There are two main healthcare requirements for the Non-Lucrative Visa. Firstly you must be free from any of the diseases listed under the International Health Regulations 2005, and secondly you need to have unrestricted access to healthcare in Spain.
Doctors Letter or Medical Certificate for a Non-Lucrative Visa Application
The first requirement is satisfied by obtaining a Doctors letter or medical certificate. The Doctors letter or medical certificate can be provided by your own GP, or a private Doctor either in the UK or Spain. The letter or certificate has to be signed by the issuing doctor, have their medical practice stamp, and their registration number. In the UK this is known as a GMC (General Medical Council) number.
At the time you submit your Non-Lucrative Visa application, the letter / certificate cannot be more than 3 months old.
The letter / certificate simply needs to have the following wording or similar:
“This health certificate states that Mr./Mrs. (…) does not suffer from any of the diseases that may have serious public health repercussions in accordance with what is stipulated by the International Health Regulations of 2005”
Whilst your GP should be able to provide you with this letter / certificate, we have found that some have experienced difficulties or even refusal by their Doctor. Additionally, a medical letter / certificate issued by a GP in the UK has to be legalised and officially translated to be accepted by the Spanish Consulate. If your GP is not registered with the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office FDCO, the Government department responsible for legalisation of documents, then additional verification has to be carried out, which can be a very lengthy process.
To avoid this you can ask your GP to complete the FDCO verification process in advance. They have to send an email to the legalisation office with a sample signature and confirming their GMC number. Alternatively you can use a private doctor such as Doctorcall, who offer visa medicals as a service. They are registered with the FCDO and provide the letter / certificate in English and Spanish so it doesn’t need to be translated.
We recommend that you get the certificate from a doctor in Spain. A medical certificate in Spanish, issued by a doctor in Spain will of course not need to be legalised or translated, saving you time and money.
A Spanish medical certificate for a Non-Lucrative Visa application, can be obtained either in person if you are visiting Spain, or there are also English speaking Spanish doctors that offer a service via online consultation.
Contact us if you need help either getting a doctors letter / medical certificate, or getting one translated.
Healthcare Required for a Non-Lucrative Visa Application
It is a requirement for all types of residency applicants to have access to healthcare in Spain, equivalent to that provided by the state to citizens and residents.
Healthcare can be either state provided or through a Private Medical Insurance policy.
Spanish State Healthcare
Most applicants applying for a Non-Lucrative Visa, don’t qualify for Spanish state healthcare. State pensioners are an exception to this, as they are eligible for UK-funded healthcare and can get and use an S1 form to register in the Spanish healthcare system.
Earlier in the year all three Spanish Consulates told us when we asked, that they could not accept the S1 form as proof of healthcare for a Non-Lucrative Visa application, and that they were awaiting advice from the Spanish Governments Lawyers on the matter. More recently they have all confirmed that the S1 form is accepted. The Consulate in Manchester further added in their response, that they accept all types of Spanish state healthcare access, including via the ‘Convenio Especial‘.
Private Medical Insurance
The majority of Non-Lucrative Visa applicants, need to take out a comprehensive private medical insurance, at least for the first year.
To be accepted by the Spanish Consulate for a Non-Lucrative Visa application, a Private Medical Insurance policy must provide the same level of healthcare cover as you would get under the state system, essentially treatment and care without conditions. This means the policy cannot have exclusions, excesses or co-payments. The policy has to cover the full year of the Non-Lucrative residency, and whilst it doesn’t need to start until your planned date of arrival in Spain, the policy must have been contracted and paid for at the time of your Non-Lucrative Visa appointment.
There are variances between the Consulates as to what they will and won’t accept. We recommend using an insurance broker who has experience providing policies for applications at all of the Consulates, and is able to advise on the best insurance product for you based on your circumstances.
If you would like assistance getting a Private Medical Insurance policy for your Non-Lucrative Visa application, or are unsure about your healthcare options and would like to speak to one of our advisers, please Get In Touch and we’ll be glad to help.
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