How to Apply for the Spanish TIE

The TIE, or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero, is necessary for foreigners residing in Spain for more than six months. Applying for it will likely be your first run-in with the notorious Spanish bureaucracy. Reading other language assistants’ blog posts had me dreading the day I’d have to wait for hours in the stuffy extranjería office all the way across town only to be turned away because I had made two photocopies of my passport instead of three. In reality, my experience was quite painless. If you come prepared with all your documents, theoretically, you shouldn’t have any problems… but at the end of the day, it’s still Spain.

What is the TIE?

The TIE is an identification card which indicates that its owner has the legal right to reside in Spain for a period longer than six months. You’ll notice that if you’ve applied for a student visa, the visa is only valid for three months from the date you plan to enter Spain. The TIE is what gives you the right to stay in Spain past the expiry date of your visa. If your stay is less than six months long, the visa is the only identification you’ll need.

While I haven’t run into any situations where I absolutely needed my TIE yet, it’s much more convenient than carrying around your passport as ID. One place you’ll certainly need it is at the airport. Customs agents will likely ask for your TIE when they see your visa is out of date. Make sure to have it on you at all times when travelling.

What you’ll need to apply:

  • Completed EX-17 application form (original & photocopy)
  • Two recent photos on white background (ask for tamaño carnet)
  • Carta de nombramiento (language assistants) or acceptance letter from your university stating how long you will be studying there (original & photocopy)
  • Passport (original & photocopy of picture page)
  • 15 euros bank fee
  • Empadronamiento (proof of address)* 

*I was not required to be empadronada in order to receive my TIE in Granada. However, I have heard of other cities requesting this certificate. When you make your TIE appointment (which I’ll explain how to do below), the confirmation email you receive should have a list of required documents. If you do need to get empadronado, the process is very easy. You can find information about it here.

How to make a TIE appointment

Ensure that you book your TIE appointment as soon as you get to Spain. Appointments may not be available until at least two weeks into the future and the card takes up to 40 days to arrive. You don’t want to be stuck with an expired visa and no TIE, so don’t delay.

To book an appointment, you’ll have to request a cita previa at the foreigner’s office, or extranjería, in your town by following this link. From the drop down menu, select your province. Click ACEPTAR.

How to make TIE appointment

In the next drop down menu, select TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA). Click ACEPTAR.

How to make a TIE appointment

The next page will tell you exactly what you need to bring to your appointment. You’ll also get this information in the confirmation email once you’ve completed the booking process.

how to make a TIE appointment

Next, you’ll be asked for some identifying information. Select NIE or PASAPORTE, then fill out the form accordingly. Leave blank the spot that says FECHA DE CADUCIDAD DE TARJETA ACTUAL; this is for renewals only. Click ACEPTAR.

How to apply for a TIE appointment

You should now see your name and ID number at the top of the page and a button at the bottom left that says CONSULTAR CITAS. Click it to see the next available appointment date.

How to make a TIE appointment

Fill in your contact information and click ACEPTAR. The next page will show you a calendar of available appointment dates. At the time of writing this post, the next appointment is nearly two months away! If this happens to you, one thing I suggest doing is booking the first available appointment then checking back daily to see if an earlier date has opened up. At your appointment, they will give you a sheet of paper confirming that you have applied for your TIE in case your visa expires before you get your card. This will serve as proof that you can legally be in the country until your TIE arrives.

How to make a TIE appointment

Once you’ve selected an appointment date, go through the next couple of steps to confirm it. You should receive a confirmation email shortly reminding you of what to bring to your appointment.

At your appointment

Double- and triple-check that you have all your documents. Arrive at the extranjería for your scheduled time slot, but don’t expect it to actually be taken into account. Booking an appointment seems kind of silly because (at least in Granada) everyone is required to take a number as they walk in anyway.

When your number is called, the worker will take your documents as well as your fingerprints. She should give you a form with an amount you must pay to the bank. Take the form directly to the bank and bring it back to the office. If everything is good to go, you’ll be sent home with a confirmation letter and told to come back in 40 days to pick up your shiny new identity card! Hooray!

