To open a bank account in Spain as a foreigner, you'll need several essential documents. The requirements slightly vary depending on whether you're opening a resident or a non-resident account:

For a Resident Account:

  1. Identification, such as a passport.
  2. A valid Spanish address.
  3. Numero de Identificacion de Extranjero (NIE) – a code proving official registration in Spain.
  4. Proof of employment status (student card if a student, employment contract, or official documentation if unemployed)​

For a Non-Resident Account:

Types of Bank Accounts

In Spain, you can opt for different types of bank accounts based on your needs:

Account Maintenance and Fees

The cost of maintaining a bank account in Spain varies, and the fees are generally higher compared to other European countries. Common fees include:

Additional Insights for Foreigners

Recent changes have made the requirements for foreigners to open bank accounts in Spain more stringent. It's particularly challenging for nationals from specific countries, with increased scrutiny over fund sources. Working with a real estate agency or service company can simplify the process due to their established relationships with banks. These agencies are often more familiar with the needs of foreigners and can help overcome language barriers​.

Importance of a Bank Account

A bank account in Spain is essential for various activities, including buying property, applying for mortgages, paying taxes, insurance policies, utility bills, and more. It's also necessary for registering a business, renting a property, or paying for education​.

Opening an Account Remotely

For many foreigners, especially those planning to buy property or obtain a residence permit, opening an account remotely is a practical option. This process typically involves:

  1. Obtaining a NIE from the Spanish consulate in your country.
  2. Preparing and sending sworn or consular translations of documents (passport, financial documents) to the agency.
  3. The agency submits these documents to the bank.
  4. The bank processes the information and opens the account within 2-3 days.
  5. The agreement and bank documents are sent via email.
  6. Print, sign, and send the original documents back to Spain.
  7. The agency forwards your documents to the bank for account activation​

Online Banking in Spain

Once you open an account, you'll typically have access to online banking, available in Spanish and English. Through online banking, you can perform various operations, such as transfers and bill payments. However, be aware that certain actions might be flagged as suspicious and could lead to account blocking. Monitoring the number and amount of internet payments is crucial to avoid additional fees​.


Opening a bank account in Spain as a foreigner in 2023 requires careful consideration of the type of account needed, understanding the associated fees, and preparing the necessary documentation. Whether you choose to open an account in person or remotely, being informed about the process and requirements is key to a smooth experience. As a comprehensive real estate agency, Spain Costas can assist you in navigating these financial waters, ensuring your transition to life in Spain is as seamless as possible.