Applying for your TIE in Madrid

How to Apply for Your TIE in Spain

Congratulations! You made it to Spain! You have successfully applied to the Auxiliares de Conversación program. You’ve overcome the hurdle of applying for your visa! You booked a plane ride over the Atlantic and into the land of tapas, vino, flamenco, and bullfighting! ¡Olé! You may be asking yourself, “What comes next?” You should probably begin the daunting task of finding an apartment (ok, I’ve heard this is not so bad if you’re not in Madrid, don’t let me scare you!). And, of course, you’re going to want to apply for your TIE!

How to Apply for Your TIE - Wayfaring Wanders

Your Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) is a small identity card that you must apply for within 30 days of arriving to Spain. You’ll only need to make your appointment within 30 days. In many regions of Spain (such as Madrid) it can take close to three months before you’re actually able to get in! This depends on when you check for availability (in my case, I looked online on September 16th and booked my appointment for September 23). It seems that if you look online in September, you can get in quickly. Wait until October and you might not find an appointment until much later. However, as long as you have your appointment booked within the first 30 days, you’re fine. If you let your temporary visa lapse before you have an appointment booked, you’ll have to return to the USA (or wherever you’re from) to apply for a whole new visa, so don’t let this happen! Attend your region’s orientation to get more information on this process, but just in case, here’s a step-by-step as well (especially helpful for those like me who still need a bit of improvement on their Spanish skills).

Example of a TIE Card - Wayfaring WandersYour NIE is the number that will appear on your visa after you’ve successfully applied to the program.

You’ll need this little card to do just about everything in Spain, so don’t brush it off or think that your visa is enough! It is the TIE card that credits the assistant’s legal stay in the country, as a student, taking part in the Comunidad de Madrid Language Assistant Programme, for the period of time specified in your carta de nombramiento. The TIE card indicates the NIE number and your personal details, picture, and fingerprint, as well as the validity of the card and the reason why the document has been granted. This is, essentially, your green card to be authorized to live and work (or study) in Spain.

Steps in Applying for your TIE:

  1. Make an online appointment using this website.
    • Select your Spanish region. In this case, “Madrid”
    • Click “Aceptar”
  2. On the following page, after selecting your region, click on “TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA) Y RENOVACIÓN DE TARJETA DE LARGA DURACIÓN” and click accept.
  3. You’ll be prompted to enter more information, including your NIE, Name, Country of origin, and current visa expiration date (typically three months from your issuance date, check your visa). (Note: When I initially tried to make this appointment with my passport number/expiration date, it said that there were no appointments available. I did it again with my NIE and it gave me three options.)
  4. Once you’ve finished, you’ll print out your appointment slip and make sure to keep it. You’ll need this when you go in to apply for your card in person – where you go varies depending on your region.

Applying for your TIE in Madrid:

Once you’ve successfully completed the steps from above, it’s time to prepare for your in person appointment. Here are the documents you’ll need to bring with you:

