What is the TIE and how to get it?

The Tarjeta de Identidad para Extranjeros (TIE) or Foreigner Identity Card is the title that demonstrates that you have the legal right to stay in the country. It’s a valid temporary stay permit for the duration of your studies in Spain. 

The permit is granted for a maximum of one academic year and is renewed annually, provided that you haven’t completed your studies and you can demonstrate good use of the previous course.

If you have the Spanish student visa type D, so to stay longer than 180 days, you have 30 days from the day of arrival to start the procedure of getting your TIE card. However, we recommend making the appointment right after arrival, as in many cases you will have to come back with an amended document.

IMPORTANT: Make sure your have enough safe margin to apply for your visa in the first place. Even if you have the type D student visa, if there are less than 180 between the date of arrival in Spain and the end date of your visa, you may not get the TIE card.

What is the difference between NIE and TIE?
The NIE is the identification number for foreigners. Although it commonly referred to as the NIE, the TIE is a card which actually has the NIE number printed on. You should find your temporary NIE number also on your Spanish study visa.

What steps should I take and what documents do I need?

1. Make an appointment at the Oficina de Extranjeros
In order to get your TIE, you have to make an appointment with the local Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or the immigration police (depends on the region). When making the appointment, first choose the region and after that the “Expedición de tarjeta de identidad extranjero (huella)”.

2. Get your empadronamiento certificate
The padrón, or certificado de empadronamiento is a letter confirming your registration at el padrón, the local register of residents in a particular place in Spain. You will need it for the application, but this part might take the most time.

3. Go to the appointment and apply for your TIE
Before making the appointment online, you have been shown a list of things you need to bring. It is always recommended to bring all documents you have used for your Spanish study visa application, and have the required photocopies, as the Foreigners Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or the immigration police will not make photocopies for you. For the TIE appointment, be sure to bring:

  • The printed out appointment form
  • Proof of payment of the TIE application fee (M790 Codigo 012 form)
  • A valid passport that doesn’t expire for at least six months after the expiration of your visa
  • Completed application form (available at the office)
  • Photocopy of the passport stamp showing your entry into Spain
  • Letter of acceptance of your Spanish course at Linguaschools
  • 3 recent passport photos in colour
  • The empadronamiento certificate

You will be informed of where and how to pick up your final TIE card, which can take up to 4 weeks after application. 

If you are a Linguaschools student and you have any questions or doubts about the process, just come by the school reception. We speak many different languages and we’d be happy to help you!

Other relevant articles: 

The Linguaschools complete and comprehensive guide to Spanish paperwork.

Anything to add? Share your own experience in the comments below!

DISCLAIMER: We have gathered information to our best knowledge, from our experience, using a number of different (official) sources. Regulations change and interpretations may vary per country or region, but also between public office or staff. No rights can be derived from any of our articles. The content is merely a guide and we recommend you to check information with official sources before and during the process.

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