Let’s say that you have just lost your NIE or foreigner identity card while in Spain. Or image you have just been robbed. What should you do? Because we are talking about your basic ID in the country, so it is compulsory to be in possession of that document.
And, if you are planning to leave the country and come back, without it you won’t be able to enter. Then, what’s the solution?
In those cases, you will need to request a duplicate of your NIE or residency card. In this article we will explain how to get it step by step.
You haven't lost your NIE; what you lost is the TIE
Let’s start solving an important misunderstanding many foreigners tend to experience.
Because no matter if you lost if or if your card was stolen, you will never lose your NIE. What you are losing is your TIE or residency card.
The NIE is just an identification number, not a physical card or document. It is assigned to you as an individual and will never change.
You will have the same NIE number forever; no matter if you lose, renew or get a new card.
Nevertheless, that NIE is printed in your residency card or TIE (“tarjeta de identificación del extranjero”).
That is, the plastic that you carry physically with you, the document that includes your NIE.
So even though we will refer to it as NIE throughout this article, bear in mind that we are always referring to the actual card or TIE.
When can you get a duplicate of your TIE or residency card?
There different occasions in which you can request a duplicate of your NIE:
- When your legal or professional status (as a holder of the card), has changed. This can happen, for example, when you renew your residence permit.
- If you requested a visa for a period longer than 6 months.
- When you have lost the card.
- In those cases in which you experience a robbery and your NIE is stolen.
How to get a duplicate of your NIE number
Let’s now analyze, step by step, what exactly you need to do in order to get a duplicate of your residency card due to losing it or because it was stolen:
1. Report the robbery or loss to the Police
This is a crucial requirement to request a duplicate later on.
The first thing you need to do is go to any police station and report the robbery or loss to them.
They will instantly give you a document that certifies the complaint, and you’ll need to save it.
2. Wait some time to see if you can find it
After reporting to the police, our recommendation is to wait 3-4 days until you still try to find your NIE.
It is not uncommon that with a careful search you are able to find the document in a place you hadn’t looked before.
Or, in case that you got robbed, many times thefts through your purse or wallet, then someone else finds it and hands it to the police. After some days they call you and you manage to get the document back.
That is why our advice is to wait some time until it appears before requesting a duplicate. But you do that with your complaint already made.
3. Request a duplicate at your closes immigration office
Finally, if your NIE hasn’t appeared yet, what you need to do is to request a duplicate at the immigration office.
Inside the Spanish immigration website, you need to select the option “card duplicate after theft or loss”.
With the application, you can get an appointment and bring all the required documents, which we will see now.
Required documents to get a duplicate of your card
During the day of the appointment, you will need to bring with you the following documents in order to get a duplicate of your lost of stolen TIE:
How long does it take to get the duplicate?
After you have submitted all the required documents, it takes a maximum of 40 days for the immigration office to send you your duplicate NIE/residency card.
Furthermore, bear in mind that you just have 30 days to request the duplicate after the moment in which you lost or got the NIE stolen.
But 40 days can be too much time depending on your particular situation. Which posses the next question.
Can I leave Spain if my NIE has been stolen or lost?
What happens if I lost my NIE and I have a trip planned in the upcoming days or weeks? Can I leave Spain?
As for leaving the country, you wouldn’t find any problem. That can be done without your residency card.
Trouble comes when trying to come back, as if you don’t have your NIE/TIE with you during the border control, you won’t be allowed to enter the country.
So what should you do?
After the loss of theft, immediately request a duplicate of your card in any immigration office.
This will allow you to register your fingerprints on a new card. Then, you will get a document that certifies that your card is being processed.
With that proof, you can request an authorization to come back to Spain.
With the return authorization you are allowed to enter Spain, along with your passport. And, during those periods of the year in which the authorization to come back is not required (like during summer), you will have the document that justifies that your card is being produced.
So our advice for you is to act fast; especially during summer. Why? Because the appointments for the return authorization experience important delays.
Get legal assistance
This has been the whole process to get a duplicate NIE. It’s the road map you will need to follow if you lose or get your residency card or TIE stolen.
Nevertheless, if you still have any questions or would like to get help from one of our lawyers, do not hesitate to contact us!