  • Document you printed from step 4 stating your appointment date and time
  • Your carta de nombramiento (and a copy)
  • EX17 Form which you can find here and fill out online and then print before your appointment
    • Note: the address you fill out on this form will be considered your permanent address in Spain. If you later change residence, you will be required to communicate it to the “Brigada de Extranjería de Madrid” office (SACE office, on 1st floor). Just walk in and let them know.
  • Proof of Payment of your TIE fees
    • To show proof of payment, you will need to fill out the 790 Código 012 form. After you fill out the proper form (check initial TIE and fill in the amount for €15,45 as of 2016) , you’ll need to bring the forms to ANY bank and they’ll give you the proof of payment. This must be paid with cash. According to the TIE application instructions, you will need to go get this form at the “Brigada de Extranjería de Madrid” or at a police station (I went to a police station). It will also be available during the Orientation Session at “CRIF Las Acacias” center. You can also visit this site to print off the document (use that site at your own caution, however, as you’ve been informed to get the official documents from the previously stated sources). Some people have had success printing it off, but it’s easier to just go to a police station. The downloadable form is not in color, however, and doesn’t have the carbon copy receipt pages.
  • Original & Photocopies of the following documents:
    • Passport Information Page
    • Visa
    • Entry Stamp
      • It is mandatory to provide evidence that you arrived in Spain within a month of your initial appointment. The date will be really important for the “Brigada de Extranjería de Madrid” office. The best thing to do is to have your passport or visa stamped when you cross the border into the Schengen Zone, even better if it’s into Spain. If you cross through another border, like say France or in my case Frankfurt, you must show the stamp from France/Frankfurt and keep your bus/train/plane ticket from France to Spain for proof! I kept my ticket stub and scanned it with my visa stamp, all on the same photocopy I turned in.
  • A passport sized photo, bare-headed, on white background. It’s recommended that you bring the picture yourself, though you can find a photo booth in the “Brigada de Extranjería de Madrid” office. I totally forgot my pictures so I went to the little booth right outside the office and used that. It costs €5 and takes less than 2 minutes. The pictures were actually different than my passport ones, so it was easier to just take the pics there.
  • Empadronamiento: proof of your legal address in Spain
    • Basically you take your signed lease to an office around your barrio. You make an appointment to get the address official and get a sheet of paper called an empadronamiento that says, yes, you live there! For specific steps on completing this in Madrid, you can click here. Note: I did not have to turn this in, which was good since I didn’t have it! On the form I mentioned above, EX-17, I filled out my address and that was it. In the appointment, the guy asked if it was my permanent address and I said yes. However, I have heard that some students needed to get their empadronamiento for the TIE appointment! It’s kind of a gamble if you go without it because technically they can turn you away and make you come back with it. From the Facebook group, it sounded as though this is more important if you are renewal and the directions I found didn’t mention it so… no pasa nada!

Getting to Brigada de Extranjería in Madrid:

I was a little bit nervous about navigating the public transportation in Madrid! Remember, I come from a small town in Montana. I drove, walked, or rode my bike wherever I needed to go! The public transportation back home was a joke… In Madrid, however, it’s quite amazing. The directions on how to get the the Brigada de Extranjería obviously vary depending on your starting location. I took the metro from Argülles to Aluche and it was quite easy. I used an app called Citymapper but I’m sure Google Maps would also be fine. I didn’t load my abono for the first two weeks I arrived, instead opting for a 10 punch metro pass. Unfortunately, I just turned 26 like a week before arriving in Madrid which meant I wasn’t eligible for a joven pass anymore 🙁 goodbye cheap transportation! Anyway, if you’re using the metro, head towards Aluche (green line 5). You’ll exit at Aluche, an above ground metro station. When you come down the stairs, turn left. You’ll find that it says Salida: Avenida de los Poblados. Go through those doors and you’ll see a road. Turn left again and head down that road (Avenida de los Poblados). You’ll have about a 7-10 minute walk before you turn left and head towards Brigada de Extranjería. A good indication you’re turning at the right spot is that you’ll see a lot of other people walking with either blue folders or clear binder pockets full of documents and passports. The building is large and there is a big gate around it. You’ll pass through a little metal detector to get inside. Once there, you’ll wait first in a line outside, and then in another line inside. When you hit the front of the line, you simply go to the next available person who will process all that paperwork we talked about above! Note: you’ll probably be speaking Spanish at this appointment! I thought that surely an office for foreigners would have English speakers, but this is not the case. That being said, my limited Spanish skills were sufficient to complete the process without any complications!

Brigada de Extranjería - Wayfaring Wanders

After you’ve handed all of these documents over to the officiate at the Brigada de Extranjería, you’ll get your fingerprints scanned and you’ll be given a justifying slip to come back and collect your TIE card. They say it takes about 40 days to process. After 40 days, take your justifying slip & passport with you back to the “Brigada de Extranjería de Madrid” office to get your TIE card! Mine also noted that I should come back before 45 days, or the justifying slip would expire… You can pretty much go anytime between 30-45 days.

