Do I need to buy French healthcare insurance when I apply for a visa?

If you are planning to move to France permanently or for more than 3 months, this article will help you evaluate the options.

03 Mar 2023

France continues to be a dream destination for many Britons. Whether it is for a holiday, to study or to buy property, the British love affair of la vie française remains strong.

Since 2021, UK nationals must now apply for a long-stay visa if they are preparing to stay in France for longer than three months. An essential element of any visa application is providing evidence that the individual has appropriate private healthcare insurance cover in place.

Which types of visa do applicants require?

France has many different types of visas. You can check out eligibility details for each as well as access further information using the French government’s visa wizard.

There are two kinds of long-stay visa; the Temporary Long-Stay Visa (duration of stay: 90 – 180 days) and the Long-Stay Visa (Duration of stay over 180 days/year). For stays of less than 90 days, evidence of health cover can include a valid GHIC or EHIC. Otherwise, separate private healthcare cover is essential; and is furthermore a pre-requirement for stays of more than 90 days.

What type of private health insurance cover do you need?

The French authorities will reject any long-stay visa application which does not meet their requirements. Any healthcare insurance policy must be place for the entire duration of your stay in France and include:

  • A minimum coverage of at least 30,000€
  • Both medical expenses and hospitalisation
  • Not refer to any medical exclusions (note: pre-existing conditions must be covered by your medical policy)
  • Cover not only France but all member states of the Schengen Area
  • Cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent health attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death.

Worth considering

Although a valid GHIC/EHIC are legitimate documents for Temporary Long-Stay Visa applications, these cards do not cover all health costs and never cover repatriation costs. So, it is well worth considering taking out temporary private healthcare insurance in this instance.

Further Information

Insurance France is the trading name of AXA Marthon. We are a British-owned English and French speaking AXA agency, taking care of your insurance so you can enjoy your life in France.

Phone: +33 (0)5 45 70 43 76


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