Identity Card for Foreign Nationals (TIE)

Updated 10/2021

Card attesting to the legal situation of a foreign national in Spain.

Vocabulary
  • What do you need to know?
  • What do you need to do?

The FEE DEPENDS on the RESIDENCE PERMIT associated with the card

The period of validity is THE SAME AS the PERMIT.

The deadline for application is ONE MONTH from the date of entry into Spain or from the date the decision on the residence permit is published.  

It is applied for IN PERSON

What is it?

This is the sole and exclusive document that attests to the legal status in Spain and the identity of non-EU foreign nationals who have a residence permit valid for more than six months or of all foreign nationals who have obtained a long-stay residence permit.

Important information

It is a personal and non-transferable card. The card may also include children or represented individuals who are not of legal age or are disabled, if requested.

This card contains the identification data, the photograph and the identity number for foreign nationals (NIE), as well as the type of authorisation to stay or reside in Spain.

It is considered a priority procedure that, in addition, must be carried out in person, since in order to obtain the card, fingerprint registration is requested.

The identity card for foreign nationals (TIE) will have the same period of validity as the permit or the recognition of the right that justifies its issuance.

You can also consult the Government of Spain's Immigration Portal (available only in Spanish).

Why is this formality important?

It is obligatory for all foreign nationals who have been issued a visa or residence permit to stay in Spain for a period of more than six months or for those who have obtained long-term residence.

This is the document that attests to the fact that they are in the country legally and it must be kept valid. If you do not have one, even if you have a visa, this may result in a penalty.

Who does it apply to?

It applies to:

  • Foreign nationals not from a member state of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and who wish to reside in Spain for a period of more than six months.
  • All foreign nationals who have obtained a long-term residence permit.

Who should apply for it?

The application must be submitted by the foreign national himself or herself and in person, since fingerprint identification will be required in order to obtain the card. 

What requirements must be met?

In order to apply for the identity card for foreign nationals (TIE), one of the following criteria must be met:

  • Having a visa or residence permit to stay in Spain for a period of more than six months.
  • The legal situation of the person holding the identity card for foreign nationals (TIE), or their employment status, having changed or been altered, including the renewal of the residence permit.
  • The previous identity card for foreign nationals (TIE) having been stolen, lost or destroyed.
Which body is responsible for the formality?

National Police Corps (Ministry of the Interior, Government of Spain)

What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • There is usually a lot of confusion between the terms identity number for foreign nationals (NIE), identity card for foreign nationals (TIE) and certificate of registration as an EU national:
    • The identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) is only the number, unique and exclusive, that allows the administrative identification of foreign nationals with the institutions of the Spanish state. It appears on all the documents identifying the foreign national.
    • The identity card for foreign nationals (TIE) is a physical identification card. It must be held by non-EU nationals authorised to stay in Spain for a period of more than six months or by all foreign nationals with a long-term permit. It contains the identification data, as well as the identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) and the type of authorisation for the stay or residence of the foreign person.
    • The certificate of registration as an EU national is a physical identification document. It is compulsory for individuals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland wishing to stay in Spain for a period exceeding three months to have it. It contains the identification data, as well as the identity number for foreign nationals (NIE).
  • There is a high demand for appointments, so it may be difficult to get one the first time you try to apply. For this reason, it is recommended that you try to make an appointment as soon as you arrive in Spain.
  • Children under the age of 5 do not have to go through the fingerprinting process necessary to apply for the card, but they do have to go in person to apply for it.
What other linked formalities should you know about?

What do you need to do?

In person

Since this is a procedure to identify a foreign citizen, it can only be carried out in person at the immigration office of the province where you intend to reside or at the relevant police station.

Remember that in order to carry out the procedure, fingerprint identification is required.

What steps must you take to apply for an identity card for foreign nationals?

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Apply for a visa or residence permit

In order to apply for the identity card for foreign nationals (TIE), you must first obtain a visa or residence permit that gives you permission to reside and work in the national territory. The card is the last step necessary to formalise that permission to work and cannot be applied for without its prior issuance.

In order to find about the procedure for obtaining the visa or residence permit, consult the information on the formality, which contains all the details on how to obtain them.

Next
Obtain a social security number and registration (if required to do so)

After your arrival in Spain and before beginning your work activity, you must register with the social security system by requesting your social security number and registration in the system.

In order to find out about the procedure for obtaining a Social Security Number and the procedure for registering with the social security system, consult the information on the formalities, which contains all the details on how to obtain them.

Next
Fill in the application form (EX17) and gather the required documentation

You must download, complete and sign the official standard application form (EX17) for the identity card for foreign nationals (TIE) in duplicate.

The form is only available in Spanish.

Before starting the application period, consult and prepare the documentation that you will be asked for to obtain the card.

