What are some ways to legally stay in Spain for language assistants and programs that offer access to the public health system?


I’m interested in ways to legally stay in Spain and access the public health system. 

Until last year I was a NALCAP participant. Then around September I developed multiple sclerosis and was taken out of Spain against my wishes. Someone already advised me to join the BEDA program since it offers access to the public health system, but the limit is 4 years. A doctor friend was trying to help me register my private lessons / pay taxes so I could access public healthcare. I would like to know if there are other programs that offer the same thing.


These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

“You can come to Spain with a teaching program and then do the arriago after 3 years. But I highly recommend against BEDA as they will take advantage of your situation.”

“Once you have been here for 3 consecutive years, you can modify to working residency with all the rights of a resident (public healthcare). In the meantime, BEDA Language Assistants have access to public healthcare, so you could work with them 3 years on a student visa and then modify to residency. Someone mentioned arraigo above, but I highly recommend modification as it’s an easier process with a higher rate of approval.”

“I also recommend student visa modification over doing arraigo social. The modification allows you to use half of your student years earned to apply towards a long-term residency permit called residencia de larga duración UE (whereas arraigo social does not). I wrote a detailed blog post a few years ago after I did the process on the requirements, how to do it and what documents you need to gather for it. I update it periodically and will be doing another update soon, as well trying to offer more resources on how to plan for it in advance and during the process. I also offering consulting and mentoring if anyone is interested in that (not just for the OP Sarah Leaird

It’s time consuming for sure but it’s not as difficult as others and with time and preparation, you can make it happen if you really want to stay here. Hope this information helps the OP and anyone else who might be searching for info on student visa modification!”

“Depending where in Spain once you have been on padron for a year you can just pay into the public system Vía convenio especial, it has no exclusions and preexisting conditions, also they don’t care how legal you are in the country.”

“You can sign up for the convenio asistencia sanitaria and pay into public healthcare that way. It’s about €60 a month”

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