How to get an autorización de regreso


For many people living in Barcelona, the autorización de regreso is a crucial document that they need to obtain before they travel. Yet, for something so important, there’s so little official information out there. 

To make matters worse, it’s seemingly really hard to get hold of!

Well, fear not. We’re here to give you the lowdown on all you need to know about the ‘regreso’, from what it actually is and when you’ll even need one to how to go about obtaining this all-important document.

What is an autorización de regreso?

The autorización de regresowhich translates as the ‘return authorisation’ in English – is a document that entitles you to leave Spain and get back into the country again. It’s like a government approved note that says you’re entitled to be in the country.

The regreso contains the following pieces of info:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Passport number 
  • Identify number (TIE or NIE)
  • Date and location of the issuance of the TIE or NIE
  • Expiry date of the regreso
  • Date and location of issuance of the regreso

Keep in mind, the regreso is only valid for 90 days from the date of issue.

When is it necessary to have an autorización de regreso 

A regreso essentially acts as a stopgap for other documents. You’ll need one if:

  • Your NIE/TIE application has been approved but you’re waiting to collect it
  • You’ve lost your NIE or TIE and are waiting for a replacement
  • You’re in the process of renewing or extending your stay in Spain

How do you get a regreso?

First off, you need to make an appointment (sigh).  

Yep, making an appointment for any kind of administration in Spain can be a nightmare. If you’re waiting on picking up your NIE or TIE, you’ll most likely already be aware of this. Still, in order to pick up your regreso, it’s a necessary part of the process. 

Here’s our insider tip… apply for an appointment at 8:00am sharp each day until you get one. It’s the time when the appointments are released each day and is your best bet at getting one.

So, here’s how to apply for a regreso appointment:

  1. Go to the official foreign office website.
  2. Select Barcelona (or the relevant city).
  3. Select a comisaría nearest to you, then select Autorización de Regreso from the drop down list. It might not be available at this particular comisaría, in which case keep trying until you find one that offers it. At the moment of writing, most appointments seem to be available in towns outside of the centre, such as Badalona, L’Hospitalet, Prat de Llobregat, Cornellá, Castelldefels and Santa Coloma.
  4. Enter your NIE/TIE or passport number and your full name.
  5. Click solicitar cita.
  6. You’ll either be met with the dreaded “no hay citas disponibles” (there are no appointments available), or you’ll be one of the lucky few. In which case, nab that appointment before it goes! 

Documents you need to bring to your appointment

Once you’ve got your appointment, make a note of the time and date of the appointment and the confirmation code (it should be sent to your email or phone, but note it down just in case).

Here are the key documents you’ll need to bring to your autorización de regreso appointment:

  • Fill out and bring two copies of the EX-13 form. We help TEFL Iberia students fill this out. 
  • You’ll also need to fill out the tax form Tasa 790-012 tax form. Here’s a guide on how to fill it out, although, if you’re a TEFL Iberia student, we can help you with this form. You’ll need to take this to a bank and pay a small fee. We guide TEFL Iberia students through this process.
  • Bring your passport and a photocopy of the first two ID pages.
  • Original ID documents (NIE or TIE if you’re applying for extension or renewal) or the ‘resguardo’ (receipt) showing that the application is being processed.
  • Flight tickets.

When will I get my regresso?

If your forms are filled out correctly and you bring the correct documents to your appointment, you should be given your regresso de autorización on the spot. At the most, you might have to wait a few days.

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