Getting a Social Security Number in Spain

Any foreigner working or studying in Spain is entitled to a Spanish Social Security number, necessary for tax purposes as well as contracting and all procedures related to labor and work. Petitions are made at the Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social, which also handles pensions, disability, motherhood and fatherhood, death and survival and public health care.

The Spanish Social Security system benefits all workers who are active within it. Each calendar day cotizado, that a worker has been employed, counts towards your Spanish pension and unemployment benefits, so be sure to check that your place of work has given you the activation, called an alta.

Why do I need it?

Every person who works for a registered company in Spain is required to have a Social Security Number, called a número de afiliación de la Seguridad Social. Social Security is generally paid for by an employer. This number also helps track pensions, unemployment and sick days, as well as maternity or paternity leave.

COMO_Social Security in Spain

A new law, passed in late February 2014, has drastically cut fees for employers who wish to register new employees in social security to help promote growth and job creation. Fees range from 50€ to 100€, but are only available to those who are not already registered.

The vast majority of workers fall under the regimen general, or general scheme, which includes employees who work under another person, working partners of capitalist companies, civil servants and military personnel and foreign-born residents who work in Spain. Once a citizen is made active in the system, they are covered for life and their number will not change.

For members of the European Union states, and spouses or family of Spanish citizens, affiliation with the Social Security system is as simple as presenting a valid ID.  However, North Americans will need to present a valid work permit in order to gain access to their number.

The system also covers self-employed workers, called autónomos, who pay their own social security and are not eligible for unemployment, as well as students from foreign countries.

Where do I get a social security card? What do I need to bring?

Each capital city and the larger provincial towns have Social Security offices, typically open Monday through Friday from 9 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon. To find your local office, use the office locater  tool from the Social Security’s website. You can search by autonomous region, or zip code.

Some offices require appointments while others do not.

COMO_Social Security Offices in Spain

You will need the following documentation:

  • Passport or Foreign Resident Card
  • A copy of Passport or Foreign Resident Card
  • Form TA-1

The TA-1 is not available in English, though it is available in the co-languages of Basque, Gallego, Valencian and Catalan. You can download it, fill it out and print it here.

Help! How do I fill out the form?

Here’s the important information you’ll have to fill out:

Section 1: Personal data

1.1  : First Surname / Second Surname (if applicable) / First name

1.2 : Gender (M for mujer or female, V for varón or male)

1.3 : Type of ID (mark with an X): Spanish DNI number / Foreigner’s Card / Passport

1.4 : Number on your identification document

1.5 : Social Security number (if applicable)

Date of birth / father’s full name / mother’s full name

Place of birth / province of birth / country of birth

1.6 Disability (if applicable) / nationality /maiden name (if applicable)

1.8 Street Address

1.9 Email address /option to have information sent by text message / Mobile phone number

Section 2: Relevant Social Security Data

Mark with an X: Activation of Social Security / Number Assignment for Social Security / Change in data

2.1: Cause for data change (if marked X)

2.2 Listing of any accompanying documentation

Section 3: Option to have data sent to a second address added for communication purposes

At the bottom left, the solicitor and his or her employer must, write the place and date, then sign in this format:

En Sevilla, el 5 de marzo de 2014

By filling out a form and presenting your original and a photocopy of a passport or another form of ID, you will be given a número de afiliación de la seguridad social. Keep in mind that you won’t be given an actual card like you might have in your home country, so be sure to keep the official form with your number for tax purposes.

While this number is active for health care immediately, you will not start earning days towards unemployment or your pension until you are employed and a lawyer has activated your work contract. This number is recognized throughout Spain and its autonomous cities in Africa.

What’s covered under Social Security?

COMO_Andalusian Health Card

Health care is one of the biggest assets of being in the social security system, and your employer covers the necessary fee for your basic care. In most regions, general doctor visits and emergency care are free at public clinics and hospitals.

Prescriptions and surgeries are not covered under the social security umbrella and must be paid for after care has been administered, though often at a reduced cost. Note that dental care is not part of the social security system and must therefore be paid out of pocket. For more information, contact a social security office in your region.

Every autonomous region has its own regulations for the administration and compensation, as well as rules related to the type of contract you possess, so visit your nearest office or ask a lawyer.

Have any questions about social security benefits, becoming alta in social security, or just need some advice? Please contact us!

Author: Como Consulting Spain

Cat and Hayley are relocation specialists who can help you move to, live in and work in Spain. We'd love to hear from you! hola@comoconsultingspain.com

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156 Comments

  1. Dear Cat and Hayley, your article has been very interesting , thank you. I do have a friend who lives in Com. Valencia, he is autonomo,german nationality and would like to insure his partner (female) within his social security, the both are NOT married. Pls. could you let me know what he has to do, is the procedure the same as with married couples, supposingly la Com. Valencia, has a special rule withrespect this matter, we have heard that you do have to proof, that you have been living here (both together) over 10 years. is this correct?
    Thank you so much for your assitance I do remain with
    kind regards , alexandra

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Alexandra,
      Thanks for reading. To be honest, neither of us are sure what the exact requirements are to insure a partner through the Spanish scheme in Valencia. However, as even those who have a civil union are required to show proof of their own private health insurance because Spain does not want to further “burden” the system, I would imagine that giving free insurance to partners who are not legally bound in any way would be rather difficult (if not impossible). I would start by suggesting he ask about the requirements with someone at the social security office.

