Recent changes to Spanish law (Real Decreto 1861/1991) now make it a requirement for Spanish financial institutions to collect a residency number when opening bank accounts or providing access to other financial instruments such as bank loans. What this means for admitted IE program candidates who do not yet have Spanish nationality or residency is that applying for a loan through our Caja Madrid loan agreement will be challenging. This is because while all students must have their payment plan and sources of financing set before they enter their program, technically students cannot apply for a Caja Madrid loan until they have a Número de Identificación de Extranjeros – NIE (pronounced: knee-eh) number. NIE numbers can only be obtained once a student is physically in Madrid, and it is a process that can take upwards of 6 weeks. Therefore, barring that a student processes their visa and NIE application well in advance of their program, Caja Madrid is a complicated proposition for our international candidates.
We’re working on finding a solution to this situation, but for now, we are advising international students to only see Caja Madrid loans as a back-up option should other financing options not come through.