If you are about to get Spanish citizenship or you have just obtained it, this article is of your interest. Many foreigners think that once they finish with the pledge of allegiance, the process is over. But that is not the case, and on many occasions, they miss a fundamental step. We are talking about the application for the concordance certificate (“certificado de concordancia”), a completely important and necessary document to finish the process. Below you can find a complete explanation about the uses of this document, plus how to obtain it successfully (completely for free).
What is the concordance certificate or “certificado de concordancia”?
The certificate of concordance is a document that any foreigner who obtains Spanish nationality must request at the end of the process to be able to accredit his identification in the eyes of the different public and private institutions that had her registered with the specific name and NIE they had prior to the attainment of the citizenship (the one that appeared in her old passport and residency card).
In other words, this document allows you to certify that even though now your name on your identity document is different and you have a new passport/NIE number, you are still the same person who appears in the records with your NIE number and name as it appeared in your old passport.
To understand this more precisely, let’s consider what happens to a foreigner who enters Spain before applying for nationality.
When she gets her TIE or physical residence card, the foreigner’s name appears in the same format as in the passport, and an identity number (NIE) is assigned to her.
With this number and name, the now new Spanish citizen registered with various institutions necessary for her or her day-to-day life, such as the Social Security, the Tax Agency, the City Hall, the Immigration Office, her bank, the DGT, etc.
Both public and private institutions that are identifying you with that NIE and residence card.
But once you get the nationality, that identification is then done with a DNI (national identity card for Spaniards); that is, with a new and different identification number.
However, all these institutions still have the old data on record, and that is why it is necessary to validate that she is the same person (although now with a different identification).
This is even more important if we consider that many foreigners who have just become Spanish citizens undergo a name change.
The DNI shows first name, father’s first surname, and mother’s first surname (but many foreigners had only one surname or in a different order in their old passport).
By requesting the certificate of concordance we obtain the document that allows us to verify our identity despite the change, and thus confirms that we are us even if the identification data is different.
How and when is the concordance certificate used?
Now that we know exactly what the concordance certificate is used for, it is important to mention when exactly should we use it.
Once your Spanish nationality process is finished and you have completed the pledge of allegiance, you will have to request this document.
Our recommendation is that you do not postpone this application and do it as soon as possible, ideally doing it at the same time you apply for your DNI and passport.
Once you have the concordance certificate, you must visit each of the institutions where you are registered as a foreigner to notify them, and provide this document to validate the identification change.
That is to say, going to your bank, to the town hall where you are registered, to the Social Security, etc.
Who issues the certificado de concordancia?
The concordance certificate is requested at the national police station, but it is issued by the Oficina de Extranjeros or Comisaría General de Extranjería (the Immigration Office).
And, if you want to get it faster and completely for free, we recommend that you do it at the same time you apply for your DNI.
That is to say, on the day of your DNI appointment, you can tell the public worker who will attend you that you want to request this certificate. Moments later they will issue and hand in it to you.
However, it is not legally obligatory to request it at this very moment, so you could always return days later to request it; although in that case you will have to pay a corresponding fee and, depending on the region in which you live, make an appointment.
Requirements and documents you must submit
What documents should I bring with me to apply for this matching certificate? The list is quite simple:
- First of all, application form EX-15, which you can download here.
- As you will have to pay the corresponding fee (the 790-012), you must also bring proof of payment. This fee is approximately 7€, although if you request it together with the DNI you will not have to pay it. You can fill in and download this form here.
- Appointment reservation (a screenshot is more than enough).
- DNI if you have already obtained it, original and copy of the complete passport, travel document or registration card, or identity card if the applicant is a citizen of the European Union.
- Power of attorney if you have designated a third party to collect it on your behalf
Appointment to apply for a concordance certificate
Depending on the region in which you are currently located, you may need to make an appointment before going to the police station to request this document.
You can do it online and easily through this link.
You will simply have to select your province, and then the option “POLICIA-CERTIFICADOS (DE RESIDENCIA, DE NO RESIDENCIA Y DE CONCORDANCIA).
After adding your ID number, you will see the available schedules that can be selected.
How long does it take to obtain this dcoument?
As we have seen, you have two options to request this certificate, and each of them has different delivery times:
- First, if you request it the same day you get your DNI as a Spanish citizen, the process is immediate; you will get your matching certificate instantly
- But if you do it later, you will have to wait between 4 to 5 working days, so anyway the process is really very fast
Remember that if you have any doubts, our immigration lawyers are at your complete disposal: