You are coming to France to work as an expatriate from a European Union member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland

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In Social Security terms, a worker who goes abroad to work is an expatriate when they are no longer a member of the Social Security scheme of their country of origin and are required to join the local scheme of the State in which they are working.

Under European legislation, if you come to France for work, you will only have membership in the French Social Security system. This means that you will no longer be a member of the Social Security scheme of your State of origin.

To register with France's social protection institutions, you will be required to supply a birth certificate showing your parent's information as well as a passport or national identity card.


How is a French social security number assigned?

A distinction is made between expatriates residing in France (country of employment) and expatriates who continue to reside in their country of origin.

I. If you reside in France

A. Health care

1. Your circumstances

Applicable regulatory provisions:

Under France's universal health care protection program (puma) which was rolled out on January 1st, 2016, any person working in France is eligible for coverage for health care expenses. This means that, as long as you are working in France, you are entitled to coverage for your health care expenses with no waiting period (there is no prerequisite number of working hours).

How do I get a French social security number?

2. Circumstances for your beneficiaries and for your spouse/ de facto/ civil union (“PACS”) partner if the latter is not employed

a) If they are residing with you in France

You will need to contact the Health Insurance Fund that is local to your place of residence in France (CPAM, MSA, etc.) for information on the rules for your beneficiaries to be covered as such under French legislation, as well as for your spouse/ de facto/ civil union (“PACS”) to be covered for health care expenses on the basis of residence if they are not employed.

b) If they remain in your State of origin

Applicable regulatory provisions:

You will need to apply for an S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover.”

This document will be issued by the health insurance fund to which you belong. The health insurance fund in your family members' state of residence will check whether they are eligible for family member status under local legislation. If they are, this will mean that the members of your family who are not residing with you are eligible for health-maternity benefits in kind in their home country. These will be provided by the institution of the place of residence on behalf of the French institution as if they were members of the latter, without paying any contributions.

Otherwise, the members of your family may be able to join the local Social Security scheme on the basis of residence, subject to any applicable contribution requirement.

B. Daily benefits

Applicable regulatory provisions:

If you were working in another EU member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland before coming to France, you will need to contact your health insurance fund before you leave the foreign country to apply for an E 104 form, which you will submit to the health insurance fund of your place of residence in France. (This form will eventually be phased out and replaced by electronic communications between the relevant institutions). If you are recognized as unable to work after resuming your employment in France, this form will allow you to totalize the periods of insurance you accrued in your previous State of employment with your French periods of insurance to exempt you from any waiting period before you are entitled to cash benefits from the French social security scheme's health insurance system. If you were not issued this form before you left the foreign country, the French institution will request it directly from the fund to which you belonged previously.

Your entitlement to cash benefits or daily compensation from the health insurance system will be determined and paid directly by your health insurance fund pursuant to the legislation it applies.

C. Family benefits

Your circumstances with regard to the other State

1. You are working and residing in France with your children while your spouse is working in the other State

Applicable regulatory provisions:

France is competent to pay family benefits on the basis of your employment in France and the children's residence in France.

A supplement may be paid by your spouse's State of employment.

In practical terms, you will need to submit a family benefits application to the family benefits fund (CAF), or MSA fund of your place of residence, specifying that your spouse is working in another EU member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland. The CAF (or MSA fund) will then contact the competent institution so that your entitlements are determined pursuant to European regulations.

2. You are working in France while your spouse is working and residing with your children in the other State

Applicable regulatory provision:

Your spouse's State of employment is competent to pay family benefits on the basis of his/her employment and the children's residence.

France may pay a supplement on the basis of your employment in this country. In practical terms, your spouse will need to submit a family benefits application to the Family benefits fund of his/her place of residence, specifying that you are working in France.

The Family benefits fund of your spouse's place of residence will then contact the French CAF (or MSA) fund so that your entitlements are determined pursuant to European regulations.

3. You are working in France while your spouse is residing with your children in the other State, where s/he is not working or treated as working

Applicable regulatory provision:

  • art. 67 of EC Regulation No. 883/04

France is competent to pay exportable family benefits on the sole basis of employment in this country.

In practical terms, you will need to submit an application for entitlement to French family benefits to the Family benefits fund (CAF or MSA) that is local to your place of employment in France.

The local fund will then contact the institution of the State of residence so that your entitlements are determined pursuant to European regulations.

4. You are working and residing in France with your family while your spouse is working or treated as working in France

France is the sole competent State to pay exportable family benefits as provided by French legislation.

In practical terms, you will need to submit an application for entitlement to French family benefits to the Family benefits fund (CAF or MSA) that is local to your place of residence in France.

5. You are working and residing in France with your family while your spouse is not working or treated as working (full-time mother or father) in France

Insofar as you meet the eligibility requirements for French family benefits, you will receive family benefits pursuant to French legislation.

D. Unemployment benefits

Before you leave your State, you can apply to your local employment office for the U1 portable document entitled “Periods to be taken into account for granting unemployment benefits.” Indeed, if you become involuntarily unemployed after resuming employment in France, you can submit this document to your French employment office “Pôle Emploi” when you register as a jobseeker there. Pôle Emploi will totalize the periods of employment accrued in both States while determining whether you also meet all of the other eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits pursuant to French legislation.

