I hope you asked Google this question and found this article because of it. The short answer is that you can leave Spain while your NIE renewal is being processed, but you need a permit to return, which in Spanish is called the Autorizacion de Regreso. Here’s all the information in Spanish about getting the Spain return permit.
I’ll elaborate in English.
Yes, you need an appointment
Make an appointment at least 3-4 weeks before you’re planning on leaving. I tried to get an appointment before the 3rd of August on the 20th of July, and appointments were only open from the 5th of August. I took the appointment on the 5th, got all my documents and arrived incredibly early at the place on the 20th of July in order to plead my case. They turned me away, saying that I ought to return just a few days before the flight. “Everyone travels in July and August that’s why there’s no appointment available,” said the lady. Well fuck, you’d think they could open some more slots to compensate for the season.
Well I returned again. The lady recognized me but again I’d have to wait until all those with an appointment that day went first, and it was unlikely there’d be a spot as there was only one official dealing with the Autorizacion de Regreso.
So she made a special case, and on my appointment paper (which was for the next Friday), she wrote a new time for an appointment the morning of my flight, and stamped it. Special treatment for recognizing me, I suppose. Save yourself this trouble and make that appointment a month in advance!
Things you need for the return permit
Here are the things to take to the appointment autorizacion de regreso:
- Pay the fee
- Prepare application form
- Copy of passport
- Copy of the NIE renovation document
- Print out of your itinerary
- Print out of appointment confirmation
Pay the fee
To pay the 11.30€ fee, you need to fill out for EX13, and make sure to choose “Autorizacion de Regreso” at the bottom. Print this out. Take it to a La Caixa, or another bank that accepts such payments, like Santander. You’ll pay the fee in cash or direct account withdraw if you have an account at the bank where you make the payment. They’ll stamp the form as paid.
Prepare application form
You need to download and fill out the official application form for the autorizacion de regreso. Easy peasy, Japaneasy.
Copy of the NIE renovation document
When you went to renew your NIE in Barcelona, they gave you that process’ application form back with a printed stamp that indicates the process is underway. If you want to leave Spain but your NIE is still being processed, you’ll need to make a copy of this and take it to the appointment for the autorizacion de regreso.
Print out of your itinerary
If you have an itinerary, like a plane ticket, this needs to be printed out as proof that you’re leaving the country and returning within the 90 days that the autorizacion de regreso is valid.
Print out of appointment confirmation
There’s no information that I could find that says this is required, but it definitely helps the people at the police station, so it’ll help you too if you have it.
Where to get the autorizacion de regreso
You need to go to the Policia Nacional at Rambla de Guipúscoa, 74, 08020 Barcelona:
That’s all you need to know!
UPDATE: I have returned to Spain from Morocco with the Autorizacion de Regreso, but I never needed to show it to immigration. I purposely kept my mouth shut and handed only my passport to the officer in order to see if the autorizacion was really that necessary for an American traveler. Apparently, it’s not. He stamped my passport, and voila. If you are a passport holder from Latin America or anywhere other than a “developed” country, I highly recommend that you get the autorizacion de regreso. Everyone should probably get it, but I just wanted to share my experience so that you know that it’s possible to forego.
This is the Velabas travel blog. I write about useful information. In this series, you’ll find information about Barcelona, including how to apply for the NIE in Barcelona, how to work in Barcelona on a student visa, and the difference between Spanish and Catalan. Apart from useful information, I also create insightful articles. Elsewhere on the website you will also find travel comics and narrative travel stories.