Spain is one of the top immigration destinations; beautiful weather, laid-back lifestyle, spectacular beaches, and people who welcome immigrants make it a great place to live. If you are a doctor and want to immigrate to Spain or want to continue your education in this country, this article will bring you all you need to know. You will find answers to all of your questions.

What are the requirements?

You need these requirements to study medicine in Spain and move to the country.

Spanish fluency certificate.

The first and most important requirement is to have a Spanish language fluency certificate. It might be a bit difficult, but it is not impossible. If you are wondering whether there are medical courses in English, yes, some Spanish universities offer English medical courses, but they are limited, and the competition is tough. Also, they require some level of Spanish fluency as well.

You will need Spanish fluency to work in Spain as a doctor even if you study an English medical course.

The language requirement is with the university, and you need to check its website to find out. But the least requirement is a level of C1 or above.

The university requirement to get admission.

You need to get admission to a Spanish university that offers a medical course. To do so, you need some supporting documents and requirements. Here is a list of the documents you have to submit; 

  • Latest educational degree (high school diploma)
  • Clean record certificate
  • A copy of your passport.
  • Language fluency certificate.
  • Transcripts.
  • IELTS or TOEFL or English language requirement.
  • Recommendation from teachers.
  • Cover letter or statement of purpose.

You should visit the university website to find out what the requirements are. They are different for each university. For instance, they might require you to have passed some special subjects like math, biology, physics, etc.

Also, you might have to pass a test or exam to get admission to the university.

Being able to get a Spain student visa.

After you get admitted to a Spanish university, you need a Spain student visa to enter the country and complete your education. You must be able to get a student visa, gather the documents and submit them to the Spanish officials.

See the below section to know the list of the Spain student visa requirement. Determine if you can collect all of the required documents and submit them or not.

For instance, one of the requirements is to have a valid passport for the duration of your stay. Your course will take about 6 years, so your passport must be new and issued in the past 10 years. Also, it must have one or two blank pages to get the visa label and be valid for a few years, if not for the whole duration of your stay.

The other sample document is a clean record certificate. You must get it from the police or the related authority in your home country. If you can not submit a clean record certificate, your application will get complicated. So, you’d better read the whole section and procedure once or twice to get a clear understanding of the things you have to do.

What is the procedure you have to follow?

This is the procedure you have to follow to become a doctor in Spain;

Are you eligible to follow the whole procedure?

Look before you leap. Before you begin the procedure or take any step, read the above section of the requirements. Determine if you can fulfill them or not. Then, take a look at this part and read the whole content. Determine if you can follow it or not and meet the requirements.

You’d better read the whole section and find the details. If you face an obstacle in one stage, your time and effort might be lost.

For instance, if you study Spanish and get the certificate but later in the application process, you find out that you have not received the required level, your effort will become meaningless.

Get a Spanish language fluency certificate.

The key to unlocking becoming a doctor in Spain is to gain a Spanish language proficiency certificate. You need to work hard to get fluent in Spanish as the medical course is in Spanish, and you need to understand and speak it fluently.

The point you need to remember is that you should find out the level you need. Read the next part to find out the fluency level you need. It’s up to the university and their requirement. You have to find it out with the Spanish university.

Find a Spanish university offering a medical course.

You need to find a Spanish university that offers a medical course and provides it to international students. After you find the course, you need to find out the requirements and admission conditions. Read every line carefully and determine the exact requirements.

You need to consider a few points with the university and the city it’s located in. First, determine the tuition and whether you can afford it or not. If not, what can you do about it, or can you get funds or scholarships?

Also, you need to find some information about the city; 

  • The cost of living.
  • Available jobs for international students.
  • Hobbies and entertainments.
  • Distance to capital.
  • Weather conditions.
  • Etc.

You’d better find out if you can stand the living conditions in the city or not.

Fulfill the requirements and get admission.

After you pass the previous section and find all the information, apply to the university and wait for processing. It’s different and might take one to a few months.

Wait for processing, and when the university agrees to grant admission, they provide you with an admission letter. If only you get the admission letter, it means you can continue the procedure.

You can apply to more than one university to improve your chance of getting admission.

Apply for a Spain student visa.

At this stage, and after getting admission to a Spanish university, you need to apply for a student visa. If you are a non-EU national, you need a student visa to study a medical course in Spain. A medical duration is six years, and you need a visa to complete your education.

First, you need to gather the student visa supporting documents; here is a list of the documents you have to gather;

No.1. An acceptance letter from a Spanish university or education center. 

Each Spanish university has its own requirements.

  1. Education certificate
  2. Transcripts
  3. Statements of purpose or SOP
  4. Language proficiency test (English or Spanish)
  5. Graduate Point Average (GPA)

Visit the university’s website and find the program you wanna apply for.

Figure out what the requirements are.

Only when you receive admission can you apply for a visa. You’re gonna need the original acceptance letter in Spanish and English.

No. 2. Proof of having enough funds 

It could be:

  1. Bank statements
  2. Scholarship
  3. Documents of paid expenses

You also need to have enough funds for your stay in Spain.

