Getting my NIE

So, in the end it was easy. If yesterday hadn’t happened I could have been left with the impression that all the stories I’d read online about this and that going wrong were pure fabrications.

I got up early this morning and walked to Banco Sabadell, where I said good morning to the woman behind the counter. ‘Can I pay this tax here in cash?’ I asked, showing her the form.

She looked at it briefly, and said ‘Sí.’ No fuss at all.

I left there after less than ten minutes, one stamped form in my possession. Now I just had to brace myself for the big one: the appointment with the police.

I arrived about 20 minutes early and was shown into an almost deserted waiting room and given a number: 77. The electronic display was already showing 76, so I was next in the queue! Amazing when I’d been warned to expect a long wait.

After about five minutes, I was just wondering whether I should have got my book out after all when the door opened, a couple walked out and my number appeared on the screen. It was my turn to go in.

The office wasn’t huge. There were just two people behind the desks, both men, neither of them dressed in anything particularly official-looking. I smiled at the man on the left who signalled for me to sit down in front of him.

‘I’m here to get my NIE number,’ I said, passing all the forms over to him.

‘Passport,’ he said, pushing some of the forms back to me. ‘And a copy.’ He proceeded to look at them, but I can’t say I noticed him checking my likeness with the photo. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. ‘And why do you need it?’ he asked, sounding almost bored.

‘Well, you see, I’m doing the CELTA course,’ I said.


‘To teach English as a foreign language. And I need to open a bank account and then to look for work.’

He nodded, tapped away at his keyboard and a minute later printed off and stamped a form, which he thrust at me.

‘There you are,’ he said. ‘That’s it.’

‘That’s it?’ I repeated.


And so I left.

Of course, I soon discovered that the next thing you need in order to open a bank account is an address. Suppose I’d better work on that next.

2 thoughts on “Getting my NIE

  1. Hi Julia,
    We are really loving your blog and it sounds as though you are taking every adventure in your stride. We are still meeting with our spanish conversation group and we have also had a lesson via skype with Paco from Hoy Hablamos (who sends his thanks for using the podcasts as part of our lessons!). We have also have an intercambio with a family from Venuzuela, through Phil’s connection with a school there. So our learning continues without you. Thank you for all your support over the years and we hope you continue to enjoy every moment of your new life. Sarah and Simon.


    1. Hi Sarah, good to hear from you. I hope you had a lovely Christmas. I’m glad that you’ve carried on meeting with the Spanish group and impressed that you’ve had a lesson with Paco. I was listening to one of their podcasts where they told anecdotes from their Skype lessons and they said they would do it again in the future, so one day you might get a mention – I’ll listen out for it!
      Yes, things are going well here so far, although I have been struck down with a nasty cold this week but I seem to be bouncing back now. I’ll be glad when the course gets underway but for now I’m just trying to relax and take things as they come.
      Thanks for your kind words re the blog – it’s good to know that people are enjoying it!


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