I’m an American expat living in the province of Cádiz, Spain. Javi and I did “pareja de hecho” (civil union) in 2012 to extend my temporary work + residency permit. In 2015 we got married. After five years of legal residency you can apply for permanent residency in Spain—which brings us to the content of this post. In part 1 I explained the difference between getting Spanish citizenship vs. residency and how to apply for permanent residency. In part 2 (this post) I’ll explain what you need to do to get your residency ID card (TIE) once your residency application is approved.
1. Your residency application is approved
In Cádiz it took four months for my status on the SEDE website to change to “Resuelto – Favorable”. With no time to waste I printed out my approved application and headed to the police station in Puerto Real to apply for my new residency card or TIE (“tarjeta de identidad de extranjero” a.k.a. foreigner ID card).
NOTE: Once you apply for residency the funcionarios at the extranjeria office should tell you where to apply for your new ID card (TIE) once your application is approved. For example, I had to go to the extranjeria office in Cádiz to apply for residency, and then they told me to apply for my new TIE in Puerto Real at the police station.
2. Apply for your TIE (new ID card)
Unfortunately at the comisaria de policia in Puerto Real you can’t call to make an appointment ahead of time, so you need to show up, get your paperwork, and then make a follow-up appointment to submit everything (every province is different, but expect to make at least two trips to the police station). Plan to go in the morning; usually public offices close after 1:30pm. Also, it’s rare to find staff who speak English (in the south at least) so bring a Spanish friend or have Google translate handy if necessary.
Here is the paperwork I needed to submit for my TIE application:
- Two passport sized photos (color photos + white background)
- Front/back copy of my current TIE (Foreigner ID card)
- Copy of front page of my passport
- Front/back copy of Javi’s DNI (Spanish ID card)
- Form EX – 19 Solicitud de tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la UE (residency card application of family member of E.U. citizen)
- Form Modelo 790 (the fee for processing the application worth €10.71)
You’ll need to bring the copies/photos yourself, but the two forms should be provided to you at the office. Also they will scan your fingerprint at the police station when you submit your TIE application.
Keep in mind you can pay the €10.71 fee at any Spanish bank. Just walk into the bank and give them the filled out form + cash—they’ll stamp the form for you once you’ve paid. IMPORTANT – you need the bank stamp to prove to the comisaria you’ve paid the fees in cash. If you prefer to pay via bank transfer that’s fine too; just make sure to print out the transfer receipt to prove it has been paid and include it with your application.
Avoid this mistake when applying for your TIE
In Part 1 I mentioned we paid the “Modelo 790” fee and brought the form when I first applied for residency in Cádiz. The fee was only required for applying for my TIE (the second part of the process) and it turns out the form we had (although correct) was missing some information so I couldn’t use it for my TIE application. Therefore, get the Modelo 790 form the first time you go to the police station when you pick up the paperwork for your TIE application—don’t print it from the website online, get it from the actual office if possible (or you might end up paying twice like I did).
3. Receiving your new Spanish ID card (TIE)
After submitting your TIE application expect to wait a month or so for your card to be ready. I started this process in August (when I first applied for permanent residency) and will be able to pick up my new TIE card in January—so expect the whole thing to take around six months start to finish.
Next week I’ll call the police station in Puerto Real to confirm my card is ready for pickup. Woohoo! I’ve loved my last six years living in Spain and I’m looking forward to many more here in this beautiful country. 😉