Spanish Residency Card (TIE): All You Need to Know

Spanish Residency Card (TIE): All You Need to Know

By |2019-10-14T13:58:24-04:00October 14th, 2019|Spain, Travel Tips & Advice|107 Comments

Spanish Residency Card Paperwork

As mentioned before, the process to gather all of my documents and to apply for my Spanish non-lucrative visa was actually MUCH smoother and quicker than I anticipated. I got all my paperwork ready in one week and my visa was approved in only 10 days.

You can read my detailed instructions on how to apply for the Spanish non-lucrative visa here:
Non Lucrative Visa for Spain: How I Applied in Just 1 Week

However, once the non-lucrative visa has been issued, that’s only the first step. You must complete the next steps once you arrive in Spain in order to get your Spanish Residency Card (TIE).

The Next Step: TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (Spanish Residency Card)

Once your visa is approved and you either pick up your visa at the Spanish consulate or receive your passport with visa in the mail (whichever option you chose), keep in mind that…

1. You have 3 months to enter Spain from the date your visa was issued


2. Once in Spain, you need to apply for your TIE (Spanish Residency Card) within 30 days

The first part is easy. Just make sure you enter Spain within 3 months of your visa issue date!

The second part is more complicated. But now that I’ve completed the process, I’m going to share every detail on how to get your TIE once in Spain.

Step 1: Certificado de Empadronamiento

In order to get your TIE, you will most likely need to get this certificate from the City Hall first.

Not every city in Spain requires this document for a TIE but many do and here in Valencia, they definitely require it. This is basically an official certificate that shows you are registered as a resident of a particular city or town in Spain. The certificate is typically issued by the City Hall in the town or city where you plan to live in Spain.

With this official document, your life as a resident becomes much easier. Consider it official proof of residency and address, something that comes in handy when dealing with other government offices (such as the office that handles the Spanish Residency Card process).

How to Obtain a Certificado de Empadronamiento
  • Passport – Make 2 copies of the details page, your residency visa and your entry stamp into Spain or the Schengen zone. Bring the original passport and copies with you.
  • Proof of address – You’ll need a rental contract for a house or apartment that is valid for at least 6 months. Bring the original signed version and a photocopy. (If you are renting a room from someone or staying with family/friend, the owner of the residence might need to come with you to the appointment and they might need to bring a recent utility bill in their name. The rules vary depending on the city/town where you are living.)
  • Proof of rent payment – Bring a copy of the receipt you received when you paid your first month’s rent.
  • Make an appointment – Check the City Hall’s website and see if you need to make an appointment. Some cities require appointments (such as Valencia) and some cities allow you to simply show up at the City Hall. For Valencia, you can make an appointment here: Cita Previa. Simply choose “Padron” from the list and then fill out the rest of the form.
  • Go to the appointment – Show up at the City Hall for your appointment with all the documents above.

For me, once my number was called, the process took about 5 minutes. I gave the woman behind the desk my documents, she asked a couple of quick questions (my level of education, if it was my first time registering in Spain, why I needed the certificate, etc.) and then she printed out two copies of the official certificate right then and there.

That was it. I had the Certificado de Empadronamiento and I was ready to continue the TIE process.

*If you don’t speak any Spanish, you will probably want to have a Spanish-speaking friend or contact come with you.

Step 2: Make an Appointment for your TIE

You can do this before you get your Certificado de Empadronamiento. The only thing to keep in mind is:

  • In some cities, you don’t receive your Certificado de Empadronamiento while you wait.
  • You might have to return to the City Hall after a few business days to collect your certificate.
  • It takes time to gather the other documents you need for your TIE appointment.

Overall, if you allow for at least 2 weeks between your appointment for your Certificado de Empadronamiento and your appointment for your TIE card, you should be good.

Appointment Wait Times
Don’t be alarmed if there are no available TIE appointments for 4 or more weeks. It’s apparently common in some cities for there to be long waits for available appointments. But even though you technically need to apply for your Spanish residency card within 30 days of arriving in Spain, it seems that this rule is ignored. In reality, it has to be ignored since it’s common to wait over a month to get an appointment! So, if the available appointments are 1 or more months away, don’t worry, just book the earliest one you can.

Here’s how to book your TIE appointment:

  • Visit this government website
  • Choose your province from the drop down list
  • On the next page, choose “Policia – Toma de Huellas (Expedicion de tarjeta) Y Renovacion de Tarjeta de Larga Duracion
  • Click “Entrar” on the next page
  • Fill out the form with your NIE number (it’s on your visa), your name and country of nationality (Leave the “Fecha de Caducidad de su tarjeta actual” blank.)
  • On the next page, fill out your telephone number and email address and choose “Solicitar cita”
  • A drop down menu will appear with the office locations you can choose from (I only had one option but you might have more)
  • You’ll be taken to a page with a calendar
  • Choose a day/time that works for you and confirm your appointment

*Important: Be sure to save the confirmation that appears on your screen as you will absolutely need to take this confirmation paper to your appointment!

*Important: The available appointments change all the time. Keep checking. When I went on the site the first time, the earliest appointment was 4 weeks away. But then I checked one day later and suddenly appointments were available later that same week.

*Important: You need a separate appointment for each person if you are applying as a couple or family.

