Barcelona review – My Barcelona NIE experience in 2019

I first landed in Spain about two months ago. Since then I’ve been testing a few services to make settling in and setting up essential services easier.

One of these services was A service that is meant to make getting your NIE number a lot more straight forward.

For those who don’t know, the NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero ) is the ‘Foreigner’s Identification Number’, which allows non-Spanish citizens to perform legal and tax related activities in Spain. Among other things, having an NIE number allows you to open up a bank account, set up a phone contract, buy/sell property, open a business etc.

When it comes to setting up a permanent residence in Spain, getting an NIE number is a MUST. I may have only been here a short time, but I’ve already seen how setting up basic services becomes significantly more complicated without one.


Who are

According to their website, are Spain’s No.1 budget online NIE number service.

Following my own research I would argue they are the ONLY budget online NIE number service. I did find one more service called NIE Spain, but their booking website was not working when I looked. Their Facebook page shows recent 5 star reviews though, so it may just be that I was out of luck at the time.

From what I saw, there are also a number of other NIE services available online. However, most services were around 100-150€ per person, which is far from ‘budget’. They did often include in person assistance though, which would explain the additional cost.

What do offer?

At the time of writing, the website offers three standard services:


  • NIE Number + Social Security – £39.99
    • They will book the NIE appointment at your local police station
    • They will complete the necessary NIE number forms for you
    • They will complete the Social Security form for you (after you have an NIE)


  • Residency Service (Only available after you have an NIE) – £69.99 or £29.99 (for prior NIE customers)
    • They will book the residency appointment at your local police station
    • They will complete the Residency forms for you
    • They will book a telephone consultation with you to discuss evidence needed for residency
      • Example – You may need health insurance, income statements etc.


It appears to be a 100% online service, so in all three cases the client would need to print out the papers and personally attend appointment(s) to complete applications.

My personal experience with

When I engaged, I booked their NIE Number + Social Security service for £39.99.

I have to say I felt pretty excited about the service. Principally, I decided to engage them because I had been sitting in front of the computer for 3 mornings in a row trying to book my Cita Previa at the police station.

I was having no luck whatsoever doing this and kept encountering the ominous message:

“En este momento no hay citas disponibles. En breve, la oficina pondrá a su disposición nuevas citas.” (At this time there are no appointments available. In short, the office will make new appointments available to you.)

I had read online that this was by no means a rare occurrence either. Since I felt I had better things to do with my life than sit in front of a computer refreshing, entering and re-entering data I, therefore, decided to hire to do it for me.


Ordering via the website

My first impression, when landing on the site, was that there was A LOT of text on the site.

Granted, the text is useful when you actually take the time to read it, but it’s still a lot to process. I really think it could have been displayed in a more user friendly way and to greater effect. There was also no clearly visible ‘Order Now’ button, which is unusual for an online page selling services.

As I scrolled down the main page, I eventually came to a link in the text which said ‘NIE Booking Page‘ and from there I was taken to a new page. Once again it had A LOT of text on it.

Instructions at the top of this new page told me to scroll to the bottom, choose my desired service and enter my details. Once submitted, a little message popped up on page to let me know my details had been sent.

Looking for a way to make a payment, I scrolled down further and then found a Paypal payment button. This process step seemed simple enough, except it made me slightly nervous seeing that the Paypal payment looked in no way linked to my order. I did, however, receive a confirmation email letting me know that my online submission had been received and would be processed within 24-48 hours.

Since my Paypal email address was different to the one I submitted with my details I, therefore, decided I would contact directly to let them know.


Normally, contacting a company about a service is fairly straightforward. You go to the website, find the contact page and then email, call, submit a form etc. as needed. It would seem for, that is not the case.

Due to not having a Spanish number at the time I needed the service, I was looking for an email address to write to. Getting that proved next to impossible.

The contact page did have a telephone number, but an email address was nowhere to be found. When I first visited, there was a contact form hidden at the bottom of the page too. However, since then the form seems to have mysteriously disappeared.

Personally, I did end up using the contact form to let know of my differing Paypal payment details. However, I never actually got a response from that contact form, so I have no idea if they actually received my contact form submission.

I eventually ended up calling them two weeks later, after I hadn’t received any kind of response from them.

