Abroad: how to obtain a social security number in France?

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If you come to France for your higher education or for work, contact Social Security to find out your rights in terms of social security and benefit from the reimbursement of your health costs in the event of illness or hospitalization.

As a foreigner, the procedures for registering with Social Security are simple and free. Following this affiliation, you will receive a number that you can use with the CPAM, health professionals and other social security organizations.

What is Social Security Number or NIR?

All French citizens are registered in the National Directory for the Identification of Physical Persons (RNIPP) from birth. This registration leads to the automatic allocation of a number by INSEE, officially called the NIR.

The NIR is an essential number for identification with the primary health insurance fund (CPAM) and social protection bodies.

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Good to know :

Maintained and managed since 1946 by INSEE, the National Directory for the Identification of Physical Persons (RNIPP) is a tool for verifying civil status (birth, death, child adoption, etc.) and for listing people born in France. , whether of French or foreign nationality. This identification allows the issue of the NIR number.

For French people born abroad, who wish to settle in France to study or work can get information from the CPAM.

If they do not have a number, they will have to register in this register to benefit from their health rights.

How many digits is the Social Security number made up of?

The NIR number is created from civil status data and generally consists of 15 digits distributed as follows:

  • Gender (one digit, 1 for male and 2 for female)
  • Year of birth (2 digits)
  • Month of birth (2 digits)
  • Place of birth (5 digits), 2 digits for the department of birth and 3 digits for the INSEE commune code
  • Birth order number (3 digits) which distinguishes people born in the same place at the same time
  • Control key (2 digits)

Good to know :

For people born abroad, the 2 digits of the department code are replaced by the number 99.

Affiliates born in North Africa before 1964 may have the number 95 for Morocco and 96 for Tunisia. For those born in Algeria before July 3, 1962, this code is replaced by 91, 92, 93 or 94.

Attention !

The Social Security number is personal and unique! It is recommended never to communicate it to individuals to avoid any identity theft.

What is the use of having a Social Security number?

Essentially used in the field of social protection, the NIR or social security number is useful for:

  • health insurance organizations (Family allowance fund (CAF)
  • employment center
  • Mutual health insurance
  • The departmental house for people with disabilities (MDPH)
  • The pension fund
  • The professional health environment (general practitioner or medical specialist, hospital, medical analysis laboratory, etc.).

The Sécu number is used to calculate the reimbursement of the health expenses of the insured, daily allowances, family allowances and the retirement pension.

The NIR also allows you to create your account on the ameli.fr website and facilitates your procedures with your health insurance fund. Access to the platform allows you to track your reimbursements, download documents…

Where can I find my Social Security number?

Also called Security number or INSEE number, the NIR is available on various documents such as the vital card, the certificate of rights as well as on the payslip. It is also possible to find this number on other administrative documents provided by your employer, your complementary health insurance, your pension fund, etc.

How do I get a Social Security number?

The Social Security number is systematically assigned by INSEE to anyone born in France or residing there on a stable and regular basis, whatever their nationality.

For people born in France, registration is done at birth by INSEE from civil status data transmitted by the town hall.

Beneficiaries of health insurance become aware of this number at the age of 16, when they receive their carte vitale.

If you have no document with your Secu number, don’t worry! Go to any Social Security reception point with an identity document to retrieve your number.

And for foreigners?

The Social Security number has no connection with your nationality. If you are a foreigner and you come to live in France for studies or work, you must submit a request to the organization that best suits your situation.

You can apply for registration yourself or ask your employer if you are an employee.

  • Employees and self-employed or self-employed workers apply to the CPAM (primary health insurance fund).
  • Students address the CPAM of their place of residence
  • People who are unemployed or active can contact the health insurance fund.
  • Agricultural employees or workers on a farm can complete the procedure with the MSA (Agricultural Social Mutual Fund)

Good to know :

If you are covered by a special scheme, you can send your request for a Social Security number to your managing body (CAVIMAC, CPRP SNCF, CAMIEG, etc.)

What are the supporting documents to provide?

To obtain your Social Security number, you must present the supporting documents relating to your identity and your marital status:

ID :

  • National Identity Card
  • Passport
  • Residence permit for foreigners

Civil status documents

  • Extract of birth certificate with parentage
  • Full copy of birth certificate
  • Any other document issued by the consulate

Subscription to complementary mutual insurance

Because Social Security does not cover all of your health costs, it is possible to supplement it with mutual health insurance.

To reduce your out-of-pocket expenses during your stay in France, HEYME offers you the subscription to student health insurance from €9.90 per month to reimburse your health expenses.

Total or partial coverage, we offer you levels of cover, perfectly adapted to your needs and your budget.

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