Students who are from countries outside of the EU will need to get a Spanish residence card or TIE.

TIE stands for tarjeta de extranjero, which translates to a “foreigner’s card.”

The TIE is different from the NIE, but they’re closely related. The NIE, or numero de identitdad de extranjeros, is your personal identification number in Spain.

The TIE is an official residence card, which will have your NIE number printed on it!

Not every student who attends a language academy in Spain will need to get a TIE.

Keep reading to how to get the TIE and who needs it. Don’t need a TIE? Learn how to get your NIE here.

spanish residence card TIE

Who Needs to Get a TIE in Spain?

All non-EU students who wish to study for more than 180 days in Spain need to apply for the TIE.

The Spanish residence card/TIE will act as your visa while you’re in Spain!

If you have a Spanish student visa, you need to apply to get your Spanish residence card, or TIE, within 30 days of your arrival. However, you often must wait more than 30 days to get an appointment at your local Extranjeria (foreigner’s office) or police station.

As long as you schedule yourself an appointment here before the end of your first 30 days in Spain, you’re set.

When setting up your appointment to get your Spanish residence card: TIE, select “Expedicion de tarjeta de identidad extranjero (huella).”

What You Need to Get a Spanish Residence Card: TIE

Now that you’ve made your appointment to get the Spanish residence card/TIE, it’s time to prepare your documents! Here are the documents you’ll need to get your TIE in Spain:

spanish residence card TIE

Spain has some of the most beautiful government offices, which you’ll need to visit to do your TIE paperwork!

  • Proof of appointment: Some cities have security guards outside the foreigner’s office to double-check that you have an appointment. Print out a quick sheet that confirms the date, time and location of your Spanish residence card appointment to show upon entry.
  • The TIE application form, the EX-17: Print and fill out this form with your personal details. There are versions in English available online but make sure you take a Spanish version to your appointment.
  • Acceptance Letter of a Spanish language school, university or school: Take your original acceptance letter (also called Certificate of Admissions or proof of enrollment). The Acceptance Letter shows your registration, type of course, study dates and it’s a proof that you’ve paid your study fees.
  • Proof of payment (Modelo 790-012): These forms will show you’ve paid for your Spanish residence card/TIE. Print them out, take them to any bank, pay in cash and they will hand you back the receipts you need to take to your appointment.
  • Certificado de Empadronamiento or certificate of residency: To get your Spanish residence card/TIE, you first need to register your residence at your local city hall.
  • Two recent passportsized photos with a white background
  • Student visa and one photocopy
  • Private health insurance (original and copy)
  • Passport and two photocopies of your photo page: Some Spanish foreigner offices also ask for proof of your arrival date in Spain. Make a photocopy of the Spanish or EU stamp of arrival from your passport or show a used plane ticket.

After your paperwork is checked and your fingerprints are taken, that’s it! The Extranjeria official should then tell you when and where you can pick up your Spanish residence card, or TIE. You’re all set and registered! Cheers!