I’ve got a question

If I become a Spanish citizen will I lose my free nhs for back home in the Uk

Can you explain what you mean by ‘citizen.?'

It could be take Spanish nationality or become a resident

If I want to live legally in Spain would I lose my nhs as when I went home last time I needed to see a doctor just curious as to where I stand

mirellasalucci wrote:

If I want to live legally in Spain would I lose my nhs as when I went home last time I needed to see a doctor just curious as to where I stand

Do you mean if you become a Spaniard?

Yes I guess so I've got an Italian passport

As you have Italian Nationality why would you choose to take Spanish nationality ?

And as you have service from NHS as an Italian why do you think being Spanish would be any different?

I am guessing you have a reason for posting the question.  If you explain what that is, hopefully you will get an answer to, what appears to be, the question behind your question as posted

Officially, if you are resident abroad you are not automatically entitled to NHS services (as it's a "residence-based system").

However, the issue is how do they know? There are many folks who don't admit this, and continue to access the NHS. It's easier if you have a UK passport to prove you're British... and it probably helps if you maintain a UK address somewhere and remain on the electoral roll and registered with your local GP.

If you're spending time in both places (or if Spanish healthcare were terrible, which it isn't) this makes a bit of sense. But if you decided to spend all your time in Spain it would be easier to organize Spanish healthcare... either with a  private medical insurance... or by registering in the Spanish system and making social security contributions.

Also, as noted above, there is a difference between being a Spanish resident, and being a Spanish citizen. If you have an EU passport (e.g. Italian) getting Spanish residence is very straightforward - and there's no benefit to getting a Spanish citizenship. If you have a UK passport it's a little trickier, but many Brits get the "no lucrativa" which is for pensioners and others of independent means who won't work in Spain.

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

Access to NHS supplied treatments are UK residence-based, in other words, you have to be legally resident and live in the UK.  Historically, many people have used a UK family address to get around this, or just remained with their UK doctor; this does get problematic when an issue arises that a doctor in Spain needs to see your medical records.

I just asked my wife (NHS GP practice nurse); she tells me that the NHS is now checking and they have had people removed from their patient list for providing wrong or misleading information on their registration form.  They now have a list of things they have to use to prove residency:

1. Recent original utility bill such as gas, electric, water, landline (mobile not acceptable).

2. Council tax bill for the current year

3. Bank, building society or credit union statement or passbook

4. Recent original mortgage statement from a recognised lender

5. Current council or housing association rent book or tenancy agreement

6. Notification letter from the Department for Work and Pensions confirming your right to benefits or a state pension.

So, if you have ID (passport, UK driving licence etc), can provide at least 1 of those listed items, you should be able to use NHS services., otherwise, it will become part of your decision making process when planning your Expat journey.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

I want to find part time casual work in Playa De Las Americas. I'm a British citizen and how easy or hard is it now after Brexit?

Welcome @alkeshodedra to the expat.com forum.

Bexit has thrown a big spanner in the works so living and working in Spain not so easy now for Brits.

You can visit visa-free for 90/180 so no worries coming for holidays and having a 2nd home.

If you want to stay longer, and have a pension or other independent financial means, you get the "no lucrativa"  visa. But you're not allowed to work with this.

Like UK, there are penalities for hiring foreigners without permission to work.

I'm not saying it's impossible... but I wouldn't recommend it.

@Cynic provides great info on the NHS.

As I mentioned, you need a few proofs to convince them... and you are being a bit naughty, so we can't say we recommend it.

But it depends if you are living UK and spending a few months in Spain's warm winters... or living entirely (or nearly entirely) in Spain.

I had a buddy in UK, and I know he did this with his parents (or more exactly, his parents did this, enabled by their son's UK home). They lived 100% abroad, but were included on the council tax bill. Council tax is not much more expensive for 3 than 1, so it wasn't a huge expense. Council tax is a proof of address and passport is a proof of ID, so job done. I think electoral roll is another proof of address, and they kept their UK driving licenses too.

But even so, the doctor asked questions, so they had to be careful how to answer.

It seems like a right faff to me, but they were convinced that Sri Lanka healthcare was terrible, and UK was wonderful. There's little difference between Spain/UK so I doubt it's worth it

Similarly, I kept my Glasgow flat for a few years, as I thought I should keep a bit of a UK base. I was registered with my local Ibrox GP, no hassles. But we rarely went over, so it just wasn't worth the expense (UK council tax alone is about 100 quid a month, whereas my Spanish IBI is 150 euros a year).

However, what is recommended is to have healthcare coverage everywhere you live/stay, as it can get very expensive (and very unpleasant) if you don't have it. Short visits to Spain (e.g, for winter vakay) can be covered by a decent holiday insurance, which have typical limits 30-90 days (longer = more expensive, as you'd expect). Holiday insurance is better than nothing, but no substitute for proper health coverage.

For a few months a year in Spain, you probably should get a private health insurance policy (roughly 400 to 1,500 euros, annually, say). How economic this is depends on how much time you spend in Spain. For the first year you will need it anyway, if you apply for residence (it's one of the required proofs).

For longer (or full-time) in Spain you should definitely have a private policy. Or maybe register (if you're a legal resident) in the Spanish system and pay your social security contributions there to get access to the public system instead.

Hanging on to the UK healthcare is pretty easy if you keep a home there, and spend time there. But as I indicated above, this gets uneconomical if you spend just a few days there.

Lots of people hang on to their home and NHS until they figure out if they like Spain... and how much time they want to spend there. But if you relocate permanently, it's a different story.