      Post a Reply
  2. Just wondering I am an Irish student so an eu citizen. How would I apply for a social security number required for a job which duration is a month during summer ?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Holly.
      First off you’ll want to check that your summer job requires you to present a social security number. Simply follow the instructions in the article to apply for your number. Should you have any problems, send us an email to hola@comoconsultingspain.com

      Post a Reply
  3. I have a question! I have work permit here in my visa but I don’t have my social security number. How can I get my social security number without job? as I lost 2 work contract ( Long story )

    Post a Reply
    • Hola Savita, Your visa is valid for working, correct? You should be able to get a social security number that is not registered in the system as active by following the steps listed n the article. Sometimes you’ll run into the “You must have a job to get a social security number” conundrum, but try speaking with someone different. Once you have that paperwork and are hired, your employer will activate you in the system. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  4. Hi, I wanted to enroll for online banking for my Spanish bank account. Unfortunately I have to provide a SIN Number which I don’t have because I am German living in Canada.
    How or do I really have to apply for a SIN since I will never live or work in Spain just for online banking?
    Bettina recently posted…The Ten Cardinal Rules of Teaching Private Classes in EnglishMy Profile

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Bettina,
      Your situation sounds a bit peculiar as neither Cat nor myself have been asked to provide our Spanish Social Security numbers in order to access online banking. That being said, if you are neither living nor working in Spain, the requirements for having a Spanish bank account might be more restrictive. The bottom line here is – if you are not living or working in Spain then you do not qualify for a Spanish social security number. The best advice we can offer is to explain the situation to your Spanish bank and see if they can make an exception for your case.

      Post a Reply
  5. Hi,

    I have the forms and followed all your steps I haven’t been employed yet but potential employers are asking if I could get my social security do I just take the form once filled out and I sign it or do I need to wait to be employed

    Thanks

    Post a Reply
    • Hey Austin – you can get a número de afiliación with your passport and the form without an issue (or so they say). Tell them a company is bring you and you’re just staying ahead of the game! This won’t get you into the social security system until your employer hires you and validates your contract, so you won’t be charged.

      Post a Reply
  6. Hi there, I am married to a Spanish guy for more than a year now, and he never told me anything about this Seguridad Social until I mentioned it last week :p I am not working here. Well, to make the story short, I need to know what documents I need to bring to the office, since the guide that they provided can not be opened, while my husband himself has no clue about it :p Btw, I made the appointment already without knowing what to bring, hahahaha 😀
    Thank you!!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Desi,
      You’ll need to bring your passport or Foreign Resident Card (NIE) and a copy of each plus you’ll need to fill out form TA-1, which can be downloaded (use the link in the article) from the internet and filled out prior to your appointment, or they will give you one at the office. Best of luck!

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you for the reply!! I have the documents ready now, falta the form. Do u think i will need to bring my libro de familia as well? I will prepare it anyway, hehehehe… thanks again! ^_^

        Post a Reply
  7. Hey you talk briefly about self employment. Could you elaborate more at the perameters of this. How much you have to earn before you pay and how much you have to pay.
    Many thanks.

    Post a Reply
  8. Hello, thank you for detailed information, I have question, maybe you can help me. I’m not EU citizen, but currently i’m studding in Estonia and have residence permit, this summer i’m going for internship in South Spain, Almeria, Vera. I knew to start internship i needed to take NIE card and on monday i’m going to Spain Embassy in Tallinn, but now I I got information that in South Spain I can’t make internship if I don’t have Social Number. If I want to do it Spain It takes time to make (approximately 3 month) and in Embassy told me on Estonian identity card you have code and that code can be used as social number. Now i’m confused, if I go there and they will not take this number what can I do then…

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Lika, we need a bit more information from you, such as your nationality, the conditions of your contract, and whether or not you’ll be able to ask for a NIE in Spain. The Spanish Embassy in Tallin may have more information for you, depending on your nationality. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  9. Great, informative article. I’m a non-EU citizen, in the process of obtaining a SS number via pareja de hecho. Is it possible to apply for the number using just the certificate the Ayunt. de Sevilla gives you when you first “inscribir” (or the other one they apparently give you to say it’s “en tramite”) or can it only be done with the official pdh certificate?

    Post a Reply
  10. Hi.. I am now on an internhship in Barcelona and i am not EU passport but now i have a student visa for 6 months, as well as socual security and NIE number. I would like to ask if i will have to leave my working place right now to the new company. Therefore i need to ask for new social security right? Does it take take long? Will they cancel the old one or just replace it with new one? Also, since i applied a visa and NIE to come to Spain with the working contract in the company im leaving now. Does it gonna be a problem? Do i need to do new visa or something? Thank you very much!!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi NJ,

      Thank you for your inquiry. There are a few too many questions here to get into the details and also some missing information. If you’d like us to asses your situation, feel free to schedule a consultation with us via the scheduler link on the What We Do page. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  11. I’m living in Tias Las Palmas, I’m from the UK. I’m married and my husband is autonimo as we have a dental clinic, how can I and our 4 year old son be added to my husbands social security certificate so we can register at the local health centre. Note that my husband and I are legally married in the uk, and although we are same sex partners our son was born through surrogacy but we do have a British birth certificate with both our names listed as parents. Thanks for any guidance you can offer.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Ian, we do not have much knowledge of the British system (we are exclusively non-EU), so it’s best to ask your partner’s insurance provider. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  12. I am 63, have lived in Spain for 20 years am empadronado but have NEVER worked, not has my partner. I have paid tax in the UK and maintained my national insurance payments. Can I obtain the National Health card here in Spain?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Hurley,

      If you are not working and paying into Spanish social security then you do not meet the qualifications for a Spanish health card. That being said, if you pay your taxes in the UK then you should apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC card) that is valid for receiving medical attention in Spain.

