Have you had your wallet stolen?
Or perhaps you just know you’ve put that residency card somewhere, but after tearing your house to pieces and emptying every drawer and cupboard (twice) you still can’t find it.
What happens next?
If you’re Spanish residency card has been either lost or stolen then here’s everything you need to know:
What Kind of Residency Card Do You Hold?
All foreign residents in Spain should carry a residency card. The type of card you have will be determined by your original country of origin. If you’re from the EU then you’ll have a green residency certificate, known as a Certificado de Ciudadano la Unión and if you’re a non-EU national then you’ll be issued a TIE card, known as the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero.
Replacing Your Residency Card: Step by Step
- Regardless of which type of residency card you hold, your first step if yours has been lost or stolen should be to visit your local police station. Depending on the circumstances, the police officers may ask you to report the loss through a denuncia (complaint): this will almost certainly be the case if you suspect that your card has been stolen. If your wallet has been stolen, remember to take the time to cancel any debit or credit cards that it contained, and to contact your bank or any other provider who may be affected.
- If you haven’t found your card after three to five days, you will be able to request a duplicate. To do this you’ll need to provide your passport photos again, but you won’t need to provide all the same additional documentation that you needed when you first applied for your card. The good news is that securing a duplicate residency card is easier, and involves fewer background checks. The bad news is that you can’t complete this process online. You’ll need to request a cita previa (prior appointment) at a police station or extranjería (migration) office near you. This appointment request should be submitted within 30 days of using your residency card: you can make your appointment on this website.
- Note that if you are a British citizen that has lost their old green residency certificate, this is likely to be replaced with a TIE card, as the green certificates are no longer being issued by the Spanish authorities.
- Once you have your appointment in place, you should prepare your paperwork. When you attend your appointment, you will need to take the following documentation:
- The Form EX_17. When filling in the form, make sure you tick the box at the bottom which reads “DUPLICADO POR ROBO, EXTRAVÍO, DESTRUCCIÓN O INUTILIZACIÓN”.
- Proof that you have paid fee 790/012. You can do this at any bank branch. You should expect to pay between€12 to €21.44, depending on the type of residency document you need.
- Your passport and a photocopy of your passport
- Three passport photos
- The Denuncia document, if you were given one at the police station when you reported that your documents were lost.
- Once you have attended this appointment, your new residency card or certificate should be issued in between 40 and 45 days. In some parts of Spain this will be sent to you directly, whilst in other parts of Spain you may need to secure another appointment so that you can collect your document.
- When you collect your document, check that your NIE foreigner ID number is the same as it was previously, as this should never change. If you don’t have time to wait for your new card to be issued and you’re a third party national who needs to travel urgently then discuss this with the individual processing your case. They may suggest that the document outlining that your card is being processed can be used as a means of demonstrating your right to return to Spain: This document will mean border officials in Spain will allow you to return to the country despite not having a valid residency permit.
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