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A Bank Account For Foreigners In Spain

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How To Open A Bank Account For Foreigners In Spain

If, for work, studies or simply to be on vacation, a person who does not live in Spain needs to open a bank or savings account during their stay in our country, they can do so with complete peace of mind. Spanish legislation and banking institutions facilitate this type of business activity and transaction. Here we explain the steps to know how to open a bank account in Spain being a foreigner.

What You Will Need To Open Spanish Bank Account

  • Present your NIE for foreign residents
  • A certificate of non-residence and your passport for non-resident aliens
  • You may also be interested in: How to open a bank account abroad

Steps to follow To Open Spanish Bank Account

For the opening of bank accounts by foreigners, Spanish legislation distinguishes between resident foreigners (those with a residence permit) and non-resident foreigners.

In order to carry out this banking procedure, foreigners considered to be residents must present their NIE (foreigner’s identity number) to the banking entity and comply with the rest of the requirements requested by each banking entity to open a bank account.

People considered non-residents need a certificate of non-residence to open a bank account in Spain. The certificate can be obtained at any National Police station.

The bank can also process this certificate on our behalf, but they charge a commission for this. The other type of document that non-residents need to open a bank account is a passport or an identity card valid in their country of origin.

Many foreigners in Spain find themselves in the situation where they want to open a bank account but ask for a NIE. The problem is that if you are a foreigner and do not have a residence in Spain, you will not have a NIE and therefore, they will not let you open the account. There are many circumstances in which a non-resident foreigner in Spain may need to open a bank account in the country. It is recommended that if you are going to stay for a long period of time in Spain, you should open an account here. This way you will avoid the high commissions of the ATMs if you want to withdraw money from the bank account you have in your country.

Opening an account in Spain, being a foreigner, is relatively easy. Many banks in Spain offer accounts for non-residents. Bank accounts for non-resident foreigners are specific accounts for foreigners with identical characteristics to those for residents (same conditions in terms of expenses and commissions). You should know that each bank presents different conditions for opening the account, and in this post we will try to analyse them for all of you.

Can you open a bank account only with a passport?

From the beginning, the answer is no. You will be asked for your passport and more documents for non-residents (until you have your NIE). Below we will explain which banks you can open a bank account with a passport and the additional documents you can apply for.

Requirements for opening a bank account in Spain for foreigners

The documents to open a bank account in Spain for non-residents are:

Certificate of non-residence

The Certificate of Non-Residence is a document that certifies whether or not the person resides in Spain. It can be processed while in Spain or abroad. If you are in Spain, you can go to any National Police station or Aliens Office corresponding to your place of residence. If you are abroad, you can request the certificate at the Spanish embassy or consulate in your country, which corresponds to your place of residence. A fee must be paid when requesting the certificate and a decision will be received within 5 days.

Another option for obtaining the certificate of non-residence is for the same bank to process it, giving your written authorization. Not all banks will do this and if they do, they charge for the processing.


The passport is required, as an identity card (there are banks that accept other identity documents such as DNI, but not driver’s license).

In general, only the passport and the certificate of non-resident is required for a foreigner to open an account in a Spanish bank. On other occasions, there are banks that request other documents or requirements. For example, the Banco Popular requires a “letter of recommendation” from the bank that corresponds to your bank account in your country. Others, such as Barclays, require additional proof of recurring income (a paycheck, for example).

There are banks that offer accounts for non-residents, but they are temporary, they are accounts that after a period are automatically closed without the possibility of renewal. On other occasions, the bank may require the delivery of the non-resident certificate every certain time as a condition for continuing the operational bank account (for example, Banco Santander is requiring the presentation of the certificate every 2 years).

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