What is a TIE Card?


Although the whole TIE experience is new to Brits, the TIE card has been around for a long time.

What does TIE stand for?
Literally translates to ‘’Tarjeta de identidad de extranjero’’ Foreigner’s Identity Card 

Who can get a TIE card?
The TIE card is given to non-EU citizens who wish to reside in Spain and successfully apply for legal residency. 

How long is a TIE card valid for?
This depends on the conditions under which you apply and your nationality. For example,  UK passport holders who qualified under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement as first time applicants, will initially get 5 years validity. Brits who have already been resident for more than 5 years will automatically get a 10 year TIE card. If you are riding on the back of an EU spouse then you (usually) get two years and some visas (e.g. non lucrative) will be valid for 1 year initially, with the option to renew for longer.

Where do you apply for your TIE card? 
Before you can get a TIE card, you will need to make a formal application for a visa/residency, either via the Spanish Consulate in your home country, or in some cases they can be applied for in Spain. Once your application has been approved, you will then need to visit the Foreigner’s Office  ‘extranjeria’ at the National Police to formalise your application and apply to be issued with the TIE card.

What do you need to make an application? 
Each application is different, and completely depends on your personal situation as to which visa application or route to residency is right for you. Before starting the process, it’s essential to do your research and to take advice from a specialist company – mistakes can be costly in terms of both time and money.

Is the TIE card accepted as a photo ID?
Yes, you can carry this card with you when out and about in Spain and you won’t need to carry your passport as well. BUT for the card to be used officially (e.g. Social security or Tax office) you must have a valid passport from your country of origin available to present along with the TIE card if asked.

What information is on the TIE card?
Along with your photo and address the card also carries your NIE number (your tax identification number in Spain) and is useful proof of this number when asked.  The biometric chip also stores data about your identity, including fingerprints.

The information in this article was current on the date published.
Article last reviewed/updated 12.08.2022

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