✅ FAQs: Administrative documents needed in Barcelona


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Administrative documents in Barcelona (NIE, residence certificate, social security)

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    What is the NIE (Foreign Identification Number)?

    The identification number of foreigners (NIE) is a personal number that the general direction of police assigns to foreign people (EU and non EU) who desire to be allowed to settle in Spain or wishing to make an administrative procedure in Spain (as purchasing a property for example).


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    Can the NIE replace your identification documents?

    The NIE does not replace but complete the documentation so passport or ID is required as well on top of Spanish NIE to be identified.
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    Why would you need the NIE?

    The NIE is essential for a large number of actions and proceedings in Spain. It is therefore very advisable to apply as soon as possible.

    Among the main uses of the NIE, which is essential in some cases, you will find: housing (buying or selling a home, signing a mortgage loan…), administration, health, justice, social security, economic relations (open a bank account, open a shop, ...), renting a vehicle, education for children, internet subscription contract or telephone, etc.

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    Where and how to apply for the NIE?

    The NIE can be requested once in Spain or from the country of origin through the corresponding Spanish consulate. In Spain, if you decide to apply for the NIE you must do so from the website of Barcelona city hall. When you have your appointment you can go in thier offices. For residents in the EU it is in Rambla Guipuzcoa 72-74. For residents outside the EU it is at Paseo Sant Joan 189. For more information see here.

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    What is the empadronamiento (obtaining resident status)?

    This is the registration in the municipal registry. It allows you to benefit from the status of resident of the city. To register you must justify the address where (whether you are the owner or lessee, or staying with a friend) you are housed.
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    Why you need the registration?

    • To apply for residence and work permit.
    • To apply for a health card.
    • To validate your driving license (if your country has signed an agreement with Spain).
    • To enroll your children to school.
    • To make certain formalities related to foreign residents in Spain.
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    Where and how to get the registration?

    You can go to any of the district offices or the council of Barcelona directly, the documentation to be provided will be the renting lease, holder's contract ID and the last receipt of rent payments, it is advisable to make an appointment before visiting.


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    Social security

    You need to make the necessary procedures in your Social Security center to obtain a certificate of affiliation to the Spanish social security. This is necessary when you want to work and settle in Spain. To find the nearest center to your residence, you can go on the social security website  or contact the INSS (National Institute of Social Security). This center is at the following address: Calle Sant Antoni Maria Claret 11/5, 08037 Barcelona. Phone 932849292 / 932849358. Fax Number 932842653/932842665.
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