Step 3: Gather your Documents

Here is a list of everything you need for the TIE appointment:

  • Passport – Take the original and 2 photocopies of your passport details page, your visa and the entry stamp you received at immigration when entering Spain, or whichever country in the Schengen zone that you entered first.
  • 3 recent passport photos (headshots)
  • Appointment confirmation – Two copies of your appointment confirmation document that you saved after making the appointment.
  • Resolution letter – This Carta de Resolucion is a simple document that confirms that you did indeed apply for and receive your non-lucrative visa. Yes, even though you have the visa in your passport, you might still need this document. Luckily, it’s very easy to obtain. Visit this official website, fill out the form with your NIE number (it’s on your visa), the date you initially applied for your visa and your year of birth. Click “Consultar” and you’ll be taken to a screen with the details of your visa. Print out two copies of this confirmation.
  • Proof of address – Even though I had the Certificado de Empadronamiento, which proves I’m an official resident at the address I listed in Valencia, I still took my official apartment rental contract with me (original and photocopy) as extra insurance.
  • Application form – Fill out the TIE application form (Form Modelo EX17) and bring two copies with you. In the end, they didn’t ask for it but I’ve heard that some offices do want the application.
  • Form 790 – Codigo 012 – This is the form that helps you pay the fee for your TIE card. You need to fill out the form online, download it, print it out, sign it and then take it to a bank.
      When filling out Form 790-012:
      – Fill out the entire first section (Identificacion).
      – In the Autoliquidacion section, check the circle next to “TIE que documenta la primera concesión de la autorización de residencia temporal, de estancia o para trabajadores transfronterizos“. Do not do anything else in this section.
      – Under “Localidad”, enter the city in Spain where you are living.
      – Under “Ingreso”, choose “En efectivo” (paying in cash).
      – Download the completed form (all 3 pages) by clicking on the blue button at the bottom.

You’ll now need to print out the form, sign it and take it to the bank (in Spain) to pay the fee.

I was told you could go to any bank to do this but I had some difficulties. The first bank told me I could only get this done between 9:30am – 11:00am on Mondays and Thursdays, the second bank just said ‘no’ and the third bank told me to come back the next day. But then I found a tiny branch of Caixa Popular Bank and they helped me take care of it in 3 minutes. Just don’t save this part until the last second!

The current fee for the TIE is 15,74 Euros. You simply pay that amount, the banker stamps your form and you’re good to go.

Keep the stamped form as you’ll need it for your appointment.

*Get a Spanish phone number!: I use Google Fi and can use my US phone number all over the world. However, I did get a local Spanish SIM card from Vodafone so that I could list a Spanish phone number on my documents. This is important as they might not accept a foreign phone number on the forms and in the government registration system.

It’s easy though. It costs 10 EUR at Vodafone for the SIM (comes with 5 GB of data too). I never put the SIM in my phone but at least I can give out that Spanish number and I avoid confusion.

Step 4: Attend your Spanish Residency Card Appointment

Again, if you don’t speak any Spanish, this could be a challenge to do on your own as the staff at the Valencia office didn’t speak any English. I’ve heard the same about most TIE offices in the country. You might want to bring a local friend or contact to assist.

  • Arrive for your appointment 20-30 minutes early.
  • Wait. (In Valencia, the process was quite organized. You wait outside the building in a line that is arranged by appointment time. Once it’s your turn, they call you inside and you take a seat in the small waiting area. You’ll then be called to one of the desks within a few minutes.)
  • Hand over everything they ask for.
  • They’ll take your fingerprints.
  • You’ll receive a piece of paper confirming your residency.
  • They’ll tell you to come back in 1 month to pick up your Spanish Residency Card.

And that’s it.

Then, after 30 days, you can go back and pick up your Spanish Residency Card. You don’t need an appointment for this, just show up and get in the appropriate line.

Good luck and if you have any questions, just let me know!

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  1. Frank Snyders July 2, 2020 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Good morning. We have residency certificates, have had them for over 10 years and now due to Brexit, need to exchange them for TIE cards. Last heard they weren’t yet available. Do you know if they’re now ready for issue? There’s less than 6 months before the Extension Period ends, so concerned to have this sorted before then. Many thanks.

    • Derek July 3, 2020 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Hey Frank – I’m not too sure how the Brexit stuff is being handled unfortunately. Your best bet is probably to contact an immigration consultant that is working with other people in a similar situation as they would have the most updated information.

      • Omar Ibrahim July 6, 2020 at 2:11 pm - Reply

        Very helpful details. Thanks for that.
        I am wondering if you know which other documents can be proof of address other than the rental contract. I will be staying at a friends place in Barcelona till I find a more parmenant home but I dont want to wait long to start the paperwork.

        • Derek July 6, 2020 at 10:11 pm - Reply

          Hey Omar – If you are staying with a friend, I believe you need to have a written letter from the friend stating that you will be staying with them. It needs to have their address, proof that they own the apartment/home and their ID number. But it’s best to check with the specific consulate you are applying with because it seems the requirements are different for each one sometimes.

  2. Demo June 19, 2020 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    thanks for you good informations about the visa application to Spain. My question is about the requirements of the non-lucrative visa, i mean that i lived in Spain one year and now i just have re-new non-lucrative visa for 2 years.But i need to go back to my country, so i don’t have any informations that how can i keep this my 2 years visa without staying in Spain. Do you know something about that?Thanks

    • Derek June 19, 2020 at 10:36 pm - Reply

      Hey Demo – I’m actually not at that point yet so I’m not sure how that all works. I believe there is a minimum amount of time that you need to spend in Spain in order to maintain your visa, so you just need to make sure you spend enough time in Spain by the time the visa is finished. But I’m still on my first year so I don’t know how it works beyond this yet 🙂

  3. CJ April 29, 2020 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek. Great post! I do have a question. We received our NL visas in February and were set to fly to Valencia on April 1. 🙁

    The visa itself says “resident” on it, but I’m not sure if we will be considered residents for the purpose of entering the country, since entrance will be restricted to citizens and “legal residents”, possibly until late this year. Do you happen to know if having an NL visa is enough for us to be considered residents so we can enter the country without a TIE card? If you don’t know, do you know where we could even find out? The San Francisco consulate has not responded to our emails.

    We’ll be arriving with our Labrador Retriever, so we can’t risk arriving and being denied entry.

    • Derek April 29, 2020 at 7:41 pm - Reply

      Hey CJ – From what I understand in regards to this situation, until you have your TIE (residency card), you’re not an official resident and would not be allowed to go. There are several documents you need to get that TIE card and those documents are what prove you’re a resident. The visa is simply a visa that allows you to travel to Spain in order to finalize your residency. But that’s just based on my knowledge. Definitely pays to try and call the SF consulate?

      • KIm G May 9, 2020 at 6:25 pm - Reply

        Derek, piggybacking on CJ’s question, do you think that the NL visas will be extended? We were also planning a move to Valencia, on April 29th. Thanks for sharing all of this valuable information.

        • Derek May 11, 2020 at 4:58 am - Reply

          Hey Kim – Honestly, I have no idea but I doubt that they will be extended. That seems like a lot of organization required and given the situation in Spain, my guess is that they will be focusing on other things as they try to recover.

        • Lola June 23, 2020 at 8:22 am - Reply

          Good morning, also piggybacking… I am a member of “American Expatriates in Spain” (FB) and one of the members just made it to Spain from the US on an NL visa. They flew from Orlando to Dallas – Dallas Madrid. Here is the member’s post from June 17, 2020:

          Our flight to Spain yesterday:

          As US citizens with our recently approved NL Visas, this is how our trip unfolded…

          Many people have asked if it is possible to enter Spain as US citizens without a Resident card (TIE) or without being citizens. Some have said it can’t be done, however, from the very beginning of the Covid-19 crisis when Spain closed it’s borders, we were assured in writing by the Miami Consulate that we would be able to enter. They added a caveat to that statement, basically saying once in Spain our second step to the residency process would be delayed as all government offices had stopped processing fingerprints and issuing Resident cards, etc.

          A US citizen possessing a Spanish Resident Visa, in our case, Non-Lucrative, is considered a Resident (case closed).

          We flew AA from Orlando to Dallas to Madrid. The Rep at the desk in Orlando got on the phone with someone because she wasn’t sure if we could fly, even though we pointed out our approved Visas. The person on the phone told her we were good to go. Baggage checked and on our way!

          Once in Dallas, the desk Rep did not think we could fly either, until he spoke with another more informed employee. That Rep confirmed we were legit. He went back a few more times to the other Rep with questions before we got out boarding tickets. We were told they might take our temperatures there, pior to boarding and in Madrid. No temps required in Dallas.

          On the plane, we were required to fill out forms asking where we were staying in Spain, how the authorities could contact us, if we had any symptoms of being sick, etc.

          Once in Madrid, we passed through Customs and Passport control easily. There was a table where they were taking people’s temperatures but I think the requirement for that depended on what you wrote on the form, where you were headed and possibly up to the whim of the airport personnel. We told them we were going to Granada. We were told we could pass through without a temp check.

          After a few checks into our luggage contents by Customs, we were waived through. We grabbed the Renfe train to Estacion Sur for the bus to Granada. Strangely the police there saw all of our luggage and stopped us prior to boarding. They questioned where we came from and how (US,airplane that morning, Madrid, train from the airport..) and wanted to know why we were going to Granada. We told them we lived there. They were satisfied with our answers and we got on the bus.

          The airports and stations and planes and trains and buses we were in were almost empty. Madrid airport looked like a ghost town.

          The forms we signed mentioned the two week quarantine (honor system) but Sanchez is ending that on the 22nd so in essence, we will quarantine one week here in Granada. We quarantined in the US and came from a low population density area… We always wore masks and stayed away from people in general so we know how to do this. We watched in horror as many Americans acted as if the virus just “magically disappeared”. Knowing we were going to be in Spain soon we never lifted our guard.

          And here we are in Spain!!!

      • Patty June 23, 2020 at 2:52 pm - Reply

        Hi Derek, that is not true. A resident visa holder is allowed to enter Spain during the pandemic. They are treated the same as residents who have the TIE. We confirmed this with the consulate in Miami. And the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, as my husband and I were allowed in a couple of weeks ago. The AA desk rep had to check with a supervisor and they verified we could fly.

        • Derek June 23, 2020 at 9:57 pm - Reply

          Hey Patty – That’s great to hear you made it. My original comment was made back in April when my reliable sources informed me that Spain was not letting people who had the residency visa but not the TIE yet into the country. Now that things have been relaxed and borders are opening more, I’m happy to know that such people can now reach Spain. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Tom May 20, 2020 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Hi, write to the consulate but I think it depends on the situation.

      My NL visa starts in 20 days, I’m living in Norway with a visa that expires in the end of June, and the consulate of Oslo told me it’s okay since there would be no other place where I could go since I’d only have Spanish residency.

      But it’s a bit tricky since I’m already in the EU, then again, contact your consulate.