      Post a Reply
  13. Dear Cat and Hayley, thanks a lot for all this illumination! 🙂 I am hoping to find a job but haven’t found one yet, my impression is that it is necessary to have an employer who will apply for my social security number, is that so? Or can I apply individually without relying on a potential employer? Thanks in advance!

    Post a Reply
    • I forgot to mention that I am a Non-EU international student, residing here for one year, already got my residence card. And another question is, being non-eu student I am allowed to work 20 hours per week, but do I need a work permit by a specific company? It’s all so confusing…

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Mane. Yes, you can get a número de afiliación so long as you have a pre-contract or are the partner of an EU national who is working. This is simply a number and it will not be activated in the social security system until you are working, but you must get it yourself. As for the work permit, your employer’s gestor would help you get that, and the best place for advice is your local extranjería. The law states that you may work, but the documents and fees depend on the comunidad and the provincia. Good luck!

        Post a Reply
        • I have more or less the same situation (non-EU citizen on a student visa) and the social security office told me I definitely need to get an employer to contract me and apply for my work permit before I get a social security number. The local work office was really helpful and explained everything a company would need to do to get me a work permit, so I’d suggest going there.

          I’m wondering, though, if there’s any way for me to get free healthcare without a social security number. I’ve read that I’m entitled to it as a student under 26 with a NIE in Spain, but everything I’ve read says I need a social security number to access free healthcare and the social security office is very clear that I can’t get that without a work permit, and it’s pretty difficult to get a work permit as a company would need to apply for me before they can contract me and it takes time and effort for them. I keep getting sick this winter and I really want to see a doctor but I can’t afford to pay anything. Is there any way to get free healthcare without the social security number?

          Post a Reply
          • Hi Sarah,
            Thanks for your question. In order to even apply for a student visa and subsequent student NIE/residency you will have had to show proof of health care coverage for the length of your stay in Spain. You are not eligible for Spanish health care as a student. If you were to be hired by a Spanish company and begin paying taxes in Spain, you would become eligible.

  14. Hi Cat and Hayley.
    I am British, my wife is American, we have been living in Madrid for 3 years and we/I have a Limited company (S. L.) here.
    My wife wants to work full time, would we be better doing this through the company or as an autonomo? I believe there are social security payment advantages such as discounted payments for autonomos.
    What would your advice be and how the heck do we go about it?
    Thanks in advance,
    Rob

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Rob,
      Thanks for your question. While we are familiar with both being autonomo / self-employed and working for a company, we couldn’t even begin to suggest which would be the most lucrative and or hassle free for you. If you are currently working with a gestor, our suggestion would be to bring the questions to him or her and see what they suggest.

      Remember that while there are reduced fees for autonomous, they do not last indefinitely, and there are new responsibilities involved like filing quarterly statements, keeping receipts from all transactions (your facturas) and more complicated filings come tax season.

      Best of luck to you!

      Post a Reply
  15. Hello,
    I am Italian and I will be working in Spain from Febuary and my employer is asking for the social security number before my starting date.
    I got my NIE via the consulate, I would like to know if there is a way to get the social
    security number without going to spain.
    Many thanks
    EUgenio

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Eugenio,
      As far as we know, there isn’t. It might be possible for someone to go through the process for you, if you give them the authority to do so with signed documentation, but that is likely more of a headache than just doing it yourself on arrival. Your employer should understand.

      Post a Reply
  16. Hi Cat and Hayley,

    I am Australian, I will be going to Spain to do a three month internship. Can I enter the country by tourist visa and apply for social security number in Spain. Or I should ask the company to send me the work contract and apply for working visa first?

    Many thank,
    Erica

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Erica, if you’re on a three-month internship, chances are you won’t need a visa and thus do not qualify for a social security number. It’s extremely pricey and time-consuming for a company to apply for a work visa on your behalf. Have a great experience!

      Post a Reply
  17. I have a Tarjeta Sanataria as I am a Resident and work in Spain. Is it possible for my husband to obtain one as my dependent? He is an early retiree from the Police Service in the UK and is also Resident in Spain. If so how do we obtain one?
    Many thanks

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Rachel,
      If your husband is a European citizen he has full access to health insurance in Spain with his EHIC card.

      Post a Reply
  18. Hi I already live in bcn and have my adresse there and a job, can I send my documents to the office for getting my ssn or I have to go there personally?
    Best regards

    Nadia

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Nadia, yes – you’ll have to go in person. There have been fraudulent applications in the past, so it’s imperative that you go in person. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
      • Thank u!! There should be no problem if I have a intership contract, a adresse and and the formular no?? Im from switzerland…
        Thanks for the answer!

        Nadia

        Post a Reply
  19. Hey Cat and Haley,
    I’m an American on a year by year student visa. I have permission to work and a social security number. Since I am working, I am paying into the system, as well as having private insurance (as mandated for obtaining the visa). I am wondering if it is ok to go to the doctor through the public health system using my SS# or will this potentially come back to haunt me one day when applying for residency in the future? The only reason I couldn’t go would be if I stopped working right? Or perhaps during the period when I am renewing my visa?
    Thank you as always for your amazing advice!!

    Post a Reply
    • Usually you can go to a hospital with your social security number and no issues – most everything is covered! You could go if you stopped working, though only to a public hospital and at your own cost. Thanks for reaching out!

      Post a Reply
  20. Hello,

    I am currently starting a job as an English teacher in Granada. I already have an NIE — they gave me the number when I turned in my documents for the tarjeta comunitaria (which is still being processed). I was told with the NIE alone I can work. However, now my employer is telling me it is necessary to have a social security number to work. Can I start working legally without social security and just an NIE?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Tom,
      You’ll need to follow the steps in the article above to get your social security number. Having the tarjeta comunitaria permits you to legally work in Spain, but you still need to register yourself in the social security system and be assigned a number. Without this number you will not be working “legally,” which is to say the company can not officially contract you and pay the requisite taxes involved.

      Post a Reply
  21. Hi!
    I am so sorry but I would like to ask a question about Social Security Number. I came to Spain to do my internship for less then 6 months. I have a contract with hotel and N.I.E number in my passport and I am Russian. Hotel is asking for Social Security Number , should I follow the same steps and do I need any other document ?
    Best regards,
    Daria

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Daria, if you’re able, have the hotel write up a pre-contract with the details of your internship. If you’re on a student visa, they may have to ask for permission from the extranjeria. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
      • hi dear .
        i from pakistan .my question is that i am living in barcelona from past 2 years.i have a student extranjeros espana estudiante card.i want to start a part time job so can i get security social number.if not what should can i do i need that information.

        Post a Reply
        • Hello, have you already gotten an offer for a job? If so, that employer can help you get permission from Extranjería. Good luck!

          Post a Reply
          • Hello sir,
            I am Pakistani National, working in Mauritania, Recently i purchased a flat in Las Palmas and i have got NIE + ayuntamiento already. Do i am eligible to apply for Social Security Number?

          • Unfortunately, the SSN is only available for Spanish nationals and those working. You can, however, buy into private insurance in Spain. Good luck and congratulations on your new place!

  22. Hello, I am a Turkish student and I’m currently holding a student visa in Italy and I also have a permit of stay in Italy. I found an internship in Madrid but they ask for me to get a Spanish Social Security Number, I’ll be glad if you could tell me about the procedure.

    Post a Reply
  23. Hello. I worked last summer in Spain as intern, I made social security number, in this summer I am going to Spain again, but as worker. Is my social number valid or I need to restore it?

    Post a Reply
  24. Hola Ladies! I did PDH with my boyfriend and am going to pick up my tarjeta comunitaria tomorrow and then I’ll be fully done with the process–yay! I wasn’t sure if I should ask for my SS# to get health benefits just in case I need them (although I have private insurance during the months I am an auxiliar) during the summer months. It seems like I have to have a non auxiliar job to be started in the system, and I feel like if I go to the SS office I will be turned away? On another note, I was thinking I might need a SS# if I do side work at an academy or do some Cambridge testing work in the future although I haven’t been employed by anyone other than the ministry yet. Just trying to get ahead of the game since things tend to take a long time and I had some time to go into the office.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Allie,
      Once you have your physical tarjeta you are elegible to get a social security number and affiliate yourself. While you are allowed by law to have your number regardless of having a work contract, many offices try to avoid processing by telling you it’s not possible. Just be persistent and bring your partner along for support – they are usually more willing to help if another Spaniard it there pulling for you!

      Post a Reply
  25. Hi there, I will be working in Madrid for 3 months this summer and I was told I needed a passport to apply for a social security number as a European, while I don’t need it to travel/work in Spain.
    Is this true? Because I’d hate to spend money I didn’t have to.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Marcel, we’re a strictly non-EU company, so we aren’t sure about the answer to your question. You do need a valid, state-issued ID to apply for most documents in Spain, so if you don’t have a Spanish ID card, our guess is that you would need a passport. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  26. Do I need to get residencia before being able to apply for a social security card? I am not working and an EU citizen.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Kathi,
      As an EU citizen you still need to go to Extranjería and apply for a NIE number and your TIE paper. With this you can then go to your nearest social security office and for your affiliation and social security number / afiliación y numero de seguridad social.

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you! I do have an NIE number but not Residencia. Is the NIE enough?

        Post a Reply
        • Hi Kathi,
          A NIE number is simply an ID number given to each foreigner registered as living or having lived in Spain. That number is then affixed to a TIE card, which stipulates the type of residency you have and whether or not you are allowed to work. If you are not allowed to work in Spain and you are not from the EU then you are not eligible for a social security number.

          Post a Reply
  27. Thanks for a very helpful article.
    I have just received a Youth Mobility Visa, which is based on an agreement between Spain and Canada and allows for young people under the age of 35 to live, work and/or study in Spain for 365 days.
    However, this is not a work permit, per se, and I was wondering if this visa, alongside a job offer, would be enough to obtain a social security number and the permission to work legally in Spain.

    Thanks very much!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Jolene,
      We’re not clear on the specifics of the Youth Mobility Visa as we are Americans. We’d suggest you check with the Spanish consulate where you applied

      Post a Reply
  28. Hi,

    I am an Australian, who has just finished six months working in Barcelona. I had a NIE, active social security number and health care card.

    My NIE is only valid until October as is my visa, so no need to cancel or worry about that.

    I received a text message from TGSS yesterday saying my employer had finished with me. (I think?)

    So my question is: now that I am leaving Spain, do I need to do anything about my social security number, health care card and registered address? And finally, how much longer am I entitled to the free health care? (both Visa and NIE expire in October).

    P.S this page is so helpful, thank you.
    Hannah

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Hannah,
      We’re glad you’ve found our page helpful. If your NIE has expired then you are no longer covered under Spanish social security benefits. That being said, all emergency health care in Spain is free regardless of legal status – so should anything happen just head to your nearest ER! Technically you are supposed to deregister your padrón, but most people do not. As you already noted, your employer has deactivated your affiliation with TGSS, so nothing to do there. There’s really nothing more to do! And, should you ever with to return to Spain your NIE number will be waiting for you!

