NYE, new possibilities and NIE
One of my new year's resolutions was to be more active on the English version of this website. Or to be more active in here in general, but I have to admit that the last weeks have not been so active when it comes to travelling. That is going to change soon though :)
Also, NYE is not today's main topic, I just liked how it looked put together with the actual topic of this post, namely NIE. NIE - Número de Identidad de Extranjero - is something every foreigner should get when living in Spain for a longer period of time. It's recommended to get it ASAP (lots of acronyms today, right?), however, in order to do it you need to make an appointment at the foreign police. Quite easy in most of the places, but remember, this is Spain. Pain. I've been trying to get one since September, and I finally got one for January. And I was still one of the lucky ones, I dare to say. Anyway. As expected, a lot of forms need to be filled in, so I asked a lawyer for help, otherwise I would still be struggling which box to tick or not. He also reminded me that a fee - around 10 euros - had to be paid. In whichever bank, it's going to be easy.
When I went to the first bank, I found out that most of them close at 2 pm. Seriously. The unemployment rate is quite high in here, I get it, but still, how is a working person supposed to arrange stuff in the banks when working full time? Lucky me, I found out that ING opens in the afternoon on Thursdays. After waiting in the queue for almost an hour I finally got to the counter to pay that goddamn fee.
- Hi, I would like to pay this fee, here is the form.
- Of course. Do you have an account in here?
- But you need it to pay bills in here.
- Ok, open one for me, please.
- Sure. What's your NIE?
Then I was told that Caixa opens in the office on Mondays, so I went there. Same story, to pay for NIE I needed NIE. BUT the lady told me I could pay the fee in whichever ATM, but of course not in the one we have in the office. Nevermind, on the way home I stopped at one. The machine read the bar code - awesome. My name appeared - awesome. I filled in my ID number - accepted, awesome. And then it came - introduce your NIE.
In the end I finally managed it thanks to another colleague of mine - thank you, Martin - and I was ready to go to Elche. Of course I didn't get the appointment in Alicante, don't be naive.
First I should mention that the police office was a huge mess and the only way you get to know it's your turn is that one of the officers will yell your name (or something that sounds like it). My appointment was at 9:35, and once it was past 10, I was getting a bit nervous. I asked an officer whose turn it was, and he told me that everything went according to the schedule and people with appointments at 10 should get in.
- But mine was at 9:35.
- Yeah, but you look quite American, so I didn't call you, since NIE is only for EU citizens.
Basically, if I really were American and didn't speak any Spanish, I would still sit there.
So, I got in, threw half of the woods on the table and waited. And waited.
- So, Erika, what do you want? NIE, residency, something else?
- Well, I came here to get my NIE.
Dude spent another 10 minutes typing and then he realized where I'm from.
- Wow, you are from Slovakia. What if I write on your NIE Slovenia, hahahahahahahahahaha?
In the end I got it. Now I am officially a registered foreigner and finally can pay on my own to get my NIE.