      Hope everything goes well

  4. Damille April 16, 2020 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Hi Derek, my my friend has an Extranjeros De España tarjeta in Spain and wants to travel to the uk. What documents does he need to come over to the uk? Does he only need a visa?

    • Derek April 16, 2020 at 10:58 pm - Reply

      Hey Damille – I’m honestly not too sure. It’s better to check the government websites as I simply wrote about my own experience here.

      • OKSANA May 25, 2020 at 5:20 am - Reply

        Hi. Can anyone suggest plz. Im UK resident living in Spain. My brother is Ukrainian citizen.
        We applied for Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de cuidadano de la we recieved NO FAVOUR on website and that we hv to wait a letter resolution. Its been a month now obviously because of COVID everything is shut and slow. Im worried that by the time it come we won’t be able to appeal. Can anyone suggest what to do.. i called all possible numbers and emails but all say wait letter.
        Thanks so much

  5. Leah March 21, 2020 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    Thanks for this useful information! Do you happen to know whether the TIE functions like a typical 180 day student visa? By this I mean: after the TIE expires, do you know if you’re able to stay in Spain as a “tourist” for up to 90 days?


    • Derek March 22, 2020 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      Hey Leah – I don’t know the exact answer but I have not seen anything in all of my research and experience that states you can stay as a tourist after it expires.

  6. Lola March 17, 2020 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    Try to hang in there during this difficult time of isolation. You seem to be a very social person, and so this may be your best outlet to release that feeling of loneliness that hits us all who are used to being around others. I know it would be very difficult for me.

    Thank you so much for posting all this info – your avid readers appreciate it, very much.

    Do you recommend hiring a “gestor” to do all this? Is it simple enough that anyone can do it? Does it depend on the city where you live?


    • Derek March 22, 2020 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      Hey Lola – Do you mean someone to accompany you to the appointments in Spain? It’s up to you. My Spanish language skills are ‘okay’ and I managed to do it on my own. But other foreigners I saw at the offices did hire people to assist them.

  7. Marat March 8, 2020 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek. Thank a lot for putting it pout for all of us. Its great info.
    I am applying myself and learned a lot from it.
    Just one small, but I think important, correction from the comments.
    With a non-lucrative visa, you absolutely CAN travel in other countries of Schengen Zone for maximum of 3 months within every 6 months.
    So occasional visits to Germany or whatever country is fine.

    • Derek March 8, 2020 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      Hey Marat – Thanks. With the non-lucrative visa, I can go to Schengen countries for 3 months, which I can also do without the non-lucrative visa. So I don’t think there is much difference by having the visa.

      • Marat March 9, 2020 at 11:34 am - Reply

        Derek. You are right.
        It will only make a difference if a person has NO visa-free access o Schengen by default, such as an Indian citizen for example. With non – lucrative residence they can travel around the Schengen zone as if they had the Schengen visa.

        Applied for our residency today (in Santiago de Chile). Fingers crossed.

        • Tom March 15, 2020 at 10:56 am - Reply

          Well, technically is the same as going as a tourist, but in the day to day it may not be like that, I’m with a Working Holiday Visa in Norway and know quite some that having the same visa (1 year of living/working allowed) have gone more than 3 months to other places, say Spain or just doing tourism around Europe.
          It has happened that some of these people gets stopped by cops for random checks (for example: crossing a border in a car) but even if one has been out of, say, Germany, they have no way to check (at least in a quick check) that you are not really living where you state that you are.
          And since these are just quick checks to see that you’re not illegal in Schengen territory, cops won’t really dig in your particular situation (so far haven’t read/heard any stories like that)

  8. Ben de Wet February 29, 2020 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Hello! I am going to be applying for my TIE next month and my wife is a non-eu citizen and is coming with me, I know I have to have residency first before she can get residency, but do you think there will be enough time in the 30 day period since it takes a month just to get the TIE? or would there be an exception because she is my partner? TIA

    • Derek February 29, 2020 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      From what I understand, your wife will have 3 months to apply for the residency after she arrives. So you would want to have your residency secured as soon as possible. Keep in mind that you will need a marriage certificate issued from an EU country within the past 3 months before she applies for her residency.

  9. DJ February 28, 2020 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    Thank you for the write-up. I just got my residence card approved and I got my fingerprint scanned, and now I am just waiting for the one month period to get the physical card. I would like to know how do I exit Spain (to a non-EU country) to visit my family? My concern is my entry into Spain past way 3 month with the visitor visa in my passport stamp but I will be getting my Spanish residency card soon. So, will like the immigration officer look at my country of origin passport or showing my residence card (Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión) will do? Needing someone to clear my confusion! 🙂

    • Derek February 28, 2020 at 5:00 pm - Reply

      Hey DJ – You simply go through immigration as you normally would do. You show them your passport and your residency card and that’s it. They’ll still stamp your passport and nothing changes. By showing your residence card, it proves you have the right to be in Spain.