      Post a Reply
  29. Hi,

    I’m doing an internship in Madrid. For the address do I put the person I am staying with in Madrid or my home address in England?

    Thanks!

    Post a Reply
  30. Hello, I’m an American (United States) who is marrying a Spanish man at the end of this July. I’m in a real rush to be able to work legally on a contract. What’s my process immediately after getting married? I know I need to get a social security number, but I’ve been told I need to get a NIE first? Apart from NIE and Soc. Sec, is there anything else that I need to take care of to be able to be hired on contract?
    Also, does anyone know if these offices are open during the month of August? Thanks a lot for any insight you can share on the topic!

    Post a Reply
  31. Hi! I’m living in Valencia and got a social security number through a temporary job I had for one month. Is this the same number that now stays with me? And do I still have to do the above steps? I have a document from my employer stating my SS number for the month of work I completed. Then I start a new permanent job in September so do I just give them this number?

    Thanks

    Hayley

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Hayley. Yes, your social security number stays the same, it’s just activated, or dado de alta, or deactivated by an employer or gesto when you begin or end a work contract. Congrats on the new job!

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks!! So if I want to register for healthcare and get my SIP do I have to wait for my new employer to register me? Or can I show the document from my 1 month contract? Also do I need to go to the social security office to get a piece of paper from them with my social security number or will the one from my employer suffice? Thanks for all your help!!

        Post a Reply
        • Hi Hayley, you can ask your health care to register you with a doctor and send your health card, but without knowing where you live, it’s impossible to say whether or not you can get care. Note that healthcare is governed by comunidades and not on the federal level. If you’re in the system already and have a valid NIE, those documents should suffice.

          Post a Reply
  32. I have recently moved to Spain to work. I have an NIE number but I’m not resident.
    I intend to work and various places have asked if I have an SS number. Can I get one before I get a job? I am in the alicante area. Thank you.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi David, getting a social security number depends on many factors, such as your nationality, if you have a working partner, etc. Send us an email, and we can give you more info.

      Post a Reply
  33. Hi,

    Thank you so much for your post. I’m American and am married to a Spaniard. My parents, who are also American, just moved over here on a retirement visa. They haven’t worked in Spanish, but both started the process to gain access to the social security system. My mom’s application was approved and my dad’s wasn’t. My question is whether or not, after a period of time, my dad might be able to re-apply and even pay to have coverage under the seguridad social. He has private insurance but they won’t cover one of his medical needs. Therefore, we NEED him to have seguridad social. Do you have any advice as to what to do next?

    Post a Reply
    • Sounds like your father might have been denied because of a pre-existing condition? You should probably get private insurance and then inquire at your social security office why exactly he was denied and if you can appeal or reapply.

      Post a Reply
    • Hi there, so long as you have all of your documentation in order to process the paprwork (the most important of which would be your convenio papes between the university and the internship), you shouldn’t have any issues. Enjoy!

      Post a Reply
  34. Where can one collect Social Security Benefits of a dead foreigner? I need their contact address please.

    Post a Reply
  35. Hi I am a British citizen and have just moved to Orihuela, I have an offer of employment once I have my NIE number ( which I will collect on Friday ). Reading your article do I need to arrange a social security number or does my employer?
    Thank you
    Gary

    Post a Reply
    • Hello Gary, you will likely need to ask for the social security number yourself in order to have your contract drawn up. After you have signed, the company will file the necessary paperwork to have your number activated in the system. Here’s to new beginnings!

      Post a Reply
  36. Hi – I am American and on a student visa to work as a language assistant. Long story short, they fired me, but I applied for SS in September and I received a text message about two weeks ago that it has been approved (I have the paper they gave me at the SS office). What happens now? Do I have to pay the SS each month? I haven’t been paid yet and I don’t think that I will because I didn’t work for the company for a month.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Danielle, your employer will pay your social security benefits for you, and once they have given you what’s called an “alta” you can use the health system. Your deductions will be clear from your paycheck stub.

      Post a Reply
      • Hi,

        I have a text message saying “alta” so I guess my SS has started, but I began work on Oct. 3 so I haven’t been paid yet and now I am no longer with the company. So what do I have to do? Thanks!

        Post a Reply
        • Do you want to go de baja? You have to decide whether or not you want to let the job take care of it and take the privileges away or not! They should technically take care of that for you, but it can take a bit of time for everything to go through.

          Post a Reply
          • I don’t know what I want to do! I don’t want them to cancel my TIE card or anything like that. I am searching for another job but most of my English teaching jobs are paid under the table by parents/families etc. Thanks

          • Hi Danielle, please email us. Your situation is unclear (it seems you were let go by the auxiliar job?), and without further details, we’re hesitant to give you advice. Thank you!

  37. Hi! This is a quite informative blog you’ve got here!

    I am a Non-EU citizen, here in Spain on a Student visa.I have been offered a job last week and need a SS number.On going through the posts I noted , you mentioning that the approval of the SS code depends on the TIE as well as the nationality.
    My TIE is due in a few weeks.This being said I have no idea if I am ineligible to apply for a work contract.
    And incase if i am coudl I move on with this before I get my TIE at hand?
    Could you advice me on this regard!
    Cheers!!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Flora,

      If you are eligible to work, you can apply for a social security number and begin working. You will later have to turn in a copy of your TIE to your employer for record keeping purposes. Good luck on the job!

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks for the advice!

