But, because your student visa is good for only three months—and because you’re supposed to be working for eight—you need to apply for an NIE (número de identificación de extranjero), a foreigner’s identification number, and get the corresponding TIE (tarjeta de identificación de extranjero), a foreigner’s identification card. This will make your stay in Spain valid for around a year after arrival. Sweet! So, how can you get one?
|My provisional foreigner’s card (TIE) with my number on it (NIE)|
As I’m teaching in a town in the province of Jaén (northeast corner of Andalucía), I had to go to Jaén capital to get the NIE. I made an appointment online for the earliest date possible, and my bilingual coordinator, Pedro, went with me to the foreigner’s office. We waited in line, took a number, and sat and waited some more. When we went into the room with police officers, I told the officer at my assigned desk that I wanted to apply for an NIE and showed him my placement letter and special letter from the regional government in Sevilla. Pedro also explained what I was doing in the country.
|Foreigner’s office, Jaén|
Now, how did I prepare for all that? Well, Pedro and the headmaster at my school helped me out a lot, so my first advice is to ask your school for help. They have probably had many language assistants in the past and know the drill. They happened to have a document directing us to make an appointment at this website.
So, go to that link, select “Jaén” under “Provincias Disponibles” and then select “Expedición de Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (Huella).” Then, make sure to enter in your passport and personal information before selecting an appointment date.
What to bring with you* your passport
* copies of all the pages of your passport
* 2 color ID photos on a white background in carnet size (they have cookie-cutter-style trimmers if your photos are too big)
* application form EX-17 (assuming you’re not an EU citizen)
* your placement letter (carta de nombramiento)
* letter from the regional education department (Consejería de Educación) saying the same thing as the placement letter but basically begging the police to process your application ASAP
* confirmation sheet for your appointment
* your health insurance card (tarjeta sanitaria europea) or proof that you applied for it (I had a sheet called Anexo I)
What to do at the office
|Subdelegación del Gobierno, Jaén|
The entrance to the foreigner’s office (oficina de extranjería) is on the north side of the building, facing the Calle Cruz Roja Española.
Inside, wait in line at the front desk to explain why you’re there to get a number (turno), and then wait until it’s called. Go to the table called, present all your documents, and if all goes smoothly, the police officer will give you a payment form. Take that with you to the La Caixa bank across the street and pay the fee (tasa) of €15—Código 012, Modelo 790—come back to get the provisional card, and you’re good to go! (Some days La Caixa doesn’t process such requests, so try the Unicaja to the south like I did.)
You’re supposed to come back in a month and a half to pick up the card (TIE), but…they didn’t ask for my email or phone number so I guess I just…show up? More posts to come, for sure.
The only problem is that it expires on May 31, 2013, the last day of the program; my plane back home leaves Madrid in the middle of June and I am planning on walking part of the Camino de Santiago in between the last day of school and that flight. Travel blogger Liz Carlson had a horrendous experience trying to get her card renewed when she changed regions for her second year in the program, so I hope things go a little more smoothly for me. But…that’s a problem to worry about another day!
If you have any questions post below—or if your experience was different, please, do tell!