Yes, this is certainly the case. Without question the Spanish law states very clearly that the person must apply for the documents in person. However, the Spanish law also clearly states that a legalised, Spanish power-of-attorney document enables any individual to be represented by another for all legal purposes in Spain (as long as it is declared as such within the power-of-attorney). Therefore through virtue of these combined laws, we are able to apply for a NIE number on your behalf without the need for you to be in Spain.
A translation of the Ministerio del Interior website's 3rd paragraph, 2nd point which is detailing who may apply for an NIE Number clearly states:
- Those (applications) that are presented in Spain by the representative appointed by the applicant with evidence that the applicant is not in Spain.
You should also note that, regardless of the clearly stated laws, many local branches of the national police throughout Spain choose not to allow this, which is why some lawyers are unable to act on your behalf for this purpose.