Healthplan Spain


How Do I Get My Social Security Number In Spain? Expat Tips

This is a question many people will ask when moving to Spain, starting a new job, or setting up a new business.

Below we cover everything you need to know about getting your Spanish social security number including:-

  • What is a social security number?
  • What are the benefits of having one?
  • Who needs to apply for one
  • How to apply for your social security number
  • How long it takes to get your social security number
  • What they are used for
  • And more.

Let’s take a look.

What is a Spanish social security number?

If you want to undertake any form of work in Spain including self-employment or starting your own business, you will need to be issued with a social security number or ‘Número de Afiliación de la Seguridad Social’.

The number is also referred to as a Número de Seguridad Social or SSN.

You may also see references such as NAF (Número de Afiliación de Seguridad Social) and NUSS (Número de Usuario de Seguridad Social). They are basically the same thing, your social security identifier.

Other than the NIE number, the SSN is one of the most important identification numbers to obtain.

Once issued, the number is yours for life and does not expire.

What are the benefits of having a social security number?

Once you have been issued your number, you will officially be a part of the tax and social security system. This will mean you will have direct access to a number of benefits including unemployment benefits, healthcare benefits, social security benefits, disability benefits, a state pension, and more.

Who needs to apply for one?

In essence, anyone who wants to conduct any form of work or business transactions in the country. These include:-

  • Paid employment
  • Self-employment
  • Students taking on any paid or professional internships
  • Civil servants or military personnel
  • Running a business or being a partner in a business.

If you are to be legally employed by a company, you will need a social security number.

If you are being employed in Spain, the good news is that your employer will need to apply for one on your behalf, saving you the trouble.

However, if you plan on working for yourself and becoming a self-employed autonomous worker, you will need to apply yourself.

How to apply for your social security number

There are two ways to apply for a social security number in Spain which are online and in-person.

The best and fastest way to apply is online.

For both methods, you will need to complete the relevant form which is the Modelo TA-1 (Official Link)


If you will be applying online, you will need to have a digital certificate or clave. Either of these are sufficient and are easy to obtain through the links above.

Although you do not have to have a digital certificate or clave, these are used a lot in Spanish administration so having one will be beneficial to you over the long term and make everything a lot easier.

If you have a digital certificate or clave, you can apply here.

If you do not have a digital certificate or clave, you will need to apply via the following link.

You will also need to submit the following documentation during the application process.

  • A valid passport or national id card (EU Citizens)
  • Your TIE or residency card with NIE number
  • Padron certificate
  • Work/Residency Visa (Non-EU nationals)
  • Employment/internship contract

Once submitted, you will usually be assigned your social security number within 24 hours.


To apply in person, you will need a completed TA-1 form and will then need to make an appointment (Cita Previa) at your nearest Seguridad Social office.

At your appointment, you will need to present the same documents as above in the online section which are passport/id document, TIE, NIE, work visa, padron certificate and employment contract, self-employment details.

As it is unlikely that many people at the social security office will speak English or your native language, it would be beneficial for you to take a Spanish speaker along with you to your appointment.

Your social security number will be issued to you during the appointment.

That’s it!