      • Sarah Willats April 3, 2020 at 12:21 pm - Reply

        That’s not actually correct, Derek. (But your post is very precise and straightforward!) DJ mentioned that he was waiting to pick up his physical card and the original visa affixed to his passport is expired. With no physical card and wanting to travel (but having the residency application approved), he would have to request permission to travel at the local police station. It’s called an autorización de regreso and it allows someone who doesn’t have their physical card to travel and re-enter Spain for up to 3 months. You can use the form for multiple trips in/out of Spain (but you must return directly to Spain and not through a connecting airport) but if it’s taken and stamped, then it becomes invalid and you would have to request another one. Given that we’re currently in a state of emergency at the moment, no one is traveling but a number of countries are allowing citizens of other countries to leave Spain and return to their home country. Just out of curiosity, what did you end up doing, DJ?
        I hope this info is also helpful to someone else who might need it in the future! 🙂

        • Derek April 13, 2020 at 7:53 am - Reply

          Hey Sarah – Thanks for the information! When I applied for my TIE though, they gave me a paper confirmation and said that I could also use that in case I needed to travel without having my physical card yet. Nobody mentioned the autorizacion de regreso to me. And I did leave Spain, and returned, without any issues even though I didn’t have my physical card yet and my original visa was expired by that point.

          • Denise April 24, 2020 at 6:00 pm

            Derek is correct. When you apply for the TIE – they give you paperwork that is defacto proof of residency. You use that paperwork in place of the physical TIE card to go in and out of the country OR as ID within the country until you get the actual TIE card. You don’t need police permission to leave with the TIE paperwork pending processing of the physical card.

  10. Tiarnna Hamilton-Sanchez February 17, 2020 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Great site,

    Hi, if I own and rent a place in Spain to a tenant can I apply for TIE, non-lucrative visa? And for health insurance, can you pay for your own international if you have American health insurance that isn’t international? Can any of this be done at the Spanish embassy? I live in the Washington DC area and I am sorry if the question has already been asked and missed it. Thanks.

    • Derek February 18, 2020 at 3:15 am - Reply

      Hey Tiarnna – I’m not too sure in your case as that’s not how I applied. You would have to check with an expert for more details about that. For the health insurance, you need to purchase 1 year (in advance) of complete private health insurance from a Spanish insurance company such as Sanitas. You need to get their most complete policy that doesn’t have any deductibles and the full year needs to be paid in advance. You need to do it all on your own. You can apply for the Non Lucrative visa at the Embassy of course but you need to have all of the documents in order before your appointment as they don’t assist with anything.

  11. Lou Sbardella February 17, 2020 at 2:04 pm - Reply


    I went to the Government site you mentioned, •Visit this government website and I could not find my province that I’m moving to, CADIZ which is a big place. Any idea why?

    • Derek February 17, 2020 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      Hey Lou – I’m honestly not too sure. Perhaps they make you go to their specific, local government website to do it but that would be the first I’ve heard of that.

  12. Shannon February 14, 2020 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,

    Very helpful information. So how goes your TIE renewal?

    We’ve had issues because of time spent outside of Spain – thought we just had to have more than 6 months in Spain but turns out your time OUT of Spain is very important too. Do not spend any more than 180 days OUT of Spain in a year. Your TIE renewal will not be approved.

    • Derek February 14, 2020 at 10:49 am - Reply

      Hey Shannon – If you spend more than half the year in Spain, then it’s impossible to spend more than half the year outside of Spain. Everyone I know who has spent at least 6 months in Spain with this visa has be approved for renewal the following year.

  13. Sam February 10, 2020 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek, THANK YOU for the write up….making my life easy! How did you go about finding a place to stay?

    • Derek February 10, 2020 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Hey Sam – I used the services of the very helpful team at Globexs. They help foreigners find good apartments in Valencia.

  14. Carol February 10, 2020 at 10:21 am - Reply

    Hi, is it possible to get the empadronamiento using a 6 months booking and then cancel the booking, i.e. leave earlier and not staying the whole 6 months?

    • Derek February 10, 2020 at 11:42 am - Reply

      You don’t need to stay the entire 6 months at all. You just need a 6 month contract in order to get the empadronamiento.

  15. Abdelghani February 9, 2020 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Hey Derek, thank you for the post really great.
    My question is about annual taxes in Spain, I work abroad on shift (4×4 week) and of course my salary will be reported on bank statement.
    Do I have to pay any annual taxes? if yes what is the percentage or the value?
    Thank you.

    • Derek February 9, 2020 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      I am not a tax advisor so you should probably ask a professional about that.

      • Abdelghani February 10, 2020 at 11:37 am - Reply

        Thanks for the advice.

  16. Firuza February 7, 2020 at 7:27 am - Reply

    Hi thanks for all the info.
    We’re getting our docs ready to apply.

    I was wondering if we can travel around europe during that 1 year?

    And is there a limit on how many days i can be away from Spain during that 1 year?

    Thanks in advance.

  17. Carol February 5, 2020 at 7:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek, do you have an article talking about whether you need to pay tax to Spain? I read somewhere that any worldwide income (e.g. online income) needs to be declared and we would need to pay tax. Also , I came across the concept of autonomo, not sure how this concept fits to this process. Could you please explain? 🙂

    • Derek February 6, 2020 at 2:18 am - Reply

      Hey Carol – I have not written about that yet and it’s something you should research.

  18. Carol February 5, 2020 at 7:43 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek, is it possible to find a smaller town to live in order to get an appointment first and then move to live in another city after 3 months? Also, for the proof of address, is it possible to show Airbnb reservation for 3 months?

    • Derek February 6, 2020 at 2:18 am - Reply

      Hey Carol – You can move any time you want but you do need an intial contract for 6 months in order to get the empadronamiento, which is required in order to get the TIE.

  19. karim January 31, 2020 at 6:07 am - Reply

    hey Derek i have a question i have two visa one of them is Schengen visa and the other one is student visa type D and the student visa start in 2 jan but i come to Germany before that with my Schengen visa and on 2 jan i went to Barcelona and now I’m trying to apply for the TIE so there will be no problem because i don’t have a Spain stamp on my passport but i have a Germany stamp?

