Easy Steps on How to Get a Social Security Number in Spain

Legal & Administrative
| | 4 min read |

If you are planning to do an internship or have a job in Spain, you will need a numéro de seguridad social (NSS) or a social security number. But you must be asking, what is this number used for and how can I get it?

Well, you are in the right place. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the Spanish social security number.

What is a social security number?

Let’s begin with the whole social security system.

A social security system is where a government guarantees economic security to its citizens and residents. Its objective is to provide protection against situations of illness, disability, unemployment, old age, accidents at work, maternity or loss of the family’s means of support.

A social security number (SSN) is a personal and identifiable dedicated number to you as an employee and tax payer for life. It is the number that connects you to the entire system.

Any citizen or worked whether employed by another person or self-employed who does not have a SSN may request one.

You will need to give this number to your employer and you will need it if you are planning to work as an autónomo/a or a freelancer. It is necessary to have it especially if you need to access the public health care and security. The government and employers use this number to track your pension, welfare (if you are eligible), and other labor activities such as paternal/maternal leave.

Healthcare is one of the biggest advantages of being in the social security system, and your employer covers the necessary fee for your basic care. In most regions, general doctor visits and emergency care are free at public clinics and hospitals.

Dental cares and surgeries are usually not covered by the system and you may have to pay out of your pocket (unless you have a healthcare plan that covers that).

Who needs a Spanish social security number?

Anyone who legally resides in the Spanish territories can apply as long as you belong to one of the following categories:

  • Employees working for a company or another person
  • Self-employed workers (autónomo)
  • Working partners in associated work co-operatives
  • Students who are doing a professional internship and are on the company’s payroll
  • Civil Servants or Military Personnel.

How can I get a Spanish social security number?

The process is relatively easy and shouldn’t take more than half an hour (even though legally they say that it may take up to 45 days but it almost never takes that long).

You can go to any social security office called Tesorería de la Seguridad Social (Treasury of Social Security) in your area, get a number and wait for your turn to hand them your documents. Usually an appointment is not needed. You need to have the necessary documents (see below) with you and present them if asked.

Required documents

  • Passport or valid NIE (Check out the complete step-by-step guide to getting your NIE). An expired NIE will NOT be accepted)
  • Application form TA1 (click here to download the TA1 form) You can do it electronically and then print and sign it or request one in the office. Scroll down for help on how to fill out the application form)
  • Internship or work contract signed by both the company and the school if you are here on a student visa and are interested in doing an internship at the same time
  • Volante de padrón proving that you are a registered citizen of your district (optional)
  • Any other documents that would support your case (e.g. house contract, job offer, etc)

Now take all the documents to a social security office and submit them. You should have your SSN in less than an hour.

Spanish Treasury of Social Security employee delivering documentation, NIE and contracts
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