My experience applying for the NIE Number

Before arriving to Spain, whilst I was organizing everything to move to Spain I was told that the first thing I should do after my arrival was to apply for the NIE number. I was not explained what it was nor what I needed it for, but its importance was clear. They told me I should request it in the nearer Police Station.

So as a very organized person I went the day after my arrival to the nearer Police Station to apply for this piece of documentation that was so important to have.

No one told me that in Spain you have 3 type of Police: Guardia Civil, Policia Local and Policia Nacional, each one with its own station. So when I showed up first thing in the morning to the Local Police Station with all documentation needed they told me this was not the place, that I should go all across town to the Policia Nacional Station and present the application there. I have just arrived and I did not own a car, so it was either taking a taxi or exercising body and my patience, did I mention that eventhough Spain has an average of 300 sunny days, that particular day was raining, as it rains here in spain sideways, so the umbrela was not very useful. Lukily it was the end of May so the temperature was nice.

I arrived soaking wet to the National Police Station but happy to find the place, only to find out that an appointment needed be requested, to present your NIE application, and that the NIE will only be issued between 20 days and 1 month. I was utterly dissapointed, I had a work interview that afternoon and the first thing they were going to ask was if I had all my paperwork in place. No employer will be able to give an employement contract unless you have a NIE Number, you need it to be enrolled in the Social Security.

So there I was, in need of the NIE to be issued on the same day, in order to be a qualified candidate to the position, without it I had no chance. Thank god, a nice lady there listen to my story and as an exception, she told me to return a couple of hours later and she gave me the so desired NIE Number. I was lucky enough to find a lovely lady, with a great disposition, to help me in the matter.

When I finally received the document it was just an A4paper with my name on it, my date of bith and my nationality. I would have though that such an important document would have looked different. Anyway, I was happy, misión accomplished.

But my story is not everyone´s story, for most of the foreigners getting a NIE can be a process in which they find themselves lost and frustrated, either because of the language difference or because of the time it takes for the public offices to issue documentation or grant permits. As you might realice by now, the relaxed way of life also comes with its cons.

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