How to apply for the student NIE/TIE in Spain for the first time?

How to apply for the student NIE/TIE in Spain for the first time?

2024-05-10 06:18:09

The student residence card, estancia de estudiante, or NIE/TIE, is the only legal status for international students to stay in Spain. Every student who plans to study for more than 90 days in Spain should begin the process as soon as possible when they arrive in Spain. This residence card will become a legal document to certify your student status in Spain, which you can also use to travel to other EU countries.


Purchase Health Insurance that meets the requirements for all Spanish Visas and the NIE/TIE (residence permit) application/renewal through this link here: Health Insurance
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1. What is the difference between the NIE / TIE and what are they?

2. Do I need to register (empadronamiento)?

3. How do I prepare for the NIE/TIE application?

4. The documents needed are:


How to apply for a student residence card in Spain for the first time? (for non-EU and EEA Citizens, including UK nationals)


This article will talk in-depth about how to apply for a student residence card in Spain for the first time and how to renew it once it expires.



1. What is the difference between the NIE / TIE and what are they?


The NIE stands for Número de Identificación de Extranjero (identification number for foreigners). You need this number for just about any legal procedure that could involve the government; buying property, renting, taxes, opening a bank account, starting a business, etc... However, this number by itself doesn´t authorize you to live and work in Spain, it is mainly used for identification purposes. 

The TIE stands for Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero, in short, it is a card that contains your Spanish details that prove you are a Spanish resident. You can only get a TIE card if you are a resident of Spain and will reside in Spain for longer than 180 days (6 months). Your NIE number will be displayed on this card. You need to apply for this within 30 days of landing in Spain.



2. You need to register at the city town hall (empadronamiento)


If your stay as a student is less than six months, in theory, you are not required to register this information. But if you want to obtain an NIE/TIE card, apply for public healthcare, get a driver's license, or carry out administrative tasks, you need to register for this information.

City town hall registration (empadronamiento) is a compulsory administrative procedure. If your student visa is longer than six monthsyou need this document to apply for the student residence card (NIE/TIE).

Depending on the city you are living the process of getting the empadronamiento may be a little different. Usually, you need to ask for an appointment (pedir una cita) in the nearest local Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) before going for this registration. You can search for “empadronamiento + the city you live” in search engines or “ayuntamiento” map apps to find the nearest city town hall and their accepted way of making an appointment (online/offline).


3. You need to prepare the documents needed for the NIE/TIE application


NIE application is a high-demand administrative process and it’s highly recommended that you try to make an appointment as soon as you arrive in Spain. You need to go to the official website to ask for an appointment. Please note that obtaining an appointment may require some effort, especially in September and October, when the school year usually begins and there is quite a lot of NIE/TIE application demand. Some people argue that the possibility of getting an appointment is higher in the early mornings. Note that any National Police office (especially in a big city like Barcelona) is a normal way of getting the NIE/TIE.  Here’s a guide about how to use the website:


  • Select the province you live from the dropdown menu, no matter where you live
  • Select Expedición de Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero
  • The province you select will come up automatically; select POLICIA: TOMA DE HUELLAS (EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA) Y RENOVACIÓN DE TARJETA DE LARGA DURACIÓN
  • Click on Aceptar
  • Ignore all the instructions and click on Entrar at the bottom of the page.
  • Tipo de document: select Pasaporte and fill in the passport number in the field which then appears; then complete the fields below with your name and nationality; leave fecha de caducidad blank; click in the box stating you are not a robot.
  • Click on Solicitar cita; click on siguiente
  • Input telephone number: e-mail address (They sometimes have problems with ‘Hotmail, so it’s better to use other email addresses).
  • Click on Siguiente
  • Choose the appointment at the time and place that best suits your availability. Note that you don’t necessarily need to go to the nearest one to get your papers done.



4. The documents needed are:


  1. Original passport + visa page (some office staff will ask to check entry records)
  2. Proof of enrollment/ university (language school/institute) registration form: Note that an admission letter may not be accepted. Here it required proof of enrollment (matrícula).
  3. A valid insurance policy (to cover the entire time of the study, it is best to purchase for one year if you are studying for longer than 6 months to ensure no lapse in coverage)

Note that Adeslas Expat insurance(health insurance) is the first health insurance in Spain that meets both visa and residence requirements. In Spain, it ranks as the best, safest, and has the highest satisfaction. We are an insurance company that speaks English. This is an NIE/TIE insurance that meets all the requirements. It is the same document that you used to apply for the student visa.

  1. Certificate of city town hall registration (Certificado de Empadronamiento)
  2. Application form EX-17 for TIE, EX-15 for NIE
  3. 3 ID-sized colored photos
  4. Payment slip Tasa790 :
  • Click on Rellenar formulario y descargar
  • Fill in all the places marked * at the top with your personal details.
  • Check the box that says TIE que documenta la primera concesión de la autorización de residencia temporal, de estancia o para trabajadores transfronterizos: the fee will automatically appear in the place showing the amount to be paid.
  • Select En efectivo (cash) as the form of payment.
  • Type in the verification code and then click on the blue button to obtain the document; a PDF will be created.
  • Print out the first three pages of the PDF single-sided and take them to a bank to pay.

After taking the fingerprint, you will receive a receipt, which can be used as a certificate that you are in the process of applying for an NIE/TIE. When you get informed or when you reach the waiting time that the police told you in the office, you need to use this form to get the residency card at the police station. So please don’t throw it away like any other receipt!

Now that you have your NIE / TIE card, you may want to know how to get a social security number in Spain. (Click here for the guide) and enjoy your long stay in Spain!


Being a student in Spain is fun!


Do you qualify for the NIE / TIE? If this isn´t for you, maybe see if one of these visas better fits your needs:


Our expat insurance meets all the requirements of the Spanish Visa and residency.

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