Studying Abroad in Spain: 6 Steps to Obtaining Your NIE/TIE

With your student visa in hand, follow this step-by-step guide to officially become registered in Spain, your new country of residence.

Welcome to GBSB Global Business School! The next step in becoming an officially registered student studying abroad in Spain is to obtain the NIE/TIE, also known as the foreign identity card.

Here are six steps to making the transition to studying abroad in Spain and GBSB Global Business School a bit less stressful.

  1. Visit the official public administration website, to make a cita previa, or an appointment, to apply for your NIE/TIE. Obtaining the Numero de Identidad de Extranjero or "Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero", also known as the foreign identity number takes time, dedication, and patience. Start early. Even if you are lacking all the documentation that you need for the appointment, be persistent in your search for an available time and date on the website. The spaces are limited and fill up quickly.
  2. Use the time before your appointment wisely. Visit the ayuntamiento, or town hall, to register yourself in the municipality for which you live. In most cases, you do not need an appointment and can register in one day. Be prepared with the documentation you may need for this visit: a) passport b) signed rental agreement written in Spanish or Catalan, in the case you are attending the Barcelona campus (Preferably, the rental agreement should last longer than 6 months or cover your stay in Spain.) c) proof of payment for living arrangements made d) photocopies of all original documents listed above. Be prepared to wait in a queue with other individuals applying for their NIE/TIE. If you speak Spanish this will be a great advantage in speaking with the city official. If you do not, don’t worry. Take along a friend or colleague that does or have a translation app ready on your mobile device to answer the questions that will be asked.
  3. Since you are a student applying for the NIE/TIE using your student visa, you must complete the appropriate form(s). Review this link, for the applicable form(s), Modelo EX15 or Modelo EX17. Fill out the form, and print it before attending your NIE/TIE appointment. Review this link to Spain’s official immigration portal in order to confirm you have met all of the requirements outlined. In addition, you may find it helpful to contact the Spanish Embassy within your home country to be certain about all the specifics of your request. All websites are in Spanish and do not offer an English viewing option. It may be necessary for you to translate the information on your own for clarification.
  4. Prepare your documentation for your appointment. You will need to present originals and multiple copies. Here is a brief list of what you may be asked to present: the main page of your passport, the student visa inside, the stamp of your arrival, the acceptance letter from GBSB Global Business School, the paid receipt for tuition, all forms received from your empadronamiento, or registration in the town hall, 3 passport size photos, your current rental contract/agreement, and the completed EX application forms.
  5. Attend your NIE/TIE appointment! Arrive early. Wait patiently. If asked a question in Spanish, try to respond in Spanish. Again, have someone accompany you as a liaison helping with translation or use your mobile application. Spanish is the official language in Spain, and Catalan is the regional language in Barcelona. It is not uncommon for employees to request that you communicate in one of them based on the city in which you are studying, Barcelona or Madrid. Be ready with the documents you prepared for the appointment, and provide them to the clerk handling your application.
  6. Pick up your card. Take your paid receipt received from the bank during your NIE/TIE appointment. Expect to receive your card in 3-4 weeks. Go to the address provided to you at the end of your NIE/TIE appointment to retrieve your foreign identity card.

You are now an officially registered GBSB Global Business School student in Spain! Congratulations and welcome! We are excited you are studying abroad in Spain at GBSB Global Business School. What a wonderful investment in your future!

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