I hold a scientific visa for France (I am not European). Do I need some kind of health insurance to enter the country?

According to the convention d'accueil, the hosting institution is willing to take care of my health insurance. However, I am still in doubt because the contract starts two days after I plan to enter to France. The visa is issued valid from three days before the contract starts, so it will be valid when I intend to enter the country.

Edit: the only official thing I found regarding verification upon arrival is this. They do not ask explicitly for a health insurance, anyway, my visa would be exempted as it is labeled with a visa endorsement. Now I wonder if the health insurance is regulated in another place.

Edit 2: the type of visa is D.


3 Answers 3


No, you don't need health insurance to enter the country or get the visa.

You will be covered by Securité Sociale starting from your first day in France. In practice, it will take a few months to get mailed your 'carte vitale' (social security card). When you go to a doctor, you will pay out of pocket, and it will be reimbursed once you get your carte vitale. You just have to keep a piece of paper which acts as your receipt ('feuille de soins') and fill that in once you get your carte vitale and your social security number.

Remember to ask your GP to be your primary carer (medecin traitant) once you arrive, you'll get reimbursed more for staying with that doctor after that. Usually they can do this online, but sometimes you'll have to ask for and submit a form yourself.

Source: I did all of this two years ago. Also this website: http://www.blog.parisunraveled.com/3-steps-to-getting-reimbursed-for-medical-care-in-france/

Also this may be better on expats.SE.

  • I'd like to add something official (from government website) but I'm super busy at the moment - I will look for something later and add it myself. Probably something exists at Caisse d'assurance maladie or something. I will have a look and if I find something, I'll add it to my answer. Also don't hesitate to ask your administration at the host lab - they can help! Nov 27, 2017 at 8:21

To be on the safe side, you could look into getting travel insurance for a few days; some credit cards even include that. This, not only from a "legal" point of view, but on the actual chance that you might need it.

As for entering the country, my experience is that immigration officers don't usually check those things (it is done mostly when you apply for the visa) but there's always the chance if it is a requirement.

  • I was doubtful whether this was a requirement for entering with a scientific visa. Do you have any pointer explaining so?
    – u671834
    Nov 25, 2017 at 20:34

According to Schengen C-visa requirements, it is compulsory to possess travel insurance for the entire duration of your stay. Immigration officers at the port of entry may or may not check to confirm proof of insurance. But that does not mean you should take a chance and try to enter the Schengen zone without acceptable insurance. Commentators above have suggested your credit card might cover you for some days. I don't think that would work, because Schengen countries have a high bar for insurance and freebie travel insurance might not be good enough to cover Schengen requirements.

  • Sorry, I haven't been explicit. It is a D-visa type. Do you know where I can find the information regarding requirements for each visa type?
    – u671834
    Nov 26, 2017 at 19:33

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