Obtaining Your NIE for Use in Spain – As You Were!

NIE U-Turn In Spain

All English Residents who buy or sell real property in Spain, need to have a card called NIE – ” NIE (Número de Identidad/Identificación de Extranjero)” – an identity card for Foreigners

It used to be until July 2011 that this card could be obtained for you in Spain, in your absence, by your lawyer or Estate Agents. The procedure was that you obtained a certified copy of your passport from a Notary Public in England, in your City convenient for you,  and at the same time executed a Power of Attorney (“Poder”) in favour of your Spanish Representative.

This then enabled that Representative in Spain to attend at the NIE issuing office which is usually a local Police Station and they could obtain the NIE registration documentation on your behalf.

This all changed in 2009 when a new Spanish rule was made to come into effect in July 2011.

Article 206 – full name being :  “Real Decreto557/2011, de 20 de abril, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento de la Ley Orgánica4/2000, sobre derechos y libertades de los extranjeros en España y suintegración social, tras su reforma por Ley Orgánica 2/2009. Artículo 206. Número de identidad de extranjero.” said in effect that “the foreigner citizen will have to apply personally before the Spanish Police or through the Spanish Consulate. It will be also applicable to the petition of non-residence/residence certificates. ”

As it happened, many Police Station in Spain paid scant regard to the new rule in any event, but it now appears that Article 206 has been revoked.

So once again the old procedure can be followed, and you do not have to travel to Spain, or to a Spanish Consulate, but only as far as your nearest Notary Public.

The authority for this U-Turn is I understand an Instruction issued by the Spanish Commissioner General of Immigration and Borders – to the establishment of a unity of purpose together with the Directorate General of Immigration, Ministry of Employment and Social Security as to the broad interpretation of Article 206 3 content of Royal Decree 55712011, from April 20 2012 is set   “In proceedings of NIE allocation request because of economic, professional or social provisions of Article 206.3 of Royal Decree 557/2011 of 20 April, Police Stations will accept the filing of the NIE in Spain personally or through representative”

If I can paraphrase this, it seems that the Royal Decree has been found to be inconvenient and counter-productive and has been abandoned by those required to implement it. How jolly pragmatic.

By the way, it has been reported that whilst this notice is displayed in most Police stations in Spain,  many staff employed there are as yet unaware of it!

May 18 2012