If you are a student in Spain, or you are applying for an initial residency in Spanish territory, you will need to take out health or medical insurance in order to process your residency. This requirement is essential for the vast majority of immigration procedures in Spain and to apply for or renew a residency.
Foreign citizens wishing to reside in Spain must have been previously authorized to do so. Once such authorization has been obtained, the corresponding visa allowing entry into Spain must be obtained.
Residence in Spain may be temporary or permanent.
When talking about the Spanish residence permit you should also talk about health insurance in Spain, since brexit the requirements for citizens of the UK, USA… (non-EU countries) are the same as for any other country outside the European Union so in this article we will also talk about getting health insurance in Spain after brexit.
What is a residence permit?
The residence permit is the authorization granted by the Spanish government to a non-EU foreigner to reside legally in the country for a period of more than 90 days.
There are two main types of residence permits: temporary and long-term. In addition, there are different situations for which the permit is granted.
Temporary residence permit: it is an authorization to stay in Spain for a period of more than 90 days and less than 5 years. It can be renewed, according to the circumstances that motivated the authorization.
Long-term residence permit: it authorizes to reside and work in Spain under the same conditions as Spaniards. It has several requirements. One of the assumptions is to have resided legally and continuously in Spanish territory for 5 years, although it is not the only one.
In order to obtain a residence permit, a foreigner must meet certain general requirements, which are the same in all cases:
- Not to be a citizen of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland.
- Not to be a relative of citizens of the countries mentioned in the previous paragraph, to which the regime of citizen of the Union is applicable.
- To be legally in Spanish territory.
- Not to have a criminal record in Spain or in their countries of previous residence, for crimes considered in the Spanish legal system.
- Not be prohibited from entering Spain.
- Nor to be listed as rejectable in countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.
- Not to be within the 3-year period of the commitment of non-return to Spain assumed by foreigners who at some point decide to return to their countries of origin within the voluntary return program.
- Health insurance in Spain for UK citizens is an important requirement as health insurance in Spain after Brexit has become mandatory to be successful in applying for a Spanish residence permit.
Procedure for obtaining a residence permit
It should be noted that these data and procedures are a general framework, since each particular situation for which the residence permit is requested will require particular documentation and procedures.
- Submit the application and documentation to the Immigration Office in the province of residence. It is necessary to consider that the documents in foreign language must be translated to Spanish or to the co-official language of the territory where the application is presented.
- Payment of the temporary residence fee
The Office of Foreigners will have a term of 3 months to manifest itself and to issue, in its case, the permission. If after this period there is no communication, it must be understood that the application has been rejected.
The residence permit is valid for one year and includes an authorization to work as a self-employed or employed person during its term. At its expiration, an extension or another type of residence permit may be requested.
Within one month from the date of the residence permit, the foreigner must apply for the Identity Card at the Alien’s Office or the Police Station of the province where the permit was issued.
What is medical insurance?
Health insurance is a contract in which the insurer or private healthcare company takes care of the health expenses that the insured may need during the period of coverage.
We all know that Spain has one of the best healthcare systems in the world and healthcare is free of charge. To benefit from Spanish healthcare, you must be a Spanish citizen or worker, either self-employed or employed.
The answer will depend on your stay, residence or nationality.
In the case of traveling to Spain for tourism, if you are a non-EU foreigner and you will stay for a maximum of 3 months, you will need travel insurance. It is obligatory, since not having medical insurance can be a cause for denial of your entry into Spanish territory.
In the case of European Union citizens entering Spanish territory as tourists, they are entitled to free health care during the first 3 months of their stay. They only have to present their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
If you intend to have a long-term residence (more than 90 days) established in Spanish territory, then you will need to contract a private healthcare insurance, regardless of whether you are an EU citizen or a citizen of any other country. That is to say, any foreigner who is going to reside in Spanish territory for more than 3 months must have private healthcare insurance.
How much does medical insurance cost?
The cost will vary according to the company, the age of the insured and whether it is contracted by family group. Those that are valid for the residence will cost between 40 to 100 euros per month. They should be full coverage, with no gaps and no co-payments.
Types of medical insurance
- Travel medical insurance for tourists:
If you are entering Spain as a tourist, you should take out insurance valid throughout the European Union. This tourist insurance should cover hospitalization in case of emergency or repatriation in case of medical necessity or death, with a minimum amount of 30,000 euros of coverage.
- Medical insurance for students:
They must have a public or private insurance; it must have the same health coverage as the Spanish national health system. In addition to being valid throughout the country. That is to say that they must be insurance companies certified to operate in the Spanish territory. This student medical insurance must be valid for the duration of the student’s stay or extension.
- Medical insurance for foreigners or for foreigners residing in Spain:
This is a type of medical insurance that must meet certain criteria, with no deductibles or co-payments. Unless you have public insurance in Spain.
Health insurance in Spain after brexit is contracted in the same way as in countries outside the EU.
What conditions must your medical insurance meet in order to get a residence permit?
- No co-payments:
That is, you do not have to pay every time you go to the doctor because visits and consultations are covered.
- No deficiencies:
There cannot be any period in which you lack any type of benefit.
Covering hospitalizations or any type of medical transfer. With maximum coverage.
The medical insurance must be valid during the entire stay in Spain and is linked to the residence card. It is essential when renewing your card that your insurance policy is in force and with the same conditions.
You must take into account that the medical insurance is private and comparable to the Spanish public health. There is an official bulletin of the state, in which you can see the requirements. Remember that tourist or travel insurance is not valid for your residence permit in Spanish territory.