How to Renew a Tarjeta Comunitaria

They say that all good things must come to an end – and that includes five years of uninterrupted extranjería visits for those with a valid tarjeta comunitaria. If you’ve done pareja de hecho or got married as a non-European national, your are entitled to the five-year residency card with the right to work as the immediate family of an EU citizen.

First time applicants for the tarjeta comunitaria are granted semi-permanent residency, but once that’s up, you’ll need to apply for a ten-year permanent resident card. The general rule of thumb is that you can initiate the renewal process of a tarjeta comunitaria as early as 60 days before your TIE expires and until 90 days after – do note that many comunidades will not accept your renewal until 30 days before though. Also, your NIE number will remain the same.

Completing a renewal is relatively simple, and only the non-EU national has to be present this time around. If your Foreigner’s Office request you make an appointment, do so within the the time frame to ensure a timely renewal, called a renovación.

Here’s what you’ll need to bring, both in original and photocopy form:

  • current NIE
  • EX-19 form, signed and dated
  • partner’s DNI card (if your partner can’t make it to the appointment, you’ll have to steal the card for the day)
  • passport (and yes, you must copy all pages)
  • current empadronamiento colectivo, with both of you registered in the same household
  • document that shows your vínculo to the EU citizen
    • For married couples: a certified copy of your libro de familia if it’s been more than six months since the marriage was celebrated
    • For Pareja de hecho couples: a certificate printed at your nearest registro civil within the last 90 days
  • three recent fotos de carnet with a white background

If you have children, you will need to prove they are enrolled in school (if they’re old enough). Additionally, you may be asked for work contracts or medical information, depending on your situation. Check with your local extranjería for more details.

When your appointment rolls around, bring all of your documentation and make sure to jot down your número de expediente, which is unique to your case and can be used to check the status of your renewal online. Expect to wait around three months to hear back from extranjería, and no news is good news, as it is considered approved. The next step will be paying a bank fee and taking your fingerprints.

As of March 2016, the tasa, or fee, was 10,60€.

Remember that if you are in process of a renewal and need to travel outside of Spain for any reason, you can ask for an autorización de regreso.

Have you recently renewed your TIE card? Let us know if you have any success stories (or horror!) in the comments below!

Author: Como Consulting Spain

Cat and Hayley are relocation specialists who can help you move to, live in and work in Spain. We'd love to hear from you!

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  1. Hi! Nice article 🙂
    In the “requisitos” for obtaining the TIE for the first fime you also need to certify that you have a job or that you have enough money in the bank. Also you need a health insurance.
    Do you know if you can ask for the national health insurance (seguridad social) without having a job and without the TIE?
    Its all a heck of a headache!
    Thanks so much!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Vicky, your obtaining the seguridad social number without working depends highly on where you’re living (it used to be a national law that even illegal immigrants could get one), but you absolutely need a TIE. That way you are considered a fiscal resident.

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  2. Is the tarjeta comunitaria the same as the TIE? I am a US citizen married to a Spaniard and have my NIE, waiting for my TIE. Just wanted to check if I need to apply for this as well.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Katie, the TIE is a shorthand term for tarjeta de identificación de extranjero. This can be a temporary card (student, investigator) or semi-permanent through marriage, like a tarjeta comunitaria, or it can be for working and/or residency purposes. If you already have your NIE number, you can get the tarjeta comunitaria next.

      Post a Reply
  3. Greetings!

    I am Rigel, a filipino citizen whoo currently holds a regimen communitaria card. After a year of stay in Spain, I decided to back to the Philippines. I’ve been staying here for more than 10 months already. Am I still eligible to use my residence card (EXP DATE 2020) when re-entering Spain? or do its invalid since I overstayed in PH ( I heard you that for residence card holders, you only need to be out of Spain for max of 10 months in a span of 5 years)? Are there other options applicable in my case?


    Post a Reply
    • Hi Rigel,
      You shouldn’t have trouble reentering Spain on your passport + your TIE card. However, when it comes time to renew your card in 2020 that’s when you might run into problems seeing as how you’ve been out of the country for more than the allowed time.

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  4. Hi! Thank you so much for this information and in English!!! I couldn’t find it anywhere!! How do I make an appointment with my foreigners office? Thank you again!!

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  5. Excellent article- Thank you!
    We were married in Canada and I don’t believe we have a tlibro de familia. Where can I get a copy of this document? Also, what type of documentation do I need to get from my childrens school?


    Post a Reply
    • Hi May, Libros de Familia are being phased out. That said, your home “registro” is in Madrid in Plaza Jacinto Benavente. Feel free to email us if you need more info!

      Post a Reply

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