Tapas Forever

Helping make the dream of moving to Spain a reality

Picking Up Your TIE Card In Spain

After managing to complete your appointment to get your TIE residency card, the next step is to simply wait the 30 days until you are allowed to pick it up. I actually was going to be busy that day, so I went down around day 28 to the police station. I was originally told to just show up, without an appointment, so that’s what I did.

When I arrived there were several large line-ups, one on each side. I was told picking up your TIE card is really quick, so I assumed neither one was for me. But once I showed the attendee my piece of paper and told them I was here to pick up my TIE card, then directed me to wait in the line on the left.

The line moved rather slowly, so I was probably outside for 40 minutes or so. When I finally made it inside, they directed me to a series of four chairs which acted as a mini queue for the lady giving out the TIE cards. Dealing with each person took 2-3 minutes, so I just waited my turn.

When it came time, I walked up, handed the lady my paper and passport, and then waited. She reached over to her table and grabbed a stack of about 100 cards from a table with about 30 stacks – quite a lot of cards! She quickly thumbed through them until she found mine, then set it in front of her. I was expecting her to hand it to me, so I was wondering what was coming next.

Picking up my TIE residency card in Spain

Picking up my TIE residency card in Spain

She then asked me to take my fingerprints again – I’m not sure if this is because my last fingerprints didn’t come out properly, or perhaps they need to verify it was actually me. Regardless I quickly did my left and right index fingers, and that was it. She handed me my card and told me to have a great day, which would be easy since I was now done all the hard parts about moving to Spain for a year!

If you’ve made it this far as well, then congratulations – you are now a Spanish resident!


  1. Hi

    Is the TIE card only vaild for 1 year ? I am confused. I have my VISA.. same as yours. it lasts 90days…then i register and apply for the TIE…when does it expire? do i have to do the renwal process back in Canada? SO do i leave Spain 3 months prior to TIE expire to renewal for the 2year…as I want the 5yr plan to get PR.

    if my visa starts MAY 15, can i go spain prior and then REGISTER anytime after the 15th? this is so confusing.


    • Yes, the TIE card is only valid for one year. About 60 days before it expires, you will apply to renew your visa/card *in SPAIN*. Once that’s done, you will be issued another card which will be valid for 2 years. Then you can renew it again for 2 more years. This is the standard procedure for the non-lucrative visa – there is no 5 year card, they are issued in 1 year, then 2 years, then 2 years, and at the end, you can apply for PR.

      I believe you should not enter Spain until your visa is valid at this point. You will also need proof of the date you arrive, so make sure you have a flight ticket, or ask them to stamp your passport.


  2. Hello! I am under the impression that I need to visit the extranjeria three times in order to finally get my renewed TIE card. The trouble is that I plan to be out of Spain for the next 6 months .. So I am wondering what is the best way to renew. I am thinking that perhaps I can come back after I start the initial process to do the fingerprints (2 months after the first appointment more or less) and then retrieve the card when I get back in January. My concern is if there will be a problem if the card is ready for me but I don’t come to pick it up until 3-4 months later.. Any advice?

    • I think it should just be twice, one for the fingerprints and once for the actual card pickup. I believe you may have to go to another office for the actual non-lucrative renewal. I think you only have like 60 days after you do the final one to pick up the card though, so that may not work. And technically you would probably need to get the Authorization de Regreso (authorization to return) if you don’t have it when you leave.

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