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.
The procedure for applying for or renewing a TIE card if your are living in Spain having obtained a Non Lucrative Visa is slightly different. Click here for Step by Step Renewing a Non-Lucrative Visa
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
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
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 (This is the charge in 2021, it will increase each year.)
- 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
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)
(Depending which province you are in you may only have the option of POLICIA-TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICION DE TARJETA))
- 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
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.
Depending on which province you are in you may be given a RESGUARDO DE SOLICITUD O RENOVACION DE TARJETA DE EXTRANJERO which is stamped by the police
If you were given an appointment slip
- 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
If, for whatever reason, you need to make an appointment, such as not being given an appointment slip, or being unable to make the first appointment to collect your card, wait at least 45 days from the date of your appointment then follow this procedure.
- Go to the SEDE Appointment site through the link above
- Select your province - Click Accept
- Choose National Police Force Procedures and second item down, Police - Collection of Foreign Identity Card (TIE). - Click Accept
- Read the terms and conditions carefully - Click Enter
- Enter your NIE number and name - Click Accept.
Then follow the procedure as for the initial appointment.
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
- 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’
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.
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.
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.
Submitted by Angela Conboy on 19 Jan 2022
Hi thank you so much for the very informative guide on getting your TIE. Unfortunately I do not know how to get it for the first time following the granting of a non lucrative visa. I am in Spain now with the correct visa and when I went to the police office for the card I was told that I had missed out step one. Do you know what this is?
Submitted by Kerry Batson on 18 Jan 2022
Hi Nick, great site, soooo helpful in a mindfield of beurocracy! My question is about the tax form, Certificado de registro de residente comunitario o Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de un ciudadano de la Unión. is this still correct seeing as the UK is no longer in the union and is outside the grace period? Thanks again for your help, it really is appreciated.
Submitted by Teresa on 14 Jan 2022
Thank you, this information is very useful. Just one question….for a child’s application, does the parent applying for their TIE complete the last line of section 1 and section 2 of the EX 23 with the parent’s details?
Submitted by Caren on 12 Jan 2022
I am going to start the process of change from the Green Residency paper (2009) to TIE for the family. My daughter is 16 years old, do I need to get her birth certificate translated and stamped? Or can I do the same process as us adults.
Submitted by denise baxendell on 12 Jan 2022
Firstly thank you for this very good article. We made an appointment as indicated, but were told that we firstly needed to make an appointment to have our fingerprints taken. So in "TRAMITES CUERPO NACIONAL DE POLICIA" you need to add in that you should select "POLICIA-TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICION DE TARJETA)
Submitted by John B on 17 Dec 2021
Thanks for this very thorough series of instructions. Unfortunately I have lost my NIE A4 certificate. Apparently it is no longer possible to obtain a new one. Do you know what steps i must take?
Submitted by Darren Metcalfe on 11 Dec 2021
Hi Nick, thanks for you’re time making this article very helpful. I wonder if you can advise, My wife and I bought a property in 2016 and have until COVID enjoyed extended periods in our house here so more than 90 days at a time. We both have NIE numbers, utilities bills, Spanish bank account and also did Wills at out town hall. Now in the easier times of travel we are back in Spain and trying to navigate The best way to be able to stay for extended periods as before brexit. I understand we need to register Padrón Municible I’m not sure we have done this before we certainly don’t have a green cert to surrender. Am I correct in thinking we need to register on the Padrón, fill in a EX -23 form and apply for a TIE to retain the benefits of unhindered stays here? Thanks in advance! Darren.
Submitted by Craig B on 28 Nov 2021
Followed the process and all ready to visit to attend our appointment tomorrow, confident we have all the information and forms... Thank you for putting this together Nick, a fantastically useful resource that has saved us money!! Well done :)
Submitted by Cat Johnson on 26 Nov 2021
Submitted by Cat Johnson on 23 Nov 2021 Hi, this is so helpful, thank you. We are here on an NLV and have completed all the paperwork we think we need for our TIE appt in Marbella on 1/12, however we were only given one Padron certificate. Should we have one original (and one photocopy) each or will they accept the one original at my husband's appointment and then the same original at my appointment afterwards? Reply by Nick Nutter: Not sure about that one, it would depend on the individual handling your application. You should be able to return to the office that issued your padron and ask for individual certificates. Hi, just an update on this: we returned to the town hall to request a copy and it turns out that we didn't have the Padron certificate after all. We had been issued with a Notification and a Volante, which having waited 10 days to receive, we had assumed was the certificate. After paying a small fee and filling in a further form, we returned the next day for the certificate and now have one Padron certificate each....thank you to Nick, otherwise we would almost certainly have turned up to our appointment with the wrong document!
Submitted by Jenni Gebhardt on 25 Nov 2021
Great site! I asked for a new patron but the ayuntamiento says I don't need it as mine is permanent. Other people say 2 years. I have been there 3x now and refused every time.
Submitted by Cat Johnson on 23 Nov 2021
Hi, this is so helpful, thank you. We are here on an NLV and have completed all the paperwork we think we need for our TIE appt in Marbella on 1/12, however we were only given one Padron certificate. Should we have one original (and one photocopy) each or will they accept the one original at my husband's appointment and then the same original at my appointment afterwards?
