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So you are in Barcelona and can’t wait to see Gaudi masterpieces, sip vermouth on sunny terraces and, of course, learn some Spanish.

In the Mediterranean sea of pleasure don’t forget that there is a sea of red tape for you to overcome. In future it will help you to prolong your pleasure of staying in Barcelona along with a student visa.

In order to get your student card (TIE) you will need to be registered where you live.

It is called “empadronamiento” or “padrón”.

To get registered you need to go to your local office or central district office. In good old days you could just drop by the office on your way to a language school, while now you have to get an appointment in advance.

  • Go to a website of  the City Council (Ayuntamiento)
  • Click “Solicitud de una cita” and fill out the form that shows up on the screen
  • Select from a drop down menu “Padro gestións” in the field “Tema” and “Alta padró” in the field “Subtema”
  • As you decide on a day when you are ready to spend hours queuing in a noisy establishment, select time and the office
  • Then make sure that data you’ve inserted is correct so you avoid going there twice

On the day of your appointment you will need the following documents:

  1. Proof of identification: Passport/DNI/NIE/residence card, etc (photocopy and original)
  2. Proof of address:
  • If you are a tenant, a rental contract obviously stating your name and ID details
  • If you are an owner, proof of property ownership

3. Proof of appointment itself

Important! If you concluded your rental contract more than one year ago, you need to bring along 2 last electricity bills that you paid.

But what if you haven’t got any rental contract, but a good friend who doesn’t mind registering you at his/her place.In this case her/his presence in the municipal office is a must.

So what documents are needed for empadronamiento if you don’t have a contract yourself:

  • A rental contract of your friend
  • Your and you friend’s proof of identification (Passport/DNI/NIE/residence card, etc (photocopy and original).

In case your friend is the owner of property, instead of rental contract you will need documents proving this ownership.

There is no point of worrying for your friend that you will turn out to be a sneaky fraud, since this registration gives you no right for the property, and you he/she unregister you any moment.

Empadronamiento in Barcelona is the first step towards TIE. How to proceed and what to do next you can read here.