You’ve just arrived in Spain, took a cab to your hostel, student residence or flat and now it’s time to unpack and settle in.

You need to finalize a couple of things in a time frame of 3 months but really you just want to get it over and done with BEFORE class starts.  Great!  You’ve got your priorities in order!  Let’s see what you need to get and where to find it.

You need to register your address:


This is a fairly simple and quick process, all you need to bring to the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall):

Identification documents (original)

People from the EU, Swiss, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein:

  • Residency card
  • Passport
  • ID from your country

People from the rest of the world:

  • Residency card
  • Passport

Other documents relative to the address you want to register (you only need to choose one of these but in my experience it’s better to have a couple just in case)

  • Signed letter (original with signature) by another person registered with that same address, stating their name, ID number and a copy of their ID + your name and ID number
  • A Paid Bill from a water, electricity, gas, telephone or home insurance company, maximum 6 months old.  Your name, or the same person from above mentioned should clearly be stated on it, as well as the address.
  • A Contract from the water, electricity, etc. maximum 1 year old, with your name, or the above mentioned, and address clearly stated.
  • Rental Contract maximum 5 years old and minimum of 6 months.  Unless it’s renewable, it can be less.  In that case remember to bring a receipt as well.
  • Ownership certificate for those of you planning to stick around.  Bring this certificate of the apartment/house, less then 1 year old, if you have bought the property.  In case you have a lease you will also need authorization from the ‘Titular Del Derecho’ and a photocopy of their ID

It’s as easy as getting a hold of your landlord and saying ‘Hola, I need to register my address bro..’  Usually, they’ll know exactly what to do because they deal with it all the time.

Now you need to locate the nearest Ayuntamiento, which shouldn’t be too hard as it’s a big official building =) Google Maps!  If you’re in the Gracia neighbourhood in Barcelona, go to Placa Vila de Gracia (Oficina d’Atenció Ciutadana del Districte de Gracia)

The registration is free and does not expire, except if you’re non-EU and without permanent residency, then you have to  register every 2 years.  Offices are open Monday to Friday but hours vary according to seasons.  09.00 to 10.00 is a good time to go, it’s early enough to beat most others to the (not so long) queue and you’ll finish in time to meet up with your mates for some exploration.

To check more info and opening hours of each office, Google ‘horarios OAC Barcelona’ or whichever city you find yourself in.

This is step 1 done towards applying for your NIE.


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