II. If you remain a resident of the other State

A. Health care

1. Your circumstances

Applicable regulatory provisions:

  • art. 11 § and 17 of EC Regulation No. 883/04
  • art. 5 of EC Regulation No. 883/04

  • art. 24 of EC Regulation No. 987/09

  • art. L-160-1 of the French Social Security code

  • articles R 313-3-1, R 313-5, and R 313-6 of the French Social Security code

Under France's universal health care protection program (puma) which was rolled out on January 1st, 2016, any person working in France is eligible for coverage for health care expenses. This means that, as long as you are working in France, you are entitled to coverage for your health care expenses with no waiting period (there is no prerequisite number of working hours).

How do I get a French Social Security number ?

Due to your residence in the other State, you will need to apply to your health insurance fund in France (CPAM or MSA) for the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover.” With this document, you will be able to register with the health insurance fund that is local to your place of residence and receive coverage for your care in that State.

In other words, you are entitled to health care coverage in France on the basis of your employment (you will be reimbursed in accordance with France's Social Security rates), or in your State of residence based on your S1 portable document (you will be reimbursed in accordance with the Social Security rates set by your State of residence).

2. Your family members

Applicable regulatory provisions:

The health insurance fund of your place of residence to which you submit the S1 portable document entitled “Registering for health care cover” will determine whether they are eligible for family member status pursuant to local social security legislation.

If so, this means that they are entitled to coverage for the health care they receive in the State of residence as if they were members of the local scheme, without paying any contributions. As family members of a French-insured individual, they are also entitled to come to France to receive medical care. They will have access to all types of care (medically necessary and scheduled care) regardless of the reason for their stay in France. They will be covered for their care in accordance with France's Social Security rates. Their bills and reimbursement claims (“feuilles de soins”) will need to be submitted to your French health insurance fund.

Otherwise, your family members will need to join the local social security scheme on the basis of residence, subject to any applicable contribution requirement.

B. Indemnités journalières

Applicable regulatory provisions:

  • art. 21 of EC Regulation No. 883/04
  • art. 27 of EC Regulation No. 987/09
  • art. 6 of EC Regulation No. 883/04

If you were working in another EU member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland before coming to France, you will need to contact your health insurance fund before you leave the foreign country to apply for an E 104 form, which you will submit to the health insurance fund of your place of residence in France. (This form will eventually be phased out and replaced by electronic communications between the relevant institutions). If you are recognized as unable to work after resuming your employment in France, this form will allow you to totalize the periods of insurance you accrued in your previous State of employment with your French periods of insurance to exempt you from any waiting period before you are entitled to cash benefits from the French social security scheme's health insurance system.

If you were not issued this form before you left the foreign country, the French institution will request it directly from the fund to which you belonged previously.

Your entitlement to cash benefits or daily compensation from the health insurance system will be determined and paid directly by your French health insurance fund pursuant to the legislation it applies. :

C. Family benefits

Your employment, your spouse's circumstances, and where your children reside will determine whether family benefits are paid by France and/or by the State of residence.

1. You are working in France, your spouse is working or treated as working in the other State, and the entire family is residing in that State

Applicable regulatory provisions:

The State of residence is competent to pay family benefits on the basis
of your spouse's employment and the children's residence in that
State.

France may pay a supplement on the basis of your employment in
this country.

In practical terms, your spouse will need to submit a family benefits application to the Family benefits fund of the State of residence, specifying that you are employed in France. The local Fund will contact the CAF (or MSA) fund to determine your entitlements pursuant to EU regulations.

2. You and your spouse are working in France while you are residing with your children in the other State

Applicable regulatory provisions:

  • art. 67 of EC Regulation No. 883/04

France is competent to pay exportable family benefits on the basis of the parents' employment in this country.

In practical terms, you will need to submit an application for entitlement to family benefits to the Family benefits fund (CAF or MSA) that is local to your place of employment in France. That fund will then contact the competent institution of the place of residence so that your entitlements are determined pursuant to European regulations.

3. You are working in France while your spouse is a full-time mother/father and you are residing with your children in the other State

Applicable regulatory provisions:

  • art. 67 of EC Regulation No. 883/04

France is competent to pay exportable family benefits on the basis of your employment in this country.

In practical terms, you will need to submit an application for entitlement to family benefits to the CAF (or MSA) fund that is local to your place of employment in France. That fund will then contact the competent institution of the place of residence so that your entitlements are determined pursuant to European regulations.

D. Unemployment benefits

Applicable regulatory provisions:

If your employment contract in France has ended and you do not immediately begin new employment, you can register as a jobseeker with the employment office in your State of residence: your entitlement to unemployment benefits will be determined pursuant to local legislation and take account of the periods of insurance you accrued in France. When you register, you will need to submit the U1 portable document entitled “Periods to be taken into account for granting unemployment benefits”, which is issued by the French employment office “Pôle emploi” and documents the periods of employment you accrued in France.

You will need to apply for your U1 form through:

If you decide to search for employment in France, you can additionally register with the French employment office (“Pôle emploi”) that is local to the head office of your former employer in France.