The New Residency (Residencia) Card
It is true that the new certificate is now being issued to replace the old Residencia, at the insistence of Brussels. It is to be carried with the national ID or passport of your country of origin. It will show your name and the NIE that you were issued with. I suppose this last bit, as I still have not got my copy yet.
So far, I have been to Extranjería in Alicante where, after waiting over 2 hours for my turn, I was pleasantly informed that I did not need to go there at all now. (Question: Why didn’t the guy at the info desk at the entrance tell me there and then, or at least give me a photocopy info sheet or something?) They explained that I was to go to any Comisería of the National Police.
So, I went off to Elche, thinking that Alicante would probably be full to overflowing, and anyway I live nearer to Elche. There, I was given two forms to fill out at my leisure at home. Both were simple. One was to make the payment of 6.70€ at any bank, Caja de Ahorros, etc. The other was to fill with my name, address, issued NIE and passport numbers.
Today, I went to the Comisería at 9.00am only to be told that the numbers normally run out before 8.00. “Please would I return on Monday at an earlier time.” So it seems that the horrendous queues which have been the subject of numerous denouncements at Brussels have simply been transferred to the Comiserías.
I will let you know how I get on.
Meanwhile, I think we can feel safe in the knowledge that, carrying an old Residencia plus passport is OK as it is legal enough for the moment. I have always maintained this position, refusing to renew my Residencia as it had been denounced as illegal under European Law. This point has been bourne out as I have done all the following things with an out of date residencia plus passport: Got married, got a job, opened a bank account, got a mortgage, bought a house, bought and sold more than one car, hired a car, and more things besides. All along the line people have admonished me because “You really should get the residencia up to date you know” in both Spanish and English. But everyone knew, that in reality, they could not insist as European Law was on my side.
Well, I arrived at the Comisería at just before 6.00 am and hunted through the crowd already there to find someone who was keeping track of arrival order in note pad.
At about 7.45 a policeman came out and took the list and started to put us in an orderly queue. I’m sure you can imagine how easy that was. ha ha. Finally, after a lot of cajoling, shouting, joking, and storming off in a temper, we were in a queue more or less corresponding to the list.
At 8.00 another policeman came out and started to hand out numbers to the 3 queues. First to the renew DNI queue, then to the Passport queue, and finally whatever was left to our queue. I was number 59. After giving number 60 to the person next behind me the Policeman shouted “That’s it. Everyone else can come back tomorrow”. He was adamant. The person behind me was in fact one half of a couple. So they had to come back also as the policeman refused to give out number 61.
At about 1.30, my turn came. It took about 2 minutes. The nice lady behind the desk took my two forms and my passport. She didn’t ask for any photocopies (even though, as a result of hard earned experience, I was carrying two photocopies of everything I could think of!) And she printed and stamped a form that says, (in Spanish, of course) :
CERTIFICADO DE REGISTRO DE CIUDADANO DE LA UNIÓN
Note: This document is not valid to confirm the identity nor the nationality of the holder
The Chief Registrar of the Central Registry of Foreigners in the Comisería of (the town where you are) Certifies:
That according to (the relevant Spanish law) the below named person has requested and received his inscription in the official registry of the Guardia Civil as a community resident living in Spain on a permanent basis since (first date of your NIE)
There then follows your personal details: name, address, nationality and your NIE.
You keep a copy of this with your passport or other national ID, and keep the original in a safe place at home. And that’s IT!! No renewals (except for your own national ID).
Don’t forget that in Spain it is illegal to be out and about indocumentado This means that, just as the Spanish always carry their DNI, you must carry your national ID plus copy of this certificate. You can be fined on the spot for being indocumentado.
Last updated 15 03 2011