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Procedure for obtaining a student residence card
Applicable regulations
Studying temporarily
Useful addresses
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Oficina de Mobilitat i
Programes Internacionals
Pavelló Rosa
(Recinte de la Maternitat)

Travessera de les Corts 131-159
08028 Barcelona
Telèfon: 93 403 55 62
Fax: 93 403 53 87
Correo electrónico: nie@ub.edu


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Students and Researchers

To be able to remain legally in Spain you will need to obtain a legal permit to stay as a student (TIE) This document allows you to live in Spain during your period of study, and also allows you to travel throughout the European Union and in countries that have signed agreements with Spain or the European Union for the free movement of persons.  

Who must apply for the legal permit to stay as a student?

Anyone who wishes to study in Spain and is not a national of any European Union country (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,  Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden) or the United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, and wishes to stay six months or more.

How can I obtain the card?

There are two ways:

1. From your country of origin or place of legal residence:

Before coming to Spain, apply for a "study visa" at the Spanish consulate in your country of origin or place of legal residence. You will have to provide documentation showing proof of your acceptance into a study programme. Look up the nearest consulate on the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Portal/en/ServiciosAlCiudadano/Paginas/EmbajadasConsulados.aspx

When you apply, it is very important to choose the study visa type D. Any other type of visa will not allow you to obtain a student card (TIE). Once you arrive in Spain, you must visit the police station within 30 days to apply for your student card (TIE). 


If your studies in Barcelona will be for a duration of 6 months or less, it is possible that the Spanish embassy will issue a study visa with the following observation " TOTAL STUDIES 180 DAYS". This type of visa can be extended without having to return to your country of origin to apply for another visa.

Applications for extension should be made at the Immigration Office (Passeig Sant Joan, 189, Table 7 - 08037 Barcelona) if you are studying in Barcelona, no appointment needed. In addition to meeting the standard requirements for student renewal, you will also have to present criminal records checks from the countries in which you have been living in the last 5 years. These documents must be legalized and translated into Spanish or Catalan.

Application Form
Police station map

2. From within Spain:

If you are already in Spain as a legitimate visitor (as a tourist, for example), you can apply for a study permit (Autorización de estancia por estudios) without having to first obtain a separate visa. This application must be made at least one month before the expiration date of the current authorization permitting you to stay in Spain.

  • Procedure:

1. Online:

- by digital certificate through the MERCURIO platform: https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/pagina/index/directorio/renovacion_telematica_extranjeria

- by digital certificatethrough an official registration website: https://rec.redsara.es/registro/action/are/acceso.do

2. In person :

- at the General Registry of the Government Delegation in Catalonia:
Bergara Street, 12
Visiting hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m.- 5.30 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Summer hours: (June 16 - September 15) Monday to Friday 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.,
Saturdays 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

- at the Auxiliary Register No. 1 of the Government Sub-delegation in Barcelona:
Mallorca Street, 278
Visiting hours: Monday to Friday 9 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

- at a Post Office (Correos), in an unsealed envelope addressed to the Immigration Office in Barcelona (Bergara Street, 12 Barcelona)..

NOTE: With regard to any of these procedures, the University of Barcelona's Office of Mobility and International Programs (OMPI) can provide information, advice and assistance with the presentation of documents. Nevertheless, it cannot send applications or documents to the Immigration Office; these must be submitted directly by the student using one of the means described above.


Further Information

Once you study permit has been granted, you must apply for a student card (TIE) at the Police Station.

European Mobility

There are two ways:

1. For foreign students admitted to another EU Member State who will finish or complete part of their studies in Spain:

Non-EU students who are accepted to do all or part of their studies in another European country, may apply to continue their studies in Spain. In this case, you are not required to obtain a visa.

You must apply for a study permit (Autorización de estancia por estudios), either before coming to Spain at the Spanish Consular Office in your place of legal residence, or after entry into Spain at the Immigration Office in Barcelona, within 30 days of arrival. The procedure must be completed in person by the applicant.

Important note: all foreign official documents must be previously legalized and, if necessary, must be translated into Spanish or co-official language of the territory where the application is being made.
Further information here.

2. For foreign students admitted to a multilateral intra-EU mobility programme (e.g., ERASMUS MUNDUS).

For bachelor's or master's students from a Non-EU country coming to study at the UB within a multilateral intra-EU mobility programme between several universities, the Office of Mobility and International Programs (OMPI) will be responsible for processing the communication of mobility to the Barcelona Sub-delegation of the Government.

This procedure can be completed before coming to Barcelona or, at the latest, within one month of your arrival in Spain.