    • Derek January 31, 2020 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Hey Karim – I’m not sure. I don’t have that kind of experience with these visas. This post is simply providing instructions on how to obtain your TIE once in Spain.

  20. Rod Ross January 31, 2020 at 5:15 am - Reply

    Hi Need some clarification about this TIE card, I have been living and working in Spain as a resident for over 10 years, my partner is Spanish. Do I still need a TIE card? I have a Bristish passport born in Scotland.

    • Derek January 31, 2020 at 6:01 am - Reply

      Hey Rod – From what I’ve learned, with Brexit, you will now need to get a TIE card this year.

  21. Marco January 29, 2020 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Hello Derek,
    I finally applied for my non-lucrative visa last week…..they said I should expect an answer in the next 2 weeks.

    My question is about the NIE number. Do you get it on the 90-days visa approval ? Thanks,

    • Derek January 29, 2020 at 11:27 am - Reply

      Yes, the NIE is on the visa when you get it.

  22. Richard Martin January 26, 2020 at 7:59 am - Reply


    My girlfriend is a dentist from Columbia and is now living in Spain to study. She has received the Extranjeros Espana Estudiante card. I live in London, UK. I think this is the residency card but I’m not sure exactly.

    Does anyone know if she is now free to the UK (or Ireland) there without a holiday VISA?

    Thank you very much!


  23. Edith Lenz January 24, 2020 at 12:54 am - Reply

    Hello Derek, I am so glad I came upon ALL your information! It is the most concise I have found to date – had not seen some of the forms at all!
    It is interesting how many of those commenting are going to Valencia. I am wanting to go there because I liked it several years ago!
    I am going to wait until July to submit my application (have another trip already planned and want to make sure I am available ASAP as needed by the Consulate – and still am feeling a bit daunted by the paperwork. But you make it sound like it is a piece of cake! Thanks for the encouragement.
    The Schengen rule thing while having a TIE is baffling me – the borders are open, so how do they track the time spent outside of Spain?
    Just to confirm – is the TIE the same as the Retiree Visa? I heard that I can get one of those for 1-5 years.

    • Derek January 24, 2020 at 3:07 am - Reply

      Hey Edith – You are correct…there is no real way for them to track your movements in the Schengen area. They could check flight bookings but in reality, you could indeed travel around the Schengen zone without anyone knowing. And the TIE is the foreigner’s residency card (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero). It is not a visa. It is the identity card that all foreign residents in Spain must obtain. Hope that helps!

  24. Kim January 15, 2020 at 5:18 pm - Reply

    Hi Derek, this is a very helpful post, especially so because my husband and I just received word today that our visa applications were approved! We leave for Valencia on April 29. I wonder if you could clarify “the date your visa application was issued”. I’m assuming you mean the date of our flight as that’s what the embassy has asked for. (We are applying in Panama, a long story) I also want to ask how important the 6 month rental contract is. We’ve rented an apartment through SpotaHome for 4 months only. It’s hard to commit to a longer lease without physically checking out the apartment and the neighborhood. If it’s a deal breaker, I’ll have to check if the apartment is available for another 2 months. Thanks so much for your help.

    • Derek January 16, 2020 at 12:58 am - Reply

      Hey Kim – You actually have 3 months to enter Spain from the day they told you that your visa was approved. So if your visa was approved on January 15th, you will need to enter Spain before April 15th or else the visa is no longer valid. And you will need a 6+ month rental contract in order to apply for the TIE. It’s a tough one as there’s no easy way to get around it even though it’s hard to commit to such a contract without seeing the place!

      • Carol February 5, 2020 at 7:35 pm - Reply

        Hi Derek, if I just rent a room of an apartment, how can I make the proof of address?

        • Derek February 6, 2020 at 2:17 am - Reply

          Hey Carol – You can use that to get the visa but you need the owner of the apartment to provide a contract for you (needs to be for at least 6 months) and you will also need copies of their identification to bring with you. Once you get the visa, you will need to get the empadronamiento before you can apply for your residency card. To get this, you will also need the contract, the owner’s identification copies and sometimes a copy of the owner’s empadronamiento that shows they do officially live/own at that address.

  25. Mike January 6, 2020 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Hello Derek,

    I am a British citizen and I got my Spanish NIE number in October 2019.

    I have been married to my wife for 4 years and she is a non EU citizen. This year she will be in and out of Spain due to still having her job back home but if using the schengen visa she will go over her time whilst in Spain during 2020 therefore we need to apply for a residency for her.

    It states that when applying she needs to have have been in Spain continuously for 3 months from when she enters the EU. For her it’s impossible due to work commitments outside of Spain. Is it correct to say that she therefore cannot apply for residency or have I read incorrectly?


    • Derek January 6, 2020 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      I’m not too sure how that works. Not she could always apply from her home country and then enter Spain once she has the visa.

    • Aries January 16, 2020 at 10:32 am - Reply

      Hi Derek – very useful information. Do you know if it is possible for someone else to collect your residency card on your behalf? Based on my schedule will be away for a couple of months before coming back after my application for the TIE. Was wondering if my husband could collect both mine and his at the same time while I’m away? Thanks

      • Derek January 16, 2020 at 1:18 pm - Reply

        Hey Aries – You need to pick up your TIE yourself. You cannot have someone else pick it up for you unfortunately. At least that’s what I was told.