The website did say it could take longer than 24-48 hours to process depending on appointment availability, however, two weeks without news still seemed excessive to me.

When I called, I was originally told that my appointment had already passed. It had apparently been scheduled for that same morning on the exact day I called.

However, I then explained to the man on the phone that I had not received any paperwork, nor email or call confirming the appointment. At this point he suggested they must be having technical issues.

He then said he would re-schedule the appointment, and I could expect to receive a police confirmation and my paperwork on the following Monday.

This time, I did and I was super happy about it too – yay!


Receiving the NIE paperwork

Once I received my NIE paperwork, I made sure to check through it with a fine comb and realised that it had been incorrectly filled out by, as it was applying for residency based on me having lived in Spain for 5 years or longer.

Since I have not lived in Spain for 5 years though, this was definitely a mistake. Furthermore, the format of my address also turned out to be incorrect once I got to the Police office, so I needed to redo the forms.

I decided to go online to complete and print the EX-18 forms again myself. Since it had taken so long for the service to send me the papers to begin with, I didn’t trust that I would get the correction in time for my appointment. Since the mistake was small, this also proved to be a short exercise of 5 minutes, which was great! service experience

I wish I could say that I was impressed by the service offerings as, in theory, it provides a useful service model. However, unfortunately, in my case it seems that the service offering was more than lacking.

None of the processes ran very smoothly and I kept having to follow up with the company to get what I ultimately needed from them. In fact, I am still waiting to receive my Social Security forms from them now – more than two months after my initial order! We shall see what happens there. (Update: After following up on my missing social security forms, I did receive them within 24 hours of the follow up email)

I created a flowchart to visualise the journey below.


Would I recommend

I have mixed feelings about this service.

On the one hand, I would recommend this service based purely on the price.

At £29.99 for the NIE appointment booking service only, it is by far the cheapest service on the internet. It’s not cheap in itself mind you, but still cheaper than everyone else.

If you do not wish to spend days endlessly refreshing website pages to try and get an NIE appointment in or around Barcelona (or any other area in mainland Spain you may live), then that alone may be worth the price. That was the case for me at least.

However, in and of itself I would not recommend the service. Throughout my experience with them I personally found the service to be terribly unintuitive and somewhat annoying. Apart from the fact that I had to follow up with them three times across the space of three months (because they either had not provided me with status information or followed up on required actions), I also found they were of very little help when asking specific NIE related questions.

Personally, I ended up going to the Police office three times before I was able to get the correct paperwork in place to process my NIE. This, of course, is not at all the fault of the service itself. However, given a very generic email response to one of my questions on the paperwork received from, I do not suppose they would have been able to help me get it correct the first time.



Given my own experience with this service, I would say only use this service if you want a surefire way of getting an NIE appointment within a reasonable timeframe (1-2 weeks). I would not recommend paying extra for upgraded Social Security/Residency services.

If you are short on money and/or have the time and patience to get an NIE appointment yourself, bearing in mind that it could take you several weeks of trying, then I would recommend skipping paying the extra money altogether.

I know a few people who have had success in this when being flexible about their police station location (for example heading to a neighbouring town or barrio instead of the one they lived in).

If you do decide to order from, I would also definitely recommend double checking the paperwork they send you.

You are ultimately responsible for submitting accurate details to the police, so it’s worth verifying them. Rest assured, however, that you can also easily make the changes yourself online if needs be. It really doesn’t take very long.

Lastly, do try to find the correct document requirements for your region before your actual appointment. Else, be prepared for multiple Police station visits and no NIE number until you get them right.

I’ve now posted an article on gathering the correct NIE documents for Barcelona, which you may find useful. Do check it out.

Other than that, do feel free to leave a comment below and have a great day!




  • stephanie Theobald

    Veyr useful about mynie- thanks! I’ve been in Spain for 19 years and somehow got away with not having a NIE but I need one now. I speak Spanish and the only reason I can see for using this service is that they can get you an appointment. I’m intrigued to know HOW they do this.. LIke you say, as a regular punter at him it seems impossible via the computer.

    Do you get your number in the end?

