Visa application

Hi all. We plan to move to France from the UK permanently next summer to settle in what was our holiday home. I realise a visa is required and to obtain the visa (amongst other things such as income) we have to show medical cover is in place for 3 months. I’m struggling to understand what type of cover and who should provide, for example, is travel insurance acceptable fir this period?

Schengen Travel Visa Insurance – Europe Travel Insurance

Extract from “Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009”, which entered into force on April 5 of 2010:

“… Applicants for a uniform visa for one or two entries shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance to cover any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment or death, during their stay(s) on the territory of the Member States.
The insurance shall be valid throughout the territory of the Schengen Area Member States and cover the entire period of the person’s intended stay or transit. The minimum coverage shall be EUR 30,000” (…)

There is more information at France Travel Insurance - Health Insurance for Visitors & Tourists in France

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Hi, your query has currently had eighty-one views, but only elicited one reply, which is a bit unusual as normally lots of people on SF are ready to provide advice on such matters. It might be helpful to provide more info about your status, such as which passport/s you hold and whether or not either of you are above national retirement age

Hi, not sure if you’ve seen it but there’s a link for obtaining an insurance quote at the top of the page. Might be worth reaching out to Fabien and getting his advice.

A long explanation Brexit - Health Insurance for Visitor Visas |


I am not an insurance expert but I have been researching this for my own use, as we intend to move over permanently once we’ve sold up here, and this is my understanding:

Travel insurance is not acceptable
It needs to be proper PHI which will cover you until you can get into the French health system
It might take 3 months to do this or much longer so the recommendation seems to be to plan for the first year to be safe
The PHI is taken out via a policy which is then cancelled or transportable with a reduced monthly fee into a longer term top up policy.
If you and/or a spouse is eligible for the UK state pension you may get an S1 which seems to expedite matters

As I say this is only my understanding and apparently there is an expert on this forum who might pop by and help

It feels a bit like wading through mud, to me at least, but I figure one step at a time and it will be fine.

Good luck to you

Thank you for your response. It’s good to know I’m not the only one looking for answers! Another forum member pointed me towards the Insurance section at the top of the page and this has also helped.

Fabien (see top of page - INSURANCE) has been very helpful setting us up in France with all sorts of insurance. Speak to him…

Thank you - I will get in touch.

Possibly because the elicited reply was pretty clear & comprehensive? That plus @fabien should be all that’s needed?

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Hi, travel insurance isn’t working for VISAs anymore indeed. We have a bunch of compatible offers and also an online calculator that you can find here if you’d like to have a look =>

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We should be one step ahead of you as we should be moving on April 1st. We’ve been
offered health cover for just over £400
Which does not cover us for day to day needs but does cover us for major illnesses and hospitalisation.

Was that per month for two of you?

If you have yet to get your visa do check carefully that this level of cover is acceptable. The requirement is for a comprehensive insurance.

£870 for the two of us per month. Does that sound reasonable? Other quotes we got seemed far too expensive but maybe they gave a more complete cover

Ouch! Have you checked the link in Fabien’s post above?

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I shall certainly do that but we are in our mid seventies (at times hard to believe!) so I was relieved to find a quote we could afford for a short period of time.
So we have 6 weeks to sort out our move. The most immediate is my wife’s Irish passport which we’re still waiting for after nearly a year.
Once we get the passport I have to decide whether I need to apply for a visa. I’d rather not as it’s not a fun journey from Cornwall. I’ve read the info from the French consulate sometimes I think they’re saying I do not need a visa and sometimes I think they’re saying I do. It must depend on the context. Any advice on this would be much appreciated.

This is from the French government site which suggest you don’t need a visa before you arrive, but must apply for a titre de séjour once yiu are here. As long as your wife has her EU passport of course:

Les membres majeurs de votre famille (ou de plus de 16 ans s’ils souhaitent travailler) doivent obligatoirement détenir un titre de séjour .

Ils doivent le demander dans les 3 mois de leur entrée en France.

Dans un délai maximum de 6 mois, une carte de séjour membre de la famille d’un citoyen de l’Union leur est délivrée sauf s’ils représentent une menace pour l’ordre public: titleContent.

Cette carte a la même durée de validité que votre titre de séjour. Si vous n’avez pas demandé de titre de séjour, il a la durée de séjour à laquelle vous pouvez prétendre, dans la limite de 5 ans.

Le droit au séjour de votre famille prend fin avec le vôtre. Cependant, dans certaines situations et sous certaines conditions, votre famille peut continuer à vivre sans vous en France (en cas de divorce ou de décès ou si vous quittez la France, etc.).

Si la carte doit être renouvelée, il faut faire la demande dans les 2 mois qui précèdent son expiration.

Hello Fabien. I’ve just been looking at your health insurance link which looks very good. Our situation is a bit different to usual. I am English my wife is Irish with an Irish passport so it seems I don’t need a visa. We were living in France three years ago so we have a carte verte which nhs overseas have checked and is still active. So it looks like we should both go for the insurance for a residency application on a monthly basis and convert to a mutuelle when we can?

Thanks Jane for that info and quote which I shall keep handy in case of trouble!