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Great news for the live music sector. From today, one of the most tedious aspects of hiring international artists to come and perform in our country is simplified. The NIE of the artist or professional will no longer be necessary to register with the Spanish Social Security.

Until today, Order PCM/1238/2021 established that if a non-EU artist or professional (from a non-EU country) was coming to perform in Spain and was not covered by a Bilateral Social Security Agreement between both countries (the country of origin and the country of destination), the contracting company, promoter or agency, had to register them with the Spanish Social Security system. In addition to this, the foreign artist or professional had to apply for a NIE beforehand. That is to say, without the NIE, it was not possible to register with the Social Security. This application made the process slow and cumbersome, as on average it takes between 20 and 30 days to process, to which we have to add the time it takes to request, receive and prepare the artist’s or professional’s documentation.

Requirements from now on: Do I need a NIE?

 From now on it will not be necessary for foreigners to have a NIE to be able to register with the Social Security. It will be sufficient for them to be identified by passport. This was announced by the General Treasury of the Social Security in the Boletín de Noticias Red of 30 August 2023. For this new scheme to be applicable, the following conditions must be met:

  • Scheme: 0112
  • Type of contract: 4xx or 5xx
  • Start date of employment contract: on or after 14 November 2021.
  • TRL/Exclusion of Contribution: 960*CNAE09 of the CCC: 59xx, 60xx, 74.2, 90xx or 91xx.

You can consult the Bulletin at this link.


  • Is it necessary to register a foreign artist or professional who comes to work in Spain from a non-EU country? If there is no bilateral Social Security agreement between the country of origin and Spain, yes, it will be necessary to register them with the Spanish Social Security.
  • Will it be necessary to obtain a NIE beforehand? No, it will be sufficient for the artist or professional to be identified by passport.

This new regime is undoubtedly a change for the better, which will facilitate the international booking of artists by agencies and promoters.

At Sympathy for the Lawyer, we are experts in international mobility of artists and professionals and have extensive experience advising in this field. If you are in the process of contracting a foreign artist, or you are the contracted artist yourself, do not hesitate to contact us and we will give you the necessary support. Tell us about your case and we will prepare an estimate without obligation.

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