        Post a Reply
  38. Hello,

    I’m sorry if this is a silly question, but I am wondering if i can fill out the form in English or should I be translating my answers.

    E.g. Nationality – Irish or Irlandesa.

    Thank you!
    Fiona

    Post a Reply
  39. Hi..I am Irish and my partner is English..we have just had our 1st child in Lanzarote..Am wondering what paperwork is needed to register the baby for a Tarjeta Sanitaria??

    Post a Reply
    • Congrats, Cian! I’m about to be a parent myself.

      When you say the tarjeta sanitaria, do you mean for yourselves, or the child? In either case, your local centro de salud/ambulatorio is best, as healthcare is divided by region. That means that what I use in Madrid is different to what you would have in Lanzarote as far as signing up, coverage, etc.

      Post a Reply
  40. Is the dni number on the Spanish ID card also the seguridad social number?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sam, the DNI is for Spanish citizens only. If you are not Spanish, you would receive a NIE, or número de identificación del extranjero. Neither is the same as a social security number.

      Post a Reply
  41. hi, im a norwegian citizent, i wonder if i need the residencia or a ” green card ” to work here in spain ? i have my NIE number and my padrón. I also got a healthcard from the hospitol after ive been there. And how do i get everything i need?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sofia, you’ve got a lot of work done! If you have the NIE and padrón, the only thing you’re missing is the social security number (but you found the correct place to get information!). Good luck and welcome!

      Post a Reply
  42. Hi Really appreciate such an informative page, it’s a great resource to have as bureaucracy can be tricky. I was wondering if you might be able to advise on this query please? My husband and I have NIE’s and padron. My husband has registered as autonomo, has a social security number and a health card has been ordered, however one could not be ordered for me as I was not listed as a beneficiary on his social security. Having been sent to an office to rectify this, they refused as we apparently need a certificate from the UK (we are ormer UK residents below retirement age) stating I will no longer claim against UK social security. Have you heard of this as I cannot find which certificate they refer to or anyone else having been in this situation. Many thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Laura,
      Both Cat and myself are from the US so we’re not familiar with the paper you’re seeking – but we’ve approved your comment in case any readers out there can lend a hand!

      Post a Reply
  43. Hi,
    I was registered autónomo a few years ago as was self employed for a while and was given a social security number. I deregistered from being self employed. I have now been offered a job and they are asking me for my social security number, my question is will the social security number I was given before still be valid? Any advice you could give me would be great. Thanks in advance

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Joanna,
      Your Spanish SS number is yours for life, so as long as your residency status is up to date and you have the right to work then the company which wishes to hire you can use your social to darte de alta.

      Post a Reply
  44. Hi,

    I was hoping you could advise me. I have been working in Spain employed and autonomo for some time, I went back to Holland in 2014 and returned last year, since then I have had a 3 months work contract which ended in Sept 2016 , am I still insured now? or do I have to pay private healthcare? Basically I know I have no right to el paro but thought maybe because I have worked I am still covered medically?

    Thank you

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Nathalie,
      If you have a tarjeta sanitaria that has not expired then we’re betting you could go to the doctor without any problems. Keep in mind that emergency room visits are always free regardless of your legal or health care status.

      Post a Reply
  45. Thanks for a great blog
    My situation is that I worked in Granada 10 years ago and I remember registering for, I think, a NIE as I’m from England and I had a green card(as in the picture above) but I’ve since lost it

    I’ve now got a new job in Spain and my boss has asked for my details but I don’t have it.. Is there any way to find out of will I need to register again?
    Thanks in advance

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Dave,
      Your certificado de registro as an EU member expires, though your NIE number is yours for life. You’ll need to go to your nearest Oficina de Extranjeros and register again for an updated green paper. For the certificate you’ll need your passport, certificate of empadronamiento, a copy of your English health card and a copy of your work contract / offer.

      Once your NIE is valid again your employer can register you in social security themselves! However, if they need your number (which they shouldn’t, they can do it with just your NIE) you can go to your local Social Security office and enquire – but make sure you bring your updated certificado de registro.

      Post a Reply
  46. Hi,

    I will be moving to Barcelona soon because I have found a new job there. I am currently trying to gather information about the NIE number and social security number etc. Do you think I could get the social security number without an address? I have to take care of everything pretty fast because the company wants me to start as soon as possible, but I dont think I will be able to arrange accomodation fast enough. I am worried this is going to be a problem in all my applications. Any tips?
    Thank you!!

    Post a Reply
    • Anna,
      We’d need to know what country you are from and the type of residency permit you hold or are applying for in order to best advise you.

      Post a Reply
      • I am from the Netherlands so I have a European citizenship. I think I will apply for a temporary NIE number and get a NIE card later

        Post a Reply
  47. Hi I have a question regarding this situation. To make a long story short, I live in NYC and I have been accepted into a TEFL foreign language program in Madrid Spain. I’ve visited before on vacation but now I am looking at the amazing opportunity of moving there in January 2018 on a student visa for one year. I am hiv positive and although the school recommends several health insurance options A good majority of them seem to not cover any pre existing conditions, like hiv. This would therefore prevent me from getting my medication through this health insurance. Im at a lost. Once I leave my job here in NYC to come to Spain on my student visa I will no longer have health insurance. Is there any advice you can give me regarding moving to spain on a student visa and being hiv positive. Please feel free to reach out to me.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi SB,
      We think you have two options to consider. As a student you must apply for provide proof of private insurance as part of your visa application. If the insurance providers listed by your school do not cover your pre-existing condition then you might try reaching out to other providers. However, have you already asked your current health care provider if they would be willing to write a prescriptions which would cover the full period of your stay in Spain? If you are in need of medical checkups, these can be paid for out-of-pocket at surprisingly low costs in Spain. Medical care and procedures are MUCH cheaper than what you are used to the in US. Finally, you should be aware that any visits to the ER are free in Spain, so should anything happen you won’t need to worry. We hope you find a solution that will work for you so that you are able to come to Spain!

