Papers, permits and contracts
The Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros, is like the British National Insurance number. Everybody who comes to Spain to work, or buy a house or car, must apply for this number. To be employed legally, and enjoy the benefits of the Spanish National Health Service, the NIE is THE number one requirement.
To apply you must present
· 2 photocopies of your Passport or I.D. card and the original
· 4 passport-sized photographs
· The official NIE application form, which is of course in Spanish, duly completed.
A Work Permit is required by all non-European Union citizens (except Switzerland and some South American countries) and is extremely difficult to obtain. A would be employer must first prove that all attempts to recruit suitable staff from the European Union have failed and that there is no alternative but to employ a person from outside. This may cause little problem for a top footballer like Ronaldo, but may be problematic for someone wanting to wash dishes in a bar. Contact the Spanish Embassy in your country before leaving for Ibiza.
Since 1st March 2003 the 'Residencia' - a permit to live and work in Spain, is no longer required if you are a citizen of a European Union country or Switzerland. Now all that is needed is a valid passport or National Identity card on which your nationality is clearly stated. For citizens of almost every other country (some South American states have special arrangements) a Residencia is still required for stays of over 3 months, and you must apply within one month of arrival in Spain. If you plan to come here for less time, you will not need one.
Most employers will be able to help you apply for the Residencia. If you are on your own, here is a list of what you need:
· 2 photocopies of your Passport or I.D. card and the original.
· 3 passport-sized photographs.
· A valid work contract, the original and a photocopy.
· An accommodation contract/lease, the original and a photocopy.
· The official Residencia application form, which is of course in Spanish, duly completed.
The national police station, where all the documents must be presented, is situated on the Ibiza town ring road between the 'Multicines' cinema and McDonalds. Arriving by bus, continue along Avenida Isidoro Macabich, from the bus terminus, and the police station is opposite the end of the Avenue. There is now a system when on arrival every applicant is given a number denoting their place in the queue, and the policeman on duty, known as 'Sr. Buenos Dias' will tell you approximately how long you will have to wait. This may be up to 4 hours or come back the next day.
The easier way of obtaining both your Residencia, and your NIE number (which everybody must have) is to employ a Gestor, a kind of lawyer, to do it for you. They will charge a fee of about €50 for an NIE and €100 for a Residencia, but will ensure that all the paperwork goes through as smoothly as possible, while you get on with working and having fun.
Thanks to Stephen for this!