Did you find this post helpful? Don’t forget to pin it, tweet it, and share it!

Do you have questions about the TIE that I haven’t answered? Leave me a comment below!

How to Apply for the Spanish TIE



  1. Reply


    September 4, 2017

    By any chance, would you know if I can make an appointment for my TIE in a different town from where I’m living? I’m going to be an auxiliar in Sevilla, but when I try to select an option there is only one, “Solicitud de autorizaciones” and takes me to another link and it’s very confusing. But when I do the same thing for Malaga, TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA) appears as one of the options.

    • Reply


      September 7, 2017

      Hi Ellen! Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately, I believe your TIE appointment must be made in the town where you are living. I’m not 100% sure, though. I would ask in the Auxiliares de Conversacion Facebook group if you haven’t already. It’s a great resource! Here’s the link:

      Are you currently living in Málaga but moving to Sevilla?

  2. Reply


    September 18, 2017

    Hi Ivana! I’m hoping you can help me…i’ve made an appointment in Madrid to receive my TIE; however I do not have a permanent address because my plans have changed. Should I still go to my appointment or can I just book another one when the timing is better?

    -Thank you!

    • Reply


      January 12, 2018

      Hi Josee,

      First off, I’m so sorry for the late reply! What did you end up doing about your TIE? I believe some of my fellow language assistants just put their school’s address down as they didn’t have a permanent address. That seemed to work.

      Hope all is going well!

  3. Reply


    September 27, 2017

    So helpful! Thank you so much!

    • Reply


      January 12, 2018

      Thanks so much for reading, Nadine!

  4. Reply


    October 4, 2017

    Hi, thank you for this post, it’s amazingly helpful! Quick question… was it ok that your appointment was over two months away? I’m in a similar situation where the next available appointment is about a month away and I’ve already been in Spain for a month.

    Let me know. Many thanks 🙂

    • Reply


      January 12, 2018

      Hi Jia,

      I’m sure you already got the answer to this, but if you keep checking back on the website where you make the appointment, slots should open up much sooner. You can also try just walking into the foreigner’s office. This will usually work in smaller cities/towns (so not Madrid or Barcelona).

      Hope you got it all sorted out and are enjoying your time in Spain!

  5. Reply


    October 5, 2017

    Hi Ivana! I’m a bit confused and hoping you can help. I’m a Canadian language assistant in Palma and there’s a lot of talk about applying for an NIE and then applying for your TIE.

    I have an NIE number on my Visa. Do I still need to make an appointment and apply for this here, or do I go straight on to applying for a TIE?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • Reply


      January 12, 2018

      Hey Britt,

      I’ve been dreadful at keeping up with my blog lately, so I have to apologize for getting back to you so late. I’m sure you’ve already received the answer to this question, but no, you don’t need an appointment to get an NIE. Your NIE is exactly that, the number on your visa. All you need is the TIE which is a physical card.

      Enjoy your time in Palma!

  6. Reply

    Ali Son

    October 31, 2017

    Hi! I’m doing a master’s degree, and the end date of the program is September 30th, 2017. I was just issued a TIE with an expiration date of June 30th, and at the extranjería office in Valencia they told me it’s because I can be in the country 3 more months after the date expires… but this seems wrong? Wouldn’t I be illegal? Do you know anything about this?

    • Reply


      January 12, 2018

      Hey Ali!

      So sorry for the late reply. Life got in the way of keeping up with the blog, but I hope I can still answer your question, though you may have received an answer already.

      You can, in fact, stay in Spain/Schengen Zone for 90 days after your TIE expires. It’s because when your student visa expires, your status automatically changes to that of a visitor. Non-EU nationals from visa exempt countries (e.g. Canada) can be in the Schengen Zone for 90 days out of 180.

      I do find it odd that they didn’t make the expiry of your TIE the same date that your program ends, but know that you’re not going to be illegal! You will, however, have to leave the Schengen Zone when your program ends, as if you exceed those 90 days, you will then be considered illegal.

      Hope that helps!

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