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How to get your NIE, Residency and your Social Security in Spain? TEFL Students

This passage is for those of you who want to make the move to Madrid from wherever you are in the world, or you’re completing your TEFL Course at TE Madrid, and decided to take on the Spanish lifestyle a little while longer (maybe a year, maybe longer…).

You will need to get yourself a little thing called the NIE (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros). The process to obtaining your NIE can seem a bit complicated from time to time. This blog has been written to simplify that process. At TE Madrid, we have staff on-hand to assist you, and we look forward to helping you make that transition from student to resident.

What is the NIE and why is it important in Spain?

The Spanish NIE is a number that’s given to foreigners wanting to stay in Spain for longer than three months. One possible scenario to obtaining one could be that you have completed your TEFL Course at TE Madrid, and you’re actively looking for a job.

Social Security in Spain

The first step is to obtain a temporary NIE, which one can get at a police station. You don’t need to make an appointment for this one. A scheduled appointment is necessary. Book an appointment in advance at the assigned police station (In Madrid, this police station is located near Metro Tetuan) through a government website to obtain this social security number. Depending on the day of the week, and the time you show up, the office itself can be quite busy. Try to arrive as early in the day as possible to avoid longer wait times. In order to get this social security number, you need to have the following items:

  1. A copy of your passport
  2. Your original passport
  3. A completed EX-18 application form

If you want a copy of the EX-18 form in English, follow this link:

The EX-18 form can also be picked up at the office and filled out when you arrive. When I went to obtain my NIE, the people at the office were helpful, and gave me the forms I needed to get it before I left the office. Altogether, it took about fifteen minutes. Then you pay a 10€ fee at the Santander Bank near the Metro Station.

One thing to take note: This NIE is only valid for ninety days. It is a temporary NIE. You will need to make an appointment to get your permanent NIE, but the Spanish Government will allow you do start working after obtaining your temporary NIE. Very important!!! Once you receive your temporary NIE, book your appointment to get your permanent NIE as soon as possible. Availability can fill up very quickly, so the sooner you handle the booking of this appointment, the better and easier it will be for you.

What your boss requires

In order to start work, your passport details and your NIE are the only two things that they require in order to provide you with a much-needed temporary employment contract. You can start working after obtaining your temporary NIE.

How to get your Permanent NIE

So, your employer has given you a temporary work contract, and that ninety day countdown is on before your temporary NIE expires. Hold on to your copy of the work contract, as it will be instrumental in obtaining your permanent NIE. You will need to take your work contract, the copy of your passport, your original passport and your temporary NIE to the Town Hall (In Madrid, it is located near Aluche Metro Station) You will also need to bring a completed EX-18 form (, and a Model 790 Form ( Both of these forms need to be brought to your NIE appointment. Fill them out online, and print them up and keep them with your supporting documents.

TEFL Madrid Academy – How we can help

For all of our students, we understand that uprooting to Spain after completing your TEFL Course can be frustrating. We do everything we can to ensure that this process is as smooth as possible so that you can begin to work and contribute to life in Spain teaching English. Speak to our friendly administration staff if you have any concerns, questions, or simply need someone to help you through the registration process

Exam Madrid Team
Exam Madrid Team
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