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How to Apply for a TIE card - a step by step guide

in Andalucia, Spain
By Nick Nutter | 24 Mar 2021

Many British expats are in possession of the green A4 size Certificate of Residence Registration (sometimes wrongly called a Residencia Certificate). Whilst the Spanish authorities maintain that the certificate is still a valid proof of residence in Spain, there have been a few problems reported at border crossings where the green certificate has not been accepted.

Green Certificate of Residence Registration – whether A4 size or credit card sized remain perfectly legal in Spain for British residents. However, there are advantages to carrying the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) biometric card that can be used as photo ID although there is currently no obligation to update from one to the other.

In March 2021, Julie and I decided to bite the bullet and apply for our TIE cards. As with many experiences, once you know how to do it, it is easy though you do have to be patient. This procedure applies to Almeria province although I believe it is the same in the other provinces.

Changing your Paper Based Certificate of Residence Registration form for your TIE card in Spain

Gather together
1 x In date Padron certificate plus a colour photocopy available from the Town Hall where you live
1 x Passport with at least six months left to run
1 x colour photocopy of passport
1 x Green Certificate of Residence
1 x colour photocopy of Green Certificate of Residence
1 x TIE photograph in colour - correct size is 2.6cm wide x 3.2cm high white background (a UK passport size photo is not acceptable)
1 x EX-23 completed
1 x copy of EX-23 in Black and White
2 x Tasa 790-12 certificates duly stamped by the bank

Completing the EX-23 Form

Download the form from here EX-23 Form download
Refer to the example form here Example form
- Complete the details in Section 1 - Datos del Solicitante as shown
- Leave Section 2 blank
- Complete Section 3 only if the details asked for are different to those given in Section 1
- Section 4 tick the box alongside ‘Residencia Con Certificado de Registro de Cuidano de la Union
- Complete the date section and sign, keeping your signature within the box


Completing the the Tasa 790-12

Download the form from here Tasa 790-12 download
Refer to the yellow highlighted sections on the example form here Example form
On the Form 790-12, complete the top part of the form
In the section Autoliquidacion
- Select Principal
Under Tarjetas de identidad de extranjeros (TIE) y certificados de registro de residentes comunitarios
- Click in the round box by Certificado de registro de residente comunitario o Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de un ciudadano de la Unión
In the Declarante Section
- Enter the locality of the bank you will pay at
In the Ingreso section
- Note that 12€ has been automatically filled in
- Click in the round box by En efectivo
- Enter the Capture code
- Click on Descargar impreso rellanado
- Print the forms as they appear
Take the forms to your bank and pay in cash. The bank will stamp the forms and will keep one and hand two back to you
This tax cannot be paid on-line

Making the Appointment

The appointment is made on line.
Go to Make an Appointment
- Select the Province you live in
- Click Aceptar
- Choose Tramites Cuerpo Nacional de Policia
- Select Policia-EXP TARJETA Asociada al Acuerdo de Retirada Cuidadanos Britanicos y Sus Familiares (Brexit)
- Click Aceptar
- Click Entrar
- Enter your NIE and First Name / Surname
- Click Solicitar Cita
- Select the office you require
- Click Siguiente
- Add your telephone - this must be a mobile you will receive a code that you enter before the transaction is complete
- Add your email and repeat
- Click Siguente
- Select a time and date suitable for you
- Click Siguente
- On the next screen enter the code received to your mobile phone THIS is ESSENTIAL your appointment is not complete unless you complete this step An email will be sent to the address entered confirming your appointment
This email has a code on it that you will need when you go to the appointment at the address shown on the form

Arriving for your appointment

Remember to take your documents as listed above
When you arrive a guard will indicate where to wait
When instructed you enter and go through a security check then enter into a machine your CODE from the appointment details that was sent by email
A ticket is produced giving you a desk number
Wait until you are called
The desk clerk will take the required documents from you, check your photograph and take the finger prints of your index finger (left and right)
The clerk will give you a pre-arranged appointment to collect your card some 6 weeks hence. If this appointment is not suitable there are instructions on the sheet on how to amend the appointment.

Collecting your card

Take your:-
- Appointment slip
- Your passport
- Your Green Certificate of Residence Registration
The guard will indicate where to wait and the process once inside the building is the same as above

How to Apply for a TIE card with NO Green Certificate of Residence

For people that were living permanently in Spain before the 31st December 2020 and did not obtain a green certificate of residence there is an extra stage to go through. In effect permission to apply for the TIE card.

- Get an appointment online here
- Select your province
- Select the option "Trámite para la documentación de nacionales de Reino Unido (Brexit)"
- Complete the EX20 application form via this link
Collect together:
- For employed persons: Work contract, Pay slips, "alta" in the Social Security system, empadronamiento
- For self-employed persons: Registration as autonomo, vida laboral document, empadronamiento
- For those that do not work/retired: proof of health insurance or that your state pension covers you in Spain, proof of sufficient funds so as not to be a burden on the social assistance of Spain, empadronamiento at the town hall

If the application meets the requirements, the resolution on the residence document "Carta de resolución" will be issued and notified within a maximum period of three months. Within a month from the notification of the resolution on the right to the TIE residency document, the applicant must personally request its expedition.

