Have you been living in Spain on a long-term student visa? Is your TIE expiring soon but want to renew for another year? Want to avoid returning home to restart the visa process? Then you’re in the right place! Here’s my full guide on how to renew your student visa in Spain in just 3 easy steps.
This summer will mark my fourth year renewing as an auxiliar de conversación and I can finally say I’ve got the renewal process down pat. I’ve been to the Santiago office so many times that this year the employee just asked, “Same as always?” Nothing like being a regular at the extranjería.
All the other years, however, were the same hellish nightmare we all know and expect when dealing with Spanish funcionarios. The first year I thought I had lost the letter needed to renew due to miscommunication and traveled 2 hours for a new copy just to realize I had it all along. Then I didn’t realize you have to return for a second renewal appointment and almost passed the expiration date. And on top of everything, I was told different information from every single employee in the Santiago office.
But no worries because I’ll go over every step, answer frequently asked questions, and give tips on how to make the process easier for you.
(Note: I’m an American and this is for non-EU citizens.)
What is the difference between a TIE and NIE?
The TIE is the green visa card and the NIE is your national identification number that is located at the bottom left corner of that card.
When can I renew?
You can begin the renewal application from 60 days before your visa expires up to 90 days after the expiration date. Note: Some cities prefer for you to wait till it expires.
Where do I renew my visa?
You’ll apply in the extranjería in the police station in the nearest city in your province. Since I live on the coast of Galicia I go to Santiago de Compostela.
Can I do the whole renewal process in Spain without returning home (e.g. USA)?
Yes! HOWEVER if you’re changing programs—from the Ministry to Meddeas or from a university to be an auxiliar—you will more than likely have to return home and apply for a new visa. Talk with your program and/or police station.
Also, be careful when planning dates for summer trips to leave Spain or the Schengen zone. If you are traveling any time during the renewal process or while your visa is expired, you will need an autorización de regreso. This document is only valid for 3 months and can only be used for one exit and reentry into Spain.
UPDATED AS OF: JUNE 2020
How to Renew Your TIE/NIE Student Visa
Step 1: (Make an appointment if needed) and apply at your extranjería with the following documents + copies:
- Passport (photocopies of ALL USED pages)
- TIE visa card (photocopies of front and back)
- Current year’s carta de aprovechamiento (job contract/acceptance letter)
- Upcoming year’s carta de aprovechamiento (job contract/acceptance letter)
- Renewal form EX-00 (fill out part 1 and 4, sign and date)
- Paid Tasa
(Note: If you need an autorización de regreso you can apply for it now while renewing.)
If you don’t pay the tasa beforehand—I never do—you can get a form when you’re in the office, swing by your bank to pay it, then return to the extranjería (the same day) with the receipt.
On one occasion I was asked for my Empadronamiento, which I didn’t have, but they sent my documents anyway and I had no problems. (I told you that everyone will tell you something different!) If you have yours, it can’t hurt to take copies of it with you.
The address you put on your application is very important because you’ll be receiving a certified letter about your renewal. If you don’t have a permanent address over the summer, put your school’s address.
You need to leave the office with a stamped copy of the EX-00 form for your next visit.
Step 2: Around 2 months after the first visit, receive your Resolución Solicitud in the mail and return to your Extranjería with these documents:
- Resolución Solicitud (copy)
- Stamped EX-00 form from the first visit (copy)
- Second paid tasa (again, I get a form when I arrive, pay it and return it)
- 2-3 current passport sized photos
During this visit you hand in your stamped EX-00 form, photos and your Resolución Solicitud you received in the mail that states you’re legal for another year. In my office I’m also able to do my fingerprints during this appointment where I turn in the documents.
You will leave this visit with a printed document you’ll need to recollect your new visa after a month.
Step 3: Return after a month with your passport, renewal document from the second visit, and your expired TIE.
Show your passport as ID and give the office the renewal document and your old TIE. Then recollect your new one. And that’s it! You made it!
What do you do if you lose your Resolución Solicitud?
Call our extranjería and ask which government building you must go to for a new copy. For me in Galicia, I had to go to Coruña because that’s where our visas are processed. I had to make an appointment and go in person with my passport.
What if I’m changing regions?
You should be able to apply in your current region.
What if I’m leaving Spain before I receive my carta de aprovechamiento or start the renewal?
Call your extranjería and ask if you can apply without it and bring it later or get an Autorización de Regreso. But depending on the dates of your trip you may have to restart the whole process in your home country.