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What is a “tarjeta de autorización de estancia por estudios” and do I need one?

EVERYONE, whether from the EU or not, who is living in Barcelona for longer than 3 months, is required by law to register with the local town council. This is called empadronamiento and is an easy process to carry out.


Students who will be in Spain for more than 3 months are required to obtain a Certificado de registro de residente comunitario (Certificate of registration of a resident of the European Community) within 1 month upon arrival in Barcelona. The documentation you are required to provide is:

  • Passport or national identity + copy
  • Completed EX-16 application form + copy
  • Letter of acceptance from Harbour.Space
  • Present your documentation at the address below. You will be given another form to fill out, take to a bank and pay the fees (about €7). You will receive the certificate the same day.
  • Comisaría de Policía de Barceloneta Pg. Joan de Borbó, 32, 08003 Barcelona, +34 93 224 06 10. Open: Monday – Friday 9am to 2pm.

Important: At all times everyone is required to carry identification on them. In the case of EU citizens, this means your passport or national ID card, as well as your Certificate of Registration.

In order to be able to do an internship in Spain, you MUST have a NIE number (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) which is included in the Certificado de Registro de Residente Comunitario.


If your stay is for longer than 180 days, you need a D student visa. Within a month upon arriving in Barcelona, you are required to apply for a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (Identity Card for Foreigners, commonly known as Student Residence Card), which is valid for one year and is renewable. The documentation that you will be asked to present is:

  • Completed application form + copy
  • Passport (with visa) + copy
  • 3 colour passport-sized photos
  • Document supporting reason for application (Harbour.Space degree registration document)
  • Proof of financial means
  • Certificate of Empadronamiento (civil registry)
  • Payment of fees
  • Dirección General de la Policía
  • Oficina de Extranjeros c/Guadalajara 1-3 08006 Barcelona +34 93 415 97 69. Open: Monday – Thursday 9 am to 5:30 pm. Friday 9 am to 2 pm.

Students need to renew their Student Card each year. This cannot be done more than 60 days before the expiration date, or later than one month before your ID Card expires. The required documentation is similar to that required for the initial application, but the letter from Harbour.Space should include information regarding your good standing at school. For further information, consult the Spanish Ministerio del Interior website.

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