How to apply for the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE)

TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) is your residency permit card for the remainder of your stay in Spain. After getting your visa you may have seen that it’s only valid for 90 days from your stated arrival date. This is because you need to finish the complete process of registration when you arrive in here.

There is not a lot to do but as a new resident in a foreign country, it’s perfectly understandable to get confused about the process. The most important procedures that you need to do when you move to Spain are empadronamiento (that is registration of your new address) and getting your TIE.

Here are the steps to apply for your TIE once you’ve arrived in Spain:

1. Make an appointment (for each family member) online on the Sede Electronica Site.

You are required to make an appointment at the extranjería that falls within 30 days of your arrival in Spain. Sometimes, especially on big cities like Barcelona, you may not find an appointment on time so be careful to not let things until the last minute and to accomplish every procedural step within 90 days that your visa requires.

If there are plenty of appointments available though in the first 30 days after your arrival, we would recommend making your appointment towards the end of that window to allow yourself the time to gather documents, complete your empadronamiento and to find long-term accommodation because you will need a long-term address.

To make an appointment at the extranjería, you need to go to the Ministry of Public Administration and follow the link Cita previa de extranjería. Fill the form by entering your NIE (you should have it on your visa), your name and surname, citizenship and your email address. After clicking accept you will be able to choose an appointment date and time.

Complete the process and provide an email for a confirmation of your appointment because you will need several copies of this email (or your appointment confirmation page).

2. Gather all your documents.

  1. Passport: You will need the original passport to show your visa and also a photocopy of your first page, visa page and entry stamp.
  2. EX-17: You can download it from here. It’s a simple form with your basic information like name, surname, citizenship, your place of birth, date of birth, your new address in Spain etc.
  3. Two or three photos (EU passport photo size): Normally they should only need one but you are gonna take more than one anyway so why not have them with you in case there’s any recent change.
  4. Visa Decision (carta de resolución): You will need two copies of a printout showing the approval of your visa. This is an easy step, you just need to go to "Información sobre el estado del expediente de extranjería" page and to enter your NIE, your year of birth and the date you initially applied for your visa. After clicking ‘consultar’ the site will redirect to your visa confirmation (resuelto – favorable).
  5. Paid M790 C012 Tax Form: This is the part that looks more complicated. As an administrative process, you will need to pay a fee for the TIE card that you are applying. You will fill out the form electronically on the national police website which will generate three copies of the M790 C012 form with a unique barcode and number. Last step is to pay the fee in a bank and take the two copies left (because one stays in the bank) to your appointment.
  6. Certificado de Empadronamiento: registration of your new resident address in Spain. This is probably the first administrative procedure that you have done here in Barcelona but if you need info about this form feel free to click here to read our guide on how to get your empadronamiento.
  7. Copies of your appointment confirmation: As we told you above, you will need to provide copies of your cita from the Sede Electronica site where you arranged your date and time.

3. Go to your appointment.

On the date and the time you arranged go to the appointment at the address in your confirmation email. If you gathered all the documents mentioned above correctly we promise that this will be a very low-stress process. Sometimes even though you have an appointment there might be a line so be prepared to wait a bit. Once your turn comes up you’ll be asked to present all your documents. If there’s nothing missing then your passport photos will be pasted into a packet of paperwork and into a signature card which you’ll be asked to sign. You’ll then give a series of fingerprints electronically and at the end of the process you’ll be presented with a letter from the office indicating that you are a legal resident in the country pending the outcome of your TIE application process.

This might sound like a scary part because you might not speak Spanish but don’t worry, as it’s a process for foreigners the staff are very conscious of your language level and will make it easy for you.

4. Go and pick up your residence card.

This is the easiest step. All you need to do is to go at the same address after 30 days with your passport and TIE letter (received at last appointment). Depending on which office you go to you may or may not need a new appointment this time. One of the staff members will check your passport for identification, take your fingerprints again and give you the residence card (TIE).