Go through the procedure above for ‘Changing your Paper Based Certificate of Residence Registration form for your TIE card in Spain’

How do you know the application for a TIE has been refused?

The most common reason for refusal is a lack of evidence that you were living permanently in Spain prior to the 31st December 2020. This particularly applies to people that never bothered to obtain a green certificate of residency and cannot show a work contract or proof that they were self employed and paying tax and social security.

You will receive a "Carta de resolución" that informs you the application is archived with a non favourable result.

Refusals after the 1st April 2021

If you receive a Carta de resolución after the 1st April 2021 it is possible that you will be required to leave the country within 15 days. The reasoning behind this is that you have already admitted being in Spain before the 31st December 2020 and if you are still here to receive your Carta de resolución you have exceeded your maximum length of stay in Spain of 90 days.

What to do if your application for a TIE card is refused?

If your application for a TIE card is refused, there is an appeal process. At this stage it is advisable to obtain legal advice. You are allowed to remain in the country whilst the appeal is being heard.



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Submitted by Barry Taylor on 30 Jun 2021
Hi, I attended Marbella yesterday for my application which went well. However, they kept my green card! I assume that I will still be able to collect my TIE when it is due?

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Barry, You should be OK, the only paperwork checked when we collected our cards was the appointment slip.

Submitted by Frank Goodall on 25 Jun 2021
Filling out the necessary forms is complete but when attempting to make the appointment (25/6/2021) the message appears that no appointments are available at this time. This is in the Alicante province. (Benidorm, Denia etc.). If you have any advice, it would be appreciated. Thank you very much.

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Frank, In Andalucia, if there were no appointments, we had to make another application. Early Sunday mornings seemed to be the best time to do this.

Submitted by Sharon Miriam Reynolds on 25 Jun 2021
Just for info. Although I am a pensioner and have a medical card and the old style A4 paper, I had to have an S1 as well to take with me.


Submitted by Barry on 23 Jun 2021
Hi, just a quick one. Where it looks for the names of your parents is that first and second name or first name only?

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Barry, I entered their full names and had the form accepted so I am not sure what would have happened if I only entered first names.

Submitted by Karen Oliver on 23 Jun 2021
Hi We are in the process of changing to TIE however my son has lost his A4 green paper what do we do

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Karen, A few people have had that problem. The best I can do is give you this link to the Citizens Advice Bureaux (Spain) who have people that can help you. https://www.citizensadvice.org.es/

Submitted by Pete armstrong on 21 Jun 2021
We live in the Campo so have no address other than a P.O. box No, or polygono No, and parcel of land No, what do I put on the form please ?

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Pete, I would enter the details as shown on your impadronamiento.

Submitted by Harry Epsom on 10 Jun 2021
If you did not wear glasses on your passport photo then do not wear them on you TIE photo (or vice versa). If you do your TIE photo may or will not be accepted. My wife’s was rejected in the Alicante offices for that reason. You also have to enter your NIE number in the the machine to get your ticket, not the CODE from your appointment details.

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Thanks for the comment Harry. Good point about the spectacles. As regards CODE v NIE. I can only say what happens in Andalucia. Having said that, greetings to sunny Alicante.

Submitted by Lisa on 6 Jun 2021
Thank you for this article, it has been so helpful during our application process. I have two young children so we also required a copy of their birth certificate, a copy of the parents passport and a copy of the libro de familia. We were at Estepona police station. Thank you again!!

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Lisa, Thanks for the comment and the information about the extra requirements if you have children. Most useful.

Submitted by Anita Dawson on 2 Jun 2021
What a great body of work. Well done.. just what is needed for those who are having problems with all this.

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Thanks Anita, we try.

Submitted by RICHARD READ on 29 May 2021
Thanks found the info most helpful


Submitted by Jenny Hammonds on 29 May 2021
You’ve explained the process really well. I’ve shared this information with friends who’ve yet to change their paper certificates for the TIE. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Thanks Jenny, pleased it all worked.

Submitted by Peg Aston on 28 May 2021
Thank you for explaining in a simple and straightforward manner

Reply by Nick Nutter:
No problem, Good luck with he application.

Submitted by CHRISTINE Leek on 24 May 2021
I need to cancel an appointment can you tell me hiw

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Christine. Cancelling initial appointment. You need to go to your email that confirmed the appointment and find the paragraph headed ' Si desea anular su cita'. Follow the instructions there. To cancel the second appointment (picking up the TIE). You will have been given a sheet of paper after your first appointment with details of time and date of second appointment thereon. On that form you will find instructions on how to cancel or reschedule the second appointment.

Submitted by Diane Perkins on 16 May 2021
Can you please clarify, on application form EX-23 - Section 4.1 Tipo de Documento - do I select the first option "Tarjeta Inicial" or the second option "Renovacion de Tarjeta". Thank you.

