3.1. Visa and residence requirements

All the documentation you will need for purchasing real estate in Mallorca.

NIE number

  • What is a NIE number?

This is your Foreign Identification Number (Numero de Identidad de Extranjero), required for purchasing a house in Spain and paying property taxes. It is also necessary for paying utility bills. It is unique to you and valid for life.

  • How to Apply?

You apply for the Registration Certificate (Certificado de Registro) at the same time as for your NIE number, as the two processes are combined. It is not only important to have a NIE but it makes your life a lot easier too.

The application process is, like every bureaucratic procedure in Spain, lengthy and confusing. Due to a change in NIE application rules in 2012 however, you will have to apply for your NIE number in person.

Documentation required for NIE number applications:

-Completed EX15 application form (Solicitud de Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE) y Certificados, EX-15) and 2 photocopies. Note: Do not sign the application form until you are in the presence of an official.

-Receipt, for payment of fee, stamped by the bank. Do this first to save time and avoid having to return on a second visit.

-Original passport or other proof of identity and 1 photocopy.

-Proof of address in Spain.

  • Where do you Apply?

You apply for your NIE number at the Central Register for Foreign Nationals at the Government Immigration Office (Oficina de Estranjería) in Palma de Mallorca.  

  • Validity

You will be given a NIE Certificate which is valid for 3 months only, but the NIE number printed on the certificate is unique and valid for life. Before the 3 months are up you will need to decide whether you are going to stay permanently in Spain and register as a foreign resident or return to your country of residence.

If you decide to relocate to Spain you will need to apply for a Residency Certificate (Certificado de Residencia).

If you decide to return to your country of residence, your NIE number remains valid. If you return to Spain at a later date however, you will have to reapply for your Registration Certificate (Certificado de Registro) or for Spanish Residency.

Spanish Residency

  • EU Citizens

If you are an EU citizen and intend to live in Mallorca for more than 3 months a year then you are required by law to hold a Residence Certificate. However, you do not need to hold a Residence Certificate to purchase property in Spain, only if you intend to live in the country more than 3 months a year.

To apply, register at the Central Register for Foreign Nationals in the Government Immigration Office (Oficina de Estranjería) in Palma de Mallorca.

  •  Non EU Citizens

Documentation required for Spanish Residence application:

 -Your full name.

-Original passport or other official proof of identity.

-Your NIE number if you have one.

-If you do not yet have a NIE number, you will be issued one by the Registry office.

-Signed EX18 application form.

It is advisable to register for a Residence Certificate within 3 months of your arrival in Spain.

Spanish Residency rights

Spanish Residency rights extend to your immediate family, your spouse, children and parents. In order to acquire a Residency Card for EU Citizen Family Members you will need valid passports for each family member, proof of the family membership, three recent colour passport photos, and have them sign the EX19 Form.

 Registering at the Town Hall - Empadronamiento

  •  What is it?

The Empadronamiento or Padron Municipal de Habitantes is the municipal record or official town census, and if you intend to live in Spain for more than 180 days a year, then you are required by law to register on the Padron at the town Hall. All information is protected under Data Protection Laws and confidential.

  • What is it for?

You will need to be registered at the town hall if you intend to apply for Spanish Residence, register a child in school, get married, buy or sell a car or apply for a local health insurance card (Tarjeta Sanitaria).

  • Documentation required for registering at the Town Hall:

 -Original passport and photocopy, NIE or Certificate of Registration at the Immigration Office and photocopy.

 -Proof of ownership of property (title deeds or utility bills with your name on them) and photocopy.

 -If you do not own a property, your rental contract in Spanish and photocopy.

 -If you do not own a property and are not renting, you will need to go with the owner of the property you are staying at, in order for them to authorise you to register at their property.

-Registration form to be signed by all family members over the age of 18.




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