For our international students, please keep in mind that the temporary fiscal number we obtain for you is NOT the same as the NIE number the Student Office will help you obtain, as part of the Student Visa process.
1) NI stands for “Numero de Identificación” and NIF is a temporary fiscal identification number, where the F stands for the word Fiscal. NIE is a ID document that allows you to legally reside in Spain, and the E stands for the word Extranjero. NIE can work for both personal and fiscal identification, but NIF only works for fiscal purposes.
2) The temporary NIF (fiscal number which is valid for 3 months) allows Financial Aid to open a bank account and loan applications for you before you come to Spain. This number may also be referred to as a temporary NIE, but actually it’s not a temporary NIE, since it cannot be used as a personal identification. When you are dealing with Financial Aid, always refer to a temporary NIF.
3) The NIE (residency number) is the number you will eventually have once you are physically in Spain and is the number that will appear on your ID card issued by the Spanish authorities. Only the Student Office can and should help you with obtaining this number.
4) If Financial Aid obtains a temporary NIF for you ahead of your arrival, you must go to Hacienda/Agencia Tributaria (Spanish taxation authorities) once you have obtained your NIE and ask for a modification of your identification data by presenting the AEAT’s 030 form (get it here) duly filled in together with your original NIE and passport. By doing this you will guarantee that your final NIF in Hacienda’s records coincides with the NIE provided by the Police. This is especially important if you plan staying in Spain/the EU after you complete your program at IE.