Student immigration: The basics


Status update

  • Terminology

    • NIE: Número de Identidad de Extranjero. Number associated to you individually.

    • TIE: Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero. Physical Identification card that contains the NIE.

    • DNI: “Documento Nacional de Identidad” Spanish National Identity Card.

    • Certificado de Registro: Physical Identification card that contains the NIE for European Union Citizens. 

    • Student VISA: Document to travel to Spain as a student.

    Please note that this information is mainly aimed at navigating the Extranjería office in Pamplona. There may be variations between the immigration offices in each of the cities where we have our campuses in Spain (San Sebastian and Madrid).

  • Be diligent about your immigration status!

    We know that applying for the right immigration procedure can be confusing, which is why we have a team dedicated to helping make the process as easy as possible. Please take a look at the information below for some direction.

    • Keep a record of the expiration of your VISA and or TIE.

    • Try to apply for the renewal of your TIE before its expiration.

    • Always keep a scanned copy of your immigration documents accessible.

    • Memorize your NIE.

    • You must have valid immigration status while studying at the University of Navarra.

    For more information please contact us at







The first thing that you should apply before you arrive is your visa. The type of visa that you should apply for depends on the length of stay. All of the visas applied for by students are known as: Visado de Alumno. A visa is a document that is used only in order to enter the country.


Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) - First time application



This document is even more important than the Visa, however you cannot obtain this until you have the 90 day visa. You must apply for this within the first month of arrival and it is imperative that you renew this card annually.

Throughout September, the International Relations Office will collect and coordinate the pick-up of documents and TIE cards. For further information about specific dates and times please check out the document checklist below.

If you are underage at the moment of application for the TIE, you will need to have a “Legal Sponsor” who will be able to cosign for you during this process. Please note that the ideal person for this is your legal guardian.

If you have lost your card or it has been stolen please take a look at the information on the "Lost or stolen TIE" document below. 


Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) - Renewal



If you are going to continue your studies at the University of Navarra beyond one year, you must renew your Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero annually.

  • Renewal Process through a Legal Avisor

    The University has signed an agreement with the Official College of Administrative Managers of Navarra to manage the extensions of the TIE (Foreigner Identification Card). With the payment of the corresponding fee, these professionals will take care of all the management of the renewal of your TIE: application, uploading of documents and management of the physical card. The student will only have to go to the Immigration Office to leave their fingerprints.

    It will not be necessary for the student to obtain a digital certificate.

    To request their services, the student must go to:

    Colegio Oficial de Gestores Administrativos de Navarra
    Avda Pío XII, 2, Planta baja
    Open from 10 to 12h

    Fees range from:

    • TIE Renewal Application + new card                90 Euros

    • Autorización de regreso                                    30 Euros


Certificado de registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea

Certificado de registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea  

The Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea is for students of the European Union who will study in Spain. It must be requested within the first month of your arrival, and it is not necessary to renew this card annually.


Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI)


The DNI is a national identiy card provided to individuals who have Spanish Nationality. For foreign Spanish Nationals, they will have to go and apply for the card in the Police Station. For more information please check the links below.


What can the Extranjería Office do for you?

¿Qué puede hacer la Oficina de Extranjería?  

The Extranjería office in Navarra is where the majority of the immigration documents are processed. If the immigration process that you need is not found on this website, please take a look at the Extranjería´s website to see if they will be able to help you with your particular situation. For more information

If you need to travel before you receive your valid TIE card, you may need the Autorización de Regreso. If you have any questions or concerns about this please contact




  • Visa

    What visa should I apply for?

    • If you are going to be studying at the University of Navarra for one year or more you must apply for a 90 day visa.

    • If you are going to be studying for only a semester you must apply for a 180 day visa.

    Can I come into the country on a tourist visa and then change my legal status to student while in Spain?

    No. You can only apply for foreign student residency in Pamplona if you have a 90 day visa.

    If you come into the country with a travel visa or no visa at all you will have to go back to your home country to apply for one.

    I am a student from the European Union; do I need a visa?

    No. But if you are staying for more than one semester you need to apply for a residency card. 

  • Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) - Primera vez

    What is the NIE?

    The NIE is the “Numero de Identidad Extranjero”. You may find this number on the Student Visa in your Passport, but not always. This number is your identification number in Spain, however it is only half of the identification. To be legally residing in Pamplona you need to apply for the TIE.

    What is the TIE?

    The TIE is the “Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero”. This is the physical identification card.

    Why do I need the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE)?

    You need it as your Identification Card in Spain.

    You need it to:

    • Apply for a Bank account, in most banks.

    • Get a phone / wifi for your apartment.

    • To move around the schengen zone, for some individuals there are other conditions that apply. Please email for specific consultations. 

    How do I apply?

    Click here for further information.

    When do I apply?

    You must apply within the first 30 days of your arrival in Spain. 

    What if I am going home for the holidays but I haven´t received my card yet?

    You must apply for an Autorización de Regreso. Check out the link here.

  • Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) - Renovación

    How long does the residency card last?

    • EU citizens: You do not have to renew it, so long as your conditions do not change

    • Non EU citizens:  You must renew your card every year. It is one full year. So please make sure to renew your card close to the date that it expires. 

    When do I need to renew my card?

    You have 60 days before its expiration and 90 days after it expires to turn in your paperwork to the Extranjería office. 

    I am a student on exchange and I need to renew my residency card, what do I do?

    Make sure to apply to renew your card before you go on your exchange. For more specific case by case questions, please contact

  • Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI)

    Who can apply for this?

    Individuals who have Spanish nationality (with a Spanish Passport).

    What is this?

    This is the definitive Spanish Identification Document for natives.

    If I have a Spanish Passport do I have to have a DNI and a Residency Card?

    No. If you have Spanish nationality you only need to start the DNI process.