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TIE Spanish Foreigner Identity Card

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T.I.E. – The foreigner’s identity card in Spain

If you are a foreign national with authorisation to stay in Spain for more than 90 days, you will be issued with a T.I.E. card. This is the abbreviation for tarjeta de identidad de extranjero.

It is credit card size and it contains information about you and the length of your validated stay in Spain.

Who needs to apply for a T.I.E. in Spain

The T.I.E. card is especially relevant to British nationals post-Brexit. Every person granted a visa for more than 90 days must apply for a T.I.E. card when they arrive in Spain.

NOTE: If you are a national from a European Union member country or are from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you do not need to apply for a TIE card.

What should I do when I arrive with my visa in Spain?

You have one month from your arrival on Spanish soil to obtain your T.I.E. card. You will need to make an appointment at the police station so it makes sense to arrange this as soon as you arrive, or to ask a representative like Sun Lawyers to help you. If your appointment date is confirmed, but is after a month since you arrived, the appointment confirmation will maintain your legitimate status.

Applying for an appointment at the police station

The good news is that the appointment can be applied for online. The challenge is that the website appointment system is cumbersome and is only in Spanish. We can help and support your application is you don’t feel confident to do it yourself.

For UK nationals, they will need to bring the following documents along to the apppointment:

Once the appointment is arranged, the UK national will need to provide the following documents:

  • Your visa certificate
  • Completed EX-17 form
  • Original passport plus a photocopy of every page
  • Physical proof of payment of the application fee. You need to complete online a standard tax form called tax 790 code 012. Print the form off and take it to a bank to make the payment ahead of the appointment.
  • Recent passport size photograph

At the end of the appointment you should be told about the procedure to collect your T.I.E. card. You will need to make another appointment to collect your card. You as the applicant are required to pick-up the document in person.

Do it yourself or get help from the experts

You can see the process is somewhat drawn out and little allowance is made for anyone who is not proficient in Spanish or has difficulty in getting around the local area. You may have heard on the radio (Sunshine FM) that “we can get your T.I.E.” and it’s true. To enlist our help, simply email our helpful team at

Contact us

Sun Lawyers can help with everything to do with your relocation to Spain. Starting with our visa advice service, through to application support, appeals (if necessary) for all visa types and for getting your T.I.E. card upon your arrival in Spain (Costa Blanca). All you need is us! Just call 965 321 193 or email

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