Living in a city like Madrid could cost you 1,800€ per month for a couple.  But it’s less in other cities, about 1,600€ a month.  If your parents are gonna cover your expenses, submit evidence that they will do it.

No 3. Is the Medical Insurance

It must cover your trip & Covid-19 expenses for 30.000 EUR.

What about when settling in Spain? You need to register your address with the local town hall.

Done, You will get a certificate of registration.

You’ll need this to apply for a healthcare card.

It will cover your medical expenses in Spain.

In some cases, non-EU students might need to get private insurance.

Some of the largest private health insurance companies in Spain include:

  1. Allianz Care
  2. Cigna Global
  3. Globality Health

Find their links in the description for more details.

No .4. The Proof of accommodation.

Make it clear where you will stay during your studies.

A rented apartment? A dormitory? Submit proof for it.

No. 5. Clean record certificate 

You’ll need this one if you stay in Spain for the long term.  It must be from the country you have lived in for the past 5 years. Remember, this document can not be older than 3 months at the time of application.

No. 6. Is your passport. 

It must be valid for the whole duration of your course and after the program’s end date. If not, get a new one. It must not be older than ten years ago, either.

No.7 is the Photos

Submit two photos taken in the past three months. The background must be white and clear. The dimension must be Passport-sized.

No. 8. Is the Application form.

Complete the application form with your personal information, then print, date, and sign it. If a particular field or section doesn’t apply to you, mark it as N/A.

No.9. Medical certificate. 

It can not be older than 3 months. It must indicate that you have no contagious disease that threatens the public. Ask the Spanish embassy about the verified healthcare centers that take such tests.

No. 10 is the program of your studies: 

  1. Subjects
  2. Credits
  3. Duration(starting and finishing dates),
  4. Name of the Certificate/Grade you will get at the end of your studies.

Note; the above list of documents is a sample list, and you might have to submit further supporting documents. It’s up to the Spanish embassy in your home country to ask for further supporting documents. You’d better visit their website or contact them to know if they require further documents or not.

After you gather the documents, schedule a meeting with the Spanish embassy/consulate in your home country. You have to find out who is responsible for visa processing in your home country. Whoever they are, book a meeting with them and visit them in person to submit the documents.

Do not forget to bring the documents to the meeting. Submit them to the officials and pay the fees for visa processing. You can expect to pay about $67 for a student visa, but you might have to pay more. It’s up to your nationality and the embassy services. Determine how you have to pay the processing fees; during, before, or after the embassy meeting. There will be an interview when you visit the embassy as well. The officials will ask you some questions about the purpose of your visit, the course, and the city you will live in. You should be honest and give true answers.

After the meeting ends, you need to wait for visa processing. It’s from one to a few months. So you’d better apply as early as possible so as not to miss your deadline. When the processing is over, the embassy informs you to get the visa label on your passport. Now you can move to Spain.

When you arrive in Spain, you need to apply for a Residence Permit or TIE. How? Find a police station and submit these documents to them:

  1. Your passport
  2. Completed application form the police give you
  3. Copy of Passport stamp
  4. Three new photo

Wait until your documents get processed. The Officials inform you to get your TIE. You have to renew the TIE every year until your study gets finished.

Pass the exams and residency.

You need to complete your education and get your degree. In the meantime, you have to obey the national law, rules, and regulations. Also, you should spend the required time in Spain.

You should work hard to get high scores in your studies and a high GPA. Also, try to find information about the exams you have to pass. You will have to pass the MIR test successfully. It’s a theoretical, clinical, and diagnostic skill test. There is also a practical test with scenarios you will need to pass. You have to pass it to enter the residency period.

After you pass it, you need to take a residency period. It’s up to your expertise and the area you want to work in. The university and local officials will guide you to take your residency in Spain. The duration is with the expertise and area you will work in.

Get a medical license.

After you pass your residency period, you need to get your degree legalized by the Ministry of Health of Spain. If you get your degree from Spain, it will automatically be legalized by the Ministry of Health. But if you got your degree from outside of Spain, you need to send them your degree and documents to get them recognized.

Remember that the procedure you have to follow is different for each province. They might have their own guideline or instructions.

Then you need to register with the College of Physicians. You need these items to register with them; 

  • Spanish language fluency.
  • A degree from a Spanish university.
  • Ministry of Health of Spain legalization.
  • Proof of residence in the province you want to get your degree.

After you complete the registration, reach the local officials to complete the steps and get your medical license.

If you have got your degree from outside of Spain, you need to get it recognized by Spanish officials. The degree from EU countries will get recognized automatically. But degrees from a non-EU country need to pass the recognition procedures with the Ministry of Education. After your degree is recognized, you need to follow the same steps that people who have got their degree in Spain.

Get a work permit.

If you are an EU/EEA or Switzerland national, you do not need a work permit to work in Spain. But if you are a non-EU national, you need a work permit to work in Spain. You have to find an employer who needs your skills, a hospital or clinic. Then the employer applies for a work permit, and after it is issued, you can continue your work as a doctor.

