Registros now being issued again, but under stringent new rules

Update 12 July: As Diana has now posted on her own website HERE, the freeze on issuing Registros is over. I have updated my Forms & Formalities page HERE with the new rules. How this will impact on people moving over without work is anyone’s guess, but it will make it much more difficult, it seems to me, since they will now need at least to show that they are making social security contributions, either as an employee or as self-employed. This is no longer as straightforward as it used to be because social security numbers will no longer be issued without some form of evidence of employment or self-employed status. For pensioners to get a Registro, they will need not only an S1 (or private healthcare), but also to demonstrate “sufficient income” to avoid becoming a burden on the state.

Update 10 May:  As Diana posted in the comments below, the police now seem to be issuing NIEs, but for non-residents only. Residents still need to obtain a Certificado de Registro and this is on hold for the moment. The NIEs that are being issued, however, are no longer just for three months, but are instead for non-resident “economic purposes”, e.g. buying a property or opening a bank account.

Original post 9 May:  Due to new regulations announced on 25 March 2012, EU nationals who wish to remain in Spain for more than 3 months must comply with certain conditions before a Certificado de Registro will be issued. I updated my page HERE a little while ago, but there is now a problem in the Extranjería part of the Comisaría in Playa de las Américas. Until the rules are clarified, along with the necessary procedures the police must follow, the issuing of Certificados de Registro is on hold. Even worse, so is the issuing of NIEs. I will update as and when there is further information, but anyone now considering applying for a Registro should not do so, and anyone needing a NIE will need to go to the tax office to acquire a transitional one which will be ratified by the police in due course when they start processing them again.


  1. Good information , thanks.

  2. Update 10 MAY 2012

    Went to the Extranjería this morning and obtained brand new NIE numbers for Non residents in order to buy a property – the layout has lost “the expires in 3 months wording” and has been replaced with “the present document is issued for the purpose of economic use”

    Still no news on residencias officers know no more than we do, waiting for an edict from Madrid.

  3. Not really sure about all this but if I want to have a trip to Spain what now do I need to get discount and where do I get it from. At moment I have the green form with NIE number and resident thing….help…!!!


  4. Author

    If you’re resident you need your passport, your Registro AND an empadronamiento. See HERE.

  5. The comisaria in Santa Cruz, Calle Ramon Perez de Ayala issues NIEs (in my case “para intereses profesionales” and without expiry date). I only needed my passport and a bank payment of 9,18€ (they will gove you the form there). Waiting time 4-5 days. What is still on hold is the “residency” processing…

  6. Hi Janet

    I was wondering what sought of imformation and in what form I would have to provide after reading your post today

    “but also to demonstrate “sufficient income” to avoid becoming a burden on the state”


  7. Its also worth noting that (for non pensioners) Social Security numbers will not now be issued without a job offer letter or self employment documentation from the Hacienda

  8. Author

    Hi Robert. It depends on your circumstances. Are you living here already? Do you already have a Registro? Are you retired?

  9. Author

    Thanks Diana. That ties that up, then!

  10. Hi Janet

    Yes I do live here and are retired, also registered at Town Hall thing (pardon ??) and have a NIE but never worked here not sure what a Registro is.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

  11. Author

    OK, foreigners living in Spain (for more than 3 months) are required to register as foreigners living in Spain. When they do this, they are given a Certificado de Registro (commonly known as a green certificate).

    Registering is a legal requirement – though what they’d do to an EU national if found to be without one is unclear. What is perhaps more immediately relevant, however, is that the Registro can be (and is) demanded as part of the ID required for official transactions, so life can be difficult without one.

    The town hall Empadronamiento is different, and merely registers you with your local council (Ayuntamiento).

    Where a green certificate might matter most of all is with a bank account. Please have a read of THIS page. I’ve outlined the changes to the actual rules on issuing green certificates, though, HERE.

  12. Thanks Janet you have been very helpful onec again Robert ☺☺☺

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