Visa requirements 2021

Hello all I am new to your site but it looks interesting. Me 58& my husband 60 will require a visa . we’ve started the Visa process but are on hold till were out of tier 4 as can’t go for interview currently. were moving to France ( when able ) permanently we brought the house just before the new year ! Anyway as part of the long stay visa we’re required to get health cover for the duration of the stay so I guess a year to begin ? I was wondering if we had to get full private health cover £££££ or will travel holiday insurance do the job ? I hear that after 3 months we can apply for PUMA . I’m finding the whole health cover / health for visa challenging can anyone help ? thank you all Karen

Hi Karen - welcome to SF.
The SF Insurance experts is @fabien and his site is listed under Insurance on the top banner. I’ve flagged him so he may well chip in but please feel free to contact him directly and I’m sure he will give you appropriate accurate advice. His advice is free and many use his services for their needs particularly on Health.
Others will contribute too so keep an eye out.


Travel insurance is not considered sufficient for anything other than a holiday. Sorry. You will need full insurance if you want to settle here, so make contact with Fabien as Graham says.

The process for you will be to get your visa (with your health insurance in place). Then you have to come here and start the process of swapping the visa for a resident’s card. Only once you have a resident’s card can you apply to join the French Health Service (PUMA).

Pre-2021 non-working British people were able to join PUMA after 3 month’s residence. However, you are now non-European so you have to follow the rules for non-Europeans which means getting a resident’s card first.

This could all take a year!

Bon Voyage when borders re-open!


Hi Karen, and welcome to the forum!

What a shame you weren’t able to get over here when you bought the house as you could have got a Carte de Sejour!

Hi Karen, you’ll need some private medical insurance indeed but some providers can allow you to opt-out as soon as you’re accepted into the French system so that you’re not committed to a year long (expensive) PHI.

Just to get an idea of the premium you can have a look at Fab French Insurance