  26. Niket Gupta December 27, 2019 at 12:11 am - Reply


    My spanish visa on passport shows only a valid period of 3 months.

    But I got my TIE card made before.

    Now can I travel across EU on the basis of my TIE card?

    • Derek December 27, 2019 at 9:11 am - Reply

      If you have the TIE, then you don’t need to worry about the Spanish visa any more. However, you cannot use the TIE to travel across the EU. If you are not a EU citizen, you still need to follow the requirements of each country you visit. The TIE only allows you to stay in Spain. It does not allow you to travel freely across the EU.

  27. Jakob December 11, 2019 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek! Thanks for your helpful guide. I have just finished up the application process for the TIE and have received the piece of paper you mentioned confirming residency.

    My question is – do you have any idea if I can leave Spain and return in the month before my TIE card is ready for pickup? I have had conflicting advice about whether or not the Spanish border guards will accept the receipt paperwork.

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Derek December 11, 2019 at 5:17 pm - Reply

      Hey Jakob – Yes, you are allowed to leave. However, you should have an actual visa in your passport that will allow you to re-enter Spain.

  28. Jep December 11, 2019 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Hi Derek,
    I am a student from India and studying for a master degree in Spain
    1. Can I travel to UK with my TIE card?
    2. I just got my TIE card, it is valid for 7 months! For example 12.07.2020 Will it be extended then?

    • Derek December 11, 2019 at 8:27 am - Reply

      Hey Jep – No, you cannot travel to the UK with yuor NIE card. You will need your passport and any required visas. As for the expiration, I don’t have an answer to that. Sounds like it finishes at the end of the school year. If you want to stay after that, you will need to apply again and hope you get it renewed. It won’t be extended automatically.

      • Jep December 11, 2019 at 9:10 am - Reply

        Thank you for your prompt reply, what about other european countries? Can I travel with TIE card?

        • Derek December 11, 2019 at 9:16 am - Reply

          No, you cannot travel to any other countries with your TIE. The TIE is only to allow you to live in Spain. There are no other benefits for the rest of the Europe.

          • Leela January 2, 2020 at 8:11 am

            Hi Derek, I am a little confused. Do you know if we can double-check it anywhere? Any official government site? Can’t find any official document, although here – and here it says about TIE – “This is a document that allows you to live in Spain during your study period, as well as travel around the European Union and to countries that have signed agreements with Spain or the European Union for the free movement of persons”
            I have to travel to Germany in January and I am wondering if I have to apply for the Schengen visa or I can travel with my TIE. Don’t want to take any risks.
            My friend travels around Europe with his TIE card, recently went to Switzerland with no issues.
            Thank you

          • Derek January 4, 2020 at 1:59 am

            Hey Leela – I’m not sure to be honest. I’m just a blogger who got this visa so I’m not an expert. Also, I received a non-lucrative visa which is different than a student visa so the rules might be different since they are different visas.

        • Susie December 31, 2019 at 8:36 pm - Reply

          Hi Derek.

          One question please. I have married a Spanish citizen and my TIE is still in process. Can i travel to another country with the temporary paper? My shengen visa is ending soon and i cant get a new one this year as i already stayed in spain for 3 months(max 3 months are allowed in a year)

          • Derek December 31, 2019 at 8:40 pm

            The TIE or the paper does not allow you to travel to other Schengen countries. If you need a Schengen visa, you would still need a Schengen visa to travel to other countries. The TIE only allows you to stay in Spain.

  29. Lexi December 10, 2019 at 9:07 am - Reply

    Will my TIE card allow me to travel within Spain by airplane without a Passport?

    • Derek December 10, 2019 at 9:14 am - Reply

      Yes, you can travel domestically by plane with just your TIE card.

  30. Fabiola December 5, 2019 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Once I have my TIE, can I travel to my home country (outside of the Schengen territory) and then come back to Spain? I’m currently in Spain as a student. Do I need anything from my university or is my TIE card enough to re-enter the Schengen territory?

    • Derek December 5, 2019 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Hey Fabiola – You will still need your passport but the TIE card will allow you to enter Spain.

      • Teddy fadous December 11, 2019 at 6:45 pm - Reply

        Hey derek, please i need help!

        So my Tie app is on 16th and on dec 18th my visa expire. Can i leave barcelone for urgent reasons ? What kind of paper should i get with me if i had to leave? And if i register for regresso it s giving me an appointment after a month.

        Much appreciated

        • Derek December 11, 2019 at 6:51 pm - Reply

          Hey Teddy – From what I know, if you leave Spain while waiting for your TIE to be processed, you’ll need to have a visa to re-enter Spain. But you should already have a visa if you are applying for a TIE. The TIE office will give you a piece of paper to keep while you are waiting for your TIE card to be processed but I don’t know if that is good enough to allow you to re-enter Spain. I left Spain when I was waiting for my TIE to be processed but as a US citizen, I could just return without a visa since I don’t need one to enter the country for up to 90 days.

  31. Eddie Sammons November 19, 2019 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Your comments are very useful for the newcomer or those who have been in Spain a short while.
    I am having difficulty in finding the procedures for those of us who have been here for decades.
    In my case I have the green EU form stating that I am a permanent resident in Spain.
    From what I have read, that is all I need to secure my status here but there are advantages in having a TIE card even though it is simply changing a piece of paper for a plastic card.
    How do I go about it? The town hall doesn’t know and even the police seem rather vague about it.
    I live in Valencia province.
    Any advice will be much appreciated by myself and my wife.