Master's students must contact the Secretary of their course; ERASMUS + students should go to the International Relations Offices at their Faculty: http://www.ub.edu/uri/comu/professo.htm

What about European Union Citizens?

If you are a citizen of a European Union country (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden) or of Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, you are entitled to free movement and residence in Spain.

Notwithstanding the above, all European Union citizens wishing to reside in Spain for a period of time exceeding three months must register at the Central Registry Office for Foreigners in order to be issued a Number Identification as a Foreigner (NIE) .The documentation required is:

  • Application Form (EX18)
  • Passport or ID card (original and copy)
  • Enrolment in the study center (original and copy)
  • European Health Insurance Card or private insurance policy that covers all risks in Spain during the study period (original and copy). In case that the policy has been contracted in their coountry, must also provide the traslation.
  • Statement of Financial Resources that the student has sufficient economic funds during their stay in Spain (Example). Participation in study exchange programs of the European Union is accreditation enough to justify economic funds.

The applicants can make an appointment at the Police Station. Link to get the appointment: https://icp.administracionelectronica.gob.es/icpplus/index.html


From 6 July to 31 December 2020, UK citizens have to process the document change that regulates their legal stay in Spain. From 1 January 2021, UK citizens wishing to come to Spain will need to apply for the corresponding study visa.
Procedure and Documents


Andorran citizens

In accordance with the Agreement between Spain, France and Andorra on the entrance, free movement, residence and settlement of nationals between these countries as drawn up ad referendum in Brussels, December 4, 2002, and as recorded in Spain’s official state gazette the Boletín Oficial del Estado, number 153 of June 27, 2003:

All those Andorran citizens wishing to study in Spain shall require a permit for their period of stay as students and shall be bound by such regulations as are applicable to foreign nationals in Spain

This permit shall be valid for a period of one year and may be renewed, should applicants continue their course of study, for a period of one year.

Application form
Procedure and documents


How long is the card valid for?

The card is valid for one year from the date of issue and can be renewed if you continue your studies.

How do I renew my card?

You should come to our office before it expires. You can renew your card up to 60 days before the expiry date.


Application Form
Procedure and documents


What happens if I need to travel abroad and my card has expired?

If you have to leave the country and your card has expired or is being renewed, you can apply for authorization to be able to re-enter the country. This authorization allows you to leave and re-enter the country within 90 days. You can apply for this authorization directly at the Police Station. Link to get the appointment:https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/pagina/index/directorio/icpplus

Application Form
Procedure and documents


Does my Student Card entitle me to work?

If during your stay you have to do practicals as part of your curriculum, and they are part of a cooperation agreement between a company and the UB, you will not need to apply for a work permit.

However, if you wish to study and work at the same time, you will need a work permit. You should bear in mind the following points:

  You should sign a part-time contract; work hours cannot interfere with your class hours.
  Full-time contracts cannot extend beyond three months or interfere with university terms.
  Work permits will be valid for the same duration as the contract and cannot extend beyond the period during which you are authorized to study.
Procedure and Application Form


Exchanging a Sudent Permit for a full residence and Work Permit

The new legislation relating to foreigners means that foreign students or researchers who have had a student residence card for at least three years and who have not received any scholarships nor subsidies from any public or private organizations as part of cooperation or development agreements in their home country may now exchange their student residence permit for a full residence and work permit. The application for this exchange can be submitted during the three months previous to the expiry date of the study permit at any Social Security or Generalitat de Catalunya registry office.
Employment seeking residence permit

The Job Seeking visa, or Employment seeking residence permit, is an authorization based in Spain that would allow you to access a job suitable to your field and level of studies or, if you deem it possible, to create a start-up once you have finished your official high-level studies.

This is a non-lucrative residence permit which means that you will not be able to work with it. Once you have found a job, it would be the company itself who process the visa change from Job Seeking Visa to Worker Visa.

Application period: You can request for the visa between 60 days before and 90 days after the aforementioned expiration date. The application, within the allotted time, extends the valid period of the previous visa until the resolution to the process is given.

The maximum duration of the permit would be 12 months, from which you would not be able to extend after those are done, and it would start counting ever since the expiration date of your previous visa.


  • Be title-holder of a Student Visa.
  • Own a Spanish-based high-level official study diploma (undergrad, official master, doctor's degree). IMPORTANT!! The official study diploma. IMPORTANT!! The Government Sub-delegation in Barcelona doesn't accept specific master's and postgraduate degrees
  • Medical insurance that would cover the duration of your stay
  • Own enough economic means forthe duration of your stay
Applicable regulations

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Última actualització o validació: 17.11.2021
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