Monday, May 26, 2014

Renewing Your TIE in Madrid

It's that time of year already, back to paperwork!

After receiving my new Carta Nombramiento for this coming school year, and yes staying in my same school, I thought I would try take a few (baby) steps on the paper trail.  Per usual, extremely overwhelming.

As my anxiety started to set in on how I would possibly be able to get all of it done in the month before I go back to the USA for a visit, I had to take a step back and organize myself.  Leading me to this current post, as I assume I'm not the only one grasping at straws right now.  Prepare to be informed and simultaneously bored, after all Spain can't always be exciting.
Representation of my current emotions, but not as pretty...or fun
First off, make sure to use ANY resource available: If you're part of the main Madrid auxiliares FB group, look up in the documents section the document "RENEWING NIE in Madrid."  If not, just use this document from the Madrid auxiliares' website: Renovación de la tarjeta TIE, which was just updated today.

The documents that you will need are:

1. Impreso de solicitud en modelo oficial (“Solicitud de autorización de estancia y prórrogas-
EX – 00) make sure it's completed and signed, and that you have two copies. I used this link
2. Copy of ALL pages of your passport, plus bring your actual passport with you.
3. Old carta de nombramiento from the 2013-2014 school year
4. New carta de nombramiento from the 2014-2015 school year
5. Certificado de aprovechamiento from the 2013-2014 school year (Ask the director of your school!)
6. Photocopy of the student TIE that you want to renew (front and back of card)
7. Receipt of tasas de prórroga: Modelo 790 / Código 052 costing 16,81 euros Download, complete, and print here, make sure to mark the box for: 1.3 "Prórroga de la autorización de estancia por estudios, movilidad de alumnos, prácticas no laborales o servicios de voluntariado (titular principal y sus familiares)"
               *Make sure you select the right province: Madrid- código de provincia 28)
               *No need to photocopy, it will print out the three copies of the tasa to bring to the bank

Applying for the renewal:

You must go in person to the Oficina de Extranjería at C/ Garcia de Paredes, 65 (Metro: 
Gregorio Marañón – Line 10, 9am to 2pm, Telephone: 91 272 91 71 – 92 88) either within the 60 days before your card expires OR within the 90 days after your card expires.  According the auxiliares document (linked above) if you later need to present another document, or something has changed you can drop off the document at the registro público auxiliar de la calle Manuel Luna, 29.

According to the FB group, you follow the sign that says “Registro”unless you have questions and need to go to information.  Once you have turned in all of your paperwork you will be given back the stamped copy of your EX00 and Tasa 052 receipt (which you willl need these for your second appointment and to apply for an autorización de regreso if you plan on traveling outside of Spain while your NIE is expired). Make sure the address on your EX00 is correct because this is where information will be sent to you.

While I'm not sure of any specific time frame as I'm in the process myself, the documents from the ministry claims that within two months you should receive a letter in the mail telling you if your renewal was accepted or not.  If accepted, the letter should have a date of when you're supposed to go to Aluche and what documents you need to bring with you.  And after that approximately another month or so until the physical TIE should be ready.
source, Don't let this be you!
I'm in the initial stages of the renewal and have collected almost all of the paperwork, except the certificado de aprovechamiento from my school.  If you're still waiting for your carta, I highly suggest starting to gather all of the documents you'll need.  Most of them felt much easier to gather than from the initial TIE appointment!  Not to mention it will help you start to prepare if you are going home for part of the summer and need an autorización de regreso like I do.

[Update 7/18: Checked the status of my renewal to see that the result is: favorable, meaning that so far in the process my renewal has been accepted.  Pretty good considering it hasn't even been a full month since I turned in my papers.  Now just waiting to see when I get the official letter in the mail to get my fingerprints done!

Update 8/18: About three weeks into the process my favorable letter still never came, so figuring it was either A) lost in the mail or B) sent to my old apartment I decided to make the appointment myself without the letter.  To make an appointment for your huellas (fingerprints) in Madrid go to the extranjería website, select Madrid and EXPEDICIÓN DE TARJETA DE EXTRANJERO (HUELLAS), then follow through and put in your information.  

1. Once you have your cita, print the justificante form.
2. Print out your "favorable" status
Pick up the Tasa Modelo 790, Codigo 012 form at any national police station or foreigner's office (This cannot be downloaded, I went to the foreigner's office on Calle Silva near Callao) and make sure to mark box "4.2 Tarjeta que documenta la renovación o prórroga de la autorización de residencia temporal, la prórroga de la estancia o de trabajadores transfronterizos" pay €18,56 at a bank
4. Original + copy of your passport (including old visa and entry stamps)
5. Original + copy of your empadronamiento
6. Your old TIE + copy of your TIE (front and back)
7. A new photo (carnet size, I went to one of those booths in the metro stops and it cost 5€ for six)
I also brought the EX-00 document with the stamp/sticker from my original renewal appointment just in case. 

Update 9/18: Went to pick up my new TIE today!  No issues and I was out in five minutes with my shiny new card :)]

On the day of your appointment go early, like at least an hour early if you can (and bring water if it's in the summer!).  Get in the line labeled "huellas" and wait until it's your turn to enter, if it all goes well you'll get a resguardo at the end and be told to come back in 25-30 days with your old TIE and passport to pick up your shiny new card.  Good luck!
So hot the line was waiting in the tents.

Autorización de Regreso

After you turn in your renewal paperwork you can start to apply for your autorización de regreso (yes, at the dreaded Aluche), which gives you permission to re-enter Spain once your card is expired and you don't have a valid card.  The regreso is valid for three months and is only good for one use, which is why it's suggested to only present it IF asked for it.

To apply for the regreso you must have these documents:
source, How I feel when I have to go back to Aluche
1. Original and copy of your passport (some debate on the FB group if you need a copy of the whole thing, or just the information page)
2. Original and copy of your NIE (front and back of card)
3. Stamped EX00 form from your renewal appointment
4. Copy of your plane reservation
5. EX13"solicitud de autorización de regreso" I used this link
6. Receipt from Modelo 790 Codigo 012 (pick up a PHYSICAL tasa form from any police station or foreigner's office, I went to the one Calle de Silva, 19 near Callao) so show you paid the fee of €10,30

Be sure to ask for an appointment: here.  Choose “Madrid” and “Autorizaciones de Regreso” from the drop-down menus. Click “Entrar” at the bottom and be sure to fill in your personal info correctly. Select “Solicitar cita” to make an appointment and from there complete the rest of the information. Do not forget to print out the confirmation, you need it for your appointment!

Definately feeling the pressure to get these done with my flight home only a month away!  Just a reminder that while life in Spain can be great, it's not as glamorous as people think.  It's full of lesson planning, daily errands, and enough of paperwork to keep you on your toes.
Now go celebrate some football!

Have you started the renewal process, or applied for an autorizacón de regreso yet?  What tips do you have?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Día de los Reyes and Carnaval, Two Holidays with One Stone

This post is long overdue, months overdue, back in January overdue...I am hiding this behind my "students have their English exam next week" excuse.  But seriously.  Apologies for Trinity exams consuming my life for the past few months.

La Cabalgata in Santander

Anyway, now to bore you with an informational post, my "B".  One of the greatest parts of living in Spain with a native Spaniard, and working at a Spanish school is that I get to experience many Spanish holidays quite authentically.  Two such holidays this year were: Día de los Reyes and Carnaval.

Día de los Reyes

Our "USA meets Spain" Reyes presents
Día de los Reyes, or Day of the Kings, is celebrated January 6th in honor of the day the Three Wise Men are thought to have 'beheld' baby Jesus after he was born.  In Spain this holiday is in many ways quite similar to how Christmas is celebrated for children in the USA, as it is traditionally the Magi that bring them holiday presents and not Santa Claus.  They're incredibly popular and if you ask many Spaniards they always had a favorite growing up (Balthasar is in particular quite popular among my friends).

To celebrate the arrival of the kings to Spain on January 5th, most cities hold a typical parade known as the Cabalgata de Reyes Magos that welcomes them into the city.  The parade I saw in Santander had different floats, trucks, and even sheep (who doesn't love a herd of sheep wandering through a city)!

Near the end of the parade the kings finally arrived on their own floats and are followed by different fire trucks and delivery trucks that "help bring the children their presents".  Later the Magi walked around the city distributing candy to any little children, which was absolutely adorable to see...and I maybe asked for candy too...maybe...
Our Roscón de Reyes
As it's celebrated on the 6th, this is the day where most Spanish children receive most (if not all) of their holiday presents.  For their breakfast celebration it's typical to have a special cake called a roscón (similiar to a fruitcake, but tastier!), which can even be filled with different things like cream or chocolate.

What makes the roscón so special is that inside there's often a small toy that's been hidden inside, sometimes even a bean.  If you find the toy you are proclaimed the 'king/queen of the day' but if you find the bean in your piece then you're supposed to pay for next year's cake.  This year in the cake the BF and I bought for ourselves I found the prize, which was a tiny turtle!  Though it did help that I devoured most of it...


Carnaval is a great holiday for Auxiliares because we get to celebrate it with our students.  It celebrates the time before lent with a hugeee party (think Río and Mardi Gras), but in Spain there's more child-friendly activities than 'earning' beads.

In my schools the children got to do a lot of fun activities preparing themselves for a big parade at the end of the week.  The theme for the year was art so all the students made costumes depicting different artists and aspects of art like: crayons, colored pencils, paintbrushes, and even the melting clocks of Dalí.  The teachers even had their own costumes to parade around with the students.  As you can see I was a beautiful painting.

At the school they had El Entierro de la Sardina or "The Burial of the Sardine" which is a Spanish tradition that one of our teachers explained as symbolizing the end of Carnaval by burying the past in hopes of a better future after fasting during Lent.  The sixth grade students and their teachers all wore black and paraded around 'mourning' as the fun of Carnaval ended and Lent was about to begin.

Celebrating El Greco
Our 'Sardine' was a large, colorful, paper Sardine that was actually burned instead of buried and when that sucker finally went up in smoke everyone cheered for the end of the celebration (or maybe just that it was time to go home for a nice long puente).

Later that weekend there was a parade in Madrid capital that we watched with my BF's parents who were visiting from Santander.  Instead of having a tradition 'Carnaval' theme, the parade was designed to celebrate El Greco (as this year marks since the artist's death) along other important, particularly Spanish, artists.

Las Meninas
The various floats and displays featured works ranging from El Greco himself, to Bosch, Velázquez, Picasso, Goya, and even Andy Warhol.  Between the floats there were also various performances of cultural groups from different areas of Central and South America.  Even though I've celebrated Carnaval once before in Spain (read as going out with friends in costumes), this was the first time I had seen any kind of parade.  Even though it wasn't "traditional" Carnaval, the art nerd in me was still impressed by a lot of the floats.

It's definitely a unique feeling to be a part of another culture's holidays, but I've also found that experiencing these holidays now that I'm living and working here has helped me learn a lot about Spain and its history, and also feel a little bit less like the "token guiri".

What experience have you had with Día de los Reyes or Carnaval?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How Spain Has Changed my Taste Buds

Reading one of my favorite expat in Spain blogs (Kaley Y Mucho Más)a few months ago I read one of her posts where she had asked several expats about what foods they started to enjoy after moving to Spain.  The more I read, the more I realized how much Spain has changed my taste buds too.

I remember my first visit to my boyfriend's house nearly three years ago and how much I dreaded even trying some of the food (FISH) that was put in front of me.  I had grown up in Rhode Island, the Ocean State, but couldn't stand fish or seafood (I know, crazy).  I didn't like beans, olives, eggs, or even eggplant.

I didn't consider myself a picky eater, I just liked the foods I was used to eating...and didn't like the ones I wasn't used to. ¿Sabes?

With Spain being in my life for nearly three years now, and after living in Madrid since September, I can't help but look at that list of what "I didn't like" and laugh at how silly I used to sound.

Fresh Vegetables

It's not that I didn't like fresh vegetables, but they're just so expensive in the USA that I was not that used to cooking, or eating them.  Though specifically, zucchini and eggplant, were not high up on my list of veggies I loved.  Iin fact, before this year I flat out refused to eat eggplant (unless the BF's mom handed it to me, there was never a choice).  Over time spent eating with my boyfriend's family I've come to love both zucchini and eggplant and they now have both become staples in my diet.


This has been the most challenging food selection to overcome.  As a child the only time of seafood or fish I ate was greasy, fried fish and chips (which I only could stomach if it was drowning in ketchup, gross I know).  I have slowly grown to love seafood like: squid, razorclams, clams, and octopus but to be honest I've not come so far with fish.  I can actually enjoy some fish now (certainly helps if it's from a nice restaurant), but most I really just tolerate (aka cod) because it's good for me.  Still not sure if it's more of a taste or textural thing...
Pulp Gallego (Galician Octopus) source


Eggs.  It's all about how they're cooked.  Before Spain came into my life the only way I ate my egg was scrambled with ketchup or jam, and only for breakfast.  This would not last in Spain as egg is rarely served for breakfast and is a common part of the Spanish diet, from tortilla española (Spanish omelette) to huevos rotos (broken eggs).  From day one eggs were forced on me and I have to say, I don't hate eggs anymore and will readily enjoy tortilla or huevos rotos. But. Still not a fan of hard-boiled eggs...
Huevos Rotos (Broken Eggs) source

Red Wine

Before Spain I was OK with red wine, it wasn't my first drink choice but also wasn't my last.  With a lack of decent beer choices in Spain though (slowly being remedied in large cities, like Madrid!), I gradually turned to wine.  Over the years with Spain in my life I've come to appreciate a good Crianza and enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day.  The choice is made even easier knowing that in Spain you can buy a decent bottle of red wine for a mere 4€.


Spanish food is known for using all parts of the animals, whether it's pig snout or ears, and while I've not quite grown to love all these "new" foods, there are some (like morcilla) that I probably enjoy too much.  Morcilla, a Spanish blood sausage, that is either prepared with rice or nuts (depending on the region).  When the BF first told me about this dish I didn't even want to try it, he even went so far as to order it anyway and not tell me what it was!  Lucky for me though because I fell in love from the first bite.  The type that I prefer is Morcilla de Burgos, it's from the province of Burgos and is usually prepared with rice.

There's still a lot of various foods I'm still working on, sorry all you beans, but that's the best part about living in another culture.  There's an endless about of new food possibilities to try...but I still don't like olives!  Sorry Spain!

What's one of your new favorite dishes?