How to register in the Spanish National Health Service

How to register in the Spanish National Health Service


Although this is principally written with British citizens in mind the majority does also apply to citizens of other European countries. The first thing that you will need to do is register as a resident at the “Oficina de Extranjeros” or the police station closest to your place of residence.

If you are an EU citizen and plan to stay in Spain longer than three months you should apply for residency. This will not affect your tax situation but will allow you access to many public health and social services that you are probably entitled to.

If you already have a residence and registration certificate, it is recommended that you visit the INSS office (Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social) to obtain a supporting document certifying your right to public health.

You can find more information on how to register for Spanish residency at 

Pension recipients

If you are a beneficiary of a pension from the United Kingdom, you will also have to submit form S1 issued by the British authority responsible for pensions.

The supporting document issued by the INSS will allow you to register at the health centre closest to your place of residence, as well as a national health card, necessary to access doctors, hospitals and pharmacies.

British and EU citizens who reside and work in Spain, or those who are retired and receive a European pension, have the right to register with the Spanish public health system. Similarly, if you are the child or spouse of someone who lives and works in Spain, or has done so in the past, it is very likely that you also have the right to access Spanish public health.

For assistance and general information on public health in Spain in the case of British citizens, visit the website of the Ministry of Health of the United Kingdom:


Note: At the present, the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union does not imply any change regarding this information, so the same rights and obligations continue to apply to British citizens who are in Spain.

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