    • Derek November 19, 2019 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      Hey Eddie – I honestly don’t know the procedures for that unfortunately. As this was my first time applying, that’s all I know how to do. There are agencies in Valencia though, such as Globexs, that can assist with this as they know all the procedures and what steps you would need to take depending on your situation.

  32. Ally November 3, 2019 at 8:38 am - Reply

    Hi Derek! Are you required to pay taxes on your foreign income with Hacienda or even declare your income to them? I would like to apply for the non-lucrative visa, but I will be working remotely for a US company. Is it possible to pay taxes to the IRS only and not deal with Hacienda? I’m finding a lot of conflicting information online…thx in advance!

    • Derek November 4, 2019 at 1:48 am - Reply

      Hey Ally – That’s a tough one to answer as technically, with this visa, you’re not supposed to be working at all. That’s where the confusion comes in. But if you do work and spend more than 6 months in Spain during the year (which is required to maintain the visa), you should be paying taxes in Spain. But again, that’s not what this visa is designed for.

  33. Julie November 2, 2019 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Thanks a bunch Earl for documenting your experiences. You break down the process so nicely it almost seems like a breeze!

    I have my appointment with the Spanish Consulate January 2, 2020 for non-lucrative visa! So excited. In the midst of getting all the required documents and your blog helped demystify 🙂

    Wondering about housing in Valencia. Did you rent a place before you arrived? And if so did you hire assistance? I’m looking at Idealista and see lots of good options, just not sure if I should move ahead on my own renting a place or should find someone local to help me through the leasing contracts.

    • Derek November 2, 2019 at 12:51 pm - Reply

      Hey Julie – I wish you all the best with your appointment! As for renting a place, I wouldn’t enter into a one year contract until everything is all sorted with your TIE (which you can only do once you get to Spain). Also, to rent a place long-term, you generally need the TIE or else you’ll have a hard time finding someone who will rent to you. The TIE makes you official and without it, it’s too risky for someone to rent their apartment to you. I rented a place through Globexs. They have a large collection of short-term apartments available that are fully furnished. And it’s super easy to do everything through them. I rented for 3 months through them as a start.

      • Julie A Notaro November 4, 2019 at 12:49 pm - Reply

        Thank you Derek! I’ll proceed with the short term rental. Much appreciated.

      • Shreyash Patil December 28, 2019 at 11:24 am - Reply

        Hey Derek,
        My Visa is getting over on 29th January 2020 and I have the appointment for 30th January 2020. So can I get the appointment more earlier?

        • Derek December 28, 2019 at 11:25 am - Reply

          I have no idea. I’m just someone who got the visa, not an advisor 🙂 You just need to check the system and see if you can get an earlier appointment I’d imagine.

  34. Myra November 1, 2019 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Hey Derek! I wanted to know if I can travel within the Schegen Area once I get my TIE? Like in my case, my TIE arrived a few days ago and I wanted to go to France and Germany for a vacation in December. Can I go ahead and make my bookings?

    • Derek November 2, 2019 at 2:37 am - Reply

      The Spanish residency doesn’t change anything about the Schengen zone. You can travel anywhere at anytime but for the Schengen zone, you can still only spend 90 days in any 180 day period. The only difference is the time you spend in Spain doesn’t count towards those 90 days.

      • Elizabeth Haldane January 19, 2020 at 10:15 pm - Reply

        Hallo Derek, I am a South African Citizen and have a valid Spanish Residency card.Will I be able to enter Norway for a visit of just a few days without any problems?
        Thank you for all your useful input.

        • Derek January 21, 2020 at 12:30 pm - Reply

          It depends on what kind of residency card you have.

  35. Aakriti October 28, 2019 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Hey, Hi.
    While my TIE is in process, can I travel outside EU ? Is it possible ?
    Thank You.

    • Derek October 28, 2019 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Yes you can. You just need to be back to pick it up after 30 days.

  36. Simon October 21, 2019 at 7:14 am - Reply

    A friend of mine wanted to know about the procedure… thanks for sharing…will be of a great help.

  37. Steven October 17, 2019 at 9:13 am - Reply

    Dear Earl,
    Thanks for the details for application for the non lucrative visa and eventual resident card.
    I have been thinking for a while to do this eventually for myself. Issue is i am moving there alone and have no spanish friend there. Is there any way of getting a translator or someone somewhere to help at the office?

    • Derek October 17, 2019 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Steven – There are companies in whatever city you plan to live in most likely who offer that as a service. You pay a fee and they have someone assist you, make sure you have your documents in order, they help you make the appointments and they accompany you to the appointments as well.

    • Mariel December 19, 2019 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      Hi Derek do you think its possible for me to travel in rome while im waiting for my tie?

      • Derek December 19, 2019 at 5:57 pm - Reply

        If you’re allowed to travel to Italy on your passport then you can go. You can go anywhere while waiting for your TIE as long as you meet the requirements of entry, just like normal.

    • Eliseu December 27, 2019 at 3:41 am - Reply

      Tks Derek, these are the most thorough posts I’ve seen regarding this visa. It’s quite hard to find information in my native language (BRA Portuguese) since it’s mostly Americans that apply.

      Did you translate your bank statement?

      I plan on moving to Valencia as well, I hope you’re having a great time there.


      • Derek December 27, 2019 at 9:12 am - Reply

        Hey Eliseu – Thanks for writing. I did not translate the bank statements. It should be okay if they are in the language of the country where you are applying.

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