For foreign students with a soon-to-be-expired NIE (numero de identidad extranjero), you’ve come to the right place. This is an article about how to renew your NIE in Barcelona, Spain. You might notice that I’ve written previous articles in order to help others with this process, including how to apply for the NIE/TIE, where to pick up your NIE when issued for the first time, and for Americans I wrote about how to apply for the Spanish student visa in Chicago.
I hope this information, current from July, 2015, will be useful to you.
If you understand Spanish, the entire process is spelled out for you on the official website of the Spanish government: Prórroga de autorización de estancia por estudios, intercambio de alumnos, prácticas no laborales o servicios de voluntariado.
Required documents to renew your NIE
There are 7 items of documentation to take with to renew your NIE:
- Fill out and print the official application for the NIE renewal
- Proof of funds
- Health insurance
- Proof of continuing activity
- Proof of grades
- Paid 16,81€
I will elaborate on a few of these items.
Proof of funds
You need to have money in the bank. I could not find current information on this so we called the office. According to them, your funds in a Spanish bank account should reach the following thresholds depending on how many months you hope to renew the NIE for:
- 6 months- 1598€
- 8 months – 2130€
- 9 months – 2396€
- 10 months – 2661€
If you’re wondering, yes, you can stay for 7 months, I just didn’t ask for that amount for one reason or another.
You are also required to show a bank statement that includes the transactions from the last 6 months. I’ve read that depending on how much money you have in the bank, you should have regular incoming funds surpassing 532,5€ per month.
They also mentioned that I would be able to use bank statements from my United States account. It’s best to have funds locally, but it couldn’t hurt to support your claim of financial independence with several sources.
You need to show that you have health insurance for the year. I had a health insurance plan from August of 2014, but now that the year is ending, I would not be able to use the same proof of insurance, even though a month is left on the plan. There are three options I considered:
- Renew my health insurance, which is a traveler’s insurance basic plan with repatriation that costs around $400 per year
- Use a health insurance through the Universitat de Barcelona that would cost me 80€ (didn’t bother looking for a link, sorry folks)
- Get the Spanish national health insurance through social security
Since I work in Barcelona as a student, I was able to “darme de alta”, or register, in Spain’s social security program. I didn’t write a post about how to register in the social security program because it was really intuitive. Once I had the paper that confirmed my registry in the social security (as in, I have a SS number), I took this paper to a social security office in a hospital in Sants and very quickly had another paper that confirmed that I was now enrolled in the social security health insurance policy. This was free to do.
This confirmation paper is necessary to renew your NIE if you opt for the Spanish social security health policy. BUT THIS PAPER IS NOT SUFFICIENT. It merely says that it allows you to apply at a “Centro de Salud” for your health card. You need to use the Centro de Salud in the municipality where you are registered as living. Take your empadronamiento with you, and your NIE. In my case, I used only my passport with my expired NIE, but they didn’t notice that it was expired. They said I’d be mailed the health card in 1-2 months. This card or the sheet they give you is what you need to prove you have insurance.
Proof of continuing activity
It’s assumed that you’re renewing your NIE for a reason. Unfortunately this reason has to be backed up by officialdom.
I’m a student at the University of Barcelona. I went into my department’s office and asked for an official, stamped, signed letter that ensured the reader of my continuing studies. In this case, I would be enrolled in the internship and final project components of the masters program.
It’s important that the letter includes your name and NIE #, and uses the phrase “(your name) está admitido en firme,” which basically says that you’re enrolled.
Proof of grades
If you’re renewing your NIE, it means you’ve been undertaking courses. You need to show the grades that you have received thus far in order to establish that you really are completing the activity that you require the renewal for.
I went to the online campus of my university and printed out my grades from the first semester, and the (incomplete) grades from the second.
You need to have already paid the fee for renewing your NIE. This means that you need document 052 for NIE renewal. MAke sure to choose the appropriate option at the bottom. If you’re a student renewing your NIE in BCN, then you’d select “Prórroga de la autorización de estancia por estudios, movilidad de alumnos, prácticas no laborales o servicios de voluntariado“.
Print out the form, go to a bank (I used Santander because I have an account there), pay the tasa, and make sure they stamp the form, which you’ll take to your appointment.
Process for renewing the NIE
The renewal process is much simpler than applying for the NIE in Barcelona.
An appointment is not required, but it is recommended. Here is a list of where to renew the NIE in Catalunya.
The website recommends that you begin the process of renewing your NIE no sooner than 60 days before it expires. I began the process 2 weeks before my NIE’s expiration date.
There are several places where you can go to do this, I think. But, I believe that there are only two locations that you can use in Barcelona for renewing your NIE if you go without making an appointment. I went to the office on Carrer Bergara 12, near Plaza Catalunya:
Note that if you use a place that does not require an appointment, as I did, you are basically using a satellite service. They scan all the above-mentioned documents and send them to the department of extranjeria. It might, therefore, be in your best interest to make an appointment and do this process at Rambla Guipuscoa.
When you present your papers, they will give you a small temporary document (which is just a printed stamp on your original NIE renovation application) that states that you are still legally in Spain, and that the NIE renovation is ongoing. It should not take longer than 3 months to inform you of the decision to renew.
Once you are informed, or within the month after soliciting the new NIE, you will have to go to a police headquarters to get your renewed NIE printed on a brand-new TIE (tarjeta de identidad). The process for picking up your NIE/TIE is through this link, which is the same as the first time you did it.
UPDATE: If you are planning on leaving Spain while your NIE is being processed, you need to get a permit to return. Read my post on what you need to leave Spain while your NIE is being processed.
It’s a short process for a long wait.
If you have advice, differences, comments, experiences to share with anyone who might be in the same boat as we have been, please do use the comment section below. This is a resource and anything you bring to it may be of value for someone else.