contract last year.
      To be exact: “Certificado del centro de estudios que acredite que ha prestado servicios durante el curso 2010/11”

  3. Gotta love this wild goose chase, huh? Thanks for all of the info!!

  4. lola

    this made my day! thank you.

  5. Lauren

    hey all… went last thursday to renew and i had an easier time. the woman told me that they no longer ask for the whole passport (i told her and the woman in the front who has all the info that people who went the week before me needed it and they both told me that it was an “old requirement” and that they changed it about two days before i went. i also didn´t need anything from a bank because our acceptance letter tells our salary. everything else on this list i needed. moral of the story is, the rules change every week, so don´t be surprised if thing are added or subtracted to the list haha! good luck 🙂