Accomplishments come in all shapes and sizes; some seemingly quite small! Applying for our TIE (Identificación de Extranjeros) cards in exchange for our residency cards, probably fits the latter. However, it’s all ‘in the eye of the beholder’.
Dave Jones, the CB News intrepid reporter, gave a wealth of information, in respect of the TIE card process with two articles previously published in the ‘paper. So, armed with this info (and from others), poor Español and a degree of trepidation, my husband and I ‘took the plunge’ and started the process. The EX-23 form is in Spanish, but didn’t appear too much of a task. We completed the pdf form online and printed it off. For those wishing to print-off and complete by hand, please remember to use black ink. Finding an interview (Cita Previa) online was a quick process, with three dates being offered, all within a few days. Print-off your appointment details. The Modelo 79-012 online form allows you to pay the fee, applicable to the TIE. In our case, it was 12 euros each. You present the copies of this form at a bank and pay the fee. They stamp the copies to authorize them. Photocopy everything you need (passport, residency cards/A4 sheets, padrón [needed if you have changed address since your residency card was issued]) and get yourself a passport size photo on a white background. Although we haven’t changed address, we did take our most recent padrón and copies of current utility bills, in case there was a problem: There wasn’t. The ‘official’ size photo, is smaller than the passport version. However, when we presented both sizes, the officials chose the passport size.
When we arrived at the Alicante foreigners’ office, there was a small queue. There is some limited on-street parking in the street and a cafeteria. The National Police officer on duty, was friendly and told us to wait 15 and minutes before our interview times and then enter the building. This was in Spanish, but there is a sign outside, which is easy enough to understand.
The extra time allows you to be screened through security; much like in an airport. Once through security, turn left and aim for the sanitizer gel on the wall. A few metres ahead on the left, there is terminal to use. Just press ‘Cita Previa’ and enter your NIE number: your details will appear on-screen and a ticket is printed for you. Turn around from the terminal you will see an open entrance to the large hall. Once there, look for the screen on the wall which will display your ticket number and indicate which room (sala) and table (mesa) you should go to. Please be aware, that this info does appear to be displayed very quickly and fleetingly on the screen, so be prepared as you enter the hall. The officials were very friendly and the process over with in literally 4 or 5 minutes. There is a finger print terminal by each official and prints taken from your right and left forefingers. You could start with something like: “Perdone. Hablo solo un poco Español/ no hablo Español”, if applicable. At least this prepares the official and shows a little respect on your part. The official then hands you a stamped copy of an authorization to collect your sparkling new TIE cards in around 3 weeks.
No appointment is necessary for this, but please note that it is at another office in Alicante.
Well, the above is our experience of the whole process at the Alicante foreigners’ office. No doubt, there may be slight regional variations. Buena Suerte!