Opening a Spanish Bank account without an NIE
You might find yourself having to open a Spanish bank account. For us it was a requirement when getting Spanish private health insurance coverage (a requirement of the Spanish non-lucrative residence visa).
The issue arose when we met with an agent from Adeslas (one of the most popular private health insurance companies in Spain). Having gone through all the documentation and signing everything, we found out that you can only pay Adeslas through a Spanish bank. You can’t pay by credit card, you can’t even pay them in cash. You have to pay them through a Spanish bank*.
* You may find yourself having the same issues with many other Spanish companies. We ran into the same thing when we registered with a local cable company.
So the issue was: how to we open up a Spanish bank account without an NIE? All the reading I did stated that you require an NIE (Número de identidad de extranjero ie. Foreigner’s identity number) before opening an account.
Note: You can get an NIE number from the National Police. But it can be complicated depending on where you are in Spain. I’ll write about that further below.
I did more research. I went on the Sabadell Bank website. There I saw, contrary to all the articles that I had read, that non-resident, non-EU foreigners CAN open an account without an NIE.
So we went to the nearest Sabadell branch (we were in Alicante). It was a bust. They told us that we required a NIE number.
I decided that we would go downtown. We went into another branch. There they told us where to go (Av. Federico Soto, 13 if you happen to be in Alicante. It’s not a commercial branch, they just handle accounts).
From there on it was easy. Sabadell just required our passports, our tax ID (for us being Canadians that was our social insurance cards), and a copy of our latest tax assessment (which we emailed the manager after our meeting).
It took less than an hour to have our accounts set up. The lady in charge gave us a copy of our paperwork. I emailed our new account number to Adeslas who promptly told us that we were now all good to go with our private health insurance.
our contact at Sabadell:
Ana Marco Morales
So it was all very easy. It was just a question of having the proper information. We now have a Spanish bank account and Spanish private health insurance.
Getting your NIE number
Most foreigners get their NIE (Número de identidad de extranjero ie.Foreigner’s identity number) when their Spanish non-lucrative Visa has been approved.
But you might need an NIE before that for any variety of reasons including buying a house in Spain or opening a bank account as we did. And to get your NIE you have to go to a branch of the National Police…but not any branch of the National Police. They have a specific branch in each city that deals with foreigners (they’re called Oficina de Extranjeria).
Depending on where you are applying it can be easy or a more lengthy and complicated process getting your NIE. Our friend Norah in Jaen mentioned that there it took a couple of hours. When we were looking into it in Alicante we were told that we would have to book an appointment online (with over a week’s waiting time), fill out forms, photocopy every page of your passport, bring a passport-sized photo, and have a motive form filled out stating why you needed the NIE…it sounded like a complicated process.
And that’s why being able to find a bank where we didn’t require an NIE was such a big deal.
Note: we don’t get any compensation of any type for mentioning Sabadell bank.
Join Our Newsletter
If you haven’t subscribed yet and want to get our posts sent to your email, just insert your email address below. It’s free!