It can be a good idea to get a residency (NIE) if you are planing to stay on the Canary Islands for some months. This will only take you one morning to fix and costs 20 euro. With the NIE paper you have cheaper prices on most things here, like half price on flights and cruises.
Here is how you do it:
* Go to the Gobierno Civil on Plaza de la Feria at 8 o’clock in the morning (Monday to Friday). The entrance is at the side of the building that face away from the park. Don’t forget to bring 20 euro, your passport and a pen. If you want to save 5 minutes, also bring a copy of your passport.
* There will start to be a queue at this time and if you are somewhat in the beginning of it at 9 o’clock when the place opens you can count on about 30 minutes for the whole procedure. If you instead go there at opening hour there will be around 100 people in front of you with different errands and about 10-15 minutes waiting time for each person of them that wants to get a NIE.
* When the door opens you tell the guy at the desk that you want to get a NIE. He then gives you an application form where you have to fill in your current living address in Las Palmas together with your contact information and your parents names. He also gives you a ticket number which, if you were first in line, will be E001.
* Now enter through the metal detector and go to the main waiting room to wait for your number, while filling in the application form. If you are lucky you will not have time enough to do this before your number is displayed.
* Now enter the room to the left inside the main building. Here find the person (of 3 desks) that is your man/lady. Present your passport and application form and ask for help to fill it out if needed. After this the person will give you another form to pay the NIE.
* Go to one of the banks that is within 50 meters from the Gobierno Civil and pay the 20 euro (in cash) while presenting the filled in payment form. You will then get the form back with a computer stamp at the bottom, to prove that it’s payed.
* After this go to one of the copy places also within the same area and make a copy of your passport (the first page with your picture on it). This will cost about 5 cents.
* Now you are ready to go back to the Gobierno Civil and the man/lady that helped you before. You will not need to take another waiting number, just go there and wait for him/her to be ready with the person(s) he/she is helping at the moment. Present the photo copy of your passport together with the computer stamped payment form and 5 minutes later you will be walking out with your new NIE recidency in your hand!