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What are the official guidelines to get a VLS-TS Visa?

Private medical insurance is one of the requirements to get your VLS-TS in France (Visa Long Séjour – valant Titre de Séjour).

The official information on the france-visas.gouv.fr site isn't particularly helpful. It states:

For stays in France up to 6 months : UK-insured reciprocal healthcare entitlement documents (valid EHIC / GHIC). For stays over 6 months : Private Health insurance covering the entire validity of the visa (up to 1 year), except for retirees receiving a British retirement pension who may provide the S1 Form delivered by the NHS.

Assuming that most people want to stay for more than 6 months (and then ask for residency once in France) we need to dig deeper. The TLS-contact website provides a pdf version of the insurance requirements; this is quite simple to read. But (and unfortunately there is always a but..), we've noticed that the majority of VISA applications which get declined are refused because of the insurance element. So what is it that they are looking for?

What makes a policy VISA compliant?

After months of ‘battle testing’ various policies with different customers and using multiple ‘TLS sources’ (a variety of embassies or consulates around the world), we've come to the conclusion that the layout of the insurance certificate is of paramount importance. And once we grasped this, things became simpler. Eventually…

Like many things in France, there will always be exceptions but the feedback we have had ‘from the field’ has been the same since late 2021 so the dust is probably beginning to settle.

With regard to insurance, there are common elements to all the applications that have been successfully accepted. These need to be visible on the insurance certificate and are that:

• It shows cover for at least the duration of your VISA. If this is not possible or if it ends before the VISA, then the certificate should mention that the insurance policy is scheduled for automatic renewal.
• It mentions that you're covered for medical expenses and hospitalisation (not just hospitalisation).
• The medical cover should be at least 30.000€.
• The certificate should not mention any medical exclusions.
• It covers your public liability in the EU and includes a repatriation plan.

If you fulfill these five requirements and if the rest of your file is complete, you can consider your VISA application is on track.