Example of a TIE Card for Spain - Wayfaring Wanders

You’ll receive the small identity card with your personal information, picture, NIE number, signature, and fingerprint (on the back). The expiration date (VAL.) is typically the end date of your program, so June 30 for Madrid or May 31 for the rest of Spain. If you’re in Madrid, you can click here to view the documents and detailed instructions from the regional office. You can also view a slide show presentation by clicking here.

Remember, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this, you can always ask your school for help! If you’re in a big city like Madrid, there are definitely other auxiliares around who can help you. Try and connect with some on Facebook! I was lucky and as soon as I was given my school assignment, I immediately connected with a couple of girls who had been/were still working at my school. They were immensely helpful in finding out information about the school/places to live/the commute, etc. I know if I had run into any questions about applying for my TIE or anything like that, they would have willingly helped me out!

How to Apply for your TIE in Spain: Wayfaring Wanders

There you have it! Some information to help you apply for your TIE in Madrid. Remember, the exact directions of what to do will be outlined for you in the email containing your carta de nombramiento. These directions were specific to Madrid, but booking the appointment/the application process should still be similar for all regions. For specific instructions, email your regional coordinator. If you have any questions, feel free to ask below! I will help if I can! Good luck 🙂



23 Replies to “Applying for your TIE in Madrid”

  1. hey girl this was so useful thank you!! I just had one question, for the 790 tasa form, which location did you pick it up in? I know there is one in tetuan but my appointment is this week and that office operates between the hours of my work and tetuan office is almost an hour away! wont have any time to go there. So im wondering if there is a closer location near the center?? the printing option seems a bit too risky for me!
    thank you in advance!


    1. Hey Mariana! I picked up the 790 form from a police station near my apartment. You can literally go to any police station and ask for the form and they should have it. I walked in, asked the officer at the front desk for the form, he asked me how many I wanted, I said two (in case I screwed one up lol) and he handed them to me. I immediately walked to the closest bank and filled out the form there. I paid the 15,45€ fee IN CASH and the bank teller stamped it and handed it back to me. If you do decide to print the forms, make sure you print THREE copies! That way you keep one, the bank keeps one (I think), and the person at your TIE appointment will keep one. I have talked to quite a few people who also did that, so it should work. But as I mentioned, you can get the form at any police station. I would just google the closest one to you and pop in! You definitely shouldn’t have to go to any special office an hour away from you, haha. Good luck!!

  2. Just a warning for others – If you choose to go to Pozuelo, they will only tell you to go to Manuel Luna, 29 to get your fingerprint taken! which is odd, because the Pozuelo location is included in the drop down list where you can get your fingerprint. So frustrating..

  3. Hi!
    This may sound dumb, but you say that the NIE is found in your visa. I don’t know which number it is. There is no where on my visa that says NIE or ” Número de Identificación de Extranjero”. I thought we had to apply for the NIE as soon as we got to Spain, but I’m beginning to gather that in reality we are applying for the TIE. Any clarification you can offer would be much appreciated!!

    Your blog is saving me. Thank you!


    1. You know, there were some teachers that did not have their NIE numbers on their passport. If you don’t see it, you might be from a consulate that doesn’t print them on there for whatever reason. It should be below your picture if it’s there… If not, you can use your passport number as your identification number when applying for your TIE!

  4. Hi, I have a question. So you go and stand in a line upon arrival, so does your appointment time really matter? I was given an appt time of 10:50 but have a train at 13:30 that day… So I was thinking of going right when they open and getting it done with. Were you there very long?

    1. I have heard of teachers doing this! It really depends on the people monitering the lines. They do check your appointment time, but if it’s that day, they usually let you go. Sometimes they might make you wait for all the earlier people to go, but that depends on who is there. So it’s really chance! If there aren’t people in line, they almost always let you go in (as long as it’s your day). Good luck!

  5. Hi!
    Just wanted to say thanks! I followed all your instructions to get my TIE, and to my total amazement it went smoothly. They didn’t ask for an Empadronamiento either!

