Paperwork you need change your green residency certificate to a TIE

UK nationals who received a green residency certificate in Spain before Brexit can exchange their paper document for a foreigner’s ID card.

This card is the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero – the TIE card.

It’s not compulsory.

But there are benefits:

  • The TIE card is plastic and more durable than the paper green residency certificate
  • The TIE card is a photo ID card recognisable in the whole EU
  • The TIE card for UK nationals states the card holder’s status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement – securing your rights to residence, free movement and social security 

Aside from the above benefits, UK nationals have reported being denied support or access to services in Spain because they did not have the updated TIE card.

The whole process costs just €12 and should take no more than 20 minutes in two separate appointments.

Ready to change your green residency certificate to a TIE?

Here’s how.

How to change your green residency certificate to a TIE

Step 1 – Request an appointment 

You need to request an appointment at your nearest Oficina de Extranjeria (Foreigner’s Office). There’s usually one main foreigner’s office per province and a number of smaller offices located at Policía Nacional stations in cities throughout the province. 

Official guidance from the Spanish government says you can only apply for the TIE card at the Foreigner’s Office of the province. In practice, many UK nationals report applying at their nearest Policía Nacional station. 

You can request an appointment online by clicking this link:

  • Click Acceder al Procedimiento at the bottom of the page
  • From the dropdown menu select the province where you live, click Aceptar
  • From the dropdown menu select either Cualquier oficina (‘any office’) or choose the one closest to where you live
  • From the dropdown menu next to TRÁMITES CUERPO NACIONAL DE POLICÍA choose Policia-Exp. Tarjeta Asociada al Acuerdo de Retirada Ciudadanos Británicos y sus familiares (Brexit)
  • Fill in your name and NIE number or passport number
  • You should now be able to choose a date and time for your appointment

NOTE: If you’re reading this after 9th July 2022, you may need to select POLICIA-TOMA DE HUELLA (EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA), RENOVACIÓN DE TARJETA DE LARGA DURACIÓN Y DUPLICADO from the dropdown menu.

Step 2 – Prepare your documents for the appointment

Find all the documents you’ll need to prepare below:

  • Green residency certificate.
  • Completed Modelo EX-23 form – you can find an unofficial translated form from Age in Spain here. When filling out the EX-23 form, choose the option ‘Tarjeta inicial’ (section 4.1) and the option ‘Residencia con Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión’ (section 4.2).
  • Valid UK passport.
  • Proof of payment of the tasa modelo 790 Código 012 form. You can fill the form out online and then take it to your local bank branch to pay it, and receive the proof of payment. When filling in the tasa modelo 790 form, choose the option ‘Certificado de registro de residente comunitario o Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de un ciudadano de la Unión’. The cost is €12.
  • Passport-size photograph.
  • Padrón certificate issued within the last 3 months. Even if your address is still the same as printed on your green residency certificate, you may be asked to present a valid padrón certificate.

NOTE: Bring both the original and photocopies of every document you bring to the appointment. 

Step 3 – Attend your appointment

You can have a representative prepare your documentation. But you still need to attend your appointment in person. 

Assuming all goes well, you should be given the date and time of your next appointment to pick up your card. If you weren’t given a date you can request one from this link, by going through the same steps to book your initial appointment but this time choosing Policia-Recogida Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero.

Step 4 – Pick up your new TIE card 

Arrive at your second appointment with your passport.

You should now be issued with your new TIE card. If you have not reached 5 years’ legal residence in Spain your TIE card will be valid for 5 years. If you have reached 5 years’ legal residence in Spain your TIE card will be ‘permanente’ and valid for 10 years.

As soon as you reach 5 years’ legal residence in Spain you can request a permanent residency TIE card – regardless of the issue date of your previous card.

With a permanent residency TIE card you are also allowed to leave Spain for 5 years without losing your rights.

More information

You can read more information about the TIE card – including what to do in case you’ve lost your green residency certificate – in this English-language Q&A from the Spanish government:

Link to book appointment at your nearest foreigner’s office or national police station:

Age in Spain advice and help for people with mobility issues: