All your doubts solved! In this post you are about to learn everything you need to know about the registration card or “cédula de inscripción” for undocumented immigrants in Spain, including the main requirements you will have to meet, documents, where to apply, and how to do it step by step.

What is the cédula de inscripción?


The cédula de inscripción is the identification document received by a foreigner who cannot be documented by any country (after having tried and failed to do so).

This registration document must not be confused with a residence permit, since its purpose is merely to help the foreigner be legally identified when she cannot do so by any other method.

But this cédula does not allow the foreigner to reside or work in Spain.

Then, at what point will the Spanish authorities issue this document?

Basically in those cases in which the foreigner has the need to be identified for legal purposes, but after having tried, his country of origin has refused to issue a valid passport.

Below we analyze the most typical cases in which you might need this document so you can understand its purpose better.


Most common cases in which this registration document is issued


There are basically three different situations in which a foreigner may need this document, for example:

  • When you are in Spain, you need to renew your passport, but your country of origin does not have a Consular Office in the country. In such cases, in order to have a legally valid document to identify yourself, you will request this document.
  • For humanitarian reasons
  • For other reasons of public interest or to comply with certain commitments in the country that make the foreigner need a valid identification document

We must take into account that in the first case it is an essential requirement that once we find ourselves in this situation, we must have already requested the consulate of our country of origin to document us (usually we will do that by postal mail); but they have refused to grant us our passport.

Without this explicit refusal, we will not be able to obtain the registration card.

Thus, in cases where the authorities of our country are simply being really slow but without having refused to submit our ID (they are simply taking longer than usual) it would not be possible to continue with this procedure.


Where do I apply for the cédula de inscripción?


The cédula de inscripción is requested at the immigration office or national police closest to your current location.

You will have to make an appointment, and for that, you can find your nearest office by clicking on this link.

Once you go to the immigration office, you must provide all the necessary documentation that we will see in the following section.

It is essential to take into account all these requirements, otherwise the immigration office will not consider your application.


Requirements and documents for a successful application


What requirements must be fulfilled to obtain the cédula de inscripción in Spain?

Below you can find the complete list with the documents that prove that you meet all the requirements and that you will have to present on the day of your appointment at the national police:

  • Payment of the corresponding fee, in this case, Model 012 – “cédula de inscripción”
  • The application form, duly filled in, EX-16, which you can download here
  • Act from the notary stating the refusal from the consulate of the country of origin or diplomatic mission denying your documentation request. That is to say, once you have sent the postal mail to the consulate and they have refused to grant you the passport, you must go to any notary so that they can legally demonstrate your communications and their result.
  • If you do not have this act because you are in Spain for humanitarian reasons, you must submit the application for you corresponding residence permit
  • 3 ID photos (passport format)
  • Certificate of criminal records, demonstrating a lack of them

In addition, as extra requirements, you must make sure to fulfill the following:

  • You cannot be a citizen of the European Union
  • You cannot have the entry prohibited into Spain

How long does the resolution take and what to do once you get it?


Once you submit your application with all the complete documentation, the Spanish authorities will have a maximum of 3 months to issue a response.

Then, three things can happen:

Is it necessary to renew this document?


It will be necessary to renew this registration card once a year as long as our country of origin does not issue your passport before.

That is to say, as a general rule, 365 days after its issuance, the cédula de inscricpión will lose its validity and you will have to renew it at the Immigration Office.

But the moment you receive your passport, the card becomes useless and you will not be able to renew it anymore.


Start your application here


Would you like to start your application for this document as quickly and easily as possible?

Then let us help you.

Contact our team of immigration lawyers, explain to us your situation in-depth, and we will guide you step by step, managing the complete application for you.


Book a consultation with one of our lawyers and solve all your doubts:


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