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We recently received a similar enquiry to this:-

“Hi, I have lived in Spain for just over 2 years. I have an EHIC card from England which will expire on 6 June 2020. Am I able to get medical assistance just using this card and my passport in medical centres? I have ongoing health problems and am retired. I will be 68 soon. At the moment, I live in Villamartin, Orihuela Costa. Thank you.”

We responded this gentleman in the following manner:-

Thank you for your enquiry.

EHIC card

An EHIC card gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay (6 months max) in another European Economic Country or Switzerland. The EHIC card will only cover medical treatment that is necessary to get you home to the UK, it will not cover ongoing treatment. If you stay in Spain for more than 6 months and 1 day you should become a resident by applying for your Residencia. Can we ask if you receive your state pension please, this will allow me to give you the correct advice and information?

The response was that the gentleman does receive a state pension. So our colleague Nicola responded again with the following:-

Perfect, in that case applying for your Residencia is much easier.

When you apply for your Residencia you have to request an “S1” from the HMRC. This certificate will transfer the NHS healthcare benefits to Spain allowing you to access full healthcare as you would in the UK. After obtaining Residencia you can apply for your SIP card which will provide access to the healthcare system in Spain. You have to be Resident in Spain to obtain your SIP card. We can help you obtain both your SIP and Residencia.

For Residencia we would require the following documents:



-Padron (no more than 6 months old)

-S1 certificate from HMRC, (this can take many weeks to arrive, would be best to request this first )

-Most recent bank statement from your Spanish or UK bank showing your pension contributions from the DWP being deposited, the statement must have your full name on.

-Recent awards letter from the DWP confirming your pension contributions

Should you have any problems when requesting your Padron at the Padron office, please advise them you need the Padron as part of you Residencia application.

For your SIP card, we would require the following documents



-Padron (no more than 6 months old)


Our fee for Residencia is 130€, this includes preparation of paperwork, taxes, translation on the day of the appointment and collection
of your Residencia, SIP card is 40€

Should you have any queries in regards to this please do not hesitate to contact us.


  • Julia Helen Bough

    Hi, i am an expat residing in San Miguel de salinas 03193 Spain.
    Im 65 years old but not recieving pension from uk until January 2020. I came to visit friends in France and was taken ill here. I have been paying as i go for pescriptions and medical care. Where can i apply for a EHIC from Spain to cover me until i can return there.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Hi Julie, We are really sorry to hear that. Please contact Gema in our office on and she will advise you.

    • Amanda Thomas

      Dear Julia, You can apply for your EHIC from the country where you pay your taxes, if you are a Spanish Resident and pay your taxes in Spain, if not you would have to contact the UK to apply for the EHIC. You can apply online at the link on our blog……
      The Social Security have to have the correct address for you and they send it out…the card will take a few weeks to be delivered.
      We hope this helps and wish you a speedy recovery.

  • Philip Waring

    I have retired early (so no state pension yet) but, up until recently, had been using a temporary SIP card issued by my medical centre to get my regular prescriptions. But now my EHIC (on which the SIP was based) has expired, and I can no longer get to see a doctor. Newcastle told me they wouldn’t replace the EHIC (as I am no longer a UK resident), so I wondered if I could get a Spanish equivalent. I have residencia, and I pay local and national taxes – but am otherwise not in the social security system. I also have private health insurance, but that doesn’t cover the cost of regular visits for prescriptions. Do I have any entitlement to a Spanish EHIC card, based on my residency?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Afternoon Philip,

      Here in Spain, when you pay your social security contributions and have Spanish health cover not all of the prescriptions are free, money still has to be paid toward the prescription depending what it is. Please see below a link to our blog discussing this and also the “Convenio Especial” this is when you pay per month for the Spanish Health care, we hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Colin Greenwell

    I am about to get my Residencia and will get medical treatment here in Spain and UK with the S1 form but I want to travel to other EU countries with my motorhome can I get a Spanish EHIC card to cover me ?

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Colin,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      If you are a UK pensioner, you can obtain the EHIC card from UK via the overseas team at the HMRC. If you call the same telephone number which you would call for the S1, they should be able to help. We hope this helps and enjoy your travels.

      Kind regards

  • anne

    hi. please send me your brexit guide

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Anne,

      Thank you for requesting our Brexit guide, which has been emailed to you. Should you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

      Kind regards

  • Rita

    My husband and I are uk expat pensioners resident in Spain when visiting uk do we need EHIC for any medical emergency if so which country and do we apply to.

    Thank you

    • Jane

      Hi Rita

      If you both have your S1 then this will cover you here and in UK.

      Kind Regards


  • David

    I am a resident in Spain .if I travel to France/ Portugal. Can I gain medical assistance I have a Spanish s.i.p. Card

    • Jane

      Hi David

      You should obtain a EHIC card from the Social Security office this will give you European Health Cover.

      Kind Regards


  • Christine Mirrie Smith

    Hi, we have lived and worked in Spain for over 30 years. We had an EHIC card expired I applied for new ones but have had no joy. Obviously we have SIP cards. If I want to visit England after the crisis is over do I need an EHIC, from all I’ve read it’s only brits coming to Spain that need it. Confused. Christine

    • Jane

      Hi Christine

      You should be able to apply for a new one as per these guidelines,

      Under the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement British pensioners who are S1 holders and students can continue to use their UK-issued EHIC card for basic health cover when travelling to another EU country as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

      Pensioners and students can also use the cards when returning to the UK but they are asked to apply for a new card

      Those who can apply for a new EHIC card are:

      a UK State Pensioner or receiving some other exportable benefits, and you have a registered S1 form or E121

      Hope this helps. Kind Regards


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