Living in Spain is a real privilege: our climate, our beautiful cities, our natural spaces, our gastronomy and, in short, our quality of life, make us one of the main destinations that foreigners from all over the world choose to settle down.
Starting from scratch in another country is always a good opportunity to make a 180-degree turn in your personal and professional life, and it is a very beneficial change that you should experience with great enthusiasm.
However, making this decision also implies being aware of the requirements and administrative procedures necessary to live in each country.
In Spain, foreigners who want to spend more than six months here must register in the Social Security, find an apartment/flat and register in it or apply for the TIE.
What is the TIE and what is it for?
The TIE or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjeros (Foreigners’ Identity Card) is a unique and exclusive document that accredits the legal stay in Spain for non-EU citizens (i.e., from countries outside the European Union) who have a residence permit for more than six months, or for all foreigners with a long-term residence permit.
This card is personal and non-transferable (it requires the registration of the fingerprint), contains the holder’s personal data, photograph and NIE number, and indicates the type of residence authorization.
If you want to live in Spain and work or study in Spanish, requesting the TIE is considered a priority step, since it is a document that the public administrations can request for many bureaucratic processes, in addition to guaranteeing your legal stay in the country.
On the other hand, the TIE should not be mixed up with the Spanish student visa or with the NIE (Foreigner Identification Number), which is an identifier at the administrative level.
The main differences between NIE and TIE are:
- The NIE is generated automatically when a foreign person initiates any procedure with the Administration.
- The TIE must be requested once the residence permit in Spain has been granted.
- The NIE does not expire, but the TIE does and must always be valid.
- The TIE has a physical support (a card, similar to the DNI), the NIE does not.
- The withdrawal of the TIE due to its expiration or because of the occurrence of a crime or infraction implies the loss of the right to remain in the country and a possible sanction.
How to apply for the TIE in Spain?
Applying for the TIE is quite simple: you just have to go in person to the Foreigners Office in your city or, otherwise, to the Police Station in the province where you have your address in Spain.
In both cases, you will have to make an appointment through the Spanish Government’s website.
As a recommendation, and due to the high demand of previous appointments for this type of procedures, we recommend you to request an appointment for the TIE as soon as you arrive in Spain.
Where to apply for the TIE in Madrid?
Here is a sample application form to show you where and how you can apply for the TIE in Madrid, even though the model can be used in other cities.
Applying for the TIE online
First, you must access the website of the Public Administrations (click here).
Then, you must select the province and the city (Madrid), as well as the National Police station where you want to complete the procedure (we recommend that you select the one closest to your home).
Then, in the drop-down menu, you must choose the type of application you want to make and, finally, request an appointment at the immigration service.
On this website, you can also download some documents to be filled in online.
As you will see, the process is quite intuitive if you follow the steps provided on the website.
Documents and requirements to apply for the TIE
The documents required to apply for the TIE are:
- Original and photocopy of passport or equivalent from your country.
- Duplicated application form EX-17 filled out.
- Three recent photographs, passport size, in color and with white background.
- Visa, study visa or work permit.
- Proof of payment of the corresponding fee.
- Document that accredits affiliation or registration with the Social Security.
All these documents must be original and will be returned to you once the copies have been verified.
Concerning the mandatory requirements before doing this procedure, we would like to highlight the following:
- To have a visa or authorization to stay in Spain for a period of more than six months.
- That your legal status has been changed. This includes a change in your employment status or the renewal of your residence permit or visa.
- Your TIE has been stolen, lost, destroyed or rendered unusable.
Who should apply for the TIE?
The TIE in Spain is an accreditation and identification document, which guarantees legal residence.
It is mandatory for those who come from a non-EU country and who have an authorization to live legally in Spain for over six months.
This is also required for any foreigner who wishes to stay in Spain for a longer period of time.
How long does it take to get the TIE?
The maximum period to obtain the TIE is 45 days.
This means that after submitting the TIE application and documentation, you will have to wait approximately one and a half months.
When you are notified that your TIE is ready, you will need to make another appointment to pick it up.
How long does the TIE in Spain last?
The expiration date of the Foreigner’s Identity Card or TIE is indicated in the authorization itself to prove its expedition.
Since it is a long-term permit, it can be valid for a maximum of five years and must be renewed after this time.
How much does the TIE cost?
A minimum fee is required to apply for the TIE. The price of this procedure is:
- First concession: 15,45 €.
- Renewal or extension: 18,54 €.
- Residence and work for exceptional circumstances: 15,45 €.
- Long-term residence: 21,02 €.
We hope this article on how to apply for the TIE has answered your questions.
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