NIE Number, Residencia, Padron and SIP, what are they?

NIE Number, Residencia, Padron and SIP, what are they?

NIE Number, Residencia, Padron and SIP, what are they?

If you’re thinking of coming to live in Spain, then you’ve probably heard the terms, NIE Number, Residencia, Padron and Sip, what are they? Well in this post, I’m going to do my best to explain to you what they are and what they mean to you as a new resident. Before reading this article please be aware that if you are coming from the UK, the effects of Brexit are still unknown so some of the information may be inaccurate. If you need confirmation on any of the points mentioned just get in touch or leave a commen and I’ll be happy to help you.

NIE Number

So let’s start at the very beginning with the NIE Number, or Numero Indentidad Extranjero or to put it into plain English, the Foreigners ID Number. This number is used for personal and fiscal identification and once you have it, unless you leave the country for good, it will stay with you for life. It’s very useful and you’ll need it for almost every transaction you make, anything from buying a car to paying a bill.

Certificado de Empadronamiento.

Later on I’ll tell you what you need to do to get the NIE, but first I want to tell you about the Padron or Certificado de Empadronamiento. This basically, is a document certifying where you live and you get it at the local Town Hall or Ayuntamiento, it’s usually only valid for 3 months, but you can get an updated copy at any time. It’s not asked for as often as the NIE Number, but you’ll still need it.


Next up is the Residencia and put in a nutshell, this is a Resident’s Permit, like the Padron it’s also rarely shown in this day and age, but it’s still indispensable and not so easy to get hold of as the NIE or Padron.

SIP Card

Last but not least we have the SIP Card or Tarjeta Sanitaria Personal, this is a personal Health Service ID card which you show at the Health Centre or Centro de Salud/the Hospital or Chemist and which proves your entitlement to Spanish health care and subsidised medication. Also not so easy to obtain, but worth its weight in gold because if you have one, you have access to what is often referred to, as one of the best health services in the world!

NIE Number, Padron, Residencia and SIP, how to apply:

Ok so now you know what these terms mean here’s a breakdown of where to apply and what documentation you’re going to need for your NIE Number, Padron, Residencia and SIP,

NIE Number:

Let’s start with the NIE Number, because you won’t be able to get any of the other documents without it. To apply you’ll need to complete and sign the EX-15 application form, which you can either download, or collect from your closest Policia Nacional Headquarters. By the way, it’s a good idea to pass by this office to confirm the exact application procedure, because they do tend to differ between municipalities.

Apart from the completed application form you`ll also need to show a Valid Passport/ ID Card/ Visa/ or a Valid Embarkation Certificate and of course, you’ll also have to supply copies. On top of these you’ll also need proof of your reason for requesting a NIE number in the first place, for example a Sales/Purchase Agreement for a Vehicle or a Property. If you don’t have one of these, then you’ll need a letter from a Notary stating why you want the number.

You can make application in person or you can send someone to do it for you, if that’s not an option the Spanish consulate in your country of residence can also take care of it. The application costs about 12E and if you’re applying at the police headquarters then you’ll need to pay the fee at an appointed bank close by. If you have all of the relevant documents with copies etc. plus proof of payment you should be issued with the NIE there and then.

Getting a Certificado de Empadronamiento:

Once you’ve got the NIE number, you can get yourself a Padron, which is proof of residence. For this you’ll need an address, either for a rental property or one that you’ve purchased, with this you can go to the local town hall armed with copies of your latest utility bills plus your passport and if everything goes according to plan you should receive the Certificado de Empadronamiento straightaway at little cost. By the way because we’re in Spain, it’s best to check the exact procedure with your town hall, because just as with the NIE, they tend to vary!

Applying for the Residencia:

Now, armed with a Padron and an NIE number you can apply for a Residency Permit or Residencia. Obtaining the permit is a little more complicated, because you’ll need proof of income and valid health insurance. The two main differences in the form of application depend on your age and employment status, let’s start with those who haven’t reached pensionable age.

To secure your Residencia, you’ll need to show your NIE, Padron and Passport. If you’re employed, you’ll need to show a copy of your contract of employment or a letter from your employer. As a self-employed person, you’ll need to be registered with the Social Security and paying contributions, finally if you’re unemployed, you’ll at least have to show proof of full health insurance.

For pensioners and early retirees the rules are much the same, but apart from the usual documents, you’ll also need to provide proof that you’ve paid into the social security system in your home country and that you’re entitled to make use of the Spanish Health care system. On top of this you’ll have to demonstrate that you have the financial means to support you and yours to the tune of 800? per month per person.

With these documents plus copies, along with the completed application form and the receipt for 10 or 12? fee, you can make your application. If all goes well and you haven’t forgotten anything, you’ll be an official resident of Spain in no time.

Obtaining a SIP Card:

Last but not least we have the SIP card this is your key to the Spanish Health Care System, to acquire one of these simply head off to your local health centre with your NIE, Padr?n, Passport and proof of entitlement to make use of the system and they will be happy to print the card out for you there and then.

NIE Number, Residencia, Padron and SIP, what are they?

There you have a quick insight to the procedure for obtaining the various numbers and documents and an idea of how to go about things. Of course this post  is purely to get you started. However if you decide to go through the process alone then please remember two things: We are in Spain and this country is infamous for its bureaucracy, so please don’t be surprised if things don’t go so smoothly, because most of the time Spanish civil servants show no mercy and if there’s a document missing, that will be the end of the story until you produce it! Also in closing, please bear in mind that this article is intended only as a guide so if you need more in depth information or advice simply contact me by using the box below and I’ll be happy to help.

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