    • rjunkie

      I wish I knew how they got the appointments to be honest. I would be more than happy to create a 5 star version of their NIE service (at the same cost or less) if I did know how to get those appointments. It’s a great concept, just not well executed.

      I did get my NIE number in the end. It took me three attempts, but I got there in the end. I wrote an article on the paperwork for my NIE, which might help you too.

      Gathering the correct NIE documents in Barcelona (2019)

      Good luck in getting yours (and I’m impressed you managed for 19 years without an NIE – that can’t have been easy!)

      • Alex

        Hi there it sounds like a mission. I am really running low on money and I am now here after brexit so the £39.99 really give you eligibility to work? I don’t mind trying but just need to know if it’s worth it thank you

        • Claudia // Rjunkie

          The £39.99 doesn’t give you eligibility. But if you are eligible for an NIE already, then it will help you get an appointment with the Police to get your NIE card (which is hard to get by yourself). The service will also help you fill out the correct forms for your NIE appointment at the police (as they are in Spanish).

          If you are not eligible already though, it will not give you eligibility.

  • Shirin Aguiar is a joke. They actually just today summarily cancelled my NIE police appointment tomorrow without my permission and even though I paid for it a month ago. Lisa and her team as she calls it made multiple mistskes on the forms and when i told them and requested they redo them she just canceled the appointment. Never use them. Go directly to the town hall where the foreigners dept will do EVERYTHING for NOTHING.
    Lisa also lied to me and said a manager tried to call me but no one did. Avoid at all costs.

    • Claudia // RJunkie

      Hi Shirin,

      I’m so sorry to hear that!

      I can only assume they did that as they didn’t have your documentation ready… Have they told you when your new appointment will be?

      If you are able to get confirmation of the new appointment, you may be able to sort the paperwork out independently. If you take a look at my other blog post, I’ve put in some guidance there which you may find helpful.

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m sure it will be useful to others too and please do keep me updated on what happens next. Good luck!

      • Jo

        I used the NIE service and found them to be excellent. Got my number this morning in Denia. Lisa replied promptly to every query and a man talked us through on the phone whilst we were paying our tax via a cash point machine.
        I absolutely would recommend them.

        • Claudia // Rjunkie

          Great – I love to hear that! It’s always wonderful when services work the way they should and if it got you what you needed in the end then that’s absolutely what counts. Congratulations on getting your NIE!

  • Claire

    Hey Claudia,
    I am recently in the process of trying to get an appointment.
    My paperwork ist all-ready and i even payed for 790 012 this morning,
    so literally all i need would be the actually appointment.

    If I understand correctly, for the sole purpose of getting the appointment you would recommend them?
    Only weighing out my options here as I also tried to get an appointment online… no luck obviously.

    Once you payed, how long did it take until you got your appointment confirmation and how far away was the appointment?

    Thank you!

    • Claudia // Rjunkie

      Hi Claire,

      Well done on getting your paperwork done and paying for your 790, that’s a feat within itself!

      If you’re just looking for the appointment, then I say absolutely – it’s totally worth it.

      In theory, if you order online you should get your appointment date assigned to you by by the following Monday.

      I would advise ordering online and waiting for the following Monday to see if your appointment and papers come through. If they don’t come through, call up directly to check on the status of your order.

      In my case, my first appointment date (which I never received) was apparently 2.5 weeks after I ordered. When I called to chase up, they sent me my documents and new appointment date the following Monday and the appointment was in that same week.

      As such my guess would be that appointments will be anywhere from 1-4 weeks after you order. I assume it will depend on what’s available. Good luck with everything!

  • Amy Trumpeter

    Thanks so much for this Claudia. I was looking at the service but will now avoid! I have found a Spanish/English speaking solicitor and while the price is much higher I am happy to pay it for things to run smoothly!

    • Claudia // Rjunkie

      Hi Amy!

      I’m glad you feel the review was helpful. In case you find your experience to go smoothly, it would be really great if you could share the details of the solicitor you are using. If there is a great alternative out there, I’d love to be able to recommend it to my readers! 🙂

  • Jonathan

    I just used my NIE. For what I wanted (very quick NIE) to start work it went well. They got me an appointment in 3 days, I printed off their docs, went to the police station and got my NIE instantly. For me it was worth the money rather than messing around.

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