Foreign student, how does it work with Social Security?

Foreign student, how does it work with Social Security?

You are starting or continuing your studies in higher education in France and do not have a social security number? Are you also wondering if you will be able to perceive assistance for your accommodation? We explain you how to register with the French Social Security System and what your rights will be.

How to be affiliated to the French Social Security?

In anticipation of your arrival in France, a Health Insurance website allows you to apply for affiliation in French Social Security by registering online. This is the etudiant-é website.

Please note, you will also have to follow this process if you are French from New Caledonia or Wallis and Futuna or if you are a foreign-born French.

You will need to fill in certain mandatory information, namely:

  • Your name
  • Your surname
  • Your date of birth as well as your country of birth
  • Your email address and your phone number
  • Your postal address in France

Mandatory supporting documents will also be requested. It is:

  • Your national identity card or passport
  • Your residence permit
  • Your education certificate for the current year
  • Your IBAN or bank account details for your reimbursements
  • A civil status document required to create your social security number (it can be an entire copy of your birth certificate, an extract of birth certificate with filiation, a family record book, or a marriage certificate).

Please note, for foreign students under the age of 16, a parental permission certificate also needs to be provided. In addition, international agreements and conventions may also foresee for others supporting documents. There are also certain exceptions to registration on the étudiant-é site, for more information, visit the dedicated page of the Health Insurance site.

How does it work once all this information are completed?

Once you will have filled all of these elements, the website will automatically assign you a temporary social security number and you can download a temporary Social Security affiliation certificate through the website.

You will also be able to submit the missing or non-compliant supporting documents in the personal space that you created at the end of the registration phase.

Once registration has been approved, you can download your definitive Social Security affiliation certificate which will give you your Social Security number.

After this affiliation has been completed, you will be able to:

  • Open your personal account on the website. This account will allow you to carry out the main procedures concerning the Health insurance as well as monitor your reimbursements.
  • Apply for your social security card (“carte Vitale”). The carte Vitale allows the remote transmission to Health insurance of the information necessary for your refund. You can order it via your account.
  • Declare your general practitioner. The declaration of a general practitioner is mandatory for all persons affiliated to Health insurance.

How will I be taken care of?

Like all the students living in France, you will be able to benefit from coverage for your health care during hospitalization, a visit to a doctor or for the purchase of medicines prescribed by a doctor.

If your resources are low, you can also apply for the “Complémentaire santé solidaire (CSS)” (an additional healthcare cover) which will allow you to reduce your remaining charge. You can also contact the Family Allowance Refund (“Caisse d’allocations familiales) to apply for housing assistance.