Submitted by Angela Wheeler on 13 Nov 2021
Hi could you please give me a bit of advice. My husband got his green residencia card with his previous passport, when I fill in his form do I put his original passport number or his new passport number. Thank you for any help in this instance Kind Regards Angie
Submitted by John on 6 Nov 2021
I have all the documents mentioned in the list, however, I have a doubt. Please can someone clarify what 'in date' Padron certificate means? Mine is from December 2019. Do I need to get a new one? and if so how would I do that if I haven't moved address?? Cheers
Submitted by Al White on 15 Oct 2021
Fantastic guide. We followed this format to prepare our paperwork and went down to Extranjeros Office in Almeria this morning. Absolutely flawless procedure and even had a few laughs and jokes with the clerk! With regard to the 790-12 tax payment. We went to CAJAMAR which wasn’t our normal bank and the guy at the counter told us to use the cash point machine. He also said that a bank stamp wasn’t required. So we followed the procedure at the machine which scanned the bar code of the 790 form and put bank notes in the machine. It then gave us the change in coins and printed out two receipts for each form. This is perfectly acceptable to the Extranjeros or National Police Office when submitting your papers. Simply paperclip the receipts to the form….Perfect!
Submitted by John Edwards on 15 Oct 2021
My TIE was ready to collect after 6th October. I havent made an appointment yet to collect it. I am planning to travel abroad shortly. Does anyone know if there is a specific deadline for collecting my TIE or can I collect it next year? Thanks.
Submitted by Ged Harrison on 29 Sep 2021
Thank you so much for this great information. We are planning to change our A4 certificate for the TIE card but we will be away from Spain for a few months and therefore not able to collect the cards in person. Do you (or anyone else) know if it's possible for us to designate someone else to collect it for us?
Submitted by Richard Standen on 29 Sep 2021
Hi This is amazing information and thanks a million for the process breakdown
Submitted by Greg P on 25 Sep 2021
Hi this is very useful thank you. Our son has just arrived in Sevilla on an Erasmus student exchange and has been told by Spanish consulate he must apply for a TIE within one month of arrival. He was given a three month student visa for a 10 month stay. After much frustration we’ve just negotiated the Padrón process and await the certificate. My reading of your article is he will have to do the Ex20 application process first and then once he gets the permission / positive resolución from that he’ll request expedite and then have to do the ex23 and 790 to actually get the TIE?
Submitted by Dee Cox on 17 Sep 2021
My 12 year old daughter and I are both British Citizens living in Spain and we exchanged our Spanish green credit card size paper residents 'cards' on 9 June 2021 for new TIE cards. My daughter's old temporary Resident's card was issued on 13 February 2018 and would have expired in 2023, but her new (temporary) TIE card was issued with an expiry date of 9 June 2026 (5 years from date of issue). If she had not renewed her old paper card she would have been able to apply for a permanent card on 13 February 2023, but the new card has an expiry date of 9 June 2026. What should we do about this. Her old document was surrendered when she was issued with her new card.
Submitted by Carol Johnston on 16 Sep 2021
This website is excellent and I am now waiting to collect my TIE. I am trying to obtain a TIE for my husband who has lost his green A4 NIE certificate. He has been to the police station to report it lost and a denuncia. I am now trying to arrange an appointment to collect the replacement certificate (so that I can then arrange a TIE!) but there does not seem to be an appointment "type" for this. Do you have any idea
Submitted by Susi Hunt on 14 Sep 2021
I've been a resident for over 20 years and I have the green A4 document, which I have had for over 10 years, I haven't applied for the Tie because I thought the green document was valid, however my bank are about to freeze my account because I have not got the neTIE do you think I will have any problem with obtaining a new Tie? Thank you
Submitted by Elliott Evans on 12 Sep 2021
Can you tell me where in your detailed process I would start if I have taken the NLV route please? I have completed stage 1 in the UK and am now in Spain.
Submitted by Cherry Harris on 10 Sep 2021
Excellent guide. Thank you very much, made the whole process really straightforward.
Submitted by Alan Temperton on 10 Sep 2021
Hello, do we use the same procedure to change the incorrect wording on the TIE’s given because they did not have the correct cards - “residence card of a family member of a union citizen’
Submitted by Vincent Malcolm Wright on 10 Sep 2021
Excellent guide, simple easily followed instructions which I've printed ready to complete my forms later today or tomorrow. We live in Alicante and accept there may well be differences but this is, by far, the most useful 'do it yourself tool'. Thank you.
Submitted by Mark on 7 Sep 2021
Thanks for info, really helpful, in regards the ex23 form, do you take one filled in and a blank copy? Also, in section 4, do you tick both "Renovacion de Tarjeta", and "residencia con certificado de registro de ciudadano de la union" if you have green residencia card? Thanks.
Submitted by Ray Perkins on 30 Aug 2021
My wife and I bothy need a TIE. Do we get one appointment or two? Obviously we want to go together
Submitted by Kate Geddes on 24 Aug 2021
great article thanks... wish we had seen it before we did our TIE / Residency ! we have our letter from the first TIE visit at Malaga Police station but there is no date on it as to when the cards will be available. I believe you can check online via the LOTE number but I cant seem to find the link for it ...any advice ? thanks again
Submitted by Faisal on 9 Aug 2021
Thanks for your kind details and instructions. I have applied for TIE card and I have received positive resolution. Then I have submitted all the required documents and I did the fingerprints. This is in CNP Fuengirola, on 06/08/21. The officer in the station asked me to come after three weeks to collect the TIE card but COLLECTION MUST BE by appointment. I have followed your link to make the appointment however I always get this message:En este momento no hay citas disponibles. En breve, la Oficina pondrá a su disposición nuevas citas. I have been trying this many times. Please could you advise me on what to do. Many thanks.
Submitted by kahtan almasrani on 3 Aug 2021
thank you so much for your information it helped alot, Do i need to rent an apartment or is it enought if i rent a postal address?
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?
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.
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?
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
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 ?
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.
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!!
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.
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.
Submitted by Peg Aston on 28 May 2021
Thank you for explaining in a simple and straightforward manner
Submitted by CHRISTINE Leek on 24 May 2021
I need to cancel an appointment can you tell me hiw
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.
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.
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?
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!!!
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
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.
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?
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
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
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