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Getting a medical certificate for Spanish residency: What you need to know

The Local Spain
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Getting a medical certificate for Spanish residency: What you need to know
Getting a medical certificate for Spanish residency. Photo: Sozavisimost / Pixabay

Some Spanish residency visas require applicants to get a medical certificate to prove that they’re in good health. What exactly are these medical certificates, what do you need them for and where do you get one from?


If you're trying to apply for a visa to get residency in Spain, there are lots of different documents and different types of proof that you'll need for the process. One of these documents is the certificado médico or medical certificate. 

What is a medical certificate?

The certificado médico or medical certificate needed for Spanish residency is actually not a certificate at all, but a letter from a registered health practitioner stating that you are in good health.

According to the Spanish government, a medical certificate states that you do not suffer from certain diseases that may have serious public health repercussions and may spread internationally quickly, in accordance with the provisions of the International Health Regulations of 2005.

The International Health Regulations 2005 establishes two lists. The first list includes smallpox, poliomyelitis caused by wild poliovirus, human influenza caused by a new virus subtype and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The second list includes cholera, pneumonic plague, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers (from Ebola, Lassa, Marburg), West Nile fever and other diseases of special national or regional importance, eg. Dengue, Rif Valley fever and meningococcal disease.

This means that basically, your letter must state that you do not suffer from any of the above. 


What visas do I need to show a medical certificate for?

If you’re applying for Spain’s non-lucrative visa or NVL, which allows you residence for one year, you will need to supply a medical certificate with your application.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about applying for Spain’s non-lucrative visa

You may also need to provide a medical certificate for Spain’s Golden Visa, working visas or other types of visas, but it will usually depend on the consulate you are applying from as we have heard reports of some asking for it, while others don’t.

How do I get the certificate?

Usually, it’s a case of going to your doctor or GP and asking them for a letter to state that you're in good health. Remember that the letter must have been issued within the last three months. 

The Spanish government suggests that it is written something along the lines of: “This medical certificate certifies that Mr./Mrs. (...) Does not suffer from any of the diseases that can have serious public health repercussions in accordance with the provisions of the international health regulations of 2005". 

However, recent reports from readers in the UK say that GPs are either not familiar with the process, don’t have time or a refusing to issue these letters. This means that you may have to go to a private medical practice and pay for the associated tests involved. The cost of this will entirely depend on which health tests you need and which private practices you attend. 

We have heard reports on prices anywhere from £20 up to £110. 


Is there anything else I need to do? 

Yes, once you have the letter, you will need to get it apostilled, so that it will be officially recognised in Spain.

In the UK, this is done at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Be aware that the office will not issue your apostille if your GP or doctor isn’t registered with the FCDO, so you need to make sure that they are either part of the General Medical Council or the Nurse and Midwifery Council.

A couple of readers have reported that they have asked their local surgery to send a letter to the FCDO stating that their doctor works there and that has solved the issue.

Some consulates may also require you to get the letter translated by an official translator into Spanish.


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