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American with French Wife - Insurance/Visa

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9/25/2017 09:50 EST


I looked in the forum and could not find an answer.

I am 63 years old American going to retire in France in a a couple of years. My wife is a French national.

We are trying to find out what kind of health insurance I need to purchase in order to get:

+ a short stay visa
+ long stay visa
+ residency permit

We are not sure if I have to get all the visas to get the residency permit.

The insurance requirement is also very confusing.

Do I need private insurance?

When would I receive French insurance?

Thanks for your help in advance.

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9/25/2017 10:45 EST

Hi Bill,

we provide some insurance for 3 months that allows you the time to get yourselves sorted when you arrive in France.

let me know


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9/25/2017 11:16 EST

So are you saying because I am married to a French national, I would only need private insurance for 3 months?

Then what happens?


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9/25/2017 14:37 EST

you get French health rights

John Dislins

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9/26/2017 06:29 EST

Hi Bill,

In general, you'll need health insurance that covers you for your duration in France. You will need to show proof of this insurance at the time you apply for the visa at the French consulate closest to your home. Since your wife is French, however, you will apply for a family visa rather than a short/long stay tourist visa. Within two months of arriving in France, you'll go to the préfecture with your wife and the visa in your passport to get your 'titre de séjour' or residency permit.

Your wife can go to the local CPAM office upon arrival and fill out the CNAMTS 736 with her old social security number (if she has one). You will be covered as her dependent under the French public health insurance system PUMa. This will take a couple months, but you'll be able to cancel your private insurance (if the policy allows) once your wife receives her 'attestation de droits' which shows you as a dependent.

We wrote a blog on this topic a while back https://www.renestance.com/blog/french-health-insurance-for-everyone/ and you can also contact me directly if you have more questions.


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