I am a former police detective

Obtaining the services of the NHS by making dishonest statements (lying) prosecutable under the Theft Act..   It wound be very easy to prove that offence in court. 

Also.  Any services thus obtained would be claimable.

Anyone suggesting, assisting in anyway, etc to commit such offence would be liable to prosecution for aiding and abetting the offence.

What people choose to do is a decision for them but breaking the law can have very serious results and therefore not recommended.

Quote from :-   


“ Until 2007, in England and Wales, the main deception offences were defined in the Theft Act 1968 and the Theft Act 1978. The basic pattern of deception offences was established in the Theft Act 1968, and was then amended in the Theft Act 1978 and the Theft (Amendment) Act 1996 which addressed some of the problems that had arisen in the enforcement of the law.”

Hi John Carr well I'm still paying my bills council tax as I've got a house still in Scotland so that can't be exactly stealing or is it

mirellasalucci wrote:

Hi John Carr well I'm still paying my bills council tax as I've got a house still in Scotland so that can't be exactly stealing or is it

I think you probably know the answer to that.  If you're caught, the fact you pay council tax will not negate the theft of services, they are 2 unrelated matters that tend to open even more cans of worms.

When you're young and fit, medical matters tend to just be a thing we don't care much about, but as we get older, things get a bit more problematic.  As I said earlier it really should be part of the decision-making process that you consider when planning your Expat journey.

Expat Team

So what is the honest way around this

mirellasalucci wrote:

Hi John Carr well I'm still paying my bills council tax as I've got a house still in Scotland so that can't be exactly stealing or is it

If you have residence status in spain you are not resident in uk.   Doesn't take a detective to work that  out !  To ‘stretch the truth' as you suggest would be no defence 

If you are resident in Spain I hope you are declaring your UK property on the 720 return if it's valued over 50,000 euros.

And also declaring it on your Spanish annual tax return and thus either paying income in uk
if you let it and possibly a top up tax in spain,  or if it's not producing a rental income,  paying imputed tax on it in spain.

I'm not a resident as of yet I've got time still within my time or the 3 months

I'm just asking to see what is involved

It may be a surprise, but council tax does not pay or contribute to the UK NHS. It is a serious offense to defraud the UK NHS and you can be imprisoned for it. You may have paid National Insurance contributions (NI) in the past, but that is the past and not the present, plus some of that has now been spent on ‘'Downing Street parties''. :o  You must abide by good moral standards. :top:

I have read somewhere that UK ex-pats over retirement age can legally use the UK NHS, but I suppose you can read anything today on the internet. :unsure

JaneLoveit wrote:

..... I have read somewhere that UK ex-pats over retirement age can legally use the UK NHS, but I suppose you can read anything today on the internet. :unsure

There is something in that, in as much as when you first receive your State retirement pension, you do get a "Notification letter from the Department for Work and Pensions confirming your right to a state pension.", which, together with your passport is what you need to register with the NHS (don't forget you still need a UK address to register with), so it seems that inadvertently, or perhaps deliberately, the Department for Health has provided a means for pensioners to still access NHS treatment, although that said, whether the hassle of paying for flights and the actual journey are worth it, I think I'd rather have paid into the Spanish scheme.

Expat Team

If you have an EHIC you may get treatment but only as an emergency.

More info can be found HERE.

There's a lot of drama here folks! Why do you all want to scare @mirellasalucci? :-)

She's doing what many UK citizens do, which is to consider a new life in Spain. And many do not jump straight in and do a 100% relocation from UK to Spain... but, instead, get a holiday/2nd home, and then start spending time there and see how it goes.

Typically, they won't have access to free Spanish healthcare, so they'll buy a private health insurance. While in the UK, they continue to access the NHS. This doesn't change even if they get a Spanish residence permit.

You don't lose your UK residence simply because you get a residence permit elsewhere, or buy a second home abroad, although @Johncar insists it is so. It depends mostly on your physical presence, as does your tax residence country.


Hi yes I am paying taxes back in the Uk
My dad is Italian and I have 2 passports Uk and Italian

Just for clarity:

One's  nationality has no bearing whatsoever on the offence of Criminal Deception.

former Det Ch Insp. Met police, London

Thank you @mirellasalucci for your clarification.

As you are a UK resident UK citizen, I expect you will enjoy NHS services for many years to come. :-)

As a bonus, your Italian citizenship makes getting residence in Spain (and elsewhere in the EU) very easy. After Brexit, it is much more difficult for us Brits abroad, so it's great that you already have dual nationality. And, most likely, you would therefore not derive any benefit from getting Spanish citizenship/passport (especially as, if I recall correctly, they would insist on you giving up both your UK and Italian citizenships, making it a very bad deal indeed).


Others here will not know we have been communicating for seven months now. 

They will also not know that  for all that time I  have been aware of your dual nationality, your residency in UK and because of that I supplied you with all the information, that I used to supply when I was working with the police and advising EU nationals what was required.

I hope you get the result you choose and of course as previously I will assist, preferably by private messaging as previously, which should avoid some of the confusion which can occur in the open forum.

Why have you thought so? It is not a problem today and you can live anywhere, just paying attention at the paperwork providing on time. For instance, if you are looking for the opportunity to get good writing service, https://ejemplius.com/muestras-de-ensay … oanalisis/ will be your best friend in it. And, furthermore, all the process of work takes place within the important part of work overall.
If you are a legal resident in Spain and have the S1 healthcare entitlement you can use the S1 document to legally get free healthcare when you visit the UK.