What is the right procedure of getting patron, NIE and residen permit?

Hello, I am from canada, and plan to live in Spain. the  information I have heard and researched about becoming legal resident in Spain seem quite conflicting. So my question is: what is the correct procedure to get all the formalities done. For example, do you get a nie first, or patron first? And in both cases, it seems you will need a lease contract, but what if you are refused status, then you will lose your deposit? And is it true to better get a gestor help you with all of this? Can someone recommend a good gestor in Malaga? Thank you!


As far as I know, you need to get your Visa first then find accommodation.  No point in putting down a deposit if you do not know if your visa will be permitted.  You need to check with a local Spanish embassy near you to see what sort of visa you will need. 

Then go to the local police station and ask where the nearest office is to get your NIE.  Depending on how big your chosen town is you may have to go to a regional centre office.

You have up to six months to obtain a padron, which you get from your local town hall.  You will need proof of rent or lease for your address before you can get the padron. 

You may be better off getting legal residency through a gestor as you are not from the EU. 

Hope that helps.

Thank you very much for you reply and yes it helps. As a Canadian, I do not need visa within 3. Months of staying in Spain, so it seems I can just start to apply for this nie. Thank you again and yes, I think I will need to look for a gestor/ria.

The NIE is pretty straightforward because you don't need to be resident to have one. As someone above said you need to check which Police Station (National Police) deals with the process for wherever you are in Spain.

The Padron is also relatively straightforward once you have an address and either house deeds or some rental agreement. The local town halls are usually quite keen to get you onto their padrón as they get financial support for the number of people registered with them and they often seem perfectly willing to bend the rules a bit to get people registered with them.

Thank you! And so, it seems now both this nie number and patron have nothing to do with residency status, I have been confused because the information sources I have been reading give quite different instructions, e.g. Gettting patron before getting a nie, and have a rental contract before applying for a nie, etc.

And what about the application of residency? Do I need to wait until I have nie and rental contract to start applying? Thank you

This is the official page about the NIE

I have no idea about residency in your case I'm afraid. We Europeans have the right to live here so it's quite different.

Whilst it's true that being resident, in the official sense of having some document to show that you are legally resident in Spain, has nothing to do with the padrón (notice the d not a t) you do have to have an address in Spain in the municipality for which you register.

Thank you so much again I will be looking for a gestoria:-)

I am in the same position and would like to know the answers to these questions.  I live in the US.  Is there someone I could contact to help me get through all the necessary paper work for residence?    .

Hello! I'm new to all of this too so I hope that my information is help rather than hindrance!! The very first thing that you will need is an NIE number - once you have this then you get your padron and then your residents permit (you will also need to open a Spanish bank account) I was living in Indonesia before I moved here and I found it very helpful paying a lawyer to act as my POA. He sorted out all of these things for me. If you don't speak good Spanish, then a translator can really come in helpful, there are lots of people happy to help with your translation needs for a small fee. I hope that this is of some help to you. Best wishes and good luck with your move. Lottie

I am glad that the other replies match with mine as you do not need more confusion.

Just as a brief list.

Visa  (Best check for requirements through a local Spanish Embassy in your own country to save disappointment)
Gestor ( saves time, and frustration and if you find an English speaking one even better.  They can also help you through all the following as well if you can afford more than just the visa application)
NIE from Police station (needed to purchase certain items such as computersm white goods, cars etc, sign for registered post and sometimes for a rental agreement/lease)
Rental agreement or lease (needed for Padron)
Padron  (Needed from town hall for registering with Social Services and tax office)
Register with Social Services, tax office and obtain health insurance

Best wishes