If you're a foreign resident in Spain, you'll either have a green residency certificate (Certificado de Ciudadano la Unión) if you're from the EU, or a TIE card (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) if you're a non-EU national. If you lose your residency document, or it gets stolen, here's what you need to do to get a new one.
Step 1: Report the loss or theft at your local police station or online
Fortunately, you don’t need to go to your local police station to report the loss.
This is referred to as a ‘denuncia’. This is where you report a crime or loss of personal belongings to the police.
If you do the denuncia at a police station, they will give you a document with details about the denuncia.
Alternatively, you can report the loss online. See our other article on how to report a crime in Spain for further details.
If your wallet was stolen or lost, there's a chance that it will be returned, even if the money you had in your wallet may not be.
Remember to cancel any debit or credit cards if it's your wallet that's gone missing, and not just your residency document.
Once you have reported the loss to the police, we recommend waiting for 3 to 4 days before taking any further action. This waiting period allows for the possibility of finding the lost document in a place you had overlooked before, which is not uncommon.
In case your belongings were stolen, it's worth noting that thieves often discard the ID documents and personal items in a public area, where they might be found by someone who will turn them in to the police. In such cases, the police will eventually contact you and return the recovered documents.
Therefore, it is advisable to wait for a few days after reporting the loss before requesting a duplicate, as you might recover the original document in the meantime.
If you have been unable to recover your residency document after three to five days, the next step is to request a duplicate.
Step 2: Make an appointment duplicate of your Spanish residency document
To request a duplicate of your Spanish residency document, you will need to request a Cita Previa (prior appointment) at your nearest police station or extranjería immigration office. You should do this online within 30 days of having lost your residency document.
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.
If the page above is not available, you can find your local immigration or national police station via the links below and make an appointment directly.
The process of applying for a duplicate is similar to a residency document exchange or renewal, and it 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.
Step 3: Get your documents ready for your appointment
Once you've got an appointment, you need to get several documents ready to complete the process. These include filling in and taking with you form EX-17, paying fee 790/012 at any bank branch and getting proof of payment, getting a photocopy or colour copy of your passport, getting three photos of yourself against a white background, and taking the denuncia document with details of the theft or loss with you. Depending on your residency document, the cost will be anywhere from €12 to €21.87. You can see a list of the costs here.
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 to collect your new card. Your new residency document will include the same NIE foreigner ID number, and it should include the same issuance and expiration details (if applicable) as your previous residency document.
Step 4: Get your autorización de regreso (Return Authorisation)
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.
This document will mean border officials in Spain will allow you to return to the country despite not having a valid residency permit.
You can find more information on the procedure to replace a lost or stolen residency document via the Spanish national police website.
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