How to register for social security?

Created in 1945, Social security is one of the fundamental rights of all people living on French territory. It is open to all provided that they work or reside in France on a stable and regular basis. Covers everyone, including foreign nationals.
It pays a part of the medical fees.

Social security, but for whom?Any person who has French nationality and resides in France on a stable and regular basis, that is to say for more than 3 months, is necessarily affiliated to the social security.
Whatever your situation: employees, civil servants, pensioners, self-employed, trainees, students, unemployed, children and infants, etc. Everyone benefits from this health insurance.

social security

Different social security schemes:

Under the name of Social Security there are actually several types of schemes. Depending on your situation, you will be bound to one of them.
The vast majority of people are affiliated with the social security of the general scheme, the CPAM = Primary Health Insurance Fund
Other social security schemes include:
 The MSA: The Non-Employed Farm System
• Self-Employed Workers: The ISS
• Special schemes: for state, territorial and hospital officials, magistrates and military personnel


How to register for social security?

With the democratization of dematerialised administrative processes, enrolling in social security has become easier and faster. However, this procedure for applying for membership is not the same under the chosen scheme.
Each registration is done on a form called a CERFA, a regulated administrative form. 

For each request, there is a different form. Each step corresponds to a Cerfa identifiable by its number (Example: Cerfa 2042).
You can find all the additional information on the website of the public service and on AMELI.

social security


What are the conditions for registering for Social Security?

If you are a national of the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA), you enjoy the same status as the French. No specific conditions are required from the moment you live in France in a stable and regular manner.

If you were born outside the European Union and the EEA.You will need to be able to justify your stay in the territory in order to benefit from social security. To do so, you will have to be in possession of a valid residence permit. If you find yourself temporarily without a valid residence permit, you will immediately lose your social security membership.

However, there is one particular case. If you suffer an accident at work or are a victim of an occupational disease, the regularity of the stay is no longer a criterion of eligibility. In this situation, you will be covered by social security. As for your employer, he will be prosecuted at the civil and criminal level.


Social security when you are a foreigner:

Rights differ if you are a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country or another country.

If you are a European expat

If you come to work in France, as an employee or self-employed person, you are insured in France (with exceptions, for example if you are a civil servant).
Before you leave for France, you must:
• Obtain Form E 104 (Attestation Concerning Aggregation of Periods of Insurance, Employment or Residence – Sickness, Maternity, Paternity) from your sponsoring organization,
• And return it to your French health insurance fund.

Your family members are also covered in France, whether they live there or not. If they continue to reside in your country of origin, you must request document S1 (attestation for the registration of members of the family of the employee or self-employed person) to your health insurance fund in France. You must then give it to the competent health insurance agency abroad, so that your family members can be registered there.
A person affiliated with the social security system can give his coverage to some of his relatives, in particular his children: it is the status of «rights holders».

If you are an official of another European country, sent to France (for example, diplomatic staff). You remain subject to the social protection scheme of the country to which your administration belongs. To receive reimbursement for your medical care in France, you must apply to your affiliate organisation for the S1 document. You must then present this document to the competent health insurance fund in France.

Read also: Coordination of social security systems in European countries 

If you are a non-European expat

You are a non-European employee, you benefit from universal health protection (Puma), if you work in France on a stable and regular basis.
Your rights holders (child, spouse (self)) can also benefit from the Puma. 

If your country of origin has signed a bilateral social security agreement with France, this will facilitate your support in France.

Read also: The various social security agreements with France 

If you are an official, you will be sent by your administration to an embassy, consulate or other official body, you will remain covered by the security of your country.


What documents must you provide when registering for social security?

  • If you are a national of a European Union State or of the European Economic Area (EEA) or of Switzerland

-> A photocopy of your identity document or passport.

  • You are a national of a state outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland

-> A photocopy of your valid residence permit.

  • If you are engaged in a professional activity

-> A copy of your pay slip or employment contract.

To justify your stability of residence in France if you do not have a professional activity -> Any document justifying that you have resided in France for more than three months. (For example: a lease or lease agreement, successive energy, water or landline bills, hotel bills for the last three months, school certificates, etc.).


Read also: What is a proof of residence 


  • If you have dependent minor children -> Form S 3705 « Application for attachment of minor children to one or both insured parents », completed by your care. This document can be downloaded from AMELI or ask your health insurance provider.

For the payment of your benefits -> Your bank identity statement (IBAN).

To obtain your social security number if you do not know it and if you were born abroad or in Wallis and Futuna

-> A full copy of your birth certificate or an equivalent document issued by a consulate. (This document must be authenticated, in particular by a legible stamp.) Your health insurance provider will tell you if it needs to be translated.


What’s the link between social security and mutuelle? 

Once you are registered for Social Security, simply go to the Ameli website and ask for a rights certificate with your social security number, your address and the length of time you are covered. You need to send it to your insurance company so they can connect to social security. Once your mutual and social security are attached, all your information will be saved on the vital card; no need for a mutual card.

Absolutely French is the first French school
🇫🇷 dedicated only to expat spouses.

Our main mission is to promote double career among expatriate couples.

With our fun, friendly and innovative French trainings, we guarantee you a better integration! ❤️

You want to learn with us?You want to register an expat partner?

Contact us!


Tel: 01 83 73 98 49

Address: 4, rue Faraday 75017 Paris

To discover : July 14th