Infographic How to immigrate and work in Spain as a doctor

Spanish universities that offer medical courses.

This section brings you a list of the Spanish universities that have medical degrees. You can visit their websites one by one and determine the requirements. Then you need to figure out whether you can fulfill them or not.

Also, you’d better find some information about the city they are located in to find out if you can live in that city or not. 

  • University of Barcelona Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Autonomous University of Barcelona
  • University of Navarra Faculty of Medicine
  • University of Valencia Faculty of Medicine
  • Autonomous University of Madrid Faculty of Medicine
  • Complutense University of Madrid Faculty of Medicine
  • Pompeu Fabra University
  • University of Granada Faculty of Medicine
  • University of Salamanca Faculty of Medicine
  • University of Seville Faculty of Medicine

You might be able to find more universities, but the above list is the best universities that offer medical courses.

Spain universities quality

You should know that Spain enjoys one of the best and high-quality education in the world. It has become the destination for so many international students. It has made a name for research and classroom quality and instructions.

Thousands of international students are studying in the country, and it has a diverse culture.  94,962 interaction students live in Spain, which make up %2 of the population.

They are friendly to international students and welcome them.

There are so many educational opportunities that you have access to them.

Can you study medicine in Spain in English?

Yes, you can study Medicine in Spain in English if you find a university that offers a course in English. You must be able to get admission to the university and fulfill the requirements.

You should know that there are few universities that offer a medicine course in English and you must know some level of Spanish as well.

You can not expect to become a doctor in Spain with English language fluency. You need to know Spanish and become fluent in it. Even if you get admitted to a university that offers courses in English, they are taught in Spanish and English.

Doctors’ salaries in Spain.

Your salary as a doctor in Spain is up to various factors;

  • Work experience
  • Knowledge and skills
  • Where you got your educational degree
  • The place you work with.
  • Language fluency
  • The field you work in.
  • Etc.

Different sources have mentioned various figures for your salary. According to Salary Expert, the average salary of a doctor in Spain is about 6,120 EUR per month. This source says that the lowest salary is about 2,370 EUR, while the highest salary is about 10,200 EUR per month.

Your expertise is one of the determining factors. Take a look at this table to know the difference in salary for different occupations;

Physician – Gastroenterology7,370 EUR
Physician – Dermatology8,040 EUR
Physical Therapy Director5,040 EUR
Optometrist5,790 EUR
Obstetrician / Gynecologist7,500 EUR
Naturopathic Physician7,710 EUR
Invasive Cardiologist11,000 EUR
Genetic Counselor4,430 EUR
Dietitian5,340 EUR
Behavioral Health Specialist3,040 EUR
Advanced Practice Provider3,700 EUR
Dermatologist7,940 EUR

According to Salary Explorer, the average salary of a doctor in Spain is about 7,080 EUR per month. This source says the lowest salary is about 3,680 EUR, while the highest is 10,800 EUR.

This is while Glassdoor indicates that the average salary is about €2,667 per month.

Can I practice medicine in Spain as a foreign person?

Yes, but If you have got your degree from outside of Spain, you need to get your degree recognized by Spanish officials. The procedure is different for EU and non-EU nationals.

The non-EU nationals need to have Spanish language fluency and get approval from the Ministry of Education. Then they have to pass the test and complete the residency period. After that, they have to apply for a license from the local officials.

Let’s sum up…

Foreign doctors can move to Spain and become a doctor in this country. You can also study at a Spanish university and become a doctor which is a better and easier way. But you need to fulfill the requirements.

This Visa Library article brought you the requirements and eligibility principles. The entire process is covered, and you know what to do in each step.

If you have questions, write them down in the comment section. The Visa Library team will answer them.

Frequently asked questions about immigration to Spain as a doctor.

Can foreign doctors move to Spain?

Yes, you can, but you need to pass the recognition process.

Do I need Spanish language proficiency to work as a doctor in Spain?

Yes, you need to be fluent in Spanish to get admission to a university or if you got your degree abroad.

How much does it cost to study medicine in Spain?

It’s up to the university tuition and the cost of living in the city you will move to.

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  1. Sonia Isegbe says:

    1. Please could I get a precise run down of the steps I need to accomplish as a foreigner who wants to move to Spain, get licensed and practice medicine ?
    2. Is the Medical licensing exams written in Spanish or English ?
    3. How many parts is the examination written in ?

    • Max says:

      Steps for a foreigner to practice medicine in Spain:
      a. Ensure your medical degree is recognized.
      b. Demonstrate proficiency in Spanish.
      c. Obtain the appropriate visa and residence permit.
      d. Prepare for the medical licensing exams.
      e. Take and pass the “Examen MIR” (Medical Intern Resident Exam).

      Language of the Medical Licensing Exams in Spain:
      The medical licensing exams (Examen MIR) in Spain are primarily conducted in Spanish.

      Number of Parts in the Medical Licensing Exam in Spain:
      The exam consists of two parts: Part 1 (Common Trunk Exam) and Part 2 (Specialty Exam).