When seeking to obtain residency in Spain through a visa application, there are a multitude of documents and supporting materials that must be submitted. One of these essential documents is the ‘certificado médico’ (medical certificate), which plays a critical role in the application process.
If you are applying for Spain's non-lucrative visa or NLV, which allows you to reside in Spain for one year, you will need to provide a medical certificate with your application.
In this article, we will provide you with answers to the following questions:-
What is a medical certificate?
Contrary to its name, the medical certificate (certificado médico) is actually a letter that you get from a registered health practitioner that certifies you are in good health.
The Spanish government requires this letter to confirm that you do not suffer from certain diseases that may have severe public health consequences and could quickly spread internationally. These diseases are listed in two categories according to the International Health Regulations of 2005.
The first category includes smallpox, polio, human influenza, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The second category includes cholera, pneumonic plague, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers, West Nile fever, and other nationally or regionally important diseases such as Dengue, Rift Valley Fever (RVF), and meningococcal disease. Since 2005, a number of other diseases have been added to this list including Ebola, Zika Virus, Covid-19 and Monkeypox.
Therefore, your letter should confirm that you do not suffer from any of these diseases.
What is the process for obtaining the medical certificate?
To obtain a medical certificate, you should visit your doctor or GP and request a letter confirming that you are in good health. The letter must be issued within the last three months and state something similar to: “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."
If the certificate is issued in Spain, it should read something similar to this: “Esté certificado médico acredita que el Sr./Sra. (…) no padece ninguna de las enfermedades que pueden tener repercusiones para la salud pública graves, de conformidad con lo dispuesto en el reglamento sanitario internacional de 2005.”
Some readers have reported that GPs in the UK are either unfamiliar with the process, lack time, or refuse to issue these letters. In this case, you may need to visit a private medical practice and pay for the associated tests, which can cost anywhere from £30 up to £110.
Ensure that the letter or certificate is signed by the issuing doctor, and has their medical practice stamp and their registration number. This is known as the General Medical Council Number (GMC) in the UK.
Is there anything further I need to do to finalise my application?
Once you have the letter, you will need to get it apostilled so that it is officially recognised in Spain. In the UK this must be done by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) so that it is officially recognised in Spain.
It's important to be aware that the FCDO will only issue an apostille for documents that have been signed by a doctor or GP registered with them. If your doctor or GP is not registered, you may need to find an alternative option to get your letter apostilled. So make sure that they are either part of the General Medical Council or the Nurse and Midwifery Council.
Furthermore, depending on the specific consulate you are dealing with, you may also need to have your letter translated into Spanish by an official translator- one that is authorised by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This is because some consulates require all documents to be in the official language of the country where they are being used.
You can find a list of the official sworn translators here.
Overall, it's essential to make sure you follow all the necessary steps and requirements when getting your letter apostilled and translated, to avoid any complications or delays in the process.
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