What to do if you lose your TIE or other Spanish residency document

What steps should you follow in the unfortunate event that your Spanish residency document is lost or stolen? Here's what you should do to get a duplicate.

What to do if you lose your TIE or other Spanish residency document
Apart from applying for a duplicate of your residency card, you should also remember to cancel any debit or credit cards if your wallet has gone missing and not just your residency document.  

So you’re a foreign resident in Spain with either a green residency certificate if you’re from the EU (Certificado de Ciudadano la Unión), or a TIE card (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) if you’re a non-EU national. 

Perhaps you’ve had your wallet stolen or you’ve tried endlessly to find your Spanish residency document to no avail. 

What should you do in order to get a new residency document?

The first step to take is to go to your local police station. 

Police officers may ask you to report the loss through a denuncia (complaint) depending on the circumstances.   

They will give you a document with details about the denuncia

If your wallet was stolen or you left it somewhere, there is a high chance that it will be returned, even if the money you had in your wallet may not. 

Remember to cancel any debit or credit cards if it’s your wallet that’s gone missing and not just your residency document.  

If after three to five days you have been unable to retrieve your residency document, the next step to take is to request a duplicate.

You will need to provide passport photos again if you’re applying for a duplicate TIE residency card for non-EU residents in Spain.

How to request a duplicate of your Spanish residency document

If you need to get a new green residency certificate (Certificado de Ciudadano la Unión), or a TIE card (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero), the process doesn’t involve having to submit additional documentation as is the case for first-time non-EU residency applicants. 

Applying for a duplicate is similar to a residency document exchange or renewal, it is more straightforward and involves fewer background checks. 

That’s because losing your Spanish residency document or having it stolen does not mean you’ve lost your residency status. 

In order to start the duplicate process, you will have to request a cita previa (prior appointment) at a police station or extranjería (migration) office near you. 

You should technically do this within 30 days of having lost your Spanish residency document.

This is done online via the following website and choosing your province in Spain.

If you’re an EU citizen you’ll need to choose the “Certificado de Registro de la Unión” option and if you’re non-EU you’ll have to choose the “Expedición de tarjeta y renovación de tarjeta” option. 

It costs less to apply for a duplicate of the green cardboard residency document for EU residents in Spain than for a copy of the hard plastic TIE card for non-EU nationals in Spain.

There may also be an option available to British applicants exclusively, given their new status post-Brexit. Britons who lost an old green certificate issued to them when they were still EU nationals are likely to be given a TIE card to replace it. 

Once you’ve got an appointment, you need to get several documents ready to get the processes completed. These are:

  • Fill in and take with you form EX-17, which you can download here. When filling in the form, make sure you tick the box at the bottom which reads “DUPLICADO POR ROBO, EXTRAVÍO, DESTRUCCIÓN O INUTILIZACIÓN”.
  • Pay fee 790/012 at any bank branch and get proof of payment to take with you to your appointment. You can fill in the form here. Depending on your residency document, this will cost anywhere from €12 to €21.44. 
  • Get a photocopy or colour copy of your passport and take it with you, along with your actual passport.
  • Get three photos (passport type) of yourself against a white background. Most photography studios in Spain offer this service.
  • Take the denuncia document with details of the theft or loss with you. 

Take the above documents with you to your appointment at the police station or extranjería office

In theory, you should be issued a new TIE or green certificate within 40 to 45 days. 

Depending on where you are in Spain, you may need to get another appointment in order to pick your new card up. 

Your new residency document will include the same NIE foreigner ID number, as this never changes and it should include the same issuance and expiration details (if applicable) as your previous residency document. 

If you’re a third-country national and you need to travel urgently before then, you should bring it up with the police officer dealing with your case. 

They are likely to suggest that you use the proof they give you that your card is being processed as a means of applying for the autorización de regreso (authorization to return to Spain), which you will also need to get a cita previa for and present other documents. 

This document will mean border officials in Spain will allow you to return to the country despite not having a valid residency permit.


How Brits in Spain can exchange a green residency document for a TIE

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you’re from a non-EU country you will need a visa in order to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days, but knowing which type of permit is best for you can be tricky. Here's how to find the right one for you based on your circumstances.

Worker, retiree or investor: What type of Spanish visa do I need?

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country then you may benefit from the 90-day rule, allowing you to visit Spain for 90 days out of every 180 without needing a visa. Countries including the UK, USA, Canada and Australia all benefit from this rule.

Citizens of certain countries require a visa even for a short trip – find the full list here.

However, the tricky part comes when you want to move to Spain and spend longer than just those three months. What are your visa options, whether you want to move to Spain to retire, to work or even to set up your own business? 


The best option for retirees is to apply for the non-lucrative visa (NLV). This allows you to live in Spain for one year, but as the name suggests you are not allowed to work.

In order to apply an applicant must show they have €27,792 at their disposal for one year (€34,740 if it’s a couple), as well as comprehensive health insurance.

If you want to stay in Spain beyond this year, you can either renew it for a further two years (again proving you have the financial means) or change your visa for a work permit or a self-employed permit through the residence modification process.

The NLV is also the best option for those who want to live abroad temporarily. Those who want to stay in Spain for more than three months, but are not planning on living here permanently. It’s ideal for those on a sabbatical for example who have savings or investments and who do not need to work in Spain while here, but want to stay here for a year. It’s also the best option for those who have the financial means to do so.

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s non-lucrative visa?

retiree in Spain

The NLV is the right visa for most non-EU retirees who want to live in Spain. Photo: pasja1000 / Pixabay


If you plan on moving to Spain for work or in order to look for a job, then you will need a work permit. Unfortunately getting a work permit can be tricky because in most cases as a non-EU national, the position you apply for must be on Spain’s shortage occupation list.

Your employer will also have to prove that there were no other suitable candidates within the EU to be able to fulfill the vacancy. This means that only highly skilled workers or those that work in industries that need workers are likely to be successful. These mostly include jobs in the maritime or fishing industries or sports coaches.

If you are wanting to become self-employed, then the entrepreneur visa could be a good option, allowing you to live in Spain for one year in order to open up a business. Be aware however your business must be considered as anything of innovative character with special economic interest for Spain.

You will have to prove you have the necessary qualifications to set up your business and will also have to submit your business plan to the authorities for it to be approved. The entrepreneur visa can be extended for a further two years after your initial one has been granted.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Spain’s visa for entrepreneurs


If money is no object and you want to invest in a Spanish property then, you’ll want to apply for Spain’s golden visa. To be eligible, you must invest €500,000 before taxes in a property here. It won’t allow you to work, but it will allow you access to the entire Schengen area. This will also allow your spouse and any dependent children to move to Spain with you.

Another option for investors is the entrepreneur visa as described above, if you want to use your investment to set up a business in Spain.

Joining family members:

If you happen to have a family member who is an EU citizen and lives in Spain or a non-EU relative that has residency in Spain, then you have another option. This is called the family reunification visa. However, in order to be eligible, you need to be a spouse or a dependent child and your relative must have the means to financially support you. 



Enrolling on a course and applying for a student visa is one way for non-EU citizens of any age can live in Spain beyond the regular length of a tourist stay. 

You will have to apply for a short-term or long-term student visa, depending on the length of their course. A student advantages can several advantages such as being able to work part-time or bringing over family members. 

READ MORE: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s student visa?