Documentation
  • In general, you must provide the original and a copy of the documents.
  • When documents from other countries are provided, they must be translated into Catalan or Spanish.
  • On the other hand, all foreign public documents must be previously legalised, except where the document in question has had an apostille certificate attached by the competent authority of the issuing country.
    • In the case of standard EU forms, neither their translation nor their legalisation will be necessary, in accordance with the provisions of the EU regulations that relate to them.

It is important for you to know that the public documents issued in your country of origin which are necessary to complete formalities for coming to Barcelona must comply with international legalisation requirements.

There are two methods of international legalisation of a public document, depending on whether or not the country issuing the document is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961:

  • If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. This stamp will be processed in the country of origin.
  • If the country issuing the public document is not a signatory, then the legalisation process will be carried out through diplomatic channels.

In addition, all public documents must be translated by means of authorised translation. In the case of standard EU forms, neither translation nor legalisation is required.

  • Proof of appointment.
  • Two printed copies of the official standard application form (EX17) in duplicate, duly completed and signed.
  • Passport or travel document bearing the stamp attesting to entry into Spain, sign or mark of the check carried out at the border post.
  • Proof of payment of the fee Tax form 790 Code 012 for the card. 
  • A recent colour photograph, with a white background, passport size.
  • Proof of one of the following requirements:
  • Registration with the social security system.
  • Certificate of cover from your country of origin for cover equivalent to the social security system.
  • Documentation providing evidence of registration in the municipal register of residents of the city of Barcelona.
  • In the event that the card has been lost or rendered unusable: reporting of its loss or theft or presentation of the unusable card.
  • Copy of the administrative decision awarding the residence permit. 
  • In the case of minors, they must be accompanied by their legal representative with the appropriate documentation (parent or guardian).
  • In the case of permits or visas requested jointly by family units, the holder of the visa or permit must be present at each of the appointments of any family members.   
Next
Request an appointment online

In order to apply for an identity card for foreign nationals (TIE), it is essential to make an appointment in order to present the documentation at the immigration office of the province where you intend to stay or establish your residence or, failing that, at the relevant police station.

To make an appointment in advance, you must go to the government website and follow the steps below:

  • In “PROVINCIAS DISPONIBLES”, select Barcelona and click on “Aceptar”. 
  • In the “TRÁMITES CUERPO NACIONAL DE POLICÍA” field, choose the option “POLICÍA - TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA) Y RENOVACIÓN DE TARJETA DE LARGA DURACIÓN”. 
  • Carefully read the information provided and click on “Aceptar”.  
  • Fill in the requested personal data. 
  • Select the office where you would like to make an appointment. Fill in the additional information requested. 
  • Make your appointment according to the dates and places available. 
  • If you request it, you can receive a confirmation of the appointment by e-mail. 

Some sections in the website for making an appointment are available in English, French, Catalan, Spanish and other co-official languages of the Spanish state.

For the address, telephone numbers and opening hours of the immigration office, please consult the relevant website.

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Pay the fee for the formality

You must pay the fee prior to the appointment, as you will have to prove the payment has been made. There is only one form (standard form 790) for making the payment, on which you must indicate the exact type of document you are requesting. Based on this, the fees vary, and can be:

  • “TIE (identity card for foreign nationals) documenting the initial granting of the temporary residence, visitor or border worker permit”: € 15.76. 
  • “TIE (identity card for foreign nationals) documenting the renewal of the temporary residence permit, visitor permit extension or border worker permit”: € 18.92.   
  • “TIE (identity card for foreign nationals) documenting the work and residence permit for female victims of gender violence and victims of human trafficking ”: € 15.76. 
  • “TIE card documenting the long-stay residence or EU long-stay residence permit”: € 21.44. 

To be able to pay the relevant fee (fee 012 relating to standard form 790), fill in the fields of the form (indicating the method of payment), download it and print it.

The form allows payment to be made in cash (by paying the fee into a Public Treasury account at a bank) or by direct debit from a current account (whose number you will have to provide).

The form is only available in Spanish.

Next
Go to the place indicated and submit the documentation

Go to the place indicated where you have made an appointment to submit the documentation and register your fingerprints. The documentation necessary is detailed in the third section of the procedure ("3. Fill in the application form (EX17) and gather the required documentation > Documentation”).

At the end of the appointment, you will receive a receipt to collect your card within a period of approximately forty days. The receipt will indicate the place of collection.

Children under the age of 5 do not have to go through the fingerprinting process necessary to apply for the card, but they do have to go in person to apply for it. On the other hand, at some police stations it is not necessary for them to go back again in order to be able to pick it up, as their parents or legal guardian can do so.

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Collect your identity card for foreign nationals

Go to the place indicated, with your passport and the card collection slip to collect your identity card for foreign nationals (TIE), providing evidence that you are the person for whom the document is intended.