How to obtain your Spanish social security number in 2019
This article tells you how to get a Spanish social security number in 2019 (the process has recently changed), and gives you tips to help you complete the form even if you don’t speak Spanish.
There are two ways to get a Spanish social security number: either in person or online. If you speak Spanish, have a Spanish NIE and a digital certificate, you can click here to apply online. Click on the the symbol in the upper right hand corner that says “Tu Seguridad Social” and follow the instrcutions. The social security agency has also developed an app, which you can download here.
If you don’t speak Spanish and have a NIE, we recommend you go in person to get your Spanish social security number. As the Spanish Government is shockingly efficient when it comes to getting money, the process if very straightforward and usually quite quick. Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Fill out the Spanish social security number form
Section 1 of the Spanish social security form
1.1 Last name, first name
1.2 Sex (M for women, H for men). Double check you do this correctly because if you are a native English speaker, it is easy to automatically check M if you are a man.
1.3 Type of ID. Choose Tarjeta de Extranjero if you have a TIE, or Pasaporte if you are using your passport
1.4 The number of the above documents
1.5 Leave this blank and don’t think too deeply about it
1.6 Leave this blank unless you are disabled. If you have a disability, we recommend finding a Spanish gestor and asking them for help.
1.7 Maiden name. You only need to fill this out if you are a European national and are indeed married.
1.8 Address. Type of street (Calle, plaza, etc), name of street, number, municipality (eg: Madrid), province (eg: Madrid)
1.9 Electronic data. Email address, then check the box “sí” if you wish to receive email communication from the social security office. Mobile phone number.
Section 2 of the Spanish social security form
2.1 Reasons for variation in your social security data. Unless you are in a special situation (which you likely are not if you don’t know about it), leave this blank.
Complete the form to your best of your ability, and print another one for your trip to the social security office.
Do you need help filling out your Spanish social security form? If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send us an email!
2. Get your papers in order
You will need to bring the following documents with you to the social security office:
- Spanish social security number application (see above). Print out two copies and bring them both.
- Your passport and your NIE.
3. Go to the closest Tesorería de la Seguridad Social
You now need to go directly to your closest social security office, or Tesorería de la Seguridad Social. You will find a complete list for Madrid here. It also has a search function where you can find an office that will help you get a security key, if you wish to apply digitally.
If you are in the centre, we recommend the office located at C/ Santa Cruz de Marcenado, 22. We don’t know anyone that has applied at this office who has had to wait more than a half an hour. Take a ticket at the entrance and wait for your number.
Check before arriving at the office that you have all the papers you need, originals and copies. This is important because sometime officials will make you queue again if they don’t want to make a photocopy (even if there is a machine right behind them).
4. Be patient, positive but inquisitive
Now you have everything you need to obtain your Spanish social security number.
Typically, the staff is very helpful. However, someone might be having a bad day, or your very specific case might be a little tricky. In this case be patient and positive. If anything is wrong or missing, smile and say: “So sorry, I did not know. What do I need to do?” Do not accept “no” or “no idea” for an answer. They might say you are missing something, but you have to be inquisitive, and always ask exactly what is missing to obtain what you want. Don’t forget to smile. Most Spanish bureaucrats aren’t used to that reaction and it usually confuses them so much they will go out of their way to help you.
What if I don’t have a Spanish NIE?
If you don’t have a Spanish NIE, you need to get one before applying for a social security number, a health card or basically anything else. Obtaining a Spanish NIE still must be done in person. However, the process changed dramatically in 2018. Most of the information on getting a Spanish NIE that you find on the interent is currently very out of date. To learn the current way to get a NIE, please read How to get your Spanish NIE in 5 easy steps.
The Spanish bureaucracy in 2019
The Spanish Government is making great strides to modernize the bureaucracy. Although this is a very welcome change, people need to note that it is in a moment of great transition. All transactions are moving to a digital format. Some things, like applying for residence permits, have now been completely digitized. Others, like getting a Spanish Spanish social security number, can currently be obtained both in person and electronically. During this period of transition, please remember that things are changing very quickly. It is important to have patience and keep yourself fully informed. Keep checking this blog for the most up to date information available about how to navigate the Spanish bureaucracy.
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