So, your papers have expired and are currently in the process of renewing. Maybe you’ve got some time off work, or the school semester is finished and you want to travel outside of Spain to explore the many beautiful countries of Europe. Maybe you want to leave Europe altogether for a few weeks. Whatever the case, you desire to travel while your papers are expired. Even if your papers are going through the renewal process travelling can be tricky – unless you have what is called an Autorización de Regreso.
What is it?
An Autorización de Regreso is a piece of paper that essentially allows you to travel and return to Spain while your papers are still renewing. The document is only valid for 1 return to Spain. So, if you plan to travel back and forth multiple times (outside of Spain) while you are waiting for your papers to renew, you will need to apply multiple times for the Autorización de Regreso. In addition, this document is only valid for a period of 90 days from the date in which it was issued. Meaning, if you still haven’t received your new NIE/TIE within 3 months and you have plans to travel, you will need to re-apply for another Autorización de Regreso.
Do I need it when travelling within Europe?
This is where things get hazy. Most people will tell you no, that this document is only necessary if you plan on leaving the Shengen Zone. This is ill advice. Some more strict EU countries might want to check your passport and NIE and might not approve of you entering their countries on expired papers. This means that they might want to see additional proof that you are here legally and that you have permission to leave and travel outside of Spain in your current legal status – this is where the Regreso will help you. If you are leaving the EU you will absolutely need this document!
In most cases border controls and airport security between European nations won’t ask you to present the Regreso, but please, don’t take the risk! Take it from me – I was stopped 3 times while travelling through Austria, Hungary and Croatia this year and would not have been able to continue my vacation if it weren’t for the Regreso!
How do I get it?
As I like to say, take a deep breath and find your inner patience! Follow the steps below and you should have your Regreso in no time!
1) Make an appointment at los Poblados, Madrid – The same locaton where you originally applied for your NIE.
- Select ‘Madrid’ & ‘Autorizaciones de Regreso’
- Fill in all required information
- Click ‘Solicitar Cita’ to choose an appointment date
- if the only available dates for an appointment are AFTER your departure date, dont freak out! Make the appointment anyway and go to los Poblados 3 days prior to your flight with the appointment sheet and proof that your flight leaves before the date of your appointment. They will let you in!
- Print out the appointment sheet
2) Complete the EX-13 form
3) Pay the tax
- This form will not be accepted if you download it from the internet. Pick up the 012 (790) tax form at the police station – the most reliable police stations are the largers ones like Sol Metro and Atocha.
*If they dont stamp your Regreso upon your return to Spain then you can use it again as it technically has not been used!*
Please keep in mind that rules and regulations of the Autorización de Regreso are subject to change. This post has been written from my personal experience. It is important to thoroughly look into this topic as it applies to you!
Your friendly neighbourhood travel guide,