Hi all, just want to share to you my success story of getting the numero de seguridad social without the NIE. With my situation as non-EU spouse of a Spanish national, I hope I can shed some ray of hope to others like me.
Bit of a background:
I started my Tarjeta de Residencia application last November Protected content we lacked the documents for "economic means". The first Incidencia visit that we had, we presented MY job offer/certificate of employment (yes, I got offered a job before my husband lol). Lady told us that they need my husband's employment documents, and not mine. Also, she told us that I do not have permission to work yet as my application is still not complete. We still tried though to get a SSN in one office near my potential employer, and we were turned down because I had no official NIE yet.
We did another appointment again for the Incidencias at Extranjeria after my husband got hired, bringing just his certificate of employment as his contract will only be available next month.
Well this time, the lady that attended us was quite knowledgeable with the non-EU spouses situation. I think we got lucky to have been advised by her about how I can get my SSN without the NIE, and how I can work based on being the spouse of a Spanish national. She also mentioned about some "sentencia" from the Tribunal Supremo that this can be possible. The other lady during the 1st Incidencia visit did not know any of these things, I wonder why.
This kind of boosted our hopes, and we called the Central Office of Seguridad Social in Madrid (we are based in Barcelona) to confirm what the lady at the Extranjeria told us. They responded positively with: "Si, puede." That means, I can get my SS number with just my passport, and I can work!
And so, we planned to go to eight Seguridad Social offices today to try and get the SSN with just the passport. With the first office that we went (somewhere in Gran Via - without a cita previa), the staff was a little baffled at first. The lady kept on insisting that NIE is required. But, my husband INSISTED that I can get my SSN without the NIE as the Extranjeria and Madrid Office told us that it can be possible. She asked another co-worker for help, and there was a friendly discussion that followed between the co-worker and my husband.
What happened next? They asked for the following items:
1. TA-1 with the stamp of my employer
2. Passport (I had the Schengen visa / Vis Familiar valid for 6 months)
3. Libro de Familia
And that was it, ta-da! I got my SS number finally!
They also mentioned that they are not sure if the company can do the alta without my NIE, and if I have the official NIE already, I should go again to the Seguridad Social Office to update my information. Again, when we arrived at home, my husband called the Madrid Central Office to ask and they said that EVEN IF my NIE or Tarjeta de Residencia application is still "en tramite", the company can do the alta for my contract and that I am allowed to work.
So to make things clear, non-EU spouses of Spanish nationals CAN be allowed to work even if the tarjeta de residencia is still in process. They can be assigned a Seguridad Social Numero with just presenting a passport AND libro de familia.
This is based from my experience. I hope this would help others. If in doubt, you can call the Madrid Central Office, and use this information when dealing with the local offices.