Once your residency application has been approved, you will be very close to finally obtaining your physical residency card. But there is just one last step left: registering your fingerprints at the immigration office to get your NIE.
In this article you are about to learn how the process works step by step, the specific requirements you will have to meet, how to get your appointment (and when should you do it), plus what documents you must bring then.
When should you register your fingerprints?
Generally speaking, registering your fingerprints is the last step in the process to get your TIE (erroneously called NIE) or residency card.
That is, when you submit your application for residency in Spain (either for your initial residency authorization or for NIE renewal), you will have to visit the immigration office to get your fingerprints registered so that they can finally issue your physical card (associated to those fingerprints), the card that will be your identity document in the country.
But more specifically, when exactly do you start with this final step?
After submitting your application and after the administration has reviewed all your documents, you will receive a notification containing all details with your positive resolution. In other words, your file has been approved.
Then, on the administration’s online platform where you have been reviewing the status of your file, you will see your assigned NIE with the rest of your personal data, as well as the resolution date (this date is important).
Depending on the process you are going through and the autonomous community you are in, this online information will be enough to make an appointment at the immigration office and get fingerprinted (simply presenting a screenshot of that resolution).
But in some cases, this will not be enough: you will have to wait for a letter from the immigration office to arrive at your home address with the confirmation.
When will this letter arrive?
From the resolution date you can see online, you can expect the letter to arrive at your home address within 15-20 days.
If it does not arrive within 15 days after the established date, you will have to request a duplicate of the letter at the immigration office; as we mentioned, certain procedures require it in order to carry out the fingerprinting procedure.
However, others such as the long-run TIE or the community card do not, and the online resolution would be more than enough.
Do you have any doubts? Ask our immigration lawyers or read on for more information:
Where should you do it?
Once you have your favorable resolution, you must register your fingerprints in order to apply for the issuance of your physical residency card.
The process is very simple, and consists of three separate steps:
- First, you will have to make an appointment online
- On the day of the appointment, you will have to present all the required documents (see list below)
- At that moment, the production of your card will be requested, and days later you will have to come back to pick it up
This whole process will take place at the nearest immigration office or police station that corresponds to your current addressss, more precisely at the foreigners’ documentation brigade of the national police.
How to make an appointment for NIE fingerprints?
Any of the available offices will be valid. Make sure you enter your details (email and telephone) correctly, as this is where you will receive all further notifications.
What documents do I need to bring to register my fingerprints?
On the day of your appointment, you must bring the following documents with you:
2-3 updated passport format photos( i.e., in color with white background and facing front)
Form EX-17 (the general application form for the issuance of all residency cards), and a copy of it fully completed. You can download this form here.
Original passport, which must be valid (and a complete copy).
Original residency card (in case of renewal).
Copy/screenshot of the positive resolution granting your residency in the country (depending on the case, the online resolution will be enough, in other cases you must also provide the confirmation letter)
Census registration (both for initial applications and for renewals if you have changed your address)
Fee 790-012. The exact amount to be paid will vary depending on the residency you apply for. You will need to fill out the fee online, download it to your computer, and then pay it at any bank.
Copy of the appointment confirmation
On the other hand, there are two special cases that require accompaniment:
- If the applicant is under 18, she must be accompanied by her documented legal representative (father, mother, or guardian).
- In the case of a family reunification card, the applicant must be accompanied by the family member who was already in Spain with her original card
Can I register my fingerprints without having the official resolution?
Many foreigners discover, either after receiving via sms or by consulting the online platform, that their application has been approved; but they have not yet received the official resolution at home.
Many of them wonder if by simply taking a screenshot of that resolution they can register their fingerprints.
And the truth is that in most cases it is totally possible.
There are many national police offices that can verify internally in their systems that the file has been approved, and therefore that screenshot could be enough.
To be 100% sure, you can call before going to confirm it, asking if they would admit such proof to start the process.
However, taking the fingerprint without a resolution may entail certain risks.
Suppose, for example, that the residency card you receive is for a shorter duration than the one you applied for and have been granted. In that case, with the resolution in hand, you can file an appeal.
But, if you do not have it, it would not be possible.
How long does the NIE take after the fingerprints are registered?
Once your fingerprints have been registered, you will be given a receipt confirming that you have successfully completed the process.
In this case, the process does not work like the DNI application, which is issued on the spot.
For the residence card, it is necessary to wait a few days while it is being manufactured at the “Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre”.
How long does it take?
Approximately 30-40 days.
On the day of the fingerprinting, the public workers will specify from which day you can start asking for your second appointment (which will take place at the same immigration office where you had your fingerprints taken).
By then, make sure to keep the receipt and bring it with you on the day of the collection, and the card will finally be yours!
Nevertheless, bear in mind that it is completely possible to start working with your resolution, and you don’t need to wait until obtaining your physical card for that.
Remember that if you need help from our lawyers to formalize your procedure smoothly and as quickly as possible, we are at your complete disposal: