The evolution of obtaining the NIE in Spain is worthy of study because it is beginning to border on the ridiculous.

Years ago, the procedure was simpler and you could obtain it the same day at the police station after paying a fee at the bank; you lost a couple of hours in the process but at least you could do it in the same act and once you obtained it you had to do nothing more than appear with the copy at the Notary’s office and you had that number for «always».

Now, however, everything has become absurdly complicated, now it «expires» after three months. Why does it expire? Besides, you have to register it with the Treasury Department if you want to buy a house. Why isn’t this communication automatic? And to top it all off, the waiting list to get your NIE for a week or more in any city with a large influx of foreigners from the EU. Fortunately, at the time they decided to allow it again by proxy because for months they prohibited it.

The situation is grotesque, absurd and completely unnecessary. I understand that for the Spanish bureaucracy there cannot be a single unidentified individual but the way to do it is at least regrettable, slow, clumsy and above all tedious. The procedure should be automatic and can be done in the own notary’s office, where you could be assigned a NIE taking advantage of the fact that the Notary can attest to who appears; a simple computer program that scans your passport and assigns you a NIE number, that easy, and also pay the fee there and then. And of course automatically, by communicating it to the Treasury with the same computer application and everything is solved, but of course, this is Spain and something this quick, easy and simple is unthinkable.

Let’s also remember that the NIE is a document that Spain requires of its own free will for the mere purpose of registering foreigners in Spain and that it does not grant any rights or benefits and yet does nothing to facilitate obtaining it in a logical and quick manner.

From this Office we call on the Spanish administration to seriously reconsider the possibility of facilitating this procedure and not the opposite, which is what has been done.