  6. I wish the link for that form worked! I went to one of the extranjera offices and the man told he I couldn’t get the form. 🙁 I went to the one in Madrid center on Calle Silva.

  7. Hi there!
    Thank you for creating this very helpful guideline. I was missing my empadronamiento, so I have to make another appointment for my TIE. I am concerned because my initial appointment was a month after I made it, and now it is less than a month until christmas when I will be travelling back to the US for ten days. My visa expires in mid january, should I be concerned about my eligibility to reenter the country before that date if I have not obtained my tie, but do have proof of my second appointment? Please let me know any infomation that might be helpful 🙂 and thanks again for your blog!! – Kevin

    1. Hi Kevin, sorry for the delay in response! I hope you got it all figured out! I actually didn’t have my empadronamiento the first year and they didn’t care. If you don’t get your TIE appointment in, apply for a regreso to return to the country. You have to pay for that, but it gives you another 90 days. Just bring in your TIE appointment slip, explain that you have an appointment but it’s not until later and they give you a regreso to return! Sometimes you’ll need your carta for the regreso, but if you have those things, you’ll be fine.

  8. Hello! This is super useful info. I’ve just applied for my TIE and gotten the justifying slip… however do I need to make another cita previa to pick it up? Or just go and get it? My pareja and I are a bit confused about this, as we can’t seem to set an appointment for early March, which is when the lady said to come and get it. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks! – Amber

    1. Hmmm, I think I just brought the justifying slip. I am positive I didn’t make a second appointment. I know you show up and you stand in a lot smaller of a line. They check your passport and then hand you your TIE after they go through the boxes of them. Just make sure you show up within like 45 days or so, because otherwise they throw it out and you have to start over. I think I went right on the 30 day mark and mine was ready. Good luck!

  9. Also, I’m not sure if it’s an update, but we paid the 15,45 eur like you, but the lady at the Oficina said that we overpaid by 5 euros so it’s just 10 euros or so. It seemed like a lot of paperwork to get 5 euros back, so we decided to let it be.

  10. Live in Girona and went online for an appointment which showed:
    En este momento no hay citas disponibles. En breve, la Oficina pondrá a su disposición nuevas citas.
    If I cannot secure an appointment then what do we do? My 30 day deadline is April 15 and am getting a bit worried. Waited this long as the Empadronamiento is still not secured as they needed to see the original rental contract (mine was done with virtual/online signature). Can one simply show up stating the system will not give me an appointment? Any experiences/suggestions would be greatly appreciated – Thanks!

    1. Hi Jeannette… That’s tough! I know when I was making an appointment, for whatever reason, there was more availability when I searched with my passport number as opposed to my TIE number. You could try that?? Maybe something will be available? Otherwise I would just talk to your school and see if they can help. Worst case scenario is that you make an appointment for whenever you can, even if it’s past April 15. The only thing that will cause you issues is if you try to leave Spain and re-enter without a valid TIE. Good luck!

  11. Hi G – Tried with my passport number and same response – no appointments. Trying to apply for my TIE as do not have it yet. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Unfortunately I don’t have any other suggestions aside from checking back as often as you can. Did you get your visa affixed to your passport? Did it come with an NIE in it? Could you try using that number? Otherwise, I would try talking to your school. I’m not sure how the process is in Cataluñia… could you just show up?? See what your other auxiliares did, maybe. Good luck!

  12. Hello! Your blog has been SO helpful to me every step along the way. I just made my appointment! One question, I noticed on the Auxiliaries website visa instructions that you have to have the original background check with you to get the TIE. However, the consulate in San Francisco would not give me back the original. I noticed that you didn’t have this listed as a required document. Perhaps it changed and it is no longer needed? Or maybe now it is needed? Any info would be much appreciated! Thanks again for writing such a useful blog!

  13. Thank you very much for this wonderful guide to applying for TIE.
    God Bless you.

    1. Hi your blog is very helpful, I ha ra question about renewing the TIE. Is it the same process or is it a different process?

      1. You know, I never ended up renewing my TIE so I’m not sure! I think it’s very similar though. Good luck!

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