A few weeks ago I found out that I need a NIE-number, a Número de Identidad de Extranjero. I looked at an advertisement for a job opening and it said that you had to have it in order to work in Spain.
First I allowed myself to panic for about 3 minutes: if I didn’t know about the NIE and I had to find that one out by accident, what else didn’t I know?
Then I calmed down and looked up just about everything about a NIE-number. Luckily there is a lot of information about it. But the thing you can’t do is ordering it online. Nor making an online appointment for obtaining one.
I thought I’d be smart and emailed the Spanish consulate in Amsterdam. I sent my email to an address that I found somewhere on the internet (not on their site, as that would be too easy). A reply came that I sent it to the wrong address, so I forwarded my email. The reply came from the same address as I sent my email to the first time (!) and stated that they could only issue a NIE-number that is valid for 3 months. And, for working and living one needs to apply for a NIE-number at the ‘oficina de extranjería’. The funny thing is: when you are staying in Spain for longer than 3 months, having a NIE-number is obligatory.
I read that I need a Spanish bank account when I apply for that NIE-number. But, when you want a Spanish bank account… you need a NIE-number.