      Post a Reply
  48. Hello, I need to bring SS Affilation number for my job contract tomorrow my first job in Madrid and still don’t understand what is that. I have NIE, I have a private insurance very good one, so still i need to apply to one of that offices to get some number or this can be a number of my health insurance? Thank you

    Post a Reply
    • Mila,
      If you have permission to work and a NIE number and are working cuenta propia then your employer can dar you de alta in Spanish social security. If they have problems doing that, just follow the instructions above!

      Post a Reply
  49. I am a non-EU passport holder with a work/residence permit under the highly qualified category in Spain. My widowed mother who is a senior citizen joins me under the special resolution of ‘AUTORIZACIÓN DE RESIDENCIA INICIAL PARA FAMILIARES DE PROFESIONALES ALTAMENTE CUALIFICADOS’. My questions:
    1. Can she be covered under social security here? Do I need to pay extra to get her cover?
    2. Under the above law/permit, Is she bound to stay a particular period every year within spain?
    Thanks in advance for your response.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Gary,
      We’d have to do a bit of research regarding this situation to get the answers you’re looking for. Send us an email.

      Post a Reply
    • I’m also interested in this. Did you get a reply?

      Post a Reply
  50. Hi! I wanted to ask, under an internship agreement for the duration of one year, working normal full-time Spanish hours, are there any maternity benefits associated with this work contract?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Emily,
      We’re not sure about this. You might try reaching out to one of the worker’s unions like CC.OO. or UGT.

      Post a Reply
  51. Hello, I just got my first nie number but have been advised by the solicitor of my soon to be workplace that I need to travel to orihuela to register it? Is this correct?

    Post a Reply
    • If you have a legal work permit and are working por cuenta ajena, the company that is hiring you can dar te de alta themselves.

      Post a Reply
  52. Hi, I am currently studying in Spain. I have a student resident card which I have to renew every six months. Is it possible to get a social security number with just my student resident card? The last job I applied for the man said I first needed to get my social security number in order for them to employ me.

    Post a Reply
    • As a student you are eligible to work up to 20 hours a week, but the company that wishes to hire you must apply at Extranjería for your work permission first. You can only apply for your SS number once your work permission application has been approved.

      Post a Reply
  53. I am a US resident and have been offered a teaching job in Spain. I have had a kidney transplant, but work full-time without issues. I only see the US nephrologist once a year and have no work-related disability, however if I take the job in Spain I will need to get prescription medication monthly. Will Social Security accept me with a transplant if I am otherwise healthy? Even if the transplant is considered a pre-condition, will I be able to buy my medication through the Spanish Social Security program? Specifically the anti-rejection medication which can be expensive.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi MJ,
      Those who work in Spain qualify for health coverage, no pre-exisisting condition can exclude you from that right. As for your medication, although we aren’t medical experts, we’re certain you can find your medication in Spain and confident that it will be even cheaper than what you’re used to paying in the US!

      Post a Reply
  54. Hi
    Thanks so much for all the information you give.
    I was wondering if you could help me answer this question because I can’t find anything online: I’ve worked for 3 and a half years in Barcelona, teaching English in languages schools, but I had to move a month ago to Madrid with my husband for his job.
    I haven’t found a new job yet and was wondering if my SS was still valid, if I was still covered. If not, what should I do and since I haven’t got a job yet, do you think I can be covered or do I need to get a private insurance before findinga new job?
    Thanks for your help.

    Post a Reply
      • Thank you!! I wasn’t sure! Thanks for the help

        Post a Reply
  55. Hello, I’ve tried my best to do my own research on the topic but am always left feeling unsure. I’m hoping you can give me a clear answer. I am from the U.S. and am considering moving back to Madrid. I would have a year long student visa.

    1) Where can I find information on getting permission to work as a student? I know students are allowed to work 20 hours, but don’t know what the approval process entails.

    2) Once I have permission to work, will that be sufficient to apply for a social security number?

    Post a Reply
  56. Hello! I am a student, last year I had my internship in Spain and I’ve got a Social Security number. Unfortunately, I have lost the paper with this number. When I will go to Spain next time will I have to apply my documents to get the Social Security again or maybe I can get it online? What is better to do in this situation?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Elena, your social security number is yours for life; you’re simply debaja! You can go in person with ID to get the number.

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you so much for your reply!

        Post a Reply
  57. Hi! Thanks for all the info!
    I had a question in regards to the social security. I just did my pareja de hecho and I’ve already applied for my tarjeta comunitaria but it’s currently en tramite. I have a job offer that would allow me to work in July, but I need the social security number. I only have a student NIE at the moment. Can I still get the ss with my student NIE?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi there, this depends on what region you’re in and whether or not your partner is working. If you can go in with your stamped PDH and tarjeta comunitaria paperwork, as well as a pre-contract, that’s your best bet for getting a number quickly and efficiently.

      Post a Reply
  58. Hola! I have an offer for a 4 day job which would start 2 days from now and I have my tarjeta de extranjero but not my social security number yet. Do you if I get a number immediately if I go to an office with all of the paperwork? I can go tomorrow if so. I have read on a couple of sites something about it can take up to 45 days for approval/assignment of a number… Thank you!!