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Diane. The question is asking whether you are resident or not, not whether you have a TIE card or not. If this is your first application for residencia then tick 'Tarjeta Inicial', if you are already resident tick 'Renovacion de Tarjeta'.

Submitted by nick exton on 14 May 2021
Awsome article! I did mine today in Marbella - follwed everything and worked out 100% however, they kept the small green resi card and said all the copies are not necessary, she also glanced at the original Padron and gave it back. I just thought that what if I need to travel.....? .... no longer have the green card....! Thanks for the effort.

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Nick, Yes, each centre is different. Some want copies and then insist on making their own, best to be on the safe side. Almeria allowed us to keep the long expired residencia card, all depends on what mood they are in.

Submitted by Bella Williams on 12 May 2021
Hi, many thanks for the step by step instructions. Just one question. Can I pay the 12 euros at the bank ATM using the bar code on the form?

Reply by Nick Nutter:
We couldn't because the bank has to physically stamp the 790-12 form.

Submitted by Alison on 8 May 2021
Thank you very much for these helpful steps. Doing it ourselves has saved us €125.


Submitted by Derek John Robinson on 26 Apr 2021
I saw that you say this tax cannot be paid online yet I have just done that via form 790 052. This was after reading the info on SEDE Electronic Office. I already had an digital signature and it said it allows payment for Tramitación de autorizaciones de residencia y otra documentación a ciudadanos extranjeros. The fee is 12€ and is taken straight from your bank account. Hopefully I have read this right and paid the correct tax. Now I just need to get an appointment!!!

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Derek, Thanks for the update. Just for completeness, where are you based? The procedure differs between provinces.

Submitted by jacqueline lesley pitkin on 23 Apr 2021
I found this very straight forward and helpful. The only problem is that I´ve lost my green residencia card although I do have copies of it . Do I have to apply for a new one and then change it to a T.I.E

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Jacqueline, You may have a problem with the copy. The first time your documents are checked is at the appointment so to be turned away and have to go through the process again would be a bit painful. I would try to obtain a replacement green certificate of residencia.

Submitted by karen southall on 9 Apr 2021
Great and very useful information! thank you. I am sorting TIEs for all family members x 4. How do I get an appointment for all 4 of us in one hit? Is that possible? And best way to arrange (online or via telephone?) thanks.

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Karen, Quite a challenge you set yourself there. Julie and I did our applications on line and ended up with appointments 10 minutes apart on the same day, which was fine. There was no provision for 'group bookings'. I am not aware of a telephone option because of the forms that have to be presented at the time of application. If you manage to get everybody on the same day then, the process in Almeria, allows you all to turn up at the same time, queue to enter the building and then obtain an appointment time and desk when you get to the front of the queue.

Submitted by Julie Jacques on 7 Apr 2021
Thanks for this information. Very useful. Our padron certificate is dated June 2020. What do you mean by "in date"?. Do I need to get another one?

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Julie, An impadronamiento certificate is valid for 3 months (very occasionally 6 months), so, yes, you would have to renew yours. It's a simple procedure. You take your expired padron along with your green certificate of residence and passport to the office that issued the original. They should print it there and then.

Submitted by Bianca on 5 Apr 2021
Thanks for your step by step info on the procedure to change the Green Certificate to TIE. Can I ask did your certificate have the words "permanente" on it? Mine does not. It was issued in 2007. Although I believe you are a permanent resident automatically after 5 years, I never updated the certificate as it was not law that you had to, as no expiry date on the certificate. I am concerned the authorities will ask for further evidence I have Vida Laboral Certificates and bills for the last 12 years and would like to be prepared before going to the appointment to change to T.I.E, thanks

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Bianca, Thanks for the comment. Yes, our green certificates of residence were pemanente. We had previously held the Residencia Certificate with photo id, very similar to a TIE. As regards your worry. As far as I know there is no differentiation between a green certificate of residence with an expiry date (at which point you must apply for the TIE) and one without expiry date. Both are still valid and, at the moment there is no requirement for you to exchange them for a TIE. As regards evidence of residence for the past 12 years. There is no need. In fact they might ask why you only have a temporary green residence certificate if you have been here that long. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Janet wilks on 31 Mar 2021
I completed all forms and made an appointment on monday 29th march but have still not received an email confirming the appointment. Do you think that this is not normal and I managed to incomplete the required elements of booking the application

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Janet, After checking the appointment date and time you click Siguente. At that point a code is sent to your mobile phone. You enter that code on the last screen. Unless you do this, no email will be sent. If you have not had an email then you must start the application again.

Submitted by elizabeth on 25 Mar 2021
travelling in motor home spain and Portugal for at least six months ,is this possible now or do we have to get a visa please help

Reply by Nick Nutter:
Hi Elizabeth, I presume from your email address that you are from the Isle of Man. Firstly you intend to travel in two Schengen area countries for over 90 days in one continuous period so you are exceeding your allowed time in the Schengen area. Refer to the Schengen Area visa article. In any case, at the moment, you cannot travel between the countries without a good reason and travel within Spain is restricted to provinces within regions. Next year perhaps.