    Post a Reply
  59. Hello,

    If I am retired, receiving a Swiss pension and I move to Spain permantly do I still need a security card ? Thank you

    Post a Reply
  60. Hello Guys,
    I’m hoping you can help with my query. I am a non-EU citizen in Spain on a 1 year student visa. I have my NIE ( which states it’s a student NIE). I have a job offer for summer camp and I took my passport, NIE card and job offer to the ss office yesterday. They told me that they cannot issue me with a ss number because I have a student NIE. They said to get the school that wants to hire me to do a motivation for hiring me. I am an English teacher. If I go back to the school they might withdraw their offer. What should I do. I went to the ss office on Rocafort. Thanks in advance.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Jacqui,
      You are technically allowed to work on a student visa but you the company wishing to hire you must apply for your work permission through Extranjería before you can register for a SS#. The process can take anywhere from one to three months for approval so it’s probably not worth your time, or the summer camp wishing to hire you.

      Post a Reply
  61. I’m hoping you may be able to give me some advice on social security for expats.

    We bought a house in Spain last year (no mortgage) and now are in the process of relocating there to live in August.

    I’m employed by a company in the U.K. And I’m a home worker training our customers over the internet so my role can be done anywhere in the world. My company have said yes to me keeping my job and will continue to pay in to my uk bank account.

    I thought I had it all worked out, pay tax and ni in the U.K. and then complete a tax return in Spain for any outstanding amount, pay for private healthcare and schools etc, but further investigation has led me to now find out that I have to pay ss. How do I do this where it doesn’t affect my employers as they won’t change their processes, they won’t allow me to bill them so self employed won’t be an option. Do I have to pay ss if going for private healthcare? Can I pay the ss fees myself without registering as autonomo?

    Look forward to hearing from you with any advice you can give me.

    Thanks
    Toni

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Toni,
      To be perfectly honest, this is not our area of expertise and we would never want to steer your in the wrong direction. Our advise would be to seek out a bilingual tax professional in Spain to get a precise answer and please report back when you do!

      Post a Reply
  62. Hello,

    My name is Yasemin and I am British. My husband is from US and we were wondering what steps do we need to take for him to get a NIE card as I already have one from previously working in Spain. Is it easy once your spouse is EU? We are both ESL teachers and we are thinking about opening our own school in the future in Spain. Thanks in advance.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Yasemin,
      As the family member of an EU citizen your husband would apply for what is known colloquially as a Tarjeta Comunitaria. However, before he can apply for this type of permission you would already have to have registered yourself as a foreigner in Spain (a relatively painless process that takes just a few days!). If you have further questions or would like assistance preparing your applications, please email us!

      Post a Reply
  63. Hello,
    I’m a Russian citizen, I study in Bulgaria and have a permit of residence there. I am staying in Spain for the summer with a shengen visa type c . I really want to work in Spain as I’m spending the whole summer here and I have a place which will provide me with a job offer. However, I am wondering if it is possible for me to get a social security number and work legally in Spain despite the fact that I’m here on the rights of a tourist ? Also, if I do try to get my pepperwork done with the authorities, will they not only object to it but also have me deported and ban my visa ?
    I am very confused about my situation and wonder if that’s really risky to try to work here legally or worth of trying .
    That would be great if you could give me some advice. Thanks beforehand!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Andrey,
      As a tourist you are not eligible for work authorization. Applying for work permission does not put your visa type in jeopardy, however it would be a waste of time and resources as you do not meet the requirements for a work permission.

      Post a Reply
  64. Good afternoon,

    I am moving to Spain to work remotely for my UK company who are a UK based company with absolutely no presence in Spain. I will be returning to the UK every month for at least a week where the majority of my work will be conducted however I will be conducting some work remotely while in Spain for the rest of each month. Note that my work through my company is based in the UK meaning all clients, transactions and projects happen in the UK. Whilst in Spain I will simply be emailing/phone some clients to keep things ticking along until.

    Tax seems relatively straight forward. I understand that I will be liable for Spanish Tax and that is fine. My UK company will pay me gross in the UK and I will pay Spain tax as and when due.

    My query comes down to Social security. Given my situation, though I am living in Spain I am not technically working there. Am I legally required to pay Social Security?

    The reason why I ask is because I am happy to set up a private pension (which I already have) and I will also get private medical care for me and my family. I therefore wanted to know that so long as I can provide an income and cover my private medical cost, do I even need to bother with social security. Unless I am legally required

    I have been trawling the web but cannot find answers for my situation.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Jonathan

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Jonathan,

      Thank you for reaching out to us and for your thorough explanation.

      If you are not working in Spain then you have no legal obligation to register yourself under the local social security scheme. Paying for private health insurance will be fine. However, if you are living in Spain you must register yourself as a foreigner with Extranjería. You would apply for what is called a certificado de registro as an EU citizen.

      We would be happy to assist you with your application should you require it!

      Post a Reply
  65. Hi – I’m a United States citizen living and working in Switzerland. My company has a branch in Spain with a number of employees. When our outside consultants registered me as a Director of that branch, I was issued a NIE number. If I wanted to move to Spain to live and work for a different company, does the fact that I have an NIE number allow me to do this? If no, does is it beneficial at all that I already have an NIE number?

    Post a Reply
    • A NIE number is only a form of identification connected to a foreigner rather than a Spanish national, like a social security number or driving license number in the US. However, a NIE number is not a permission in itself and does not grant you any special privileges or exceptions when it